Oct. 17 Mike Napoli, Jason Kipnis postgame interview

Oct. 17 Mike Napoli, Jason Kipnis postgame interview

Q. There's been so much talk about your bullpen this entire postseason run. Did that group even top itself, what it did tonight?

MIKE NAPOLI: I mean, for them to come out, Bauer goes out, one or two outs, for them to come in and pitch the way they did, our game, it's pretty unbelievable. It's the reason why we were able to win that game, especially a lot of those guys, they weren't -- they haven't pitched in a long time. We had a simulated game before we left to come over here. For them to step in, I think you've got to give a lot of credit to Roberto Perez behind the plate being able to get those guys to execute pitches. And just seemed like Tito had the right matchups for the right part of the lineup.

Q. When we talked yesterday you said you were just one swing away, obviously you were. Can you explain why you got so good at-bat?

MIKE NAPOLI: It's how I've been my whole career. I've gone through some pretty long slumps. I've gone through some long hot streaks. And it's just who I am. I'm a grinder. It doesn't matter if I do good or bad, the next day I come here to work. We're up 2-0, so I wasn't feeling so bad. But to be able to contribute and help us win tonight, it feels good.

Q. It seems nothing has rattled you guys in the postseason. This is a pretty big blow to lose your starter four batters in. What's the mindset that this keeps you guys rolling along?

MIKE NAPOLI: I mean, we believe in everybody here. All year we had guys stepping in, filling in spots that were tough spots to come in and try to fill big shoes, and they did that all year. And we've come together as a group, as one, starting from Spring Training. It didn't happen overnight but going through the year we found our identity, how we play with each other and I think as a lineup we complement each other very well to win ballgames. It's the little things. We know that we're not always going to be able to bat the ball all over the park. We do the little things to help us win.

Q. Jason, we just asked Mike this, but what the bullpen did and what it speaks for your team. You said yesterday you were getting pretty close. What does it mean when you two guys are contributing?

JASON KIPNIS: First with the bullpen, it's not the first time we've seen this. They've done this before. I think we had a game versus Verlander at home, when Detroit was still close to us, we had a bullpen day, and we still beat them. We knew it was possible. We knew they were up to the challenge that they could make it happen. Just like our order, just get to the next guy. Just go inning by inning and go to the next day.

You can't say enough about how well they stepped up. They knew they were on short notice, with the possibility of Trevor doing that could happen.

With me and him, we're working every day. This isn't the regular season. We don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves or kind of figure things out. We have to basically come every day with the attitude that this is going to be the day that things turn around. And we thought when we got here that Frankie and Lonnie and Santana got us through Games 1 and 2, and it was time for us to kick it into gear and step up and take these guys hopefully. Good first day.

Q. When you hit the home run like that, what's the feeling of silencing a crowd, that so much earlier it was --

JASON KIPNIS: That's one of the best feelings. That's awesome with how loud and great a crowd it is here. But not even that much, to answer when they just tied it up again. We know what it feels like. It can be deflating for a team, when you try to scrape back into it, and the other team always responds. It's tough. So that was big for us. And to be able to tack on with how important base running led to another run from him was unbelievable.

But that's what we've done all year. That's what we've preached all year and that's how we've managed runs and create opportunities and you're seeing us reap the benefits of it.

Q. When did you guys first notice there was a problem with Trevor's finger, and what did you see from your vantage point?

JASON KIPNIS: There was kind of a puddle forming below him on the mound. We thought that there's something going on there. The pants started getting little spots. He was still throwing the ball well, too, and pretty effective. But I think we knew the pain wasn't going to be the problem. There's stuff to numb it to manage to deal with the pain, but closing a wound like that in such a short time is pretty hard to do.

And you know what, it's an unfortunate event for him. I know he wants to be out there. He honestly wishes in a million years it never happened and would take it back if he could. But it's something we keep going through and keep pushing through. And it gives other guys an opportunity to play in the series and a chance to step up.

Q. What's it feel like to be one win away from the World Series?

JASON KIPNIS: We're honestly not even thinking about it too much. And that's the best part about this. Even with the young guys on this team with not much postseason experience, after the first win versus Boston, everything slowed down for everyone, and always feels like the next games are on the schedule, like we've been playing like we have the whole time. We know we're not ever out of it. And guys have a lot of confidence and have a lot of fun right now, and it's a good recipe to win games.