Q. When they loaded the bases during the sixth inning, when it was still real close, how concerned were you that Terry was going to take you out? And how happy that he let you face that last hitter?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: It brings me joy that he decided to leave me in there, and has that much confidence in me to get that final out. And it was a huge situation and Travis kept me locked in and focused the entire game. And I trusted his pitch selection, and we went back-to-back sliders, made two quality pitches and was able to get out of the inning.
Q. How much were you battling early, six hits in the first two innings, and what flipped?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: The hits I gave up, they were just up in the zone. They were able to put a good piece of wood on it. And after that second inning I was able to go inside the clubhouse and talk with Dan for a little bit, and make some mechanical issues to work down in the zone.
Q. Yesterday I asked you in preparation for tonight's game if you would think of as a regular season game, not get caught in the World Series hoopla. And you said you would try to do it. Now that it's over and you were out there, were you able to keep that?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: I was able to stay locked in for the entire game, just tried to keep it simple. Me and Travis out there, and trying to take it one pitch at a time.
Q. Just a few things on the first two innings: It looked like you had a little trouble getting off the mound on that first infield single. What happened there? And then you had the replay, which really turned that other inning around because it could have been much worse. And then Curtis' catch. And once you went through that, you retired 12 guys in a row and struck out four in a row, which you haven't been able to do this week.
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: I think one thing I learned throughout this entire season was to try not to let the game speed up on you. I feel like a little bit in the first and a little bit in the second I started to feel that, so I stepped off the mound, took a deep breath and continued to make quality pitches and get out of that inning. As far as -- are you talking about the hit to Cain? That was just a misplay on my part. I judged it to hop a little bit higher, tried to barehand it. Cain has tremendous speed, but I've got to be able to make that play. Granderson with the huge catch in right field, that was very clutch. And great heads-up play by Conforto to get the runner out at third. That was a pivotal moment in that inning.
Q. Just to follow up on that first pitch, the Royals had some concerns about that in their clubhouse. Escobar thought he said it was, quote, stupid, not that it was tight but that it was close to his head. What would your response be to that?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: I mean, I certainly wasn't trying to hit the guy, that's for sure. I just didn't want him getting too comfortable. If they have a problem with me throwing inside, then they can meet me 60 feet, six inches away. I've got no problem with that.
Q. Were you able in the moment to kind of do the math in the sixth inning when it's bases loaded? Are you saying, I'm wondering if I'm staying in the game? And once you know you are staying in the game, do you feel the game is on the line at that moment and you must execute those pitches against Rios?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: I wasn't thinking about the whole game being on the line when I was out there in that sixth inning. I knew it was a key moment in the game. But I was able to just locate two good sliders on the outside corner and induce a ground ball and get out of that inning.
Q. Travis was talking about how much your slider improved as the game went on. Was that a mechanical adjustment you made? And how important was that pitch?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: It was just throughout the game I was able to trust it that much more. Sometimes I tried to manipulate it with my arm as opposed to just letting the grip do the work.
Q. Has there ever been a point this season where you've felt tired at all? Can you just explain how good you're feeling this October?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: I really wish there was a secret formula as to why I'm doing so good right now, and my arm feels good every time I go out there. But I've just got to give all thanks to the strength and conditioning staff. They're always keeping me healthy and making my arm feel good to make me perform at the highest ability that I can. And being able to work with Dan has been a true pleasure because I feel like my mechanics are so clean right now. I'm not fighting against my body, and that's taking a lot of pressure off my arm.
Q. Just wanted to clear up, Mike Moustakas said there's 25 guys in there who think that your pitch was absolutely an intent pitch. And you just said you wanted to go high and tight on the first pitch. What was your exact intent on that pitch?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: My intents on that pitch was to make them uncomfortable, and I feel like I did just that. I know that for the past I think every postseason game that Escobar has played in he's swung at the first-pitch fastball, and I didn't think he would want to swing at that one (laughter).
Q. Your methods tonight seemed to work: High and tight, backing them off the plate. What do you think Steven Matz is going to take from your performance tonight with him tomorrow? With the news that Jacob deGrom may cut his hair after the season, is that an option for you or is that off the table?
NOAH SYNDERGAARD: I'm going to answer that one first: No (laughter). Steven is just an unbelievable competitor, it's going to be a lot of fun to go out there and watch him compete. He's got electric stuff and he's going to go out there and just absolutely dominate.