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October 2, 2018

Matt Chapman

New York, New York

Q. First of all, what's your outlook with this really approaching tomorrow? And after a season like your team has had, how are you feeling about everything?
MATT CHAPMAN: Feeling really good. From being with the guys, it doesn't seem like too much has changed. We're excited to be here and grateful for the opportunity and just all the work that you've put in throughout the season, and to be here at this point, it's everything you could ask for.

There's no really telling what's going to happen tomorrow, but I know we're going to show up, and we're going to play hard, and we're just excited to see what happens.

Q. What do you think about just the decision to kind of bullpen your way through tomorrow's game, and how much of a strength have those guys been this year?
MATT CHAPMAN: I mean, I understand it. I mean, it's probably hard, especially with all the injuries we've had to the pitchers this year, and our bullpen has just been able to pick us up and keep us in so many games, so I understand the decision, and I feel like it's just kind of like the Yankees, with going with Severino. If you're going to get beat, you want to get beat with your guys, or win or lose, you want your guys on the mound.

I feel like we feel confident with those guys and their ability to throw strikes and keep us in the game. So I like it.

Q. Obviously you and Olson and Pinder and a couple guys who came up in the minors together, I know you've won together, and now to be on this stage, how cool is it for you guys to be sharing the postseason together?
MATT CHAPMAN: It's pretty crazy. It's surreal. I don't even know if it's, like, hit us yet. It was one of those things where in the moment you just keep -- our eyes are so focused on what we need to do and what we want to accomplish that I feel like we haven't really had a second to take a step back and really think about it, but I'm sure at some point this offseason it'll hit us that it's pretty crazy what we were able to do.

Q. What has Jonathan meant to this team so far this year?
MATT CHAPMAN: He's meant a lot, more than he even thinks he means. I don't think he realizes what he's done for our young pitchers and our pitching staff and how many different pitchers he's had to manage and call games for. He's kept us in so many games, and he's just been a leader and a presence back there, and he has a lot of experience, and he's been able to really just help the young guys with everything that he can and uses his experience, and he's really helped guys like Lou Trivino take it to the next level and even Blake Treinen. We wouldn't be here without him.

Q. When you guys beat the Yankees I think the last time in Oakland, I believe you said, "We're no longer on a good run, we're a good team." When did you guys realize that everything just clicked for you guys as a team?
MATT CHAPMAN: Yeah, I feel like the way we finished last season, we felt we had the capability to be a good team, and I know we started off a little slow this year. But once we kind of hit that hot streak and we kept playing, I felt like we always thought we were a good team, even at the beginning of the year, we just couldn't finish out some games or weren't getting the big hits when we needed it, but then we kind of started rolling a little bit and rolling and our confidence kept growing, and then we continued to play that way. We felt like we believed that was who we were, so it was just us coming out and finally playing the kind of baseball we knew we were capable of.

Q. When you guys came here early in the year, it was here, Boston and Toronto and you had three 10-game trips in the first half of the season where the team played really well. Did that resonate as far as kind of getting you where you are now?
MATT CHAPMAN: For sure. I think a lot of those series and those close games prepared us for where we're at now and for that stretch during the season. We learned how to handle those big situations and how to win close games. Coming here this year earlier in the year, being my first time and a lot of other guys' first time, get used to that environment a little bit. I know not a lot of us have been in the playoffs, but I feel like we've played in a lot of big games, in a lot of big stadiums, so I think we're prepared.

Q. I know that the team's defense obviously was hugely improved this year, and defense is very important to you. How would you describe the season that you had defensively?
MATT CHAPMAN: Definitely proud of it, but a lot of room to get better, I think. I made too many errors for my liking. But our defense has gotten just better and better, and I think it goes for the amount of work our coaches help us with positioning and the extra work they do with ground balls or whatever it is, and the guys' on our team work ethic. Jed catches everything that he gets to. I feel like Marcus gets better and better every single day. He works his butt off every single day, and it shows because he has only gotten better, and he has been so solid for us at shortstop. And then Matt Olson has probably saved all of us a handful of errors apiece, maybe more. He's probably the most underrated first baseman, I think. Defensively he's the best I've ever seen. And then our outfield, Laureano was a huge upgrade, has really, really taken it to the next level and taking pressure off the corner guys. He pretty much covers both gaps. Piscotty or Martini in left, whoever it is, we feel confident with our defense, and we've just been getting better and better.

Q. It was Eric Chávez, there was Josh Donaldson, now you're kind of next in line, rich heritage of Oakland A's third basemen. What is it like for you as a player? What has this season been like for you seeing the injuries and you guys just kept rolling, especially getting hot? What's that been like?
MATT CHAPMAN: Yeah, to be in that company is awesome. Growing up watching Eric Chávez as a young kid and really looking up to him and some of those guys and watching the way he went about playing defense, and he kind of just played hard, played the game the right way, and Donaldson, as well, he was always fun to watch, and to be able to come in after guys like that has been pretty cool. Obviously got to live up to the standard that they set.

And as far as our team, to be able to go through all those injuries and not really have a set rotation, and we were able to just keep bouncing back and keep fighting, I think that that's something that you want, and I think that all winning teams have the ability to bounce back no matter what's thrown at you, and that's why I feel like we've been able to come back in close games, or when we're trailing, like when we were trailing by 10 against Texas, our team just doesn't quit. We have fight, and we're going to battle until the last out, and we all believe in each other. So I think that that's equally as important as some of those other things, just being able to be confident in each other and root for each other and have each other's backs, and that's taken us a lot further than anybody could have ever imagined.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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