A lot of people don't get a chance to be in the postseason, and this is my fourth year. It's just about who I'm playing for and the players I've been around, the organizations I've been around. This is the best time of the year. You work so hard. Nowadays, you work 12 months out of the year for this point in the season. It's just an exciting time.
Q. Can you remember your first World Series or your first playoff? Did you press at all?
DAVID FREESE: I think the best thing for me was 2011, first game, in Philly, against Roy Halladay. I mean, what kind of environment's worse than that (laughing)?
So that gets you ready right out of the gate. A lot of the guys hadn't been to postseason on that team, but that was good for us. Facing that staff, first series in the postseason. Yeah, hostile environment, but you've got to smile at it. It's exciting. It's what you want. You want the fans whether you're at home or on the road to be going crazy. They enjoy it, and so do we.
Q. You've struggled with some inconsistency the last few regular seasons. Is October maybe like a clean slate for you?
DAVID FREESE: I've never really looked at it like that. I think when spring training is over, you kind of start fresh. When the season's over, you start fresh. I think everybody kind of breathes a little easier. You get a few days off.
But like I said, you just get excited. You understand that you're a month away from something special. What kids dream about. But you really take it one day at a time, one pitch at a time.
Last couple years haven't been how I wanted them to go, but I definitely sit back every day and realize how fortunate I am through the good times and the bad, with the Cardinals, to be where I'm at. Cardinals have had my back. Angels have been great. I'm privileged and I'm blessed.
Q. Can you describe the challenge of facing Ventura tonight?
DAVID FREESE: Yeah, he's going to bring it. We faced them in Kansas City. I think it was the rain game that we just faced them for a little bit, I think. But he's going to attack you. He's got three or four-plus pitches. A guy like Perez back there, it shows that I think the staff that they have they love having Perez back there. He's one of the best in the game. Facing Ventura is going to be a tough match-up. We've got Shoe going, so we'll go head-to-head with them, and see how it turns out.
Q. I'm not asking you to be Josh Hamilton's manager or hitting coach. But just as a teammate, when you look at him, what do you see in terms of the way he handles himself on the field and off?
DAVID FREESE: I just see a guy that he wants to help out. He's banged up or whatever's going on. He cares, and he wants to be there for us. We're rooting for him. Is he in there today?
I haven't seen. So we're excited about that. I think his name alone in the lineup can help you, whether he's a guy that's struggling or on fire, if you make a mistake, he can change a game. We'll see what happens tonight.
But we're pushing for him. He's working hard. We all understand it's not the easiest game in the world. We all go through some things, and he can catch on fire at any moment now.
He doesn't have to do too much. We have a lineup that can kind of score runs in so many different ways. Just for Josh to be himself, for all of us to be ourselves, and we'll just go from there.
Q. What does it mean to you that you were able to find some success at the plate kind of in the month leading into the playoffs?
DAVID FREESE: Oh, it's huge. Obviously better to start or to finish hot than start hot whether individually or as a team. Every AB matters, every game matters, no matter what time of year it is. But it's nice to kind of pick it up. The first two months were miserable, especially new team. You want to help out so bad, but kind of got things going in June, had the finger in May, but got things going. Started spraying the ball around, and I think that's big for me when I can spray the ball around. A lot of hitters use the whole field, you're going to be more comfortable and more confident. But to come in here the last few weeks and really get things going, I was okay with that.