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October 31, 2009

Nick Swisher


New York Yankees 8
Philadelphia Phillies 5

Q. Obviously you look so excited. Please share with us what this moment means for you after all the struggles that you've been through.
NICK SWISHER: Well, I think tonight just really, really turned things around for me. You know, I mean, obviously this post-season has been kind of a struggle for me, but I'll tell you what, I think the real thanks from me definitely goes to my teammates. My manager, those guys have never lost faith in me. And my family, they've been behind me this whole way. It's different. When you're in the post-season and you're in New York, it's completely different than anywhere else I've ever been.
It's nice to have a day like this, but it's just one game. I mean, right now we're sitting 2-1, and it's all about the team. We want to get this thing. Obviously coming here into a hostile crowd like tonight, it's great to definitely get a game here.

Q. You just mentioned your struggles, but out of all your teammates, you've seen the most pitches per plate appearance. This post-season how important is that to you?
NICK SWISHER: I'm not much of a guy -- I don't really read the paper. I'm more a guy that looks at the pictures. But all the struggles and this and that, they just kept piling on, and the harder and harder I would try to work, and the harder I would try when I got into the box. But it was rough. I mean, it was very difficult. But to get by that and have a great game like tonight was extremely gratifying.
You know, I mean, I feel like I've been putting good at-bats together. Some people might think otherwise, but I've been trying to battle even when I wasn't feeling too great. I've always been a guy to try and take pitches and see as many pitches as I can. But tonight was a great turnaround, something to build on tomorrow.

Q. Is that important to you?
NICK SWISHER: Oh, absolutely. I think the best compliment you can have as a hitter is "He's a tough out." I never, ever got myself into a spot where I was going up and rolling over on the first pitch. So even through the tough times and the no base hits or whatever it was for 30-some, I still felt I wanted to try and bring my best at-bat to the plate every time.

Q. Can you describe the range of emotion from Joe telling you the other night that you weren't going to be in the lineup to your trip around the bases tonight?
NICK SWISHER: I mean, that was heart breaking. There's no doubt about that. I'm an emotional guy. You definitely know what I'm thinking. I wear my heart on my sleeve.
Skip sat me down the other day and said, "Hey, just relax. I want you to just watch this game, enjoy this game." And then we talked about some stuff after the game. But I think it really helped me mentally, not necessarily physically because right now you're such on cloud 9 because you're playing in the World Series, you don't really feel anything. But it was nice for my head to just rest and enjoy that game, and especially for us to win, that was great.
So for today, I talked to Skip a lot today, I talked to K Long, our hitting coach, and those guys have really helped me out, as well.

Q. A lot of hitters always say that one at-bat can turn things around. When you get that double, the first one, did that help you go to the plate the next time and just --
NICK SWISHER: Oh, absolutely. I was like, man, I finally got a hit. Especially against a guy like Hamels. He's got a good change-up, big curveball, fastball tonight. That's the first time I've ever gotten a chance to face him. Got me out in the first at-bat, and second at-bat I told myself, just try and hit something on the ground and try and found a hole. I don't care if I hit it off the label and it went three feet and somehow I got on base. That's what I was trying to do.
I guess I could say I got a little lucky tonight with that first hit, and then that just kind of tumbled into my third at-bat.

Q. The Yankees are already a very confident team, and for good reason. But on a night like this, when you who haven't been hitting and Alex who hasn't been hitting in the series and Andy gets his hit, does it start to create a gigantic snowball effect?
NICK SWISHER: Absolutely. But let's not say Al wasn't hitting. He's a major reason why we're here. He's had a couple of rough games. It was two games. The one thing about being in such a big game is the game is broken down so much, and for Al to get that home run tonight, I mean, even on the replay, it was tough to see from where we were, as well, but then some guys were running up in the tunnel saying, "Hey, it hit the camera. It hit the camera."
Yeah, we were excited about that. I think we really needed that boost to get us going. And obviously with Andy getting that RBI, that was huge. I was kind of wondering to myself why Melky wasn't bunting when I was at second and nobody out, and then I looked in the on-deck circle, and I was like, oh, that's why. It was just a great day.
I heard Andy talking here a little bit. He grinded it out today. He was a bulldog for us, and we really needed that start from him. He put us deep in the game, and he deserves a lot of credit. He says he might not have had his good stuff, but either way he battled hard out there tonight and put us in a good position.

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