10/03/07 2:07 PM ET
Holliday, Helton pregame interview
Players discuss intensity that brought them to playoffs
By / MLB.com
MATT HOLLIDAY: I don't know if I'm going to be able to play. I'm all beat up. (Laughter.) A few cuts, I'm fine.
Was there any worry about being dinged a bit?
MATT HOLLIDAY: No, I'm fine. I just needed to gather myself a little bit and, no, I'm fine.
Todd, for you personally, now that you're here in the playoffs, is it the reality that's setting in yet, or are the last couple of weeks, is it hard to get your hands around? It was a crazy finish but now that you're in the playoffs is it setting in?
TODD HELTON: I think it will probably set in once we get out there on the field and take the field and start playing.
But like you said, it has been a crazy two weeks. Kind of a blur, but all in all, this is as good as it gets. I'm looking forward to getting out there on the field and facing the Phillies and seeing how we fare.
The last couple of weeks have been so much intensity and so much stress it seems like, especially on Monday. Do you feel like you guys can relax and play baseball now?
MATT HOLLIDAY: Well, I feel like we've done that. You know, once you get between the lines, it's all about playing the game and trying to control your emotions and approach it more like a regular season game than your life being on the line, baseball life being on the line.
So we'll just, you know, obviously it's a little bit different, the 3 o'clock start and some of the things, but try to approach it like we do every other game; just go out there, execute and play good baseball and try to get a good pitch to hit and hit it hard, run the bases and play defense and do all of the things that you do in a regular season game and just try and enjoy it.
I think it's an exciting time for us and for all of our players and our organization and our city, and we're just trying to enjoy it.
Talk a little about your two young guys, Morales and Jimenez as they go into tomorrow's game and Game 3.
TODD HELTON: You know, both those guys have unbelievable stuff, but the thing that's most impressive about them is just the way they handle themselves, their composure, the way they have been able to throw strikes in tough situations. You know, 3 2 breaking balls for strikes, just really gone out there and kept a level head in really big situations.
MATT HOLLIDAY: I've been impressed. I think they have over exceeded my expectations personally, and I think that some of the concerns that the organization had was, you know, control and some of the things they have had great control, and like Todd said, their stuff is unbelievable. Very bright futures for both of them being 22 years old or whatever they are.
I think they will be a tough two for the next lot of years.
Todd, can you talk about the frustration year after year when you have a good career, but in October, you're always watching someone else play, how hard was that?
TODD HELTON: It's always tough, you know, when you're watching at home and you want to be somewhere but there's something really you can do about it.
But we're here now, and all that's in the past. I'm just concerned about the here and the now, and kind of made it all worthwhile.
Matt, have you got any chance to reflect on winning the batting title and RBI title? I realize you're thinking about the team.
MATT HOLLIDAY: You know, I haven't really thought about it much to be honest with you. We've pretty much had our baseball lives on the line the last, especially Monday, and we traveled overnight and slept most of the day yesterday. You know, just trying to get family in and take care of all the little things and then get over here this morning. I haven't really had time to do a whole lot of anything.
So, you know, obviously I'm very -- it's great, but we have a lot of business left to take care of. You know, at the end of the season and the off season, I'll have plenty of time to reflect on anything else?
Could both of you just talk about the range of emotions during that 20 minute stretch after Julio gives up the home run and you're thinking -- you know Hoffman is coming in and those 20 minutes in the dugout and what that was like.
TODD HELTON: You know, it was a roller coaster, there's no doubt about it. Just, you know, when Harrison hit the home run, kind of the bottom fell out there. I knew we were going to come and put a fight up, but you know, still, the odds are pretty tough, you know, coming back and beating one of the greatest closers of all time.
But we just put some good at bats together and, you know, Matt did a great job and Tulowitzki and it made it just that much more special when we won in the bottom of the whatever, 13th, 14th, whatever that was.
MATT HOLLIDAY: Those two weeks were crazy. We found ways to win games the last two weeks when our backs were up against the wall pretty much every day to stay in the playoff race.
Now that you look back on it, you wouldn't want it any other way to be honest. A nine inning, 6-1 victory would have been easier on the nerves, but I'll take it, it was a lot of fun. To win a game like that in the fashion that we did was something that we'll be able to look back on when we're done playing ball and remember.
Game 1 has not even started yet, no BP yet, I assume you have not even been out on the field to see the painted logo on the field. At what point do you think it will all sink in that this is not just another road trip to Philly?
MATT HOLLIDAY: Well, I'd say sitting here in front of you guys has already broke the routine a little bit. (Laughter.)
You know, I think we're just excited to get out there and start maybe our normal routine of batting practice and getting loose in the cage and then going out and playing.
So I think it will really, really set in when we get out there and like you said, and the fans are going crazy and the excitement and craziness begins.
For both of you, when you look at the Phillies' lineup, is it one of the few lineups that you go up against head to head that you can say go 1-7 that it compares to yours? What do you see in their lineup as it relates to yours?
MATT HOLLIDAY: Well, they obviously have the firepower. They have got great players up and down. Similar to us, they have guys that can hurt you pretty much up and down the lineup. Yeah, they are extremely good.
Rockies and Phillies, two of the hottest teams coming into the playoffs; Will momentum play any kind of a factor in the series considering how hot the teams have been?
MATT HOLLIDAY: You know, I don't think you can throw momentum out the window honestly. Today is the beginning of the post season, and both teams are playing well and we'll try to go out and execute and play the game the right way.
I'm sure it will be a hard fought game, and whoever executes best will win.
For both of you, does it increase the excitement level that you are playing in such a hitter's park and also go home and play in a hitter's park, how exciting is that for a hitter?
TODD HELTON: I think it's exciting just to be in the playoffs. Really doesn't matter if we are playing in the sandlot somewhere. This is a good place to hit, as is Coors Field, too. We'll see how it shakes out but the bottom line it winning. Who cares if you get any hits as long as your team wins. It doesn't matter where we play as long as we win.
MATT HOLLIDAY: The fact that they are probably going to throw some good pitchers at us is going to make it tough. Doesn't matter where you're playing, there's going to be no broken bat home runs or anything like that. You still have to hit the ball hard and get a good pitch to hit and do those things. Just because it's a good place to hit doesn't mean they are going to be passing out easy hits or doubles or home runs. We still have our work cut out for us to score some runs off a great pitcher.
Has Coors Field changed as far as how it plays? Used to be a real hitter's park and I understand the last four or five years, it's about being a little more balanced. Can you comment on that?
TODD HELTON: You know, it's still a good place to hit. I don't think it's just the home run park that it used to be. I mean, still there's a lot of green grass out there that's fall in, but the ball just doesn't jump out of there like it used to. The humidor obviously played a huge part in that.
Still, when you go to the plate, you get a good feeling that you're going to be successful.
You have not seen Cole Hamels before; From watching film or whatever you've done to prepare, what are your impressions of him and is it an advantage either way to see a guy for the first time in the postseason?
TODD HELTON: I don't know if it's an advantage or not. We've never been here before, so we'll see. He does have good stuff, there's no doubt about that. Looks like he has a really good off speed and changeup and is in command of the strike zone.
It's going to be a tough challenge for us. Looks like he hides the ball pretty well, too. So looking forward to getting out and facing him and see what happens.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
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