Oct. 28 Ben Zobrist pregame interview
Q. I'll ask you something I just asked Ned. Alex Gordon mentioned yesterday about how he had seen Familia quick pitch the hitter before he was ready for it. How mindful are you of that with specific pitchers, is it a more common tactic these days?
BEN ZOBRIST: We have all the video footage we need to know when a guy does that. It's basically up to each player to know whether a guy does that or not and be ready for it. Sometimes you can forget those things, but obviously Gordo was ready for the moment. Dale, our hitting coach, he goes over all that stuff in our hitters' meeting before when we face a team that we haven't faced. That was the situation last night.
Actually, I'm not sure that he mentioned it, I don't remember that in the meeting, but, yeah, it's certainly something that we pay attention to.
Q. Do you see it more frequently these days?
BEN ZOBRIST: Guys do it, yeah, yeah. It just depends on the guy, whether they're comfortable doing it or not. His isn't, I guess, quite as quick as some guys, without runners on. But at the same time it's definitely quicker than his normal pause.
Q. You've only been around this team for a little while and you've been with a few other clubs. Are you almost getting used or are you surprised by the sometimes unusual way that this team manages to win games, no matter what happens during the course of a game?
BEN ZOBRIST: Well, yeah, I'm starting to expect it. These guys have just proven that they're able to do that as a club. We find a way to do it. And especially doing it in the playoffs when it counts the most. You just start believing that late in the game that you're going to score runs. And that's not common in this game because of all the great relievers out there. So it's just something inside, it's something mental that these guys have proven that we're capable of doing.
Q. The Mets have said they put last night behind them. Obviously you guys have, too. I don't know how much sleep you got, but to get the adrenaline pumped up again for Game 2?
BEN ZOBRIST: We're facing one of the best pitchers in the game. DeGrom has been lights out pretty much all year, and if you can't get ready for him, then you're not ready. You're not a pressure player.
But everybody in our clubhouse is ready. We're excited for the opportunity to get back out there. Last night is done, it's one game. And we know that it's not going to win us anything. We've got to focus on tonight and see if we can get the W tonight.
Q. Hitting behind Alcides, can you talk about what you have seen so different between Alcides in the season and how impressed you are with what he's doing in the Postseason right now?
BEN ZOBRIST: Well, when I showed up you could tell he was a little bit tired, especially in September, you could see that he kind of hit a streak there where you could tell he was tired. And he played a lot. He got a couple of days off in September, but I don't think he had many days off before that at all.
And I think the Postseason has given him a chance to get rejuvenated. Everybody gets up for the Postseason. It was kind of tough in September because we were up by ten games in the Division. That last week started feeling a little bit of pressure with the Blue Jays putting the home-field pressure on us. And you could see certain guys just turn up the volume, and he was one of them. And he certainly has turned it up even louder in the Postseason.
Q. When did you find out about Edinson's situation? Were you able to see him before he left?
BEN ZOBRIST: No, I wasn't able to see him before he left. I don't know if many guys were. We found out right after the game. We kind of do a postgame celebration thing when we win. And we found out during that. It was a little bit somber, even though we won, knowing that Eddie and his family are going through that loss. Our prayers are with him and hopefully he can focus on that right now. When he comes back we'll wrap our arms around him.
Q. In the 14th with Granderson playing so deep, were you actually trying to pull a base hit to right, thinking Esky could get to third or did it just happen where the pitch was?
BEN ZOBRIST: I certainly knew that the hole was open over there. But you never try and guide the ball too much. It's just not that easy to do. Sure, I was trying to pull the ball little bit. But at the same time you've got to recognize what the pitcher is trying to do and I didn't want to force it, but I also knew that that hole was there. It's kind of one of those things as a hitter when you're standing in the box you know it's there. You hope you can get a pitch you can do that with, but you can't expect it, you've just got to react.
Q. The Mets staff is known for power pitching, but Harvey threw about 38 percent four-seamers and pitched backwards some. DeGrom in the win against the Cubs about 50 percent changeup, curveballs. How do you prepare for pitchers that can hit 96, 97, but are comfortable with all their secondary pitches?
BEN ZOBRIST: Pretty much the same way we prepare for everybody. The only difference is you may have to guess a little bit more up there when you know a guy has that difference between the fastball and the off-speed. And it's sharp, everything is sharp. And it's coming at you quickly. So there might be a little bit more of a guessing game going on than with some pitchers.
We know that we're a good fastball-hitting team, we know they aren't going to feed us fastballs all the time. It comes down to who can execute the pitch and which one you're looking for.
Q. As much as this team feeds off the intensity of the fans here at Kauffman, how do you carry that intensity over to New York this coming weekend?
BEN ZOBRIST: Well, I think this team just enjoys the opportunity to play the game with any crowd like that. And it's been electric this whole time I've been here in Kansas City. So obviously our home fans have made a huge difference, especially in the comeback wins.
But we did the same thing in Houston when it was loud from the 3rd through the 7th inning there, because they had the lead. And then it got real quiet in the 8th when we had the comeback there.
It's one of those things that I don't think it affects this team one way or another too much. But certainly when you have that home crowd behind you and it's loud like that it gives even more energy to our dugout.
Q. Your wife has joked on Twitter about having the baby and taking a selfie and sending it to you after the game. That's obviously got to be a relief to you she's so easygoing about the situation. How do you balance the emotions of and the anticipation of having a child with the focus and preparation for the game?
BEN ZOBRIST: It's just a matter of -- I can only focus on one thing at a time anyway, she knows that. I'm one track-minded. So it works pretty well, I think, knowing that she can handle herself. And she's a strong woman, so she's already kind of let me know that if we're in the middle of a game, she's probably not going to tell me anything that's going on. And that's fine, because I trust her and I trust the people that are around her, our family members that are with her and stuff right now.
When I'm here at the field I'm focused on what I have to do on my job. As soon as my game is over and I get my postgame work in, I focus on my family and take care of them. I just separate it as best I can.
Q. As a follow-up, is there a contingency plan in case, in case something happens while you're in New York?
BEN ZOBRIST: If something happens while we're in New York? Like she has the baby here? Well, if she has the baby, then there's nothing I can do, I'm that far away, certainly, yeah. Obviously if it's a family matter and it's an emergency and there's something that I need to be there for, I'll be there. But barring that, if I'm gone, she just said, You better hit a home run if I have the baby without you.