Houston, Texas – postgame 2
Washington 12, Houston 3
Q. Can you just talk about the mood right now? I know you’re not going to declare victory, you still have to win four games. But winning two in Houston has to be very important in your mind. Tell us how you’re feeling right now, the confidence level.
ANTHONY RENDON: It’s just way down in here, it just doesn’t come out a lot.
Yeah, like you said, we know the series isn’t over. I think it would have been a success if we only came in and stole one game, obviously, playing at this stage and playing with the crowd and at their home-field. But for us to obviously steal two games from them at their home-field is great.
But like you say, we still have a job to finish and we have two more to go.
KURT SUZUKI: Yeah, like he said, it’s nice to come in here and get a couple of wins, face a couple of great pitchers. Able to come out on top. And really, we’re just looking to get back home in front of our fans and worrying about winning the next pitch, winning the next inning. So getting ready.
Q. Kurt, the swing you put on Verlander in the 7th, and also how you have observed Stephen’s ability to finish his outings this year strongly and get through them as he did tonight?
KURT SUZUKI: Yes, Stras, obviously the little hiccup there in the first. Made a good pitch. You tip your hat, the guy is a great hitter and he hit it out.
But the thing about Stras is he’s really grown in that way where he don’t let things like that bother him. He just moves on to the next pitch, gets the next out, moves on, gave us five shutout after that, gave us a chance to win the ball game. And it was great.
As for the hit, I can’t remember the last time I barreled a ball up like that. It felt great. It felt like months ago. Probably was months ago. It felt great.
Just the fact to help the team out any way I can, whatever it was. We get some runs on the board and we were able to put some runs up in the later part of the innings, and it was good.
Q. Anthony, what made you guys so successful with two outs hitting tonight? Obviously you guys have done that all year. And I know that’s Davey’s philosophy when he comes in and explains that he doesn’t like strikeouts, what’s your impression of that?
ANTHONY RENDON: If we could pinpoint one certain thing, man, I think it might just be our resilience. And like you said, Davey emphasized in Spring Training he doesn’t like strikeouts. If we are striking out then obviously we’re not giving ourselves a chance to get on base, we’re just getting ourselves out, and obviously we’re not making the defense work.
So we have some speed at the top of the order so if we can run balls out and put some pressure on the defense any way possible. Even Zimm today, he was running some balls out, that old guy. It was great to be able to be put some balls in play and limit our strikeouts as much as we can, and just try to scratch any kind of run we can get.
Q. Being one of the leaders in the clubhouse, what have you and others said at the beginning of this postseason? A lot of people didn’t predict you all to be where you are right now, up 2-0 in the World Series. What has the mindset been since the beginning of the playoffs?
ANTHONY RENDON: I’d go back further than just the postseason, for sure, when everyone started doubting us probably the middle of the year when everyone goes back to 1931. But even when they were saying that, We need to fire Davey, or We need to trade so and so, or We need to clean house, clean the front office out, whatever it might be.
I think then it was kind of where we got our attitude and said, Screw everybody else, we’re not worrying about what’s going outside of our clubhouse. We have to worry about the 25 guys that are in here and that are actually grinding.
No offense, but nobody outside of that clubhouse knows the work that we put in each and every day and the amount of time that we’re away from our families and the sacrifices that we have to make. So that’s been our attitude for a while now.
Q. Kurt, two questions. The 3-2 pitch to Correa in the 6th that he popped up looked like a changeup from up in the zone, can you describe that pitch? And second, your thoughts on being the first player born in Hawaii to hit a home run in the World Series?
KURT SUZUKI: Yeah, it was a big pitch for Stras. He just — any pitch anytime. He’s got so many weapons to get you out with. He’s got command. He can really spin the ball. You never really know what pitch is coming, because he can throw any pitch up at any time. If he changes up his patterns we do a good job of sequencing right and it becomes tough for the hitters. I think in that situation right there runners in scoring position, a great hitter like Correa, you try not to give in. And we tried to change up our patterns. We had him a couple of times 3-2, and I think we went different ways each time. Tried to mix it up, popped it up, and it was great.
And obviously the homer was great. I think anytime you can help the team out any way you can offensively, defensively, it doesn’t matter, do one thing to help the team win and good things will happen.
Q. I just want to go back to May 24th when you said everyone was pretty much burying you guys. At that point you had a .01 percent chance of winning the pennant and here you are 2-0 in the World Series. When you see those types of headlines, and it sounds like you did see them, what’s your mentality and now given all that, what’s your philosophy on “odds”?
ANTHONY RENDON: I think we’ve kind of defied the odds at this point. And we don’t pay too much attention to them. Obviously we read about it or hear about it because it becomes exploited and obviously we’re in the city and we have all the news outlets saying all these things. But we just try to stay together as a team and that’s all we really could do. We had nothing to lose at that point. We had .01 chance to lose, I guess, we had that much left. But we were just, hey, screw it, let’s go out and have some fun and play ball and whatever it was, something clicked and it turned around and we’ve been trying to ride that wave ever since and keep on just going.
Q. Kurt, how surprised were you to see Altuve try to steal in the first? And Anthony, how big was Kurt’s home run in the 7th to get things going?
KURT SUZUKI: You know, I don’t really get surprised when guys try to run on me. 36 years old, I’m getting old now. I know they like to run. They like to steal third. They like to put the pressure on the defense. And I think we had a little bit of a shift going on there, so Anthony kind of put it in the hole a little bit and it’s kind of like a football pass, you have to try to lead them to the bag. You can’t rush it, because you have to give him time and you can’t throw it too low, because he’ll be running trying to catch it a shoe top. You just try to play catch with him and lucky enough he made a great tag and we got him out which obviously saved us a run, because Bregman hit that homer out there.
ANTHONY RENDON: Yeah, his homer was awesome. Obviously it got that inning started. And I’m not going to lie that — a couple of bats before, was it a slider you had just missed?
KURT SUZUKI: Yes.
ANTHONY RENDON: I had a feeling he might hit a home run here. He misses it just a little bit, maybe I was a couple of bats behind. I was trying to steal a homer from him earlier in the game. He’s been doing that all year for us. He’s been coming up clutch and having big hits like that. We talk about how he came into the season, going to be platooning and not playing too often. Like he said, he’s 36 years old, he’s had a lot more ABs than anticipated and it’s good, he’s been continuing to help us win ball games.
Q. You’ve talked about the grind of a long season. Like you said you’re a young guy here, a young catcher here. How is the feeling now being this close to a couple of games from winning the World Series, is it all worthwhile if you get to this point and feel the way you do physically and just to push through it?
KURT SUZUKI: Yeah, it feels great. I’ve waited 13 season for this moment to be able to play in the World Series. I kind of joked with a lot of the guys, Anthony in the training room, now I’ve got energy now, this is the last series of the season now, no matter what. We’re playing for it now. If you can’t get up for these games I think you’re in the wrong sport, you should retire or something, because this is it. You obviously see all the media and the coverage that you get for the World Series. It kind of pumps you up and especially waiting how long I did to get to play in a World Series game, to advance past the first round of the postseason it’s awesome. We’re just looking forward to the next game. Obviously we know what’s at stake. We’re not looking too far in the future. We know to keep our eye on the target, come out, just be 1-0 the next day and go from there.
Q. Does it get easier for you now going back to DC now that — leaving your hometown, ticket requests and things like that, media requests, is there a lot more pressure off of you now going home?
ANTHONY RENDON: I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s pressure. But it’s definitely been overwhelming to say the least. I don’t show too much emotion but it has been a lot to handle. And I don’t know if I could be able to play here 162 games in a year. But I think I wish I had like twist it to look at the positive side of it. If my family and I didn’t have is that many people hitting us up, maybe our support level isn’t that high. So the fact that people are showing us so much love as a family being here that means we have a great support group here and it’s something to be thankful for.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports