CURTIS GRANDERSON: Just a little bit before. Every first thing, first time running out on the field, first at-bat, first ball hit to me, it’s always that case, whether it’s Spring Training, Opening Day or here in the postseason. It’s just another first, and once that happens, everything kind of smooths out.
Q. Question for both of you, obviously you’re playing a winner-take-all game tomorrow night, but you’ve also talked about getting back and winning the World Series. Do you allow yourselves to think beyond tomorrow night right now or not?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: I’m just taking it one step at a time for me to go out there, and I try to win every single pitch, try not to get too ahead of myself.
CURTIS GRANDERSON: You can’t focus too far past tomorrow, because if you do, you’ll lose sight of the great team that we’re playing against, and that’s the San Francisco Giants.
That’s the most important game for us right now, tomorrow, they’re going to be as excited as we are, and that’s where all the attention’s going to be.
Q. Despite all the injuries, you guys are here. That you weathered the storm and you’re here in the postseason, does that give you confidence that this team can go deep in the postseason again?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: The confidence always remains high even from Spring Training until now. We came in in February, and everybody knew what the task was at hand. Everybody prepared all off-season long, even though it was a shorter off-season because of what we did the year before. We knew injuries were going to be something that could happen. We’re not the only team that had them over the course of the season. This organization did a really good job of preparing the younger guys that were going to come in and impact starting in Spring Training, so they could feel comfortable with the guys up here that opened, and we could feel comfortable with them.
So when guys like Lugo or Nimmo or Conforto or Ty Kelly, just to name a few got here, all they had to do was be themselves. They didn’t have to do anything more than that because we knew what to expect.
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: What he said.
Q. When you guys got to Bumgarner a little bit back in August, what did you learn from that game that maybe you could take into this game against him?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: For me, I don’t really have too much because I didn’t face him that time. I think I only had three at-bats in my career against him. But watching guys just put together good at-bats, he’s a fierce competitor, we’ve just got to match the intensity. Everybody knows exactly what you can expect from him. But can’t give away an at-bat and try to not miss the ones that he does give you, the few opportunities that he does.
Q. At the beginning of the year you were part of this army of young arms, and you’ve watched as one after the other your fellow guys have gone down. What’s that been like for you to watch that? And in the big picture, what have you learned from your struggles?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: Yeah, it’s really unfortunate what happened to Matt and Matz and deGrom this year. But we know next year they’ll be coming back, ready to fight, ready to help contribute. But the guys that came in and filled their roles have done a tremendous job. Like you watch guys like Robert Gsellman or Seth Lugo, and those guys are awesome to watch. They’re great pitchers and even better competitors. And they’re both very close friends of mine, so I’m extremely proud of them.
Q. Everybody knows what Bumgarner has done in the postseason in his career, I’m sure you’re well aware. Just what’s the mindset for you going into face a pitcher like that with those accomplishments in a winner-take-all game?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: That’s really outside of my control. I can’t control who I’m facing out there. That’s not going to take away from my game or how I’m going to approach their hitters.
Q. Last year obviously you pitched in a game here with a lot of people in the stands in the World Series, and you felt that energy that you were talking about. How do you deal with that? Do you sort of embrace it as you’re out there? Are you trying to ignore it? I guess, how do you deal with it? How does that work for you?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: Definitely feed off that positive energy. There are some times where it can be a little too much. But just kind of take a step, slide off the mound, take a deep breath, and get back to pitching.
Q. Noah, also you’ve spent plenty of time this year answering questions about holding runners in situations there, and sort of the balance between trying to get better at it, but also not overthinking it, focusing too much and losing your focus on the hitter. Where do you feel you are with that over the course of the year and right now?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: As of now I feel pretty confident. I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job over the last two or three months, kind of improving the holding runners on. I’ve just got to go out there and stay nice, loose and relaxed and try not to get too tense out there when runners get on.
Q. Noah, the Giants have kind of had some ups and downs this season. I was wondering what kind of challenges you might see in their lineup as of right now?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: They’re a great, great team, great competitors, so I’ve just got to go out there and pitch a great game.
Q. Usually the 9 spot in the batting order, you can bury into something. But Bumgarner as a hitter too?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: He can swing the bat a little bit. It’s not fun hitting against him, personally speaking, but he’s just another hitter in my mind, so I’ll attack him the same way.
Q. Terry had told us back in August that if you played centerfield he was going to make sure you got enough rest. Now you’ve played pretty much every game every day down the stretch here in centerfield. How have you managed that and dealt with that?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: I listen to my body, working with our training staff, getting stretched out, hot, cold tub, make sure I stay hydrated. All different things. And using Tom Goodwin who is our outfield coach to try to limit the amount of running I have to do out there. If we know guys tend to go to the side of the field, we maybe position ourselves a little bit better so we don’t have to do too much. Learning to play behind guys like Noah and the rest of the pitching staff and what they’re trying to do out there is a little different than being over in the corner.
So I try to do a combination of that and tomorrow will be another one of those. Just learn, trust, use my corner outfielders to try to blanket as much as we can and pinch when we need to. Because we have other centerfielders out there, just not playing center at that moment. But working well with them helps make that job a little easier.
Source: Mets News / Syndergaard, Granderson workout day interview