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. On Friday, Swisher gave his thoughts after the Yankees' Game 2 victory over the Twins in the American League Division Series.
MLB.com: You've celebrated 15 of these walk-off victories in the regular season, and now one here in the playoffs on Mark Teixeira's home run. How much different is it to be here in October?
Swisher: It beats everything. There's no doubt about it. This is when it really, really counts. Not to take anything away from any of the other walk-offs, but I think if you ask anybody in here, the postseason walk-offs are a little better than the regular-season walk-off.
MLB.com: What was it like on the bench when Alex Rodriguez hits the game-tying home run in the ninth inning?
Swisher: I was actually standing on the top step, because I was in the hole hitting after Hideki Matsui, and as soon as he made contact, it sounded like a shotgun going off. He looked straight in the dugout, so we all knew it was gone as soon as he looked in. Just for him, the way he's stepping up for us is huge. Three RBIs with two outs, driving guys in obviously, a big home run tonight -- Jeepers Christmas, it's been a lot of fun to watch him play lately.
|Gm. 1||NYY 7, MIN 2||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 2||NYY 4, MIN 3 (11)||Wrap||Video|
|Gm. 3||NYY 4, MIN 1||Wrap||Video|
MLB.com: How about when Tex hits the game-winner? What was that like?
Swisher: He hit it so daggone hard and it had topspin, I didn't know if it was going to get over the fence or if it was going to carom off the wall. Either way, you've got to think he's either sitting on second base or the game is over. It's tremendous. For the year that Tex has had -- in my mind, MVP-type year -- to finally get that walk-off and join the party -- man, it's a lot of fun to see that happen.
MLB.com: Can you walk us through that big play in the fourth inning? How did you know to throw to Derek Jeter at second base to catch Carlos Gomez?
Swisher: I just saw him fall down and saw Jeet break toward the bag. I thought that was my only play. Jeet just seems like he's always in the right spot at the right time. I just squared him up in the chest and ended up getting that big out. The ball was kind of hit to the right of Robinson Cano, so that makes it a tough play for anybody. The one thing we're working on is trying to get the ball in and out as fast as you can.
MLB.com: How different is the feeling going to the Metrodome up 2-0 rather than leaving town 1-1?
Swisher: I think that's the big thing. I had the chance to play there all last year playing in the [American League] Central and it's a tough place to play, there's no doubt about it. But we feel like we have a great team right now. We feel confident where we stand, obviously being 2-0, we feel pretty good about ourselves. We're going to keep working, we're going to keep pressing. We want to go out there and we want to get this next one and get back here where we feel most comfortable.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.