Oct. 8 Matt Wieters pregame interview
Q.I know it's all about now and it's all about this year, but when you look around the clubhouse and you see the young guys, the young rookie pitchers, is this team built to last, and do you look forward to this team establishing itself as a contender years from just this year?
MATT WIETERS: Yeah, we think so. It's something to where a lot of these guys in the clubhouse came up together through the system, and we've been able to see each other's games sort of improve and develop. A lot of us have had to develop at the big league level even and really be able to the last couple years pick up our game, and that's why we are where we are. I think you've got to look at the pitchers that have had to fill different roles from what they've come up through the Minor Leagues, and they've done a great job in helping us get there this year.
Q. Wei Yin Chen is a guy you guys didn't grow up with. Give me a sense of how you've gotten to know him as a person and as a competitor through the language barrier and everything, the type of guy he is and competitor he is?
MATT WIETERS: Yeah, in Spring Training you could see the kind of work habits he had and how hard he went about his business. You could see that he was working for a long career, not just coming over here and just going to see what happened. He was going to try and improve and work hard to get as good as he can. He's a fun light hearted guy in the clubhouse, but when it comes to his day to start he's focused and ready to go.
The language barrier is something that we've had to deal with, but at the same time, it's his competitive spirit and the way he likes to compete on the mound, that pushes past any language.
Q. Yankee Stadium obviously is a tough place to play. Miguel González in particular has been exceptional there. What is it about González that allows him to pitch on the big stage like he has so far?
MATT WIETERS: First off, it's location. He can locate his fastball which is going to give any pitcher a good chance to succeed, and he's been able to improve his off speed as the year has gone on and really feel like he has four pitches that he can throw at any time and in any count, and it makes my job easy as a catcher when I can have the staff that I have. It's comfortable throwing breaking balls when they're behind in the count and changeups and splits and anything that I put down, they're right with me and feel confident that they can throw for a strike.
Q. I know it's a one through nine lineup, but I'm wondering with you and Adam, two guys who have been here for a while and you're both middle of the order established All Star hitters, how much do you take it upon yourselves to be the focal point of the offense?
MATT WIETERS: You know, I don't think we do at all. I think that's kind of what's made this team get where it is this year is that we know that we're going to have different guys step up every night and be able to drive in runs, and I think the big thing is that we just want everybody to sort of play to their ability and not worry about where you're hitting in the lineup or what your stats are. You're just going to go out there and play to your ability, and it may not be the gaudiest numbers for this team, but when you can step up in the right situation, that's how we're able to get wins.
Q. Throughout the season you guys have had some tough losses, you've bounced back, you've had some periods where, as Buck was saying earlier, it looked like you weren't going to win another game, and you guys kind of shored it up. How much different was what happened last night, the frustration of it? Was the clubhouse the same as it's always been after those things, and how does this team go forward? How do you feel?
MATT WIETERS: It actually was. It was something to where I haven't experienced a playoff loss before, so you don't really know what to expect when you get back in the clubhouse. But no, everybody was it's one game, and that's how you had to go into it. It's one game, and we all came back ready to go today with not much of a memory of what happened last night, and just ready to get a win today.
Q. You expressed confidence in this club's abilities as early as Spring Training. What did you see that the outside world didn't?
MATT WIETERS: I think it was more of our attitude. It was not a this is what we think this team can do this year, it was we believed it and believed that if we go out there and just keep playing, no matter what your record is, no matter how many games you've won or lost lately, you've got a chance to win that night. We added some veterans in Wilson Betemit and Ayala and guys like that who had been there before and done it. We were able to get a great pickup late in the year in Jim Thome. It's just sort of that professional attitude they bring to the clubhouse every day of just going to get your work in, putting it all on the line when the game comes around, and then you live with the results.
Q. Buck was talking about the degree of difficulty when you picked that throw from second base last night and tagged the runner. What do you do to get better at that play? I know some catchers like to have coaches hit fungos at them. What's helped you with that?
MATT WIETERS: It's really just got to be a reaction play, and something to where the more reps you get, the more reaction you're going to be able to have to it. It's kind of the same thing as a first baseman, you're just trying to pick through it to where it goes in the glove and then put the tag on him. But it's something to where the more experience you get, it can get a little bit easier, but when it comes down to it, it's just a reaction play at the time, in the moment.
Q. The first two postseason games, for you what's the difference in intensity? Is there a difference in intensity? Is there a difference in level of play?
MATT WIETERS: You can feel it in the crowd, that's for sure. No matter where you're playing, there's going to be a home advantage, and that's a given. But I think the main thing is the first couple innings you're going to have to dial yourself down a little bit and just try and get back to focus, and then once the game settles in you can really feel like it's as close to a normal game as you can expect in the postseason.
Q. You've had a couple All Star games now, you've had a Gold Glove, now you're in the postseason. Do you think about your career relative to other catchers in the league? You're obviously one of the emerging stars at that position?
MATT WIETERS: You know, that's what's been so great about this year is you don't have to worry about individual accolades or individual awards. This is where everybody in the clubhouse wants to play for. It's nice to get honored by your peers and get honored by people in the game, but at the same time you're playing for the playoffs, playing for a ring, and that's ultimately what you want your career to sort of be based on.
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