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Oct. 10 Kyle Hendricks pregame interview

MLB.com

Q. When you're talking about a game that might never exist, is that something that you -- obviously you're a professional and you're doing it, but is it something you don't relish considering, you're hoping your team wipes the other team out tonight?

KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, definitely. I think it's one of those mind-sets where you just prepare yourself for it no matter what for my mind-set. But on the other hand, obviously I've got full faith in my guys and I'm going to be out there rooting for them and hopefully we can get it done today.

Q. When you're talking about a game that might never exist, is that something that you -- obviously you're a professional and you're doing it, but is it something you don't relish considering, you're hoping your team wipes the other team out tonight?

KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, definitely. I think it's one of those mind-sets where you just prepare yourself for it no matter what for my mind-set. But on the other hand, obviously I've got full faith in my guys and I'm going to be out there rooting for them and hopefully we can get it done today.

I think that you have to stay in that mind-set that you're going to pitch and be ready and get prepared mentally for that because the situation definitely could arise.

Q. Last night's game, from your standpoint, what statement does it make that you guys don't play that great in the field, four errors, get dominated by Max Scherzer, and still win the game?

KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, that just says a lot about our team. It's kind of what we've been doing all year. Goes back to last year even. This group of guys, they just never quit. Just put together good at-bats, no matter what had happened previous in the game.

Yeah, we've gotten out-played for sure by that point, but it was still a 1-0 ballgame, Q was able to pitch his butt off and keep us in it. That's what these guys do, somebody gets down, somebody else picks them up, so we have a chance to win the game and that's what we're always trying to give ourselves. And then Rizz just getting it done late again. That's just what he does.

Q. We've seen so many relievers used and a lot of starters yanked early; how much did the acquisition of Quintana help that and how important is the rotation still even in this era of bullpenning?

KYLE HENDRICKS: It's huge. You win with pitching -- pitching and defense. If your starter can get you six, seven innings into a game, it takes a lot off your bullpen.

Yeah, the acquisition of Q, though, he's been unbelievable. You see the work he's done in the regular season, but to go out there and perform, first Postseason game, that's really, really fun to watch. He's one of these guys that puts in the work, mentally and physically. He prepares better than anyone I've seen, really.

He was definitely ready for that game. In this day and age, we're lucky to have the rotation we have and rely on that, but it's good to have all aspects. Our bullpen can pick us up when we need to but starters, we definitely want to try and get deep in the games and give ourselves a chance to win come seventh, eighth inning.

Q. There's rain forecast. Can you talk about the difficulties Tanner and Jake might face?

KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, I think that's just mental. Goes into mental preparation. You just have to prepare to go out there and make pitches for as long as you're going to be out there. It's a tough situation with rain. You don't know when the game could start; you don't know if it could get delayed.

But that's really out of your control. Those guys, they have done it long enough. They have pitched in rain delays, pitched in rain games before. Should be nothing new. But the conditions, you definitely have to pay attention to it out there if the game ends up starting.

I think position players are going to have a tougher time. They are usually making plays out there. For the pitchers, you have to go out and have your focus on making good pitches for as long as you're out there.

Q. Your velocity has been noticeably higher your past few starts as opposed to earlier in the season. What do you attribute that to and how important is that to your success?

KYLE HENDRICKS: I would say it's not that important for me honestly. I pay attention to it somewhat just kind of as a marker. It's more - the difference between my fastball and my changeup is where it comes into play. When my velo starts creeping up, it helps that out.

Earlier in the year I think my mechanics were off, timing, especially, timing out of the glove just wasn't clicking for me out front. After going on the DL, I was able to come back and it took about four, five starts, I would say, and my mechanics started to feel a lot better.

Once that starts coming around, you feel you can start letting it go more. You don't have to think about you mechanics as much; it just becomes more natural. So I think it just became a little easier for me.

And then the arm strength has been there, so that kind of has taken over, I think, late in the year.

Q. Potentially if there is a Game 5, you've been big-game tested. How far does that take you mentally knowing that you pitched in the biggest stage and succeeded going into a game like that?

KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, I think it helps a lot. You have to rely on your experience and having been in those situations. You know what the atmosphere is going to be like. You know what the crowd is going to be like. All those external factors, if you can kind of keep that under control, you know the pitching part.

You know what to do once you get out on the mound. Being able to control all those external factors, I think, is going to be huge. But yeah, it will help me out. At the end of the day, it's just about making good pitches. That's where I need to mentally prepare, go out when it's Game 5, and just make good pitches.

Q. Do you still feel like you get overlooked despite all your big game success?

KYLE HENDRICKS: Maybe a little bit. I mean, that's just how my kind of pitching, I guess, my kind of style. It's kind of how it always has been for me, just been an under-the-radar kind of guy. It doesn't bother me at all.

Yeah, probably still happening, but I'm not the guy that's going to go out there and show all the emotion and throw 98. That's what the fans love, and that's fine with me. I just love going out there and competing, especially with this group of guys and doing whatever it takes to win. That's all I care about.

Q. You see the way Jake prepares for his starts every five days. What have you seen him do to prepare that he's able to get ready for this start?

KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, Jake knows his body probably better than any other pitcher I've seen, just what to do to get ready. Been doing a lot of hamstring activation stuff, and been doing a lot in the weight room to test and make sure it's ready to go for today.

I saw his bullpen a few days ago. He was letting it go and looked pretty good. It's pretty normal preparation, outside of the fact of making sure that hamstring is good to go, testing it here and there. But he's got a solid routine in between starts, and he's a guy I learned a lot from as far as how to work. He'll be prepared for this day I know for sure.

Q. You talked earlier about how Scherzer and Strasburg are pitching so well this series and you came back to win those games. Where does that expectation of success come from? I'm sure every team believes in themselves but you seem to prove it?

KYLE HENDRICKS: I think it comes from the clubhouse honestly. Starts with Joe, maybe the environment he creates, just letting us be ourselves. The front office has done such a good job of putting the personalities together in the clubhouse. Everybody, the focus is on winning no matter what. KB and Rizz are two of the best. The win at all costs really. And it's just given that last extra ounce that maybe the other guy wouldn't.

Something about the personalities, I think, that's put together in that clubhouse, it's just a special feeling and guys are going to go behind each other and pick it up no matter what has to be done, really, just to win. That's the bottom line.

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