Q. You've been in the playoffs four times and you've been with a core group of guys. Can you tell us what differentiates this time going, and was it a little more hard-fought to get there?
MADISON BUMGARNER: It's a little different, that's for sure. For the first half that we had and then most of the second half and then things didn't look too good for us at all. Then we came back the last week and started playing the way that we know that we can. And it was certainly a lot of fun. With us finishing up the way we did, I feel really, really good about our chances. It's just a fun team to be a part of.
Q. With the one-and-done scenario, do you have to control the adrenaline a little bit, the emotions, get a little ramped up in this scenario?
MADISON BUMGARNER: Oh, yeah. Yeah, that's with any game, any playoff game. Doesn't matter when it is. But, yeah, you've got to make sure that you do that and you don't let that get kind of carried away with that, because it's easy to do in a game like this for sure.
Q. You and Buster came up around the same time in 2010; you've been pretty much throwing to him since then. How much is he a key to your success and the club's overall success? And throw Pence in there too.
MADISON BUMGARNER: Yeah, well, I mean, you've seen what happened to us when Buster went down in 2011. You know, he's the rock of this team, if you will. Just that comfort level, getting to throw to him, we work together all the time. He's always behind the plate. And that's the biggest deal to me. Not just how much he means to us on the field, but just how well we know each other and he can read me, I can read him. It works out good together.
Hunter. Yeah, Hunter. We all know about Hunter and what he does for this ballclub.
Q. People talk about the "even year" saying with your team. After you threw all those innings in October, is there any hangover effect the following season? Do you have any explanation for that?
MADISON BUMGARNER: I wish I did. It's funny how it's worked out that way. But we certainly are happy with it, but we'd like to break that trend. Also, there is no sense in having to take a year off after you've had that long first season.
Q. Obviously the stakes of this game are what they are. But you've faced Kershaw a bunch of times and other great pitchers a bunch of times too. Do you get extra pumped up when you're facing a guy like Syndergaard or somebody else? Does that push you even more?
MADISON BUMGARNER: Oh, you know what, it may be a little tougher to fight that off, but you've got to find a way. I'm not pitching against Syndergaard. I'm pitching against the Mets lineup. You've got to find a way to get those guys out regardless of who's on the mound for the other team.
Q. What are your impressions of this ballpark? You've probably pitched as well here as anybody has. How would you describe what your thoughts are in this ballpark and why do you pitch so well here?
MADISON BUMGARNER: I don't know. Maybe it's just worked out that way for whatever reason. Certainly glad it has, but I don't think there's any good reason for it.
Q. Madison, for playoff games, particularly elimination games, is there pregame prep, particularly that we don't see behind closed doors, different than a regular-season game?
MADISON BUMGARNER: No, it's the same. I've tried to keep everything the same every time. I don't want that to come off like I've got a specific routine and if I can't follow it then I can't go pitch. But mentally it's the same. I feel like every time I go out there, it doesn't matter if it's a Spring Training game, if it's regular season, postseason, whatever, I'm giving it everything I've got mentally, physically, everything.
So, there's no need to try to change any of that and be something that you're not.
Q. I wanted to ask about your hitting. How much pride do you take in that? And a pitcher's real fantasy is winning a game with a home run as opposed to a shutout?
MADISON BUMGARNER: Well, I do take a lot of pride in it because I've seen the difference it can make in a ballgame throughout the year. You get certain opportunities that if you don't put the work in, you're not going to be able to come through and help the team. And sometimes that spot works out to where you're the guy with a good chance to drive in a run to put the team ahead, tie the game, whatever it may be. So you've got to put the work in to be able to help them out like that.
Q. Madison, 1 of 62 games to get here. If the commissioner sat you down and said, hey, Madison, should this be a best of three or best of five or something like that, how would you feel about that? What would your preference be?
MADISON BUMGARNER: I'm going to need more than five seconds to think that one over.
Q. How can you say what is the most important thing for you and your teammates to try to win this important game?
MADISON BUMGARNER: We have to find a way to score more runs than they do tomorrow. And we'll be all right if we do that.
Q. You touched on your hitting at the plate. Obviously Syndergaard is a good hitting pitcher, too, and has some home runs. How does that affect your approach to the lineup? Is it something you take note of?
MADISON BUMGARNER: Yeah, for sure. You just got to know you've got to pitch a guy a little differently. You're not going to sit there and throw fastballs by the guy every time. You've got to make sure you don't hang a breaking ball. You've got to make pitches to him and just treat him like a hitter. Doesn't matter who it is. In a game like tomorrow's game, you better treat all of them that way.