Oct. 7 Bryce Harper pregame interview

Oct. 7 Bryce Harper pregame interview

Q. We've probably talked to you before about this at various times during the season but for you what changes in the second spot particularly with Rendon behind you, Trea in front of you, if anything?

BRYCE HARPER: Not really thinking much where I'm hitting. I'm just trying to have good at-bats and do the things I can do to get on base. There's guys behind me that have done a great job all year long, and you know, if me and Trea can table-set a little bit and get on base, you know, have the faith in the guys behind us, I think we'll score a lot of runs and get ahead real quick.

Q. After a night when the lineup as a whole gets only two hits, how do you convince yourselves individually to stick to the plan and take the same approach?

BRYCE HARPER: Yeah, Hendricks, he's tough. He goes out there and pitches to his strengths and his abilities. He throws that two-seamer and that changeup, it was really good last night. They played great defense, as well.

That's a team over there that's not going to make mistakes, so, you know, you've got to hit the balls through the hole and you've got to hit the ball in the gap and run the bases well and do the things that you can get runs on the board.

I think coming into today, just got to have some fun and enjoy the game. You know, that's my biggest thing. You want to go out there and have fun. I've played in a lot of, you know, bigger games, I feel like than this. You know, Game 2 of the Postseason, it's not got to win, but it's not -- I don't know, I don't want that to come off bad, but growing up, playing in front of 15,000 people at ten years old, it's kind of the same thing to me.

Q. You guys got the weird news that Jacque Jones wouldn't be around indefinitely, I guess. What was your reaction?

BRYCE HARPER: It's definitely a bummer. He's been with us all year long. You know, I mean, he's part of the family. He's part of the clubhouse.

It was definitely a bummer to hear, you know, what happened and things like that, but you know, can't really worry about that. Got to play our game, and a coach isn't going to make us win, lose, or draw.

Q. You said a moment ago that you played in bigger games than that, what's the biggest game you've ever played in? Was it that 15,000 crowd at age ten, or something else and why?

BRYCE HARPER: Of course, every single game you play; Game 5 in the Postseason is pretty big. Playing Team USA against Cuba down in Venezuela for a gold medal is a pretty big game, too. Ten years old playing in the World Series tournament pitching against Alex Fernandez's team is pretty big, too.

I think the biggest thing is trying to not make it such a big game. You're playing against one of the best teams in all of baseball, but you have to understand that we are one of the best teams in all of baseball, as well. Just got to go out there and play the game the right way, play hard, and try to do the things that we can to, you know, win games.

Q. You're someone who draws energy from the crowd. As games wear on like that and you guys haven't gotten a lot of hits, can you sense the tenseness, them getting quiet a little bit?

BRYCE HARPER: I mean, the way that Strasburg was throwing, I don't think they were quiet or anything like that. I thought our fans showed up pretty well last night. I thought they did a great job being louder in the right spots and the right situations and doing the things that they need to do as fans to get us pumped up and things like that.

But you know, I think when you're not hitting or anything like that, it's pretty tough. So like I said, we've just got to go out there and do the things we can to have some fun and enjoy the game, and you know, try to get a W tonight.

Q. Do you feel like you are who you were before the injury after five games and a game last night?

BRYCE HARPER: I think it could get better; it always can. But I think it can definitely get better the farther we go.

You know, the more at-bats I get, the more comfortable I get. Those four games, it's kind of like playing four games in spring training. You know, taking six weeks off, seven weeks off, not seeing live pitching is tough. You know, just got to go out there, see the ball, and try to hit it the best I can.

Q. The baseball fan in you, are you watching other playoff games, the other Postseason games?

BRYCE HARPER: Not really. I watched -- shoot, watched one of them. Watched the first one, Yankees and who is the other team, Twins? Thank you.

Q. Watched it closely.

BRYCE HARPER: My family is here, we didn't really talk much about baseball. Watched Louisville and North Carolina State play the other night. Looking forward to seeing Ohio State beat Maryland today.

Q. When you're involved in a game like that, Rizzo and Bryant talked about Strasburg made them look as bad as anybody has. And on your side, it wasn't just that he was setting down one guy and not another guy. Do you guys talk during the game about what he's trying to do and how he's getting people out when you're in a game like that?

BRYCE HARPER: I mean, I think when Rizzo and Bryant say that, you know, it made him look as bad as they could, I think it just goes to show how important that third and fourth at-bat can be. You know, Bryant comes up there with a runner on second, and then Rizzo, same thing. You get one hit with an RBI, that can win a game. So you can't really worry about the first two at-bats or anything like that.

I mean, us as a whole, we tried to go up there and battle the best we could and get on base the best we could. We want to win these games. We want to play and keep going, and doing the things we can to have great at-bats.

If you don't get it done your first at-bat or second at-bat, third or fourth at-bat could be huge.