KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, him along with the other veteran guys on our staff, really, just how they go about their routines, not necessarily anything in particular pitching-wise, but I would say the dedication they put in, in between their starts. Watching the work they do and how they manage a full season start to finish in the big leagues. How to get your body ready when it comes to the end of the year for playoffs. When to push it, when to kind of lay off. Just watching them, really, how they go about their business each and every day and even here in the playoffs is really what I learned from them.
Q. Last year in the Postseason you got some experience but it seemed like you were on a short leash all the time. Did you feel like that and was that you think being the new kid or just because your stuff and repeating the delivery and all the pitching side of it wasn't as good as it is now?
KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, I think both. It was my first experience in the playoffs and also I wasn't making great pitches. I definitely don't feel like I am right now. I got out of my mechanics a little bit in the middle of the year last year and I got a little better towards the end of the year but I wasn't getting deep into a game. I didn't have as much strength as I feel like I have this year. My body feels really good where I'm at, the confidence level, just the pitches I'm making overall. My whole game is a lot better this year. So I'm just trying to simplify as much as I can, take the same approach as I have into any other game, just going out there and trying to make good pitches.
Q. I know you're not a guy who tends to get too high or too low, but what did you learn from having the experience of going through the Postseason last year and kind of managing the adrenaline that comes with the big appearance?
KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, just learning all the outside forces and how they're going to affect you. It really was settling to me to find out that once you get to the field on your game day it's really the same routine and it feels the same once you get out to the field. It's the same game, there's just more going on on the outside. So, going through all that, learning kind of how to deal with those outside forces, quiet it down, make sure you're still going about your routine because that's what you're going to fall back on at the end of the day. So it's just the same old deal with me for that.
Q. With throwing to Willson Contreras, is there anything
that -- you're both kind of young guys, is there anything that's comfortable to you about that dynamic?
KYLE HENDRICKS: The first time he caught me was in Miami, and the first couple starts those were the first times he had ever caught me, so it took a little bit to get the rapport and it takes a lot to find out what a guy wants to throw when. It's not going to take one or two games. But it was amazing with Wilson really by my third or fourth start even we were really clicking on the same page and had the same game plan going in. He knew what I wanted to throw when. I feel like we have a really good rapport body-language wise, kind of knowing what to feel from each other and when. Based on what the hitters are trying to do. He's very in tune with the game and he learns from Miggy I think a lot as far as making in-game adjustments, so he's a really good baseball mind, he really keeps me focused out there and it helps me a lot getting through the game plan in the game.
Q. What's been the key to your success here at Wrigley Field, is it really just a comfort level pitching at home?
KYLE HENDRICKS: I think. So it's probably a couple different factors, the new clubhouse, it's just, I think it adds something to it. We have a lot more space just to do our routine. We know the timing of everything when we're at home, what we got to do. Then also going out and warming up on the same bullpen, having the same view, once you get on the game mound, I think just having that same consistency, me being such a routine-oriented guy, I'm sure that all those factors kind of play into that somewhat.
Q. You talked about how much routine means to you, have you been able to keep up a routine these last couple weeks going into tomorrow?
KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, before the Pittsburgh game two starts ago I had a little bit of a layoff, maybe eight days for that. But since then being back on my five- or six-day routine has been nice. So coming in this start I'm in my sixth day, so I had my same routine, been able to get my same bullpens in, same work. So I think that's why my body is feeling good, feeling where it's at and feel like I'm still making good pitches.
Q. For those of us who don't get the chance to watch you every day, could you sort of maybe explain or what are some of the reasons behind why you just have been so very successful at home this year?
KYLE HENDRICKS: Yeah, I think that just overall at home, at home and on the road, just been pitching a little different than I was last year. Last year I got out of my mechanics a little bit. I had to rely on two pitches kind of my two-seam and my change-up. This year my mechanics feel solid, so I'm able to do more kind of with my game plan. I'm throwing my curveball more, I'm throwing my four-seam fastball more, just mixing all these other pitches in is keeping hitters off balance a little bit more. I'm doing a good job of that at home, I think.
Q. Given the caliber of the staff that you're a part of, what does it mean to you to get the call in this second game of this series?
KYLE HENDRICKS: It's incredible. To be able to pitch here in front of these fans, Game 2, it's a dream come true. Really it was a dream come true last year just to be pitching in a playoff game. But for the team, for Joe to have confidence in me to hand me the ball for this game is big. That being said, you don't make that big of a deal out of it. On the other hand, you got to know you got to go out there keep your simple thoughts and just pitch the same game at the end of the day.