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October 8, 2017

Greg Bird

New York, New York - postgame 3, Canada

Yankees - 1, Indians - 0

Q. Greg, can you just kind of go through that at-bat and the emotion of watching the ball leave the park?
GREG BIRD: I mean, I was just trying to have a good at-bat. It was a close game. Masa pitched a helluva game and I was trying to get on base leading off the inning. Knowing Andrew is one of, if not the best, relievers in our game, I was just trying to swing at strikes and have a good at-bat. See ball, hit ball, and kind of do my thing.

But just it was a crazy game.

Q. Greg, you're usually a pretty low key guy. Can you just describe sort of the emotions running around the bases and getting back into the dugout?
GREG BIRD: Yeah. I mean, plain and simple, I'm not ready to be done playing and I don't think the rest of the team is. So just very happy with that and knowing it gives us a chance, really. Like I said, Masa kept us in it all night.

Carrasco pitched a helluva game. He had it working and we were grinding it out. To be able to have a good at-bat and get us a chance to get to the bullpen and we trust the bullpen.

I think that game was huge for us, for our pitching staff to just show that they can do their thing and they bounced back and did that. So all around, a helluva of a game. I mean, the play Judgy made, and I go back to it, just the game Masa pitched after the loss the other day is huge.

Q. Greg, we've talked about it all year with you, even Joe said before the postseason, he said a month ago -- would you see Greg contributing in the postseason?
He said, I wouldn't bet on it.

How were you --

GREG BIRD: I bet on it. To be honest with you, I bet on it. I bet on myself. And I got a little taste in 2015 and I've wanted nothing more than to be back. And going through the shoulder thing was tough, and I thought I got through that, and then obviously dealing with the ankle thing.

I learned a lot, though, and like I said, I bet on myself and I knew I could come back and be a part of this. It's a great group we have. I say it all the time, but it really is.

Nothing makes me feel better than seeing the smile on not only the young guys' faces but the veterans on our team's face, just making them proud, really. That's special to me.

So what a game. What a game by us tonight.

Q. Greg, a very emotional victory, less than 24 hours it's going to be an another must-win situation. How do you channel those emotions and make sure you have selective amnesia to know that you have to win again tomorrow night?
GREG BIRD: It sounds cliche, but every day is a must win. Since I started playing baseball and really any sport, it's been about winning. I enjoy the hell out of it, I'll be honest, but it's about winning. That's how I am and that's how the guys in there are.

So nothing's really changed. We've got to win and that's what our plan is.

Q. Greg, those months on the DL, what got you through it, do you think? Did you ever kind of envision a night like tonight at the end of the tunnel?
GREG BIRD: Yeah. What got me through it? My family and my close friends. I have a great group, really, and they know who they are and they're really special to me.

And they know when I need my space and they need to be there for me, so really that's what got me through it. And that's not to say it was easy. At times, it was hard. I mean, just watching from afar, never fun. Like you want to be in the mix and be there with your guys, whether they're doing great things or struggling.

I mean, I say that all the time. I don't really care about the ups and downs. I just like being there. So what a wild ride it's been. But like I said, I knew we had a good team and we'd be here and I was hoping that I could be part of it.

Q. Greg, I believe you had not gotten a hit off Miller prior to that at-bat. Just what is your level of confidence --
GREG BIRD: Yeah, I've never faced him until this series. I've seen it on our side and seen how good he is. Really, the respect I have for him on and off the field, I don't know if there's anyone like him.

Like I said, just really trying to keep things simple, have a quality at-bat, get on base however I can, make it tough for him, and put us in a chance to get a run.

Q. Off the bat, did you think Lindor hit a home run there and could anybody else in baseball catch that?
GREG BIRD: Yeah, what a great player he is. The swing he had the other night was incredible. You never know here, and the ball was carrying here in BP and I think in the game too. But who better than our 6'8" right fielder. He's the MVP in my book and who better to reach up there and grab it than him.

Q. Greg, when you come up in that situation, are you thinking home run a little bit more, knowing the game may turn on just one swing?
GREG BIRD: I'm always thinking drive the ball. I'm always trying to get a pitch, especially early, to drive. But really, I mean, he's tough. He's really tough. And I was really trying to string things down and stay tight and stay low and stay in my legs and have a good swing, good at-bat.

Other than that, see it and hit it. That's kind of always been my thing. It's what my mom tells me all the time. See it and hit it. So I prepare and do my thing before the game and then go out there and just play.

Q. The slider that he has is so tough, especially on lefties. How difficult is it to react to a fastball that looks kind of up and in?
GREG BIRD: That's a tough question, really. For me, like I said, staying tight, staying short. Really shrinking things down, finding a window that I like, where I'm looking for the ball, and going off my instincts. Really, that's it, going off my instincts. Putting myself in a position where I want to be and just kind of reacting from there, really.

Q. Was there something about your instincts that told you that pitch was coming?
GREG BIRD: I saw it and swung.

Q. Greg, when you got back to the dugout after that home run, you hit your chest. Looked like it even hurt. You were so fired up. I know you said before some of that was just giving you guys a chance in the series. But how much of it was sort of relief that you're back where you belong in this lineup?
GREG BIRD: The excitement's for our team and the guys in the clubhouse. Just sharing that with them and getting fired up with them and helping this team win games, really, is huge. I was really excited. I'm not gonna lie.

But that excitement is for our team, and for the guys in there that have been working their butts off all year. For Masa, for Judge, for everyone that was out there, for everyone that was on the bench and for our fans, really. It was just an incredible experience, an incredible game, and we're not done. So that's the best part of it too is we get to keep this thing going and keep playing baseball.

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