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October 7, 2010

Ben Zobrist


Q. Evan told us yesterday that the team came out tight, tense yesterday. Of course some early hits, some offense early, some runs early would help alleviate that tension. Is there anything you can do as a clubhouse leader to keep the guys loose today heading into this one?
BEN ZOBRIST: I don't know that that's really my thing. There's plenty of other guys in the clubhouse that do that for us, but yeah, I think as far as being loose out there, it's just a matter of going out there and not trying to put too much pressure on ourselves, knowing what we're capable of doing and going and doing it.
We feel like we have a good chance of winning every time we take the field, and hopefully we'll get it going early and it'll continue.

Q. You got good looks at both sides of the plate yesterday, really hit the ball hard. What kind of confidence does that give you going forward?
BEN ZOBRIST: It gives me a lot of confidence, just trying to simplify things and just put the barrel on the ball. It's all we can really do. We had several guys yesterday that hit the ball hard, and it just seemed to go right at guys. And if we just keep doing that, then they're going to fall eventually in the holes, and we'll get more hits and runs.

Q. Can you talk about C.J. Wilson, what he throws, and the approach that the team ought to take against him?
BEN ZOBRIST: Yeah, well, I mean, I think for different guys, it's going to be a different approach. He's not going to throw everybody the same. He does a good job of mixing his pitches in, and he throws it hard, throws a hard slider, hard fastballs, and he can bring that cutter into your hands pretty well, too. So he's definitely -- we have our hands full as far as the kind of stuff he has.
Hopefully he'll leave plenty of balls over the plate for us, and we'll put the barrel on it. But we know he's a great pitcher, and we know we're capable of hitting him. We've hit him before, and hopefully we'll do that today.

Q. Can you just talk about what this post-season is like for you compared to two years ago now that you're kind of a more prominent member of the team this year and what it's like right now for you?
BEN ZOBRIST: Yeah, well, a couple years ago it was just so much excitement just being a part of it, just excited to actually make the playoff roster a couple years ago and just be around the team during that time. I think it was a special time for everybody. It was the first time for most guys in the playoffs around here.
And this time around, you know, we're more focused on winning. That's the goal here. We don't just want to make it to the playoffs. We're not satisfied with just making it here.
You know, I think all of us that experienced that in 2008, we want to win the World Series. We made it there, but we want to win it. So that's been our goal all year.
You know, it just makes it, I guess, maybe a little bit more of a business-like approach out there. We've got to find a way to get it done and not get focused on the crowds or the excitement that's going around the game right now but just focus on what we have to do out there.

Q. It's been well documented what may happen next year with this team with the cutting of the payroll and some changes. Is that at all in the back of your mind this post-season and what do you think about that with the young corps that's been assembled possibly being torn down next year?
BEN ZOBRIST: Well, everybody knows that that's a possibility. We hope we get to keep some of those guys. That's what we hope for, but nobody knows what's going to happen after the season, and we know with the team that we have right now. So we're trying to enjoy every day with each other right now and make the most of our opportunity in the playoffs right now.
That's all we can focus on. We try not to think too far down the road. This game has taught most of us that we can't even look a month down the road. We've got to focus on today and make the most out of today. So that's kind of our focus right now.

Q. Can you talk about this ballclub and how a guy like James Shields today, while the fans might question it, some out here might question it, how a team might rally around guys when they're struggling a little bit and need their teammates to be there for them?
BEN ZOBRIST: Yeah, well, I feel like everybody on our team has had those dips during the season at different times, and James is no exception this year. But we're confident in James. We're confident in every guy that's out there. No matter who the ball was given to today, we feel like we're going to win the game, and that's what we bring behind it. We know we're going to make plays for him, and we believe we're going to score runs for him.
Every time we give the ball to a guy, we have confidence that he's going to go out there and do it, and hopefully we can get it going early. I think that's an important thing today for us, to come out there and really start it fast and get the momentum on our side going into the game.

Q. Some of the guys yesterday are talking about how you guys have handled adversity the last couple years, backs against the ball, bounce back. How much does that experience help you in a game like this when you're down one game to none and you need a big win?
BEN ZOBRIST: Well, it helps a lot. I think earlier, a couple years ago, it would have been easy for us to get down if we went down in a series. But I think it seems like for me I can remember a lot of series this year where we lost the first game and ended up winning the series. I think it just doesn't bother us. We know that it's going to happen at different times. It happened yesterday. But it definitely doesn't mean that we can't come back and win.
We even felt that this past week when we were in Kansas City. We felt like we had to win those last two games. Our backs were against the wall if we wanted to win the division, and we did. We know we're capable of it. We don't panic in a situation like this, and it's important for the team not to panic and be confident that you're going to go out there and win the last game.

Q. Even though you weren't involved in the game last night, what was it like to watch Halladay, assuming you did see the last couple innings?
BEN ZOBRIST: I actually didn't see -- I just saw the celebration at the end, and I realized that he had thrown a no-hitter. I've always said to people when they ask me who's the toughest pitcher that you've had to face, I would say that guy. He throws everything and he spots everything up, and he's really tough to get the barrel on the ball. Obviously he was last night for the Reds.
I mean, obviously hat's off to him. He threw a great start yesterday. It was fantastic. But it's just their first win of the Division Series, as well. They know they have a long road ahead of them, as well. It will be -- we'll see what he does next start. You know, it'll be interesting to see.

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