Indians meet at Progressive Field ahead of Wild Card; discuss their preparation for the postseason

Believe it or not, Nick Swisher is in there somewhere, as he and his teammates met the media on Tuesday evening ahead of the AL Wild Card game.

Believe it or not, Nick Swisher is in there somewhere, as he and his teammates met the media on Tuesday evening ahead of the AL Wild Card game.

Indians players and coaches were at Progressive Field on Tuesday afternoon, as they held a practice and team meetings at the ballpark on the day before the Tribe’s crucial AL Wild Card clash with the Tampa Bay Rays. The players spoke with TribeVibe about their approach ahead of Wednesday night’s game.

Second Baseman Jason Kipnis

On the team’s momentum heading into the postseason…

I think momentum is on our side, but at this time Tampa, and even Texas, everyone was playing good coming down the stretch. I think this team is in a good place right now, and I think we got to rest up for another day, but I don’t think it’s too long where we’ll be rusty or anything like that, and we’ve still got some good momentum and guys are ready to go.

On what he has learned from the veteran players during the stretch run…

You take bits and pieces from all of them. It’s impressive what they were able to do because the whole time while they’re trying to help out the young guys, those are some big names, and some big important parts for us down this home stretch. So they had to worry about their own games, and they still went through their normal routine, and treated it as the same game, and handled their business, and kept the atmosphere loose in here.

 

First Baseman/Outfielder Nick Swisher

On the mentality heading into the postseason…

Yeah, you know I think just with this team and the mojo that we have, it’s not necessarily one of the stressful things. It’s just a great opportunity to be there for us, and I think just what we’ve been doing of late, or at least the last 10-15 games, we’ve almost been taking it as, ‘Hey, this is just gonna be another game in the season, and there’s going to be another game tomorrow.’

I think if we just continue to keep that ‘lax, chill attitude, and just go out there and get great pitching and timely hitting, we’ll get a chance to win.”

INF/Outfielder Ryan Raburn

On the difference between one-game playoff and a series…

It’s about the same, but these one-game playoffs are a lot more intense than a regular playoff series. It’s like a Game 7 of the World Series where if you don’t win you go home, so it’s really intense, but it’s a lot of fun. We’ve worked really hard all year, and really turned it around from where this team has been all year, and I couldn’t be happier for this group of guys, and all that we’ve worked for.

On sharing his postseason experience with younger players…

The little bit that I’ve had, I’ve really just told the guys when we get in those long winning streaks to keep working because it’s a long year, and crazy things happen, and really that’s all the guys did. They worked hard all year and never gave up and hopefully we can continue.

Outfielder Drew Stubbs

On how the AL Wild Card compares to his previous postseason experience…

This is the first time I’ve done a Wild Card game, so obviously this game tomorrow night is going to determine whether we move on or not. Other than that, the similarities would be that the anticipation and the level of excitement are about the same.

On his advice to younger teammates…

Don’t get overwhelmed by the pressure or excitement. Just go out and play the same game you’ve played all year.

Outfielder Michael Brantley

On what it means to be in the postseason…

It’s great. This is what we played for, and this is what we worked so hard to get to, and I’m excited to be a part of it with this team, and I can’t wait for the game.

On whether he plans to change any part of his routine…

I don’t plan on it. I plan to go through the same routine I do for every game, just make sure that I’m prepared and what pitchers we’re facing and go out there and do my best.

Infielder Mike Aviles

On the level of excitement in the clubhouse for postseason…

In all honesty I don’t know how much more amped up it’s going to get, because we always got music going, and we’re always having fun, and that’s been our thing since day one…We were coming here and just saying ‘let’s play, let’s do our work, and take care of business.’

On what the current 10-game winning streak means for the postseason…

All 10 [wins] in a row means is that we get to play here tomorrow. Everything we did for all 162 games, and all the Rays did for 163 games means nothing, and that’s what it comes down to. Tomorrow is all about tomorrow, and that’s really all there is.

Bench Coach Sandy Alomar

On the difference in preparing for postseason as a coach…

You’ve got to organize it in detail, the scouting report, so you can present to the players, and help them go through the game. As a player you just wait for that information to come to you, but as a coach you have to gather that information and present it to them. You get it ahead of time, and you get more familiar with it, so when the game comes, it doesn’t come as a surprise.

Relief Pitcher Cody Allen

On whether preparation will change at all for the Wild Card game…

The only thing that’s going to be different is that it’s one game right now for this Wild Card spot. But other than that, we’ve won 10 games in a row at the end of the year, and just getting ready for the games like we always do: staying loose, being prepared, being ready, and just playing hard.

We’re trying to keep things as routine as possible, and not change anything up, and putting any more pressure on any one person. We ended the season playing good baseball. Let’s keep playing good baseball.

–TribeVibe contributors Max Lom and Anne Keegan

1 Comment

I’ve been a fan since I played T-ball. I’m now 45 yrs old. Played in high school and we were 40-0. State Champs that year. I BELIEVE IN THE TRIBE!!!! Just as I did when I was a kid. The TRIBE give me the inspiration to be the best I could be. And I was good. Did very well at Pitching and Short stop. I love u guys. And Thanks for the many years of Hustle and Dedication you guys give. I BELIEVE AND KNOW YOU ALL CAN DO IT! NOW LETS GO DO SOME SCALPING!!!!! WHOOOOOO YAAAAA!! GO TRIBE!!!!! ;-)

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