10/09/08 8:19 PM ET
Chad Billingsley pregame interview
Pitcher strives to get in the zone to ignore distractions
By / MLB.com
CHAD BILLINGSLEY: I would say probably when we came here last time we were definitely on a -- we were slumping together as a team. We weren't playing well as a team and we weren't getting good pitching or good hitting. It was one of those times during the season.
And at home we were just hot at the time. So right now it's anybody's game.
Could you talk about your thoughts as a pitcher pitching in this ballpark, which is obviously known as a hitter's ballpark?
CHAD BILLINGSLEY: It's pretty much mostly keep the ball down in the zone. Try not to take or make too many mistakes over the middle. I mean, they've got a lot of power and speed. You just want to keep those first couple of guys off the bases when you have Chase and Ryan coming to the lineup. That's one of the main things.
Can you just talk a little bit about what you might have picked up watching Maddux the last couple of months?
CHAD BILLINGSLEY: I had a chance to be teammates with him in '06 and learned a lot about how he -- about his philosophies and how he went about things. And over the past couple of weeks, I mean, it's my first start in Wrigley, didn't really know what to expect. And sat down and talked to him about what was it like for his first start.
Just kind of picking his mind a little bit, how he went about things when he was in the same situation as I was in.
Not that you need any more confidence but when you have a really successful start like the one you had in Chicago in a tremendously pressurized situation, does that give you a boost of sorts?
CHAD BILLINGSLEY: I mean, as a team we've been playing with a lot of confidence. Going out there in the second inning we were able to push five runs across. A lot of me relaxed a little bit and be a little bit more aggressive in the strike zone.
I just approached the last start as like any other start, try not to do too much and stay within myself.
Has anyone talked to you about the sort of the fans here and how loud it can get here and trying not to let that get into your mind during your start?
CHAD BILLINGSLEY: I mean, as a player, as for myself, you just get in the zone. You just don't really think too much about it. I mean, it's going to be loud. I can probably guarantee you that. But you're usually just in a zone. You're just focusing on what you're doing, and that's all. I mean, you can really concentrate on not so much of the distractions.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.