Q. Archie, what is the mood and the atmosphere right now in this clubhouse?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: It's the same it's been the whole year, which has been kind of loud, goofy, guys are shooting hoops, playing games in their locker room, video games and stuff. So, I think the biggest thing we all tried to, you know, stress and relay to each other is treat it like a normal day. Actually, I said it yesterday, we know today is not a normal day, but we try to do everything in our power to approach it and prepare as if it's a regular season game.
Q. What were you thinking as a reliever last night watching that game and thinking about it, I'm sure, from the type of impact you guys could have?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: I hope Zack goes longer than what Al does (laughing). The game was exciting. As far as the name goes, the Wild Card game, that's pretty wild. Obviously I hope Zack goes a little deeper for everyone's sake. But I think last night was an awesome example for us to kind of watch and kind of get a feel for how this could possibly go. You never know what's going to happen. Doesn't matter the league, doesn't matter the situation, some of those guys, I mean, we're in there in the first inning.
So you have to be ready for that. You have to know that that scenario could possibly happen. Just mentally you've kind of already run through these scenarios of if I could possibly go in or if anyone could go in.
Q. Archie, did Torey already address you guys as a team or is that still to come? Is it just going to be like another day?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: Yeah, yesterday he addressed us. He had just a small little message for us. More so just an understanding of we don't need to do anything extra today. There is a reason we're in this spot. There is a reason we had this game clinched for the week left in the season or whatever it is. And to understand that everything we've done in the past week and the last two days getting ready for this game is exactly what we've done the whole year. It's going to be our big-time players to our low players, to an at-bat or stolen base off the bench, that could be the difference in this game. It's everyone being ready, everyone understanding their role, and understanding it's win or go home.
You can't hold anything back. You can't leave anything on the table. So regardless, when we walk off the field today, he just wanted us to know that we left everything we possibly had out there on the field.
Q. What have you learned this year from Fernando Rodney, the first time throwing out of the bullpen like that, what did you get from being around him?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: He has taught me more than I think anyone in the big leagues has as far as just understanding that you have to be the same guy every single day. It doesn't matter if you go back-to-back saves or blow a huge save in one of the biggest games of the year or give up a walk off homer to lose the game. Especially as a bullpen outing, some of your mistakes are magnified with how you give it up. You have to come back the next day, for me, I'm loud and goofing around, and I have to do the next thing. I can't pout because more times than not I have to come into the game, and have a chance to win. The ups and downs of the game, he taught me, you have to be consistent. Who you are is who you are regardless of your performance.
Q. I assume you made it to the end of the game last night?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: Yes.
Q. So given the format, what was your stronger emotion as that game was winding down? Wow, how great for the Yankees to have come up big in that game, or how lousy it was for the Twins to go six months and make the playoffs and after nine innings walk it home?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: You're watching the game and you're putting yourself on both sides of it. How it feels to take an early lead and you imagine us being down today three runs, and then Didi hits a three-run homer. You're like, oh, my gosh. You kind of see both sides. You understand that today is exactly what we saw last night. It's going to be crazy. It's going to be wild, whether it's a one-run lead or three-run lead, anything can happen. One swing of the bat or pitch can change everything.
It's about trying to keep the tunnel vision and what's going on and how you want to go about it.
Q. With the struggles that Goldie had down the stretch, what have you noticed about his preparation over these last few days leading up to this game tonight?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: That is the most beautiful thing about this. I don't care what Goldie's average was in September. I don't care what it was the whole year. I don't care what I did in September. No one cares. Everything starts over today. Today is a one-game season, and really the only thing for me right now, writing about today, is if we win or not. Goldie has been Goldie. He's an MVP candidate for a reason. And come 5:08, he'll be ready to go.
Q. Because you came up with Didi, and you played together in the Minor Leagues, Major Leagues. Is there a proclivity there to watch him do what he's doing with the Yankees and secretly root for the Yankees just because of Didi?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: A little bit. I was honestly more in favor of the Twins. That whole outfield was on my fall league team, Buster, Rosario, and Kepler. So I have a soft spot for the Twins. But playing with Didi, going to Australia with him, it's really cool to watch guys you've become friends with in the league have big moments like that. Hit a homer in the postseason, hit a homer to tie the game after being down 3-0.
You live for those moments. That's what this game is all about. You enjoy seeing other players step up and perform and give a big-time at-bat, and big performance in a game like that. You're hoping you get to do something similar.
Q. Archie, what would you say would be the most important game of your career before today, the most meaningful one?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: Professionally I would say my big league debut. Outside that, I would say my high school state championship. These are the kind of butterflies, excitement, anxious, nervousness, everything I have going on right now. Those are the two games I think about are my big league debut and then my high school state championship.
Q. You won that?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: Yeah, won both of them. So hopefully that streak can continue.
Q. Was that baseball?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: Yeah, baseball. We lost in the semis. I threw two picks, whatever. It's okay. I'm over it though.
Q. Just this season overall, have you ever had more fun during a baseball season with a group of guys? It seemed like you guys were very close knit all year long?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: Yeah, it's what good teams do. But specifically for myself and our team, what we went through last year, not that we didn't get along last year, it's just I can't explain from. I'm not kidding, the first day of spring training to our first walk-off win with the Giants to start the seep, it's just been a different feel. I've gotten to the field earlier almost every day. It's like I want to be at the field. I want to be around these guys. This is where I find my comfort zone.
Zack Greinke is making millions, Goldie, MVP, Cy Young winners, silver sluggers, we have a mix of the top superstars to guys who are only getting a few at-bats, and everyone's treated the same. We've had numerous team dinners, numerous team functions. It's just really rare where you get a big league clubhouse of grown men to really come together and actually enjoy being around each other outside of what we do on the field.
Off the field, we truly get along, and that's been one of the greatest things I've ever been a part of.
Q. What's it like seeing the city and the state come together and support you guys?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: I think it's fantastic. Obviously I've been very loud in that aspect because as I stated numerous times, you don't get to pick where you're drafted. You don't get to pick where you go until you're a free agent. So I was drafted here. I've come up through the system, I've had some really bad times, some really good times and now we're all having a good time. I've been to a playoff game in 2011 when the Brewers were in town, and I've seen what this stadium, and city and atmosphere can be created through sports. Whether it's basketball, football or whatever, I just want people to understand that we want to make baseball good here again, consistently, day-in and day-out. And this year we flipped the script and started to climb and get where we want to go.
But this is the first step of it. I want people to get excited about the vibe we have going here. It's a winning vibe, and I hope it's something we can continue for years to come.
Q. Lovullo usually describes your team as different. How would you describe this team if you had one word to describe it?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: Oh, one word, that's a tough one. If I had to go one word, I would just say consistent. Yeah. Through the really good first half we had to not really playing the All-Star break until we wanted to, but even those wins and losses, and having a bad record after the All-Star break to start out, we were consistent. We were the same guys day-in and day-out, the same preparations and same level of commitment and same level and just goofing around. We were able to right the ship, get hot where we needed to and put ourselves where we are today.
Q. When you brought up the esprit de corp earlier with this group, your sense of it? Is it just 25, 35 guys, the fluke of them coming together and getting along or was it winning or an addition of one guy? Was it Torey? What happened?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: I think it starts at the top, in the front office. Torey coming in, and a lot of us, no offense to Torey, put a lot of pressure on him the first time he addressed us. What was going to be his message? What was his tone going to be, his demeanor, how he went about talking to us? And I felt from the first meeting he had, the words he spoke, they kind of hit me. And it was the first time in a while when your quote, leader or coach, the guy you're going to follow for the season says something and you stood up a little straighter. The hair on my neck stood up a little bit, and it's from that moment forward.
It's the best group I've been around where, you know, guys just understood their role. They understood what their job was to do on this team. Whether, like I said, it was a bat coming off the bench or a guy going in the seventh inning to play defense. No one complained. Everyone understood.
Yeah, I think winning, from the core of us that have been here, we never won at the big league level, so I think a lot of us, especially after that first month, we were like, man, let's take this and run with it.
We realize we had gotten off to a good start and done some things to win. We realized let's run with it.
Q. Anything specific you could share from the message of Lovullo?
ARCHIE BRADLEY: Just his overall message of how we're going to do this together. Some words and emotions that you don't necessarily hear thrown around a big league clubhouse sometimes about love, caring, compassion and being there for each other on and off the field, and that's really what guys bought into.
I mean, I could go over numerous things. People's family passing away, people having trouble with their pregnancies, Roger's mom passing away right before the season. It was a constant throughout the year. We were there for each other. We went to her funeral. We prayed over guys. We prayed for people. We've just done everything together. The focus has always been about having each other's back. That's been the biggest thing. We've had each other's back from day one.