Oct. 7, 2013
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Former Marshall baseball hurler Dan Straily (2007-2009), will start for the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday, Oct. 8, against the Detroit Tigers in Game 4 of the American League Division Series at Comerica Park in Detroit.
Set to make his first career Major League Baseball postseason appearance and start, Straily will become the seventh rookie in Athletics history to start a postseason game. The last Oakland rookie to win a postseason game was Barry Zito in Game 4 of the 2000 AL Championship Series at New York, an 11-1 A’s win.
Straily’s most recent start came Sept. 25 in a 3-1 loss on the road to the Los Angeles Angels. Straily blanked the Angels on three hits over the first three innings and was pulled after 6.2 innings with the A’s trailing 3-1.
The former Thundering Herd pitcher collected a 14-4 win in Detroit on Aug. 28, in his only appearance against the Tigers.
With Oakland currently leading the best-of-5 series 2-1, Straily will look to eliminate Detroit and send the A’s into the ALCS against the winner of the Boston-Tampa Bay ALDS series. If the Red Sox defeat the Rays tonight, Oakland and Detroit will begin at 7:05 p.m. (ET) tomorrow, but if the Rays defeat the Red Sox to extend the series, the Athletics and Tigers will begin at 5:05 p.m. (ET). The A’s-Tigers game can be seen nationwide on TBS.
Straily spoke with the media Monday morning before Game 3 of the ALDS in Detroit. The following transcript was compiled by ASAP Sports, Inc.
Q. What can you take out of your last start going against the Tigers?
Dan Straily: It was one of those bend but don't break kind of outings. I made a one mistake pitch Torii Hunter that he made me pay for. It was good to get here in the ballpark and pitch before the game really matters.
Q. Dan, this has been a pretty long layoff for you, how do you compensate for that and use the time? How do you feel going in?
Dan Straily: We took a couple of days off after the start against the Angels, and through an intrasquad game in between there and got 50 pitches off the mound last week.
Once game time comes, it doesn't matter how long you had off. You're ready to go, all bets are off.
Q. To this point what's the biggest game of your career?
Dan Straily: Maybe going into Texas this year, we had that three-game lead or three-and-a-half-game lead, and Game 1 of that series had to set the tone. We ended up doing work there, so we were able to give ourselves a bigger lead. I felt like that was a big game to come in there with a big crowd and a playoff-type atmosphere.
Q. Obviously everybody knows who the Tigers starting rotation is. Do you guys feel like with the way that Sonny pitched the other day and your three young guys that you're starting to make a mark, too?
Dan Straily: Yeah, why not? We come in here and we're a very confident group. Just because everyone hasn't heard of us, doesn't mean that we don't belong here, that we aren't good enough to be here. We all know what we can do individually and accomplish as a group as well.
Q. Dan, how inspiring is what Sonny did in the last start and this string now that your staff has of 17 scoreless innings against their lineup?
Dan Straily: I think it's good. It shows that our game plan, our approach is working, if we just stick to that. Maybe we won't get the same result because each game is very different, but we will go out there and stick to our game plan.
What he did that night was special, fun to watch, fun to be a part of in the dugout there, and you go out there and shows you what can happen when you stick to your game plan.
Q. What adjustments, can you take watching the first two games? Your teammates quieted the Tigers lineup. What did you learn?
Dan Straily: Good things happen when you get the ball down, that's good basic stuff. Sonny told me the other day, first couple of innings you find yourself pretty jacked up. After that, you gotta find a way to keep pitching and he was able to do that.
The whole game was game adjustments, end game adjustments is the way you win and lose ballgames. I feel like not so much adjustments, but stick to what we have been doing, because it seems to be working.
Q. Talking about game plan. How much of a discussion among the group is there with Bob and the pitching coach on how to approach these guys?
Dan Straily: Well, they do their own thing prior to each series, like they all meet the catcher and the manager and the coaches, they do their own thing. We watch our video and each guy has their own system of getting ready for games.
In terms of coming up as a group together, we don't really do that. But we'll have our meeting tomorrow before the game, me and the catcher and the pitching coach, so we will finalize a game plan right before the game in terms of watching video and getting ready and checking out scouting reports.
Q. Dan, is that your system, just that meeting with you, the pitching coach, and the catcher, you said everybody has their own system, what exactly substitutes yourself?
Dan Straily: I do a little more, I watch video, information packets and stuff that we have available to us, I check those out. But at the same time now that I've faced these guys, I can go back and see what I did against them and give myself a better game plan.
My fastball is going to be different than Sonny's fastball, different than Bartolo's and Jarrod's. And you don't want to read too much information to it, but if a guy is hitting a fastball a lot, you probably want to avoid that area. But all bets are off when you get out there and start getting a feel for the game.
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