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Oct. 27 Kyle Hendricks workout day interview

October 27, 2016

Q. Joe was talking about maybe the wind blowing out tomorrow. I assume you have a game plan if that's the case or maybe it doesn't change. But point is this, World Series, they haven't played here much. Can you guys as a team somehow take advantage of something like

Q. Joe was talking about maybe the wind blowing out tomorrow. I assume you have a game plan if that's the case or maybe it doesn't change. But point is this, World Series, they haven't played here much. Can you guys as a team somehow take advantage of something like that knowing how to deal with those kind of conditions, especially as a pitcher?
KYLE HENDRICKS: I don't know if we can consciously take advantage of it, but definitely we're going to be more comfortable being in the conditions here at home, obviously. They may be a little uncomfortable not being here in a while.
Other than that, whether the wind is blowing out or in, it's going to be the same game plan for me. At the end of the day, making good pitches is going to get hitters out. If you're trying to get fly balls, ground balls, you can get out of your routine or game plan.
So regardless of factors, regardless what their hitters are doing, yeah, it's going to be the same game plan.
Q. Kyle, I think it was three years ago that you were back on campus at Dartmouth finishing up your degree. Can you take us through what your course load was at that point in time, your daily routine?
KYLE HENDRICKS: It's hard. It doesn't seem like three years. It seems like a lifetime ago, honestly. But it's fun, I got to go back with a buddy of mine, Chris O'Dowd who was playing Minor League baseball at the time, too. So we were in the same routine, taking a lot of the same classes. I had two math classes and two regular distributives to finish up.
But it was a little hectic. I had been out of school for about a year and a half since I'd been playing. So just going back, getting back in that routine and being on campus was a little strange. But having my buddy with me, we kind of went through it together. I'm really glad I got the monkey off my back, graduated and got it out of the way. Now I'm here, I don't have to think about it.
Q. Kyle, last Saturday was probably the biggest game of your career. Tomorrow's going to be even bigger. Just your general thoughts on pitching in a World Series game?
KYLE HENDRICKS: I'm just going to take advantage of it. I mean, how often do you get these opportunities? You dream of it as a kid. This is what you work all year long for, though. It's not just me out there, like I said. We've got this group of guys, offense, the at-bats they were putting together in Game 2 were awesome to see. Hopefully they can stay hot, keep it rolling, get a lead. Like you said, against that team, if you can get a lead, that's a lot better. You get behind, with that bullpen it's tough.
So we're going to go out, try to jump on it early, set the tempo. But, yeah, I'm just going to try to take advantage of the opportunity.
Q. Just watching you pitch, you're obviously locked in some deep thought out there when you're trying to get these guys out. How enjoyable is that process to you, I guess? Could you take us through it? I'm just wondering what it's like when you're trying to execute a game plan like we were just talking about earlier.
KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, it's definitely a process. It took me a long time to fall into this mindset. You can find yourself falling out of it and falling back into it. A lot of it has to do with confidence, I think. At the end of the day, if you are in that mindset where you're having simple thoughts, really you're on the mound, you know you can clearly recall your game plan, what you're trying to do to this hitter, and then you can simplify your thought and commit to just one pitch. When you have those kind of thoughts going through your head, you feel pretty confident, and you know you're going to do pretty well.
You can get out of that. Like I said, it's easy to have outside forces coming at you, the crowd, you never know what's going to be going on in a game. If you can stay grounded and stay in that mindset, it's enjoyable for me to try to find that state, that zone, I would say. You've got to have a love for the game, I think, to always be striving towards that. But it's obviously a fun, fun part of the game for me.
Q. What do you enjoy most about pitching here at Wrigley?
KYLE HENDRICKS: The conformability, honestly. The overall conformability. Starts with maybe the clubhouse, the fans. It just feels like I'm right at home, honestly. I think that's part of why I've had the success here. Just being able to make pitches. I know when I come in, I know what my timing is, I know my routine, I know where I've got to go. Coming out, you know what you're going to get out of the crowd: There is going to be a lot of energy every game, even regular season.
So it really prepared me coming into the postseason, just all that energy throughout the regular year, like I said. But I don't know, just overall conformability. Knowing the bullpen mound, knowing the game mound maybe. Couple of those factors.
Q. Close to that question, but not necessarily as a player, just as a person, what is your favorite thing about the ballpark?
KYLE HENDRICKS: My favorite thing about the ballpark, honestly the field surface. Kind of how confined it is, and then the seats, you feel like they're kind of right on top of you. You go to a lot of stadiums these days, they're big, massive, working outward. Wrigley you come and it seems so quaint. Obviously, "The Friendly Confines" they call it. But it seems the fans are right on top of you. Really intimate setting. That's probably the biggest thing I enjoy.
Q. How long does it take you to drink a cup of coffee? Because Joe says you take your time with everything. And the second part of that, is your stoicism on the mound, is that something that you learned? Have you ever like, do you remember getting nervous or showing nerves, taking a test, playing a game, whatever?
KYLE HENDRICKS: The first part, I don't drink coffee, which probably doesn't come as a shock (laughing).
Moving on, second part, you have to learn it somewhat, I think. You get the anxiety and nervousness before you get out there. Once you're on the field and on the mound, it kind of goes away, and you're in your element. So I guess going through the experiences of just starting game after game after game, learning how to deal with those feelings, after a time you just learn how to kind of let it push it to the side and know when you get out on the field, everything's going to be how it is.
So, yeah, in the beginning, especially college, before then, yeah, you get nervous, anxious. I think it's just ready for the moment knowing what's to come. But, again, I think experience overall and just doing it over and over and over, you learn how to deal with those emotions and those feelings.
Q. Kind of piggybacking on that, a lot of your teammates the past couple days have talked about how you don't show that emotion. Maybe in your head it's going a mile a minute, but outwardly, we don't see that. I was wondering, is it always baseball process in your head during the game, whether it's walking off the mound, on the mound, in the dugout, or do you ever take a moment like, "What's up for dinner tonight?"
KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, you'll have stray thoughts, for sure. The key for me is when you're out on the mound, that's the time when you have to be locked in, focused and have simple thoughts. When you're walking off, that's when you've got to kind of take your hat off, take a breather, get away. You can't be mentally locked in for three hours. It's really tough to do that.
So coming into the dugout, you kind of go back behind our dugout, get some time, get some breathers. Don't really think about anything. You can think about dinner, think about family, anything, watch the game. Then you come back, put your hat on, go out to the field, and it's on to the next one, on to the next process. If your preparation is there, you know what your game plan's going to be, you know what you're going to be doing to the hitters, you don't have to think about it that much in between innings.