Q. Andre, you had a tough regular season with the injury, and then before the playoffs you said for the team to consider their season a success you guys would have to win the World Series, then you get your first start of the playoffs. Were you a little more
Q. Andre, you had a tough regular season with the injury, and then before the playoffs you said for the team to consider their season a success you guys would have to win the World Series, then you get your first start of the playoffs. Were you a little more amped up than usual?
ANDRE ETHIER: Yeah, I think going back to it, I think this organization has done a great job in making it a priority to win, fielding a successful team, building an atmosphere where winning is important. To win the NL West five years in a row, that's a big accomplishment, but I think you can get a little complacency as an organization when you keep coming up short and thinking you're achieving something when you show up to Spring Training every year and all you have to show is the NL West Championship and not a World Series.
So that was one thing we've been talking about and addressing; that we've got to kind of enjoy the success we've had, but we still haven't accomplished our goal.
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Personally, it's just been a battle to get back on. Last year was frustrating, but this was more because I feel like I got myself back. Coming from an injury, and then another five-month break where you're not knowing what's going to happen. Then getting my name called tonight, it's a great thing.
I think it was a long road just to get back to here and get on this roster. For a team this successful to have so many options and to be someone that can be singled out and go out there and be part of the nine, it's a big honor that Doc would, I guess, trust me, especially how things are going.
Q. Your thoughts on being in the commanding 3-0 position, and also a lot of times it's said in seven-game playoff series that fourth win is always the toughest one to get. Are you believers in that as well?
CHRIS TAYLOR: Yeah, obviously we're excited up 3-0. But honestly, we've just been taking it one game at a time and just focusing on getting one win. So we'll come in with the same mindset tomorrow and focus on getting that one win. Not worry about the next games.
ANDRE ETHIER: Yeah, I think that hits it perfect. I wasn't a part of it playing-wise, but I was around enough to see when these guys were playing well all summer and seeing how they went about their stuff. It was literally one game at a time and go out there with that bought-in mentality, and that's what we're taking right here. We had a day off yesterday coming here. We knew today was the most important game, and now tomorrow's the most important game. We're going to come out and figure out how to get the job done again.
Q. When you worked on your swing last year at this point, did you have any inclination that you would have this kind of success or be this much better as a hitter? What's it mean to accomplish your goal?
CHRIS TAYLOR: Yeah, I really didn't know what to expect. I was coming in, I had to feel uncomfortable. That was the biggest thing. I knew I had to kind of make that drastic change right away and get out of my comfort zone. Had no expectations going into it. I always have confidence in my ability, and obviously I was hoping it would come.
To say I expected it to happen as fast as it did, I'd be lying. Pretty much I felt really good right in Spring Training, which I was pretty shocked to see that kind of results that fast.
Q. Andre, you know how hard it is to hit. For a guy to rebuild his swing and have these kind of results, what's that say about baseball and what he's accomplished?
ANDRE ETHIER: You know, it's tough. This game's tough, especially when people are making adjustments to you all the time. To see where C.T. was last year and how he's gone this year, you've got to give him a lot of credit.
But I think that's what this game is about. Always reinventing yourself. Always figuring out a way to make adjustments back. Sometimes you've got to give them a lot of credit for -- sometimes when you feel like something isn't working and you have a little bit more to give, willing just to step out on that ledge and go for it. Especially when you've got a guy like Chris who is on the cusp of making a team and he's willing to push himself to the next level.
That's what he's done. I think that's, you know, kind of the attitude that our team takes, is that. Just keep -- you're not always going to be comfortable in situations. You're going to be uncomfortable a lot of times, and it's how you embrace that. Young guys like him that keep leading the way for us to ride their coattails.
Q. Andre, you hit that home run, the stadium just fell completely silent. I'm just kind of wondering what it's like to round the bases in that type of atmosphere.
ANDRE ETHIER: I mean, this is a tough place to play. It really is. We were here last year. You can just feel that energy, the stadium closing in on you. Friendly confines, I don't know how friendly it is sometimes.
We've got to go out there and play the game against these guys. The Cubs are a really good team. They have a lot of experience, and it's just how we can try to get back in the game. Got a good pitch to hit, hit it out. And it's just answering. Every time they get something, it's just how we can answer. Try to keep them on their heels as much as possible, because we know how good of a team they are and what they're capable of doing. Every inning, every at-bat, every pitch is important to keep these guys at bay anyway we can, because they're, like I said, a really good team.
Q. You talk about the atmosphere here being a tough place to play. Can you feel the air kind of go out of it a little bit when you hit a home run like that?
ANDRE ETHIER: Yeah, you can. They were riding that momentum on Schwarber's first inning home run right there. You can look at it two ways: Here we go again, or you can just say, We need to answer and we're going to fight.
And that's what we're doing. Like I said, these guys are really good over there. NLCS three years in a row and a World Series champion, so they know how to win. We're the ones who have to knock them off, and that's what we're doing and trying to do.
Q. Couple weeks ago we were talking about how many times you've been in the playoffs and not been able to get to the World Series. Now that you're here, one victory away, what are kind of the emotions that are starting to come up in you?
ANDRE ETHIER: Just getting after it tomorrow. Come back with the same intensity, embrace all the emotion, embrace all the energy that is flying around this ballpark, on the team, and get the job done. Like I said, you can't give opportunities and too much open space for a team like the Cubs to get back in it.
So tomorrow's the most important game. We've got to figure out a way to close it out tomorrow.