Q. Anthony, did Siegrist work you the same as last night?
ANTHONY RIZZO: No, completely different. All three sliders. First night was all fastballs. There's no cat-and-mouse game with these teams. We know what everyone has. We know what their pitchers have. They know what we have. Luckily he's been tough on me my entire -- every time I've faced him. I don't know how I got him, but just unbelievable game overall.
Q. Anthony, last day of the season last year you said you were going to win the division. It didn't happen, but your team is still standing and the Cardinals and Pirates are going back. How are you feeling right now?
ANTHONY RIZZO: I mean, it's a shame that three of the best teams in baseball, one is only moving on to the Championship Series. I've said that all along, two unbelievable clubs we just beat, the Pirates, who have an unbelievable organization and the same with the Cardinals. We just beat a really good team. They know how to win. They've dealt with so many injuries and they still were the best team in baseball. How they did that, no one has any idea. I think some of their guys don't even know how they did it, but that's a credit to their organization and how good they are. But we're going to celebrate this. We deserve to celebrate this. It's been a long time coming for this city, and hopefully it's just a sign of things to come.
Q. Anthony, you're still young but you've been here a long time. How can you put into perspective what this means to the organization, where it was when you got here, and what it might mean to the city of Chicago?
ANTHONY RIZZO: I just remember getting here and some people telling me that this organization was maybe 30 or 40 years behind technology-wise, and the things that Theo and Jed did and Jason and all the guys that came in with them and Mr. Ricketts. It starts with Mr. Ricketts giving them the ability to do all that. The things they did to turn this organization around and stuck with what they believed is right, this is really nice and rewarding for them, for Mr. Ricketts, for Theo, and for this entire city, who's stuck behind us this entire time.
Obviously times weren't easy the last few years, but with all the talent we had and all the talent we were building, everyone knew that the Cubs were coming, and we're here, and hopefully we can keep this thing going.
Q. Do either one of you guys suspect the Cubs' bullpen might have been underrated on a the national scale before the series?
ANTHONY RIZZO: Yeah, we've had our times throughout the year, but everyone -- our bullpen is very good, and they've stepped up big time. They're going to take us as far as we need to go, and we're going to rely on them. Joe makes the right moves, but I mean, Justin Grimm coming in today, first and second, just lays it all on the line, and he's maybe struggled a little bit of late, but he comes in and just really lifts our dugout right now by getting those outs and just set the tone for the entire bullpen right there.
KYLE SCHWARBER: Yeah, you know, speaking from personal experience, these guys are good. They're here for a reason. They've done their parts this whole season. For us to get here, we wouldn't be here without them. So just unbelievable job by the whole bullpen throughout the Wild Card Game -- well, not really the Wild Card Game, but throughout this Division Series. Awesome.
Q. Kyle, I know we've asked you this a thousand times when you've hit a ball like that, but can you tell us what it feels like when you hit it and what was it like going around the bases and then hitting that dugout to the crowd cheers?
KYLE SCHWARBER: It doesn't really feel like anything. Just looking for a good pitch to hit, and I got it, and you hit it, and you run around the bases and the place is going nuts. That's when it hits you, that this is what it's all about. This is what you live to play baseball for is playing in front of your home crowd in the playoffs. Then coming into the dugout, you know, our team is awesome. I can say it over and over again, the personalities that we have in the clubhouse are unbelievable, and it makes it so much fun to come to the ballpark every day.
Q. Kyle, can you describe from one year ago to now what it's like to have been where you were a year ago and where you are now?
KYLE SCHWARBER: You know, it's been a crazy ride, and I'm blessed to be here. You know, it could have been a totally different story if I was on a different team. Coming into this organization and them believing in me all the way from our front office to our ownership to our coaches and then when I did come up with our players, they made it so easy on me to come up and just do my job, and that's play baseball. It could have been rookie this, rookie that, you do that. It wasn't any of that. It was, you're here to help us win, let's go.
Q. You guys still have games to play this year. It used to be that the Cardinals were always the team to go after. Can you envision next year that the Central Division games you guys are going to play are going to be that much more competitive and be amped up the way things turned out this year?
ANTHONY RIZZO: I mean, I think this year was unbelievable, and the Reds are going to reload, the Brewers are going to reload, and this division is just going to get better. The Pirates aren't going anywhere, the Cardinals aren't going anywhere, and we don't plan ongoing anywhere, either. It was a dogfight all year this year, and obviously the three best records in baseball coming out of this division says a lot, as much as we beat up on each other. But we've just got to enjoy this and really enjoy this moment like we've done all year, celebrate it, have a great time, and then get ready for whoever we have to play.
KYLE SCHWARBER: Just coming in late, whenever we did play those games against the Pirates and the Cardinals and our division opponents, they were all -- like I said throughout this whole year, I felt like since we came, it was a playoff game every day. We always wanted to bring our A stuff when we came to the field every day. There was no taking days off. There was no -- we were going to grind through stuff. Just overall throughout this whole division, it was great competition, and it's sad to see those two teams go, but like Rizz said, we're going to celebrate this, we're going to enjoy it and then we're going to put our heads forward going to the DS.
Q. What kind of tone did it set when you beat the Cardinals two series in September? Does that stuff carry over until now?
ANTHONY RIZZO: I mean, if anything, I think we woke up a sleeping giant with the altercation that we had. That's a great team. They know how to win. The best part about the season was going into their place and getting swept by them. The way we got swept, we had leads off them all year, and I think we really grew as a team. I know you never want to lose, but we really grew as a team after we got swept by them. It was definitely a low point in our season. We go to New York, Joe brings in a magician and stuff starts happening there.
Beating them late is just a whole process of the season and what we knew we had to do. It was one of those things where we're going to get better every month for the most part. We're going to have guys develop. We're going to have young guys come up, do well, struggle, do well again, first time in the Big Leagues, so it was just a whole-year process, and now it's all coming together, and it feels really nice.
Q. Anthony, this doesn't happen very often in professional sports where so many rookies have such a profound effect on a franchise. Can you describe that?
ANTHONY RIZZO: I think it starts with our player development, our scouting. I mentioned this before, but everyone from the Dominican Summer League to our Iowa Des Moines team, all the coaches in between there that have a daily effect on all the guys that are coming up, just like we mentioned, Kyle was in instructs last year this time. I remember him taking BP at Wrigley, like good luck. That's what this organization does. That's how it was when I was with the Red Sox, that it could be anyone at any time that makes an impact. Then it goes to our veteran group. David Ross, Lester, all the older guys, Miggy, guys come up and like Kyle said, they make them feel -- we make them feel like, let's go. You're here. You don't have to worry about doing something different, you just be yourself and go play baseball. That's the best part about it.
Q. Kyle, Dexter Fowler is telling people in the clubhouse that you called your home run. Is that true?
KYLE SCHWARBER: Yeah. We were out in center field, and Joe was making a pitching change, and I was just joking around. I said, I'm going to hit a home run off this guy, and he's like, well, do it. There you go.