© 2008 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

10/04/08 8:05 PM ET

A pregame interview with Ted Lilly

Cubs pitcher hopeful his team can extend series

Ted, can you just talk about your mind set going in for tomorrow's start. Obviously you hope there's a Game 4. I'm assuming your mind set is absolutely there's a Game 4, that's the only way you can approach it?

TED LILLY: Sure. I believe that we're going to win tonight. Obviously we've got to go out there and do it. And I guess from my perspective I expect to be pitching tomorrow night.

This has always been known as a pitcher's park, can you recall some of your starts here and how do you like pitching here?

TED LILLY: I don't think that I've thrown that much here. I've had maybe a couple starts here. But obviously this is a fun place to come and play. It's a great city. Good park to pitch in, like you said. And they've got a pretty good lineup. So all those things make it fun.

complete postseason coverage
Any recollections of Manny from your days in the American League and pitching to him; does this look like the same guy? And I guess the first thing is just any memorable match ups with him?

TED LILLY: Yeah, he was one of the guys when I first broke in with the Yankees, that was my first start against the Red Sox, and obviously he was in the middle of their order. And he seems to me like he's the same type of hitter that he was back then. Makes pitchers pay for mistakes. Always gives you a good at bat. He's one of the better right handed hitters in the game. And I look forward to having an opportunity to get match ups like that.

He's going to be fun. There's no question that when he steps in the box, you know, you kind of you enjoy it, I guess. The challenge is there to face one of the best in the game. And I think that it's an opportunity that I definitely look forward to.

You have a bunch of post season experience. How much is that helpful to you, do you think?

TED LILLY: I think it's helpful, obviously. Over the years, you know, I've had some good ones and some not so good ones. But unfortunately last year we weren't able to go very deep. And here we are staring at another situation.

But this is -- I'd like to get a few more after tomorrow night's game. But obviously, again, we need to take care of tonight. And ideally get these two here. They did their thing to us over there in Chicago, back home. And so now maybe it's our turn to take two here and then invite them back to Chicago.

Given the craziness in Chicago and the rabid following you guys have, based on the first two games, is there a chance maybe it's a good thing for you guys to get out of Chicago and play on the road?

TED LILLY: I don't know. We'll find out tonight and tomorrow night. We've played really well at home this year and have tremendous fan support. So we definitely like being at home. But this is a challenge to come and play these guys at their place.

I don't know what to say. I definitely think it's to our advantage to play at home. The last two games didn't go so well. That's how it is. These are short series. So it's definitely crucial to get the first two games like they have. And they've put us in a situation where it is a must win or we go home. And I'm telling you that there's not a guy on our team that wants to do that.

For a decade or so now you hear executives sometimes, managers sometimes talking about making all of the playoff series best of seven as opposed to the best of five first round. Do you have any thoughts on the best of five, whether that's good or bad, and does it ever come up with players?

TED LILLY: I haven't heard that. But I think that when you get into the post season, the clubs that are getting into the post season in the first place are the best clubs in baseball, really. They've endured through 162 game season. You have to have depth to continue to win throughout the course of the season.

And we've had that, and I think you look at other teams around the league. Tampa Bay, watching what they did with the injuries, and guys step up, fill those roles, and I think all the teams that are in the post season have had that happen.

But my point is, when you get into a short series like that, you run into clubs that are playing hot at a certain time. And I think that obviously that's the most important thing is when you get into those games, you get some good starts and you play well. Obviously when it's the best of five, there's no room for error. Does that answer your question, kind of?

If you were the commissioner for the day, would you make them all best of seven or would you keep this one best of five?

TED LILLY: That's tough. I think that you're going to probably get a better read on what club is deeper if you play a best of seven. But it really -- if I'm commissioner for a day, I don't know, I don't know everything that goes into it, all the decisions that have to be made. Obviously if that happens do we end up playing in the middle of December or what? I don't know if that's the best thing to do. But the way it is is fine, I guess.

It's definitely a long season to begin with. We get there in February.

There didn't used to be nearly this many off days in the playoffs. So to me you could take those off days

TED LILLY: And eliminate those.

Right. Like for instance

TED LILLY: So do we travel -- so do we travel from Chicago out here and then get off the plane and go play at 7:00?

Yes. They used to. And then the championship series, now it goes three, four, off day, five. So there's an off day during the city that you don't travel. You used to start on Tuesday after the season ended Sunday, not Wednesday. I don't know, the schedule -- all the off day schedules just changed two years ago.

TED LILLY: Okay. Well, if both teams have to travel, then I guess even if that gets a little rough. I mean, then it's fair enough for me. I'm sure that if they were going to make that into a seven game series they would have to probably do something like that. But, again, they banned greenies, I don't know if they want to do that. (Laughter).

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.