Q&A with Nick Swisher
Despite 2-0 ALCS lead, outfielder not taking things for granted
NEW YORK -- With his boisterous, relentlessly positive attitude and eclectic musical taste, Nick Swisher has stepped in to become an instant fan favorite in his first season with the Yankees.
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. Headed for the West Coast with the Bombers up 2-0 over the Angels in the American League Championship Series, Swisher took a few moments to talk about the action.
MLB.com: What was the reaction like on the bench when Alex Rodriguez hit that 11th inning home run to tie the game?
Swisher: It was amazing. Complete pandemonium. He's just stepped up for us huge in such big situations, man. And for him to do it again? I'll tell you what, he's done a tremendous job. He deserves a ton of credit. Like I've said before, everyone needs to keep writing all these nice things about him.
MLB.com: After five hours and 10 minutes of baseball, does this game feel like an instant classic?
Swisher: Yeah -- I only played [seven] innings, so I got a nice little break. I don't know, man. Even when you come up here in the dugout to try and thaw out a little bit, the guys up here were into the game. It felt like there were about 15 pitchers up here at one point in time. Everyone just did a great job tonight. Total team effort again. We just want to keep this ride going.
MLB.com: How good do you feel for a guy like Jerry Hairston Jr., who has waited his whole career to get a chance to play a role on a postseason team?
Swisher: I could not be more happy for him. He has done a great job coming off the bench, starting, playing multiple positions. He has been a huge pickup for us. I'm glad I'm his teammate and extremely happy for him to have this success in the postseason.
MLB.com: What do you think the feeling is going to be like, getting on that plane and knowing you're up 2-0 over this Angels team?
Swisher: I think everyone is going to get on that plane and fall right asleep. I think at that point in time, we don't really think of it as 2-0. We just feel like we're going at it the same that we did when it was 1-0. I think that we want to take the field and we want to be successful every day. We want to take the field and win every single game we play, and whether that happens or not, it's just a mind-set of having that before you step on that field. Yeah, we feel good about where we are, but are we going to be complacent? Absolutely not. Are we going to keep battling just like we did tonight? Absolutely. We're looking forward to having some great games out there in Anaheim.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.