10/03/06 8:42 PM ET
Delgado, Wright workout day interview
Mets players excited about first playoff series
By / MLB.com
CARLOS DELGADO: I'm real excited. It's been a long time for me. It's a great opportunity. This is where every athlete wants to be, having the opportunity to have a chance to win it. So it's been a fun summer. We're gonna try to make the best out of it the next few weeks.
DAVID WRIGHT: Obviously, tremendously excited. Very anxious. Even have the butterflies. But to be able to do what we've done so far this season with this group I think makes it that much more special. We've been dealing with our ups and downs throughout the course of the year. We've become close. It's almost like you have 24 brothers in there. To win the way we have, in this fashion, it's been pretty special. We want to continue this run.
Q. How much anxiety does it produce now learning just shortly ago El Duque may not go tomorrow and you don't know who your No. 1 starter is?
CARLOS DELGADO: Well, we don't know so we don't want to get ahead of ourselves. I mean, we all wish he is well and he can come back in and start tomorrow. If that's not the case, hopefully somebody will come in and step up. I mean, it takes 25 guys to win, and the one thing that we're hoping -- we're hoping for the best, definitely. We hope that he's okay, that test or whatever they gonna do come back okay and he's in good health. But if it doesn't happen, somebody gonna have to take the ball and give us a good effort. We're gonna be all right.
DAVID WRIGHT: We've been doing this all year. With Pedro being out at times, we've had young guys step up. We've acquired some guys via trades. So it just depends on, you know, we've had guys coming off our bench, guys coming out of our Minor Leagues stepping into the job. This isn't anything new. We've been stepping up and guys have been collectively coming together as a unit all year.
Q. How quickly did word of El Duque's problem go through you guys on the field? Did you know right away?
CARLOS DELGADO: I don't know when right away was. I did not see it when it happened.
DAVID WRIGHT: No.
Q. How did you receive word?
DAVID WRIGHT: I came into the clubhouse to get some water and that's when I was told. I don't know how long after it happened.
Q. What was your first reaction?
DAVID WRIGHT: I mean, obviously, you feel for El Duque because he's a big-time pitcher. He loves that big game. Obviously, his record in the playoffs speaks for itself. You're concerned for him. You know how upset he must be, he wanted the ball, he wanted to be in that situation. But after we figure out what exactly is gonna happen after these tests come back and we figure out who our starters are gonna be, we're gonna step up and get the job done. You can't feel sorry about yourselves. You can't feel sorry about anybody. It's crunch time. We have to dig deep and see what's left.
Q. First for David and then for Carlos: David, your defense has gotten progressively better from last year to this year and hard work, stuff like that. Talk about you gaining confidence defensively at third base. For Carlos, has his defense progressed since you're on the receiving end of all of his throws?
DAVID WRIGHT: I think I finally got a good first baseman. All the credit goes to Carlos (smiling). No, I feel like I've been working hard, you know. A lot of errors this year are stupid errors, careless errors. But it feels like I've worked hard. Coaching staff, the veterans on the team have really helped me out. I'm proud of that. I'm proud that I feel more confident out there than I did last year. I feel like I've gotten progressively better. That's something when I look back on I feel proud about it and I'm happy about it.
Q. Both you guys.
CARLOS DELGADO: I think David's work habit and work ethics are second to none. He comes out every day, works on what he needs to, whatever he needs to do. I think since I've been here - because I wasn't here last year - but from what I heard, obviously he's improved tremendously. This year, you can see that he goes out there and is very confident, he makes some great plays. I can look back on that play in Philadelphia, he made an unbelievable play. I'll hook you up. Dinner's on you (smiling). But you can feel the confidence. You know, he's in the game. That's the most important thing. Once you're focused, you're gonna be able to catch the ball.
Q. Obviously, offense has come through all year. With this situation now, do you feel a little bit more added pressure to get going and get the offense going early on because of the pitching?
CARLOS DELGADO: I think that's the worst thing we can do. The worst thing we can do is put extra pressure on ourselves. The same way David talked about earlier, we had, over the course of a year, some injuries. We were able to overcome those. So right now we just have to go out there, because we can't pitch and hit at the same time. So when we're hitting, we're just gonna hit. When we're on the field, we're just gonna try to pitch and catch the ball.
DAVID WRIGHT: I feel confident with the offense. I mean, especially the way we've been swinging bats the last couple days. I think it was very important to get that momentum going. I think for us, that the first part of the playoffs is knowing we've been going to the playoffs the last few weeks. We had that little honeymoon period. To get off and swing the bats the way we have, hopefully that catapults us into October.
Q. From what you've seen with LA during the season, how do you feel you match up against them?
CARLOS DELGADO: We match up well. We won the series. They're here because they are a good team. They stayed in contention the whole season. They won the wildcard. They have a good team. All their guys know how to play. We can't afford to make mistakes. We just have to go out there, bring our A game. I think we match up great against every team, every team in the playoffs. So we're not here to compare people head-to-head. We just got to go play better than that. Simple as that.
DAVID WRIGHT: I think we're confident against anybody. Not saying that in a cocky way, but we're confident in ourselves and, you know, I think that if we go out there and we play our game, we have the tools, we have the right guys out there, we just have to go put it all together. From what I've talked to some of the veterans that have been in the playoffs before, it's all about momentum. We definitely have the talent. We have to get hot at the right time. If we get hot, we're gonna be tough to beat.
Q. You faced Derek Lowe a number of times in the American League, Carlos. Can you give a scouting report on him.
CARLOS DELGADO: He's gonna rely on movement. He's got a good sinker, can cut the ball a little bit, throw a little bit of a changeup. For him, his bread and butter is the sinker. As a hitter, you just got to stay in your zone. Just make sure he throws his strike. He's a lot more effective when you're swinging at that pitch, going out of the zone, whether it's away or down.
Q. Carlos, as a veteran on this team, would you be able to tell if some of the guys who have not been in this situation before are pressing, and how would you approach them?
CARLOS DELGADO: Well, first of all, I don't think it will happen but if it will happen, you know what I mean, it is natural. I mean, we're excited. But, you know, we have to be able to control our emotions, keep our emotions in check. I mean, if you see something that noticeable out of the way, say, Hey, slow down a bit, it's only a game. It's like nobody's gonna die here or anything like that. Just got to go out, play the game same way we play 162 games. Easier said than done because it is what it is. We're not gonna minimize it. We gonna try to feed off that energy, feed off that adrenaline. If you don't let it all out here, I mean, when you gonna do it, in December? We just gonna go out and play. If we see something that is completely out of control that is hurting the ballclub, or we see that you have to address it, with the character that we have in here, I don't anticipate seeing it. But I guess we will cross that bridge when we get there if we get there; I don't think we will.
Q. I was going to follow that up. It's both of your first time in the postseason. Carlos being a veteran player, having been in the league so many more years than you have, controlling the emotion, because it is a more intense environment no matter how you look at it. How do you make sure you keep the attention span as far as the game itself, keep control of those emotions and not let the environment affect your play?
DAVID WRIGHT: I think it's prepared us playing in New York, you know, all season. We've been, you know, under a microscope. We got out to an early lead. I think that's helped a little bit. But come playoff time, it's a different atmosphere. You know, gonna be excited. You're gonna have some butterflies but you have to try to use that, turn that into positive energy. Everybody, I don't care if you've been in the postseason like Glavine every single year, you're gonna have a little bit of nervousness, anxiousness. You're gonna be excited at the same time. I think we're gonna feed off the emotion of the crowd, have the adrenaline going, go out and put on a good show. You have to just look at the situation, take a deep breath, try to relax as much as you can and just remember it's the same game you've been playing 162 games throughout the course of the regular season.
Q. You have been able to avoid long losing streaks during the season, been able to combat that. Does that resilience help you in the postseason or is it a totally different mindset?
CARLOS DELGADO: I think it's important. I mean, it's just you have less time. There's less room for error, for mistake, you know what I'm saying? We want to go out and win first Game 1. We don't want to test our self and say, let's lose two in a row to see what we can do after that. No, we're just gonna try to win Game 1 and then Game 2. We know the kind of team that we have. We know the character that we have. We were able to overcome some roadblocks over the course of a year, and we were able to stick together. We know that. That's one of our biggest assets. But, you know, we got to play the game. That's the most important thing.
DAVID WRIGHT: Right. I think the biggest thing is we're a resilient team. You ask about resiliency. No matter how many runs we're down, no matter what the situation, we've lost Pedro at times, we've lost Cliff Floyd, Carlos Beltran for a period of time, it just seems like whoever's down, somebody steps up and wants to be that guy. When you have a team that's as close as we are and you call a guy up from the Minor Leagues or get a guy off the bench, they want to contribute, they want to be a part of this. That's the most important thing. We're a resilient team. We've had a lot of come-back wins. We've dealt with some adversity. So this isn't the first time - you know, going into the playoffs with a couple of our pitchers hurt - this isn't the first time we've dealt with this, so we're not too shocked. We've dealt with it before and we're gonna do a good job of handling ourselves in the playoffs.
Q. Tonight, you have free time. Will you catch the other Division Series or you need to get away from baseball?
CARLOS DELGADO: If you're in New York and the Yankees are not gonna be on TV everywhere you go? I'm not gonna make reservations at 8 o'clock in front of my couch, but you want to know what's going on with the other teams. But for me, we have family in town. I want to spend a little time with them. It's gonna be impossible not to see some.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.