Taking over as the club's starting right fielder in April, Swisher fit right into the potent lineup, bringing a patient switch-hitting approach that saw him become one of five Yankees players to belt 25 or more home runs while driving in 82 runs for the American League East champions.
Throughout the 2009 postseason, Swisher will take part in a Q&A with MLB.com, sharing his thoughts after every game. Finally able to retreat to the clubhouse and find warm clothes, Swisher gave his thoughts after the Yankees defeated the Angels, 4-1, on Friday to take a 1-0 lead in the American League Championship Series.
MLB.com: What's it like to hit on a raw night like tonight? What's the sensation like of making contact with the ball?
Swisher: You'd better find the barrel [laughing]. Actually, once you got moving around out there, it wasn't all that bad. I think there was a lot of talk that it was going to rain a lot today, and this and that, so I'm glad that held off. Overall, it was just a great game for all of us. For a guy like Johnny [Damon] to start catching on fire, which is nice, he had two nice hits for us tonight and made a great diving play. [Alex Rodriguez] had another sac fly and another RBI. It seems like we're playing great baseball at the right time, and we just want to keep it going.
MLB.com: Is it easier to block out the conditions for a game like tonight, because you know it's so important?
Swisher: That's the thing. As soon as you walk out and you see 50,000 people, you don't feel that cold air. It's just a great feeling, the way that our fans have really, really supported us all year long, and for being a first-year guy coming over here, I know exactly what New York Yankees baseball is all about now.
MLB.com: When you see CC Sabathia coming out and throwing everything for strikes, do you have an idea early on that you're going to be in pretty good shape?
Swisher: He was hitting his spots and really doing a good job. I like seeing that emotion that he got on the strikeout of [Mike] Napoli [in the seventh inning]. He really got himself fired up. I think that's exactly what you want to see. He went out there and did a great job, and like I said, it's nice being on his team.
MLB.com: There were no home runs hit here tonight, just the second time that's happened at this Yankee Stadium. Was there a sense early on that it might take a lot to get a ball out?
Swisher: You know, I saw the ball [Robinson] Cano hit and I thought that one was gone, and then the ball that Vlad [Guerrero] hit, I thought that one was gone. Obviously, the ball's not traveling as well, but what are you going to do? You've got to get them when you can. It was obviously a huge hit by [Hideki] Matsui, just getting that RBI, and overall just a great game for us. It's something to build on for tomorrow.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less