Q. What does Ray do so well to take you guys out of the zone?
COREY SEAGER: His velo, he plays up. He throws really hard already, so you're a touch quicker to try to catch up to the velocity and he has the slider that goes with it. It's hard to pick up at times so it's really good. It's kind of in between whether getting it out there early to hit the fastball and still trying to hold back on the slider.
Q. Can you describe what Rich Hill's like say on the day of his starts compared to like other days during the week?
COREY SEAGER: Richie's great until about two-hours before the game. This is when he starts locking it in. Fun, happy go lucky. All the way up until that, and then the game face comes on, starts bouncing the ball around, and you can tell when he's starting to get locked in.
Q. You and a number of the other guys in the lineup last night all put up numbers on the board. At the beginning of the regular season guys always talk about how it's great to get that first hit out of the way because you don't have to look at the scoreboard and see zero-zero. The postseason people don't pay that much attention to averages. But is it something similar that's going on where it's good to have that first game and hit the ground running?
COREY SEAGER: Yeah, not so much for the personal stats kind of thing. I think it was just nice that we got off fast. Not playing for four days is a long time to get back in the flow quickly. It was really nice to see everybody. We were in hitter's counts pretty much the entire first inning, which was nice to see.
Q. Going into last night, were you wondering what you would see? Were you curious as to how this team was going to respond? Was there any uncertainty in your mind after all you've been through this year? COREY SEAGER: I think there's always the uncertainty when you haven't played that long. Our practices were really good, they were really sharp. Everybody was focused. So the focus part you weren't worried about. It was just how fast you'd get back in the flow of the game.
Q. Can you go back to July and tell me what went through your mind when you heard you were acquiring Yu Darvish? And now that the playoffs are here, how does he kind of complete this roster a little bit?
COREY SEAGER: Yeah, the pick-ups we had were incredible. Needed back of the bullpen lefties, got two of them. Went out and got a starter. I mean, Yu's incredible. Elite stuff plays in the playoffs, and he has it, and that's kind of what we were looking for and that's what we got out of him.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Shawn Wooten and what he's meant to you offensively and how that connection has come about?
COREY SEAGER: Yeah, so I met Wooten in '14 when he was a first year with us. Got a taste with him in the end in Double-A my last month. Talked to him, kind of got to know him a little bit. Knew I had some stuff to make adjustments on. And he was really good about explaining it. The next spring training was a really big spring training for me. Made some adjustments. Got to where I thought I needed to be, and ever since then it's been a constant dialogue, constant video sent to him pretty much every night. The relationship has grown over the years.
Q. It appears or it appeared in the last week of the season that you started to hit the ball farther and a little harder. You had some rest in September. What do you attribute kind of being more like what you're used to in the last week of the season?
COREY SEAGER: Yeah, struggled there for a little bit once I came back. Just trying to find some feelings again, find the flow of it. Know where my body was again. It was late in the year, taking that time was difficult. Watched a bunch of film. Watched some old stances. Watched when I needed tension in certain places and how I did it, and it kind of all translated into where we are now.
Q. How is your elbow holding up?
COREY SEAGER: It's okay. Just figuring out how to rest it, figuring out how to just maintain. The trainers and strength coaches have been fantastic with helping put a plan together and staying to the plan and maintaining it, basically.
Q. At the beginning of the season you talked about how the biggest adjustment in your rookie season was having fresh legs at the end of the season. How does this year differ compared to last year?
COREY SEAGER: That's where Chase really helped me last year. Really knowing how to prepare your body. How to be ready every day. You can take care of it, but then there is the difference in being ready, being fresh, being up to speed. That was a big thing this year having that routine already set. Having what I know worked for me throughout the full year, and it's paid dividends.
Q. What were some things that you kind of told Cody Bellinger or Chris Taylor, or if you gave them any advice about playing in the playoffs for the first time in their career?
COREY SEAGER: I didn't really tell them much. They've been incredible for us all year. They didn't really need help. Cody, for sure, has been fantastic. What he did this year was incredible. CT, the same thing. Just go out and play. Don't think about anything. Don't worry about what you did in the regular season. It's a new year, but it's just being yourself. I think that's the biggest thing that I've learned in the playoffs is to just be yourself, don't get too high, don't get too low, and don't try to do too much.
Q. Is the elbow just a matter of pain management, or do you have to change some mechanics to adjust for it?
COREY SEAGER: Just pain management. That was the thing from the start was to not change mechanics and hurt something else. Just maintain the pain -- or maintain the -- yeah, I guess. Maintain the pain to where it's okay to go out and play. It's not an issue and it's not too much to handle.
Q. Seemed like you took a lot of at-bats in the simulated game the other night. I don't know how you felt, but it seemed like you didn't put a lot of balls in play and last night was like a different story. Did something happen between the simulated game and last night?
COREY SEAGER: Yeah, I wanted a lot of ABs just to kind of stay in the flow as much as possible. Still trying to lock down what I was doing. Those simulated games really helped. Wasn't really worried about results. Wasn't really worried about hitting the ball. Was just trying to get in the spots I wanted to be at the right times and it paid off.