Slowey on Clinching, No Hitters, the Steelers, etc.


No matter how he figures in the team’s postseason plans, Kevin Slowey has to be happy with how his season is ending. Since July 25, the righthander has gone 5-1 and lowered his ERA from 4.94 to 4.18. Like more than one Twins starter, Slowey’s second half surge was vital in the team’s capturing of the AL Central title and saved his spot in the starting rotation.

The 26-year-old took some time out to chat with me hours before the Twins clinched last Tuesday:

DZ: Right now you are pitching pretty well, can you talk about that?

SLOWEY: I think since coming back from the DL, I’ve felt a little more comfortable. Obviously, the first couple of starts back you are trying to figure out whether or not everything is still healthy and you are maybe a little tentative. Everything feels good, I am ready to go and we’ve been playing really well. We’ve been swinging the bats really well which makes it easier to throw. We are really enjoying the end of a very good season right now.

DZ: How would you assess your season as a whole, how would you grade yourself?

SLOWEY: The season’s not over, I think I will wait until the end of the season before I give out grades of any sort. Over the course of the season, you have a lot of small goals – every game you want to go out and give your team a chance to win. Beyond that, giving yourself specific wins or strikeouts is tough because there are some things you can’t control. I’ve certainly been pleased with the way the season has gone, but I think I’ll hold off on the grades until after the playoffs.

DZ: For the regular season, do you have two starts left?

SLOWEY: I should. I think it depends on how it shakes out with how they want to get the rotation set up. So really however it works out, I am fine with.

DZ: You mentioned the playoffs and you guys are pretty close to clinching. It looks like it’s going to happen. What does it mean to a team when you take home a division title?

SLOWEY: It’s amazing. Our goal is one step at a time and the first thing you can do is to make the playoffs – to be a playoff team. As you said, we are close; we are still working towards it. I think it is so close we can kind of understand what it might be like. From there, once we accomplish that goal, we’ll work toward the next one which is winning that first round of the playoffs.

DZ: Obviously you guys won the division last year and it was a little bit different than this year – every game down the stretch was almost like a playoff game – how is it different (this year)?

SLOWEY: We had a stretch of games like that this year; it just wasn’t at the end of the year. We had a stretch of games leading up to those games in Chicago that had a playoff feel to them. Those games in Chicago felt like playoff games. I think every team has a stretch of games during the season where you feel like it could make or break your season. Last year those just happened to be the last two weeks.

DZ: Going back about a month ago (August 15) – a little over a month ago – you had a no-hitter going through 7 innings. Was it disappointing coming out of that?

SLOWEY: Sure. Anytime that you can’t finish something like that you are a little disappointed, but I think that more than anything, I was very thankful that our coaching staff cares more about my career than they do about a single game. Yeah, maybe I could have gone out and finished that no-hitter but then if I couldn’t throw the rest of the year and just had to watch us and not get a chance to throw in the playoffs or be prepared to throw in the playoffs, I think that was a decision they made with my best interests in mind. More than anything, I was thankful for that.

DZ: Have you ever thrown a no-hitter before?

SLOWEY: I have – yeah – in high school I did.

DZ: Would it have been easier to come out if you had given up one hit?

SLOWEY: It might have been a little bit easier, but that’s how it went and it was a very cool thing regardless of how it turned out. We won the game and, as we well know, every game is important.

DZ: You have a guy like Carl Pavano around who has been around for awhile, how much does it help to have a veteran like him around?

SLOWEY: Carl is great both on and off the field. The way he carries himself, the way he prepares for his starts. Carl is a guy we all want to sit next to on the bench and listen to him and see how he breaks down a team and how he feel like we are going to have a chance to succeed the best against them. He’s been around a long time and been through a lot. He’s won a World Series, he’s been hurt before so he knows what that is like, he’s been with the Yankees so he’s been on the biggest – the grandest – stage in baseball. He’s had a lot of success and a lot of failures, so I think he’s a guy who has been there and done that. You can get a lot of advice from him.

DZ: We are winding down the first season here in Target Field, is this a pitcher’s park?

SLOWEY: I don’t know. It may be a pitcher’s park compared to Chicago, but it’s probably a hitter’s park to PetCo. I feel like if you hit the ball pretty square it’s going to get out of here. I’ve given up my share of homeruns and we’ve hit our share of homeruns as well. It’s probably not as simple as the Metrodome was where it was never rainy and never windy – we knew how it was going to be every day. I love it, it’s home for us. The fans have been great; we’ve really loved our first year here.

DZ: I’ve got to ask you about the Steelers. I know you are a big Steelers fan. They’ve had a lot of drama so far, what do you think about their season?

SLOWEY: I’ve been very encouraged. I was a little hesitant to say what I thought because with Roethlisberger not being in there the first four game, it’s tough – and having then Dixon get hurt the last game. But, to be able to go 2-0 the first two games of the season against two good teams – two really good teams – I think that can only mean good things for the Black and Gold.

DZ: Hopefully your season goes on another month, but when it is finally over, do you plan on hitting some games out there?

SLOWEY: Absolutely. I’ll get back home, hang out with family a little bit and go to some games.

See more of David Zingler’s interviews with Twins players:

September 16: Ben Revere
September 14: Nick Blackburn
September 7: Brian Fuentes
September 5: Randy Flores
August 23: Matt Capps
August 19: Brian Duensing
July 29: Jesse Crain
July 23: Ron Mahay
July 21: Danny Valencia
July 11: Michael Cuddyer
July 8: Jason Repko
July 5: Nick Punto
June 12: Jason Kubel
June 9: Drew Butera
May 11: Denard Span
April 25: Justin Morneau
April 22: Alex Burnett
April 21: Mike Redmond
April 16: J.J. Hardy

One Response to “Slowey on Clinching, No Hitters, the Steelers, etc.”

  1. Scott Baker on 2010, Target Field, Facial Hair, etc. » MinnesotaSCORE Says:

    […] 26: Kevin Slowey September 16: Ben Revere September 14: Nick Blackburn September 7: Brian Fuentes September 5: Randy […]

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