Oct. 30 David Wright, Curtis Granderson postgame interview
Q. David, you talked before the game about the energy from the crowd. First at-bat, first World Series home run at home. What did that mean to you and what was that sound coming around the bases?
DAVID WRIGHT: Recently the hitting coach and I have been working on some mechanical things, some timing things, just being a little bit more on time and being ready for the fastball. So you go up there and you have a guy that throws extremely hard. And you know you better be on time, because he can throw the ball right by you. I was trying to tell myself just kind of nice and easy, because he supplies the power. You throw upper 90s, you've just got to try to meet it. I was trying to get my foot down early, get the barrel to the ball, and as you can see, put a good swing on it. The home crowd, incredible. Incredible. We knew what to expect coming into this based on playing here throughout the postseason, but this was at a different level, I think. To be able to fight back the way that we did, we were relentless tonight. And it seemed like every time they had an answer, we had an answer right back. And I think that's the type of baseball that got us here, that immediate answer. Might not be getting all the runs back, but to get the momentum back on our side was big.
Q. Both, obviously you faced a situation here not mathematically an elimination game, but three games down is not something you want to do. How important in your mind was this game? And how resilient do you think this team showed itself tonight?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: I think every game in the Series obviously is a must-win situation. You come into tonight obviously down two games to nothing, and this game is just as important as the previous one and the first game. But each team is trying to win as many games as they can as quickly as they can. So to get this one definitely is good for us, but tomorrow is going to be the same situation as tonight was for us.
DAVID WRIGHT: I think Curtis nailed it. We went into this postseason trying to tell ourselves that every game is an elimination game. That's what we did a really nice job of. We had that under our belt in L.A. playing that Game 5, and we brought that right into the Cub series. We treated every game like a Game 5 in the first round or Game 7 from there on out.
Q. You guys have always talked about how important Juan Uribe is to the team, not only on the field, but off the field. For a guy not to play for five weeks, can you talk about what you were thinking about when he comes to the plate. That's pretty impressive.
DAVID WRIGHT: He's taken live BP off of Syndergaard and Matz, and all those other guys, so I think that will get you ready. I think having a guy like that on most teams, playing every day to have him as a weapon coming off our bench, it's incredible. He goes up there, he puts together a tremendous at-bat. Just seems like he has the ability to think along with the pitcher. He might not get hits all the time, but you know you're going to get a quality at-bat when he gets up there.
CURTIS GRANDERSON: And there's a certain type of guy that's able to go up there and do the things that he can do. That's the Juan Uribe type that when he steps on the field for batting practice, no matter how long the layoff has been, it's very impressive. When he steps on the field, whether it be for defense or offense, you know that this guy has had so many at-bats and so many innings under he is belt, that the chances of him succeeding are a lot higher for anyone else coming into that situation. He's that type of guy, and it's great that we get a chance to have him with us. He's done some amazing things for the teams he's played for in the past, and now he's doing it with us.
Q. Curtis, could you walk us through the home run and the catch on Zobrist. And how comfortable overall are you feeling right now?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: I think we're still working on getting comfort. That's the battle, especially when you're against a tough team like the Kansas City Royals, a pitching staff that does amazing things. And they bring all their weapons at any time, no matter who you're facing. We started the inning off with getting Noah on, which definitely set the tone for us. I was trying to get a ball up in the zone that I can handle. He did an amazing job of locating the ball down throughout the course of the game. He throws hard, like David mentioned, but to try to get something in the zone that you can do something with, he supplied all the power, and it ended up getting out of the ballpark. The catch, partly for Zobrist swinging the bat as well as he has this series, I've got to play deep. I've got to respect the things that he's done. I've seen it do it with the Tampa Bay Rays and now he's doing it again with the Kansas City Royals here in the postseason. He put a good swing on the ball, and hopefully we'd be in a good spot. I looked at Cespedes and he wasn't going to get there, so I just kept going. And we ended up to being close, and was able to reel it to end the inning for us, which was a good thing.
Q. David, Terry mentioned that you got here at 11:45. That sounds pretty early for a night game, with an 8:00 start. How much extra work is that that you're doing? How do you feel compared to when you're completely healthy? And how much are you enjoying this at this point?
DAVID WRIGHT: I know about that Marathon construction. Grandy was a little bit late today.
CURTIS GRANDERSON: I got here at 4.
DAVID WRIGHT: I wanted to make sure that I left early. It's just been part of the routine to have to go through the things that I have do to get my back ready on a daily basis. It takes extra time, but nobody is complaining. It's the World Series. You've got to do what you've got to do. So a lot of it, too, I like to take my time doing it. I don't like to rush through anything. So I get here early, kind of relax a little bit, go through my routine, get the work done both by myself and the therapist. Get ready to go. Plus I wanted to watch some film, watch some at-bats that I've had where I felt better, to see if I can pick up anything mechanically and work on that.
Q. You've obviously been here a long time and I'm sure imagined what the World Series would be here in New York. When you come up to the plate the first time, do you try to block it all out and treat it like any other at-bat, or try to absorb some of what you're hearing from the fans?
DAVID WRIGHT: We've had plenty of at-bats in the postseason. You don't get that excited feeling like that, that butterfly feeling that we were getting earlier in the playoffs. So I think we're getting more comfortable, like Grandy said earlier, where it's a constant struggle to balance getting excited for the game, which is easy to do, and feeding off the fans, which is easy to do, but not getting too excitable where it kind of gets you out of your game, and you start doing things that you're not accustomed to doing. So it's a fine line between you want to be pumped up, you want to be amped up, you want to feed off the crowd, but you don't want to get too excited where it takes you out of the game. I think playing so many postseason games this season like we have, there's a comfort level that wasn't there earlier in the season.
Q. The timing mechanism you mentioned to get the fastballs better, is a routine adjustment? How tough is that to do?
DAVID WRIGHT: For me, and probably guys like Grandy, we like to get our foot down earlier than most. Sometimes you think you're on time and you look at film and you're really not. So it's a constant struggle for me to make sure that I'm on time, and even a little early as opposed to getting my foot down a little later and having to rush through everything. It's a constant battle of feeling comfortable in the box time-wise.
Q. Can you talk about-facing Young tomorrow and what you expect out of Steven Matz tomorrow. It's kind of an intriguing matchup.
CURTIS GRANDERSON: I think the good thing for us is he threw a lot in the first game. I think everyone got a chance to get at least one at-bat against him. Take it for what it's worth. He came in later in the ballgame. It will be a different situation him starting the ballgame and trying to go as many innings as possible. Hopefully the one at-bat that everybody got, and I think some might have gotten two at-bats against him, might be beneficial for us.
DAVID WRIGHT: Exactly what Grandy said, getting a chance to see Chris. We know that the deception and obviously the height and the way that he's revamped himself to be able to get the swings and misses and to be able to pitch at the top of the strike zone with his fastball and then bury the slider. He's done a tremendous job of understanding what he's capable of doing on the mound. And he's so smart where he can think along with the hitter. And normally he's one step ahead.
Q. You've waited 12 years, 12 seasons to play a World Series game in this uniform in this town. So now that this game is over, what did that home run mean to you? What did this night mean to you?
DAVID WRIGHT: I've said it before, this is what you dream about as a kid. You're thinking about playing in a World Series game, and on top of that being able to contribute with a few RBIs and a home run. Running around the bases it's just like floating. You can't describe the excitement of hitting the home run, crossing home plate, high-fiving your teammates, and looking up and seeing people going absolutely nuts. It's one of those memories, at least for me, that will stick with me for the rest of my life.
Q. David, you go back in the field after you hit the home run and the Royals score, they take the lead again. Is there any small part of you, even for a fleeting moment, that said, I waited this long to get to the World Series, at least let us win a game?
DAVID WRIGHT: No, because I knew Grandy was coming up the next inning and would take care of that. We know when we play this team especially, this is their MO here. They answer back with everything. They find a way to score runs, especially answering after we score. They've done it the entire series, and they've been better at it than us up to this point. I think, being able to add on those extra runs late in the game, that's what you have to do against this team. If you go later in the innings and it's a one, two-run lead, you definitely don't feel safe with that.
Q. The replay looked like you knew right away, you motioned over. And how important was that overturning that call? Secondly, you were shown on the video board during that Stand Up To Cancer moment, standing next to a Make A Wish child. And that was a new wrinkle, and I wondered what in the middle of your night that meant to you, also?
DAVID WRIGHT: I'll answer the baseball question first, was the replay. You know, it's taken a while for me to kind of understand that you have to continue to play. You keep a tag on maybe a little longer than you normally would. In that situation we knew that Conforto made a pretty good throw to third base and it was going to be a bang-bang play. Obviously, early in the game having a runner on third base with less than two outs was a big advantage for the opposing team. So I tried to hang in there. I was fortunate where I came up with the ball because I got a bit of a tough hop. I tried to put the glove down as quickly as I could. I thought I got him on the way to tag him. I thought I got him on the shoulder, on the side of the head maybe, before his hand touched. So it can't hurt to just point over to the dugout to let them know it's close, and why not give it a check. The Stand Up To Cancer I thought was a great moment. They brought the couple kids on the field and just the excitement in their eyes to be on the field for a World Series game I thought was incredible. And then to be able to honor -- guys to honor friends family, larger groups, I thought was a tremendous moment. It makes you realize that, hey, yes, this is the World Series and there's a lot of pressure and guys are focused and locked in. But for a split-second it makes you realize that how much more important things are than playing baseball. It allows you to kind of take a deep breath and say, you know what, this is a lot of fun and we're blessed to be able to do this, but at the same time there's people fighting that constant battle and it allowed you to kind of exhale and kind of appreciate where you are at in your health.