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October 5, 2018

George Springer

Houston, Texas - postgame 1

Houston-7, Cleveland-2

Q. What kind of adjustments were you all able to make against Kluber after not having a whole lot of luck against him the first four innings?
GEORGE SPRINGER: Honestly, the key was Bregman's hit in the fourth or the fifth, whatever it was. I think, whenever you're not hitting the ball or not getting hits, you start to press to try to get hits and make things happen. He was able to hit one over the heart of the plate, and he didn't miss it.

Q. It's only one game, but to be able to take a lead in this series to start off the postseason from a mental standpoint, what kind of lift does that give you guys?
GEORGE SPRINGER: It's huge. For us to come back tomorrow up one, it makes it easier on us to go out and kind of attack them the way that we want to play and have some fun. Obviously, the goal is to get out of here with a sweep, but you never know. That's a great team over there. So I'm pretty sure that they're going to be fired up to play tomorrow.

Q. George, only three people have hit home runs in five consecutive World Series games. What does it mean to you to have done that, and how difficult is it?
GEORGE SPRINGER: It's an honor. There's been a ton of guys to play this game who have had Hall of Fame careers and a lot of guys who haven't. For my name to be with some good company is always great, but honestly, I'm happy that I was able to help us win in all of those games and be a spark plug from that standpoint.

Q. When you're seeing Verlander pitch as well as he was pitching in that game, how critical is it to get him some runs early in that game and give him something to work with?
GEORGE SPRINGER: Yeah, when he was locked in like that, it's going to be a hard time to score. For us to spot him four and for him to have our back and at least slow them down was a huge day for us and a big day for him.

Q. George, what happened in the second inning didn't seem very significant at the time, but Marwin gets hit, or at least his jersey gets hit by the pitch. A.J. tells everybody, Hey, we're aware of everything going on today. We've got our game face on. Then Corey, he likes to work the inside part of the plate and all of a sudden hits two guys, you see that change thing. Do you have that feeling?
GEORGE SPRINGER: I don't know. I think he's a guy that likes to attack each side of the plate, up, down, in, out. And I think he let a couple kind of sneak in on some guys, but it really allowed us to kind of attack what he was throwing. He might not have been as sharp as he wanted to be, so I think him hitting Marwin was a good sign, I guess, from an offensive standpoint, and it allowed us to attack him instead of him kind of having his way with us like he has before.

Q. And how important was it for A.J. to let everyone know we're watching everything, we're on top of our game today?
GEORGE SPRINGER: It's huge. These are must-win games, and everything has to go right. A lot of guys have to be on the same page. So from the guys down below who spotted it -- because I don't even think Marwin knew he got hit. It shows that we're all on the same page.

Q. George, can you talk a little bit about your evolution in the playoffs, from the way it started last year to now how comfortable you are at the plate, and obviously with the five straight home runs in five straight games. But just overall how it's changed for you from last year to where you are now?
GEORGE SPRINGER: Yeah, I got told last year by Alex Cora, Carlos Beltran, A.J. Hinch to go out and kind of just have fun and enjoy the moment for how it is because you don't ever know if you're going to get back here. There's been hundreds of guys to play this game and actually never get to the playoffs.

For me, it's just another day, just another game. Go out and try and have as much fun as I can, but slow down and kind of understand who's up behind me.

I've got the hitting champ from last year, the MVP, Alex Bregman, who's arguably an MVP. So kind of just slowing down, getting myself to first base, and letting the guys who can actually hit hit.

Q. What is it about y'all's clubhouse that radiates so much positivity and things like that and it spreads over to a new guy like Maldonado? For him to get that home run, it probably took a lot off of him.
GEORGE SPRINGER: Our clubhouse is not like any other clubhouse I've ever seen. It's fun to come to the park. It's fun to play with each other. All 25-plus guys in there are cheering for the other guy to succeed. For guys who step in or get traded over here, get called up, I think that they get to see that. Having guys like Brian McCann, Jose Altuve to at least set the tone of, You know what, go out, have fun, enjoy the day because, at the end of the day, we're in the big leagues and we're playing in front of a great crowd, a great city. So go out and kind of enjoy it.

I think for us it's all about having fun, and I think in the clubhouse is now starting to spread out onto the field.

Q. George, all through the spring you guys were saying that you knew you couldn't start the season in the World Series or in the playoffs. All season you've had to deal with those questions. Is there sort of a relief that the playoffs are actually here now and you really are playing for it and you can almost lighten up?
GEORGE SPRINGER: I think so. For our team to accomplish what we did last year is something special for us, but then it adds in, can they do it again? Which is a great conversation to have, but us as players understand how hard it is to play this game and how much has to go right over the span of 162-plus games.

For us to come out today and get back to the big stage, the lights get brighter, is awesome because it shows you that, one, we were able to have another successful season. We accomplished our first goal, which was to win the West. I mean, Oakland had a heck of a year, and it really made us play as hard as what we possibly could every day.

I think for us to kind of understand that this game is hard and it's not going to be handed to us was the best thing for us. So now these are the games where you go out, you have fun, you do whatever it is that you have to do to try to help the team win, and whatever happens happens.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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