Oct 6. Postgame interview with Alvarez, Martin and Byrd
Q. Russell, the throw in the fifth where Jay was called safe at third, did you think you had him there? And if so, can you just walk us through the play?
RUSSELL MARTIN: It was called third strike on a 3 2 count. And just got the ball, got rid of it as quick as I could. The throw was a little bit off line. From my view, it was pretty close.
Phone rings. Nice. Awesome.
I couldn't really tell. So it was a bang bang play. I'm not really sure. I don't know what the replay showed.
Q. Marlon, Clint just said if there's anybody he said all the teammates are relishing their opportunities in the postseason, but one guy particularly you having the outing you had tonight. How much truth to that do you really taking advantage of every time you're out there?
MARLON BYRD: Definitely. Twelve seasons, first postseason appearance. I'm trying to soak it all in and at the same time stay focused. You look at the crowd and you get lost in the energy and atmosphere. Just having a heck of a time. Trying to have fun and get one.
Q. Marlon, a couple of your at bats in the game, hitting the fastball in the first inning, was that tough to see at that point in time? And just staying on that fastball, and then in the eighth inning, working the walk, laying off the pitches off the plate, just how tough was that to do?
MARLON BYRD: First inning it was kind of tough to see. But it wasn't that bad. The shadows weren't that bad. Kind of covered the whole infield instead of halfway from the mound to the plate. But you can still kind of see the ball out of his hand and kind of recognize what pitches were coming.
Last at bat, Martinez throwing 100, slider. It was one of those things I was trying to sit slider. Finally felt comfortable when he threw the fastball and fouled it off. I knew I could cover the fastball and still try to look slider. It was one of those where it was close pitches and it was just missing the plate.
Q. Russell, even though the percentage move might have been the thing to do, to walk Pedro to get to you with the bases loaded, coming off a two home run performance, you had to really look forward to that opportunity. Being that through the playoff seasons in the past you have been, to get another chance to do him in and you did.
RUSSELL MARTIN: Yeah. Also the last time I faced him, I got a base hit. I had that in the back of my head. I know he had a sinker. The rest were secondary pitches. I knew the last at bat he tried to pound in with the sinker. So in the back of my mind, I was just going to look for a sinker, make sure it was up a little bit. And he threw a fastball and it didn't have much angle to it. And I was able to lift it into the air.
Q. Pedro, how much have you enjoyed getting a chance to play on this stage here for three or four games now? And what's it meant to be able to perform as well as you have and drive in some big runs?
PEDRO ALVAREZ: It's been great. It's been a lot of fun. The atmosphere, the energy has been outstanding. And that's what you dream of. To be able to play these type of kind of caliber games at this time of year. And to do it here, you know, it's just been a lot of fun.
Q. When you got through the July trade deadline and everything, did you figure you were going to be with the Mets the rest of the year? How surprising was it the trade to Pittsburgh and have you taken time to reflect where you were a year ago to where you are tonight?
MARLON BYRD: Definitely. I was very surprised because it happened so late. Came through the waiver trade. I still thought I was going to be in New York the rest of the year. I was on my way to the field walking to get my car in New York when I got the call from Sandy Alderson, he told me. My time to reflect was that six hour drive. I went right to the field, packed my bags, went back to the apartment, four hours. Packed the whole apartment up and me and John Buck drove separately from New York to Pittsburgh. So for six hours I was thinking back to everything I've gone through to the spot where I was going, and just excited to be able to help the team.
Q. Pedro, can you walk through the at bat in the eighth? Was that one of the few pitches you got to hit?
PEDRO ALVAREZ: I just knew it was going to be a tough match up. I seen him a couple of times before. I haven't had much success. He's a pitcher good stuff, great stuff. Threw me a couple of fastballs out over the plate. I was able to make good contact on the ball and drive it into right field. But I just knew that I was going to be a battle. It was going to be a grind. In the past the few times I've faced him, they've been very tough at bats.
Q. Pedro, Clint praised your ability to move on from at bats that might have been empty and just compartmentalize. Is that something you've improved upon?
PEDRO ALVAREZ: I'm sorry.
Q. Clint praised your ability to move on from empty at bats and refocus. Is that an area you've improved upon? How do you go about doing that?
PEDRO ALVAREZ: I think that that's something you gain over time and over experience and repetition. Everyone tries to be as consistent as possible. But that's one of those things where you just learn over time and you try to play the game pitch to pitch and move on right after that pitch is done. And so I guess I would attribute that to just getting the opportunity to go out there and be in that situation over and over again.
Q. Pedro, you've had a lot of success against this team individually and you all played them extremely well here this year. Could you at least go into the level of confidence, certainty, whatever word you would describe, you had coming into this game against them tonight?
PEDRO ALVAREZ: We all have an extremely high level of confidence playing anybody. I mean, it's the only way to go about our business. But you know, you see a team so many times throughout the year. I just think it's coincidental. Again, they're a team that's very good and has a very good staff. And you just have to be ready every single pitch and try to capitalize on the mistakes that they seldom have. They don't make many mistakes. And that's why the level of concentration has to be there at all times.
Q. Russell, your manager says you give your pitchers confidence to throw any pitch with conviction because you know you'll block it. Do you have any idea how many pitches you blocked tonight? And what does that feel like? Do you have trouble getting out of bed in the morning? What does that feel like to block those pitches?
RUSSELL MARTIN: Feels better after a win. That's for sure. I'm just doing my job back there, and I enjoy doing it. Our staff has been awesome all year long. They go out there, they compete and they make it fun for me to be out there.
But right now it's all the energy from the crowd and I can take ball after ball off the chest or the throat or whatever. It doesn't matter. I feel like I'll get through it. This is the time to kind of just muster up the strength and the energy. There's no excuses right now. If you're banged up, it doesn't matter. You have to go out there and play.
Q. Russell, Skip alluded to the fact that you can handle all of the pitchers. You're a strong partner with them. Has your approach changed during the postseason that you would do, things you would do now that you're in the postseason?
RUSSELL MARTIN: I mean, not necessarily. It's kind of the same routine. Get to the field; after batting practice, have a meeting with the pitcher, go over the lineup. Pretty much the same way we would do during the regular season. Every pitcher is a little bit different. But for the most part, we built this relationship throughout the year. I feel pretty comfortable with any pitcher we have on the staff. But the only thing that's different is just every pitch is magnified at this point. Other than that, it's the same game.
Q. Russell, why is this team so resilient? What is it about this team that seems like you take body blows and yet you bounce right back?
RUSSELL MARTIN: It's probably, you know, you kind of gain that throughout the year by coming through in situations. We've been down a few times this year. We've been able to battle back and win some games. And when you do that, you start gaining confidence. And right now we're playing good baseball, pretty much like we have all year long.
So you definitely the confidence level is high. And the stakes couldn't be any higher. We're having fun playing the game and going out there and competing.
Q. By the time you got here, the Pirates were already a good story. They were winning. What was some of your impressions of the team before you got here and what are some of the things you've learned about how they're able to be as good as you are?
MARLON BYRD: Playing against the Pirates coming in with the Mets. Confidence. You saw it. They exude it on the field. They played the game the right way. They played hard. It's just a difficult team to beat.
It all made sense when I got here. When I walked in the clubhouse, I saw the leadership, Russell Martin, Pedro, A.J. Burnett. And then I saw the top dog Clint Hurdle, the energy he brings every day. The staff is ready to work and all the players following in. I came in and that made it easy for me to be part of the team. I welcomed it with open arms and just fit right in that lineup. It was very easy for me to come over here. It was very easy for anybody to see when they come in how good this team was and the reasons why.
Q. Pedro, Clint spoke about you in pre game about you not getting too low with the lows this year and throughout your career. Can you speak to that and what you learn on those pre determined days off when he might put you down for a day or two, just kind of the teaching through that?
PEDRO ALVAREZ: Again, it's one of those things that with time, with repetition, with games, you learn to move on and when the times are low, you just have confidence that the work you put in every day before the game is going to pay off, and you're going to get the results you want in the game eventually. And that's the biggest thing, is not losing your confidence when things are down. Again, that's one of those things that with time you start to learn as a player. You start to learn who you are as a person and as a player. And with those pre determined days off, those are the days that you really come in and work on what you need to work on. If you need to get some treatment done, you come in early. Whatever you need to do. But you put your work in the cage, you put your work on the field. You might do a little extra. And then come game time, you're ready to come in whenever and watch the game.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys. Great job. Congratulations.
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