10/05/06 6:01 PM ET
Cliff Floyd pregame interview
Mets outfielder will start Game 2
By / MLB.com
CLIFF FLOYD: Felt pretty good, you know. We had a little adversity, we lost a couple of our starters. You know, we played a long summer of good baseball. Everybody picked everybody up over the course. We didn't want to let that slip away. So step one is out of the way. Tonight is step two.
Q. I didn't mean the game, I meant just the home run.
CLIFF FLOYD: Oh, it felt real good to help the team, you know. Been working on my swing a lot. Hopefully, I can continue to help us even more. Big thing for me is just staying healthy and staying on the field.
Q. This must be extra special (inaudible).
CLIFF FLOYD: Yeah, it's been a tough season for myself personally, but we had a great bunch of guys in the clubhouse who have definitely picked me up for the course of the season. To be in this position is great, so I look forward to this, like I said, staying healthy, staying on the field, and putting the season past me.
Q. With the Yankees today, I'm sure you saw they lost to Detroit at home, does that lock in how important this game is tonight for you?
CLIFF FLOYD: Yeah, I mean, for us, we got so much going on over here that, you know, you watch the other games just to watch and stuff like that. But they got a great team, great lineup. It's amazing that they even, you know, was in a close game. That youngster was throwing pretty good. They got a tough lineup. You got Posada hitting eighth or ninth, 3 ribbies. Unbelievable. But we got our problems. I'm just looking forward to going out and doing our thing and hopefully winning tonight and going to LA, you know, with a little less to worry about.
Q. You're starting tonight against a lefty and Endy is playing right field for Green. Did Willie talk to you about this? Were you a little surprised that you were starting, or do you think it's 'cause of the home run or the way you played yesterday?
CLIFF FLOYD: I have no clue, man. I really don't. I don't talk to Willie about none of that stuff. I just come to the park ready to play and if I'm playing, I'm playing. You know, if I would have hit 35 home runs and 100 some RBIs this year, maybe I would have had leeway to say I'm playing regardless or whatever. But I didn't have that option, deal with what you got. I got here today, he told me I was playing. That's it. That's what I'm gonna go with. So believe it or not, I've had real good success against lefties in my past. It's just I guess, you know, when you struggle, you struggle. That's how it's been.
Q. Could you talk about Jose Reyes and what he means to the top of the lineup.
CLIFF FLOYD: He means everything to our team. I saw that back in the day when he was young and didn't really know what was going on, trying to get his feet wet in the big leagues. He's a great competitor. He keeps everything loose, you know what I mean, everyone loose. He smiles every day. I love him. I love him a lot. You know, I mean as a person, too, not just 'cause he's a great ballplayer. I mean, you can always talk to him about anything. He's always laughing. He probably don't know what the heck you're saying most of the time but he's laughing anyway. It's great. I look forward to seeing him every day I come to the ballpark.
Q. Maine has already pitched Game 1, now you'll have Oliver Perez pitching in Game 4. Has it sunk in you're sending out two guys that were minor leaguers really for the first half of the season, in Perez's case, even later? They're playing such huge roles in this series.
CLIFF FLOYD: Yeah, well, you know, that's what we're dealt with, you know what I mean? This is our 25 man roster, and we're gonna ride it out. That's all we got. Can't do nothing else about it. Hopefully, we don't go to Game 4 and don't have to worry about it. That's everybody's hope. But if we do, we do. You know what I mean? I think Oliver found some confidence in himself his last start. I think in Atlanta, from the outfield, I mean, he was going 100 miles an hour, his delivery and everything. I think in Washington he slowed down quite a bit and was able to pinpoint his control. I thought he looked pretty good, you know. I always believe and I know nothing about pitching but I always believe, you know, you go on your last outing, how you felt. I think that can carry over hopefully.
Q. Game 3, Greg Maddux, what's made him so tough over his career?
CLIFF FLOYD: Who (smiling)? No, I don't know. I got way too much to worry about tonight. I think with Maddux, his ball moves a lot, man. He figured out a way to learn how to make the ball move dramatically and not just a little bit. Over the course of the years, he got better and better, and he keeps hitters off balance, you know. He knows how to throw just a little bit off the plate, just a little bit in, little bit up, little bit down. And when you know how to pitch like that, you become very effective because then guys start to think and guess. As a hitter, that's the worst thing you can do, is go up there and think about what the heck this guy is trying to do at a particular time. I feel like he's just learned so much about hitters that, you know, he made it simpler for himself.
Q. Would you assess the Mets' offense. Is there any in the league you can compare it to? How do you explain the first inning scoring that you guys have done this year?
CLIFF FLOYD: Well, it starts with having a guy who knows what he's doing, and that's Jose. He figured it out. He figured that, you know, his on base percentage meant a lot to anybody, and to our success. You know, we didn't want him to change anything, we didn't want him to go out there and take pitches he'd normally swing at because he's changing the player he is. But to be more selective in certain situations and know that no matter what the opposing pitcher didn't want him on base at any time, so he was gonna give him a pitch to hit whether it be 3 2, 2 0, 0 0, whatever. Then having a guy hitting second that knew how to handle a bat, Lo Duca, he can hit the ball into rightfield, that's what he does best. Having those two at the top of the order and then with the big boys in the middle, the pitcher is stressing before he gets on the mound before the first pitch of the game, in my opinion. When you have a guy on the mound a little tight, he's liable to make some mistakes, and I think that's what happened the course of the season.
Q. Little off topic, you guys had such a great season, finished first. Is it enough of an advantage for a team to have that extra game at home? Should there be more of an advantage for a team that had such a good season?
CLIFF FLOYD: That's way over my head, Boss. I don't know. We just going out there, try to win as many games as possible and get to the World Series and win. We're just trying to win, man. That stuff, I heard the question, but I don't know (smiling). Next?
Q. Last night you were talking about Delgado and what he talks about on the bench about waiting on certain pitches and things like that. Can you sort of talk about that and what you guys talk about on the bench as the game's going on.
CLIFF FLOYD: Well, these guys are incredible at knowing pretty much what every pitch is coming. I assume that's why they're so good. I assume that's why Shawn Green got so many homers and Delgado, you know, is going to the Hall of Fame or whatever. These guys know every glove movement, every anything the pitcher is doing, they are watching. I've even seen on some of my at bats this year where the cameraman have showed the dugout and, you know, some guys I know I do, I'll be drinking water, eating seeds, whatever and these guys are staring at the pitcher. You know what I'm saying? What's going on? But these guys are really in tune to what's going on every single pitch so they can figure out, you know, what this guy got. And for me, I wish I had that talent, you know what I mean, to pick it up. You have to have discipline if you know what's coming or, you know, have an idea of what's coming. No matter what, if you know a fastball's coming, doesn't mean it's gonna be a strike. These guys are really good at that, man. They really know exactly what's going on with these pitchers. 400 home runs later, here you are. So I think it takes a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of patience knowing exactly what's going on. They just look so comfortable all the time, it's amazing because it's not that easy, I tell you that.
Q. If that's their style, what's your style?
CLIFF FLOYD: I just see it and hopefully I can hit it, you know? If not, oh, well. But I was going home last night telling my dad that, and my dad is like a huge, you know, sports fan. He wants to hear all the chatter that goes on. Once I told him that, that freaked him out. He never heard anything like that. I was like, Yeah, don't you wish your son had that talent (laughter)? But I don't, so...
Q. Are you talking just about Delgado or are there others?
CLIFF FLOYD: All well, Delgado is the ringleader, and then I think everybody just they just always watching. They're always trying to figure out a way to get the advantage. And there's nothing wrong with trying to see what these guys are doing on the mound because that's our job, is to beat him, regardless. So these guys are just really good at figuring out what the pitcher's tendencies are all the time, what he likes to throw. Delgado has a book. Most times than not, regardless if a pitcher is getting you out or not, they tend to stay unless you just completely wear him out every time you step in the batter's box, they pretty much stay with the same philosophy. Greg Maddux doesn't, but most pitchers who are, you know, afraid to make a change to something that's been positive with them stay with that same routine. And Delgado is a great low ball hitter. He ran into a guy yesterday that's a great low ball pitcher. But other than that, these guys are really good at, you know, picking these pitchers apart.
Q. From the last time you faced Kuo, did you pick up anything?
CLIFF FLOYD: I didn't face him, but the guys did.
Q. Yeah. Talking to them, did you talk about him?
CLIFF FLOYD: Just a lot of tendencies that they go with, you know what I mean? You try to eliminate certain pitches from these guys. That's the big key. It's not so much like, he's tipping his pitches every time. You're just trying to say, Well, this is what he throws a lot, so I'm gonna eliminate the curveball in the outer half and just take away his fastball. The fastball he's gonna throw in. Well, somebody might get killed in the stands 'cause you cheating, you know what I mean, but you're eliminating one of his pitches. For me, it definitely helps late in the season in this type of situation. Every pitch is important, and every situation is important, so pitchers try to make the perfect pitch and hopefully and we all hope that they make mistakes, that's the only way you're gonna capitalize a lot of times anyway, when pitchers make mistakes.
CLIFF FLOYD: Good. You all flattered me today with this (smiling).
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.