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October 2, 2011

Ryan Roberts


Q. What's the mood in there, in the clubhouse today after yesterday?
RYAN ROBERTS: Yeah, I think a little better. I think everybody is a little looser. After the first game there's a lot of guys not knowing what to expect, being the first game in the playoffs, me included. So I think it's a little looser and a little more focused. Everybody understands kind of what to expect now.

Q. This club sort of specialized in coming from behind. What were the qualities that made that possible?
RYAN ROBERTS: You know, just to play all nine innings, never giving up. Sometimes you get in a baseball game and it's easy to kind of turn it in sometimes just because you're down by five runs and it doesn't seem like there's anything getting going by the offense or whatever the situation may be.
With this team early on we kind of broke out with coming back and winning a few ballgames and that kind of snowballed into being able to have that confidence all year long that we can come back at anytime.

Q. What are the biggest challenges in facing Zack Greinke today?
RYAN ROBERTS: You know, I have no idea, to be honest with you, I've never faced him. I'm assuming it's just the challenges that you face with any pitcher. Anybody that's in the big leagues is here for a reason. The main thing for us is not to try to do too much, see strikes, and swing at good pitches.

Q. There's been a lot of talk about how Kirk Gibson came in and changed the culture and the team needs to be scrappy and things like that. Do you feel like you're kind of the personification of that, and that fits in well with you?
RYAN ROBERTS: Well, yeah, absolutely. I took to that very well, just because that's the type of players I grew up watching, I think back in the day that's how everybody played the game. I've always admired that. And I always told myself if I ever made it that that's the type of player I wanted to be. I never wanted the game to get -- me to think the game was bigger. I was bigger than the game.
Yeah, that mentality was embraced by everybody in the clubhouse. It was set from day 1 that that's what we were going to do and that's how we were going to approach the season. And they said numerous times if you don't want to be a part of it, then you're not going to be a part of the team. It definitely was set early and it was embraced by everybody.
It was easy to embrace that once we started winning and once the season started going. And we got, I'm going to say two months into the season, whenever we started winning, and everything started going our way, I think it was a little easier to get that mentality.

Q. You mentioned not trying to do too much against Greinke and Gallardo had a low pitch count yesterday. Did you contribute some of those early outs to maybe the first time in the playoffs, maybe trying to do too much?
RYAN ROBERTS: Yeah, maybe. There's certain times that whenever you go through the course of a game that obviously you think you can hit a pitch that's thrown to you and it might break a little too much or you might not pick it up and you might be a little bit too late or a little bit too early.
For me personally I've only faced him one time, I had three at-bats off of him. And I watched video, obviously. Nothing stuck with me. So I just try to go in with seeing something I can drive.
I think in this game you hit so many pitches and you have confidence in your ability at the plate that sometimes it's a little too much and you swing at it a little too much.
Obviously the postseason every pitch matters, so that's definitely highlighted more so than in a regular season, just trying to stay relaxed and let the game unfold.

Q. Can you take yourself back a year and just kind of think about where you were a year ago and where you are now.
RYAN ROBERTS: I don't like to do that, but, yeah, you know, I've definitely thought about it. A year from now -- I can remember on my birthday, my birthday is September 19th. I can remember being at home a lot on by birthday, even when I was back with the Blue Jays, being up in September. To be here, to be in the postseason, and be blessed with the year that I had, it's pretty amazing. I definitely am humbled by it and I definitely need to work to stay here.

Q. Kind of a follow-up to that, can you talk about your mindset what was going into last year, and going into this year, you kind of talked about that this spring?
RYAN ROBERTS: It was a make or break year for me. There was no more wanting to be the bubble guy. There was no more wanting to play in the minor leagues. I think everybody that gets called up, when they get set down, after they get the cup of coffee and realize how great it is, they never want to play in the minor leagues again. For me it was a few years of being the up-and-down guy or being the 25th man. I figured this off-season is going to have to be the make or break year for me.
So I just tried to change everything that I possibly could to get on the right track. And I remember my agent telling me that Towers told him that my swing was a little long. And I really focused on just trying to be short. At first I had no idea what that meant. And then I just tried -- all right, I'm just going to try to swing and keep both hands on the bat and try to have a 70 percent swing instead of 100.
I just honed in on that, focused in on that. Tried to get in the best shape I could, so that when I went into Spring Training that I knew there was nothing else I could possibly do to be prepared for Spring Training. If it failed at that point, we had to look at something else, maybe it wasn't meant to be.
I didn't want to go into Spring Training with any other mindset than that I had done everything I could to make this team.

Q. What's your take on "Tat Man," bobble head, and Phoenix just kind of taking you in?
RYAN ROBERTS: The first time I saw it I can remember -- and I'm still -- I'm actually friends with a guy now that made up the "Tat Man." I remember the first time I saw that, they were going back and forth on the radio of different nicknames. And I remember seeing that at a game and figured, you know, okay, that's one of the better nicknames that I've been given over the years. So I was like, I'll contact him and ask him if we can try to run with it.
When we first tried to do the "Tat Man" stuff and get it going, I never realized that it would catch on like it did. Being where I've been in the past, I had no idea that anybody would want to buy a shirt that said "Tat Man" on it, to be honest with you. It was surprising for me, just like it was for everybody else.
I took it one day at a time, just like everybody else. And to be here now, you know, I just -- I look back sometimes on it and just think to myself, like how did all of that happen so fast? It was pretty cool.
And the whole year has been unbelievable for me. That just being another part, I would say.

Q. How many tattoos do you have or do you keep count?
RYAN ROBERTS: Oh, man, I can't even keep count. You know, I don't even know how to count anymore. It just kind of went. After about five or six, I would say the fill-in and different ones at different times and how do you put one, do another one. I have no idea. I just know years. And it's been, you know, since '99 now. I got my first tattoo in '99 when I was 18 in high school.
And I never thought that I'd be where I was with tattoos, to be honest with you. I got one and I told my parents, that's it, you know, no more. And I didn't get another tattoo for a year later and I got two of them. And then a year later from that I got two more. And then after that it's a blur. Now we're here (laughter).

Q. So yesterday when skipper talks to Ian and decides to go pitch against Prince and that was the outcome, some in the media might wonder -- some in the media might like to say, well, in a short series you have decisive moments, that already came yesterday. Okay, it's tough for the Diamondbacks. But you guys specializing in comebacks, why is it no one in the clubhouse would get into that negative thinking at all?
RYAN ROBERTS: I think we just have confidence in everybody. When I was on the mound yesterday and we were all having the talk or Gibby and Ian were having the talk about pitching to him, he ends up telling him, you know, I'm just going to leave it up to you. Why not? The guy has 21 wins. He's an ace. Why wouldn't you?
Just as anybody else was, nobody was thinking that that was going to happen like that. We have full confidence in what he wanted to do. Sometimes it works out. And sometimes it doesn't. I would say for him it's worked out a lot more than it hasn't. So that point in time didn't. So you move forward and we move on.
We never expected to come in here and win both of them and go home and win one and that would be it. Everybody in the playoffs is here for a reason.
I've heard that the playoffs, it's a different type of baseball, different mentality, everybody is going to be coming ready to play. It doesn't matter, you're playing the Yankees, you're playing the Phillies, you're playing the Brewers, whoever, the Cardinals, everybody is going to be ready to play. I think everybody has confidence, just like we do.
And the coming from behind, it's been a part of our thing all year long. And I think that not only did we want to win Game 1, but if we fell from behind like we have and we're down nothing, it's just more drive, more ambition to come out and even the series at 1-1 today.

Q. Can you talk about towards the late innings yesterday, with the sun coming through the windows, it coming between the mound and the plate, is that tough to pick up the ball coming out of the pitcher's hands? You didn't have much trouble with it with the home run later.
RYAN ROBERTS: Different times at this park, when we play here, it's a lot worse. I would say no, yesterday it wasn't that bad hitting. I would say it was worse being in the field; you know, playing where you're in the shade and the backdrop is in the light, which the fans being that way, it was tougher to see. You couldn't see anything coming off the bat.
But hitting-wise, I would say it's been hard here whenever the backdrop is in the sun and everybody else is in the shade. Unless you're all in the sun, I think that's the only time it's tough to see.
But yesterday it wasn't tough to see hitting-wise, it was more tough on defense for, I would say, maybe like the 5th inning on. It was pretty tough to see balls coming off the bat.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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