On Friday night, I covered the Storm’s game as they faced the Quakes from Rancho Cucamonga.
They were both very polite and happy to be giving interviews, Bednar nearly bursting out laughing as he watched one of his teammates during our interview. He has previously been mentioned as the funniest guy on the team, and my interview seemed to confirm that. He still was very professional though, as he gave a good interview and had some interesting things to say.
Q: Your ERA has been 0.51 in your last ten appearances. Were there any specific adjustments you’ve made or have you just kind of been doing the same thing?
A: “Just pitching to attack guys, and I’ve been able to throw three pitches for strikes. The guys have made the plays behind me.”
Q: What three pitches that you mention, do you have the most faith in?
A: “Fastball, curveball, splitter.”
Q: You’ve been throwing multiple innings in a lot of your appearances. Is that by design from the team or not?
A: “I’m not really sure, I just go out and throw whenever they tell me to.”
Q: Some of us saw that your brother was playing in some games in southern California recently. Can you talk a little about the role of baseball in your family?
A: “He was playing in the area code games in Long Beach. It was nice to see them out for a while and they were able to come out and see me and see some games. He’s about to make his college decision here soon and play baseball. It’s exciting to watch him go through that.”
Hitting .333 in his last ten games, I spoke with Nate Easley about how he’s feeling at the plate, among other baseball related topics.
Q: How do you feel at the plate lately? It looks like you’ve been pretty locked in.
A: “I’ve been feeling good, and comfortable.”
Q: Is there an aspect of your game you work on more than any other?
A: “Not in season, in season it’s the same — I do the same amount of offense as defense, I just try to stay balanced on it because, I mean, we’re playing everyday so we’re getting reps during the day and in practice I can take care of business.”
Q: Is there an aspect of your game that you feel like has developed the most throughout your professional career?
A: I would probably just say my understanding of the game is what has developed the most — kind of like my baseball IQ — knowing what to do and when. That’s because we play everyday and we’re in different situations everyday. You learn quick that you’ll be in the same situation again and you wanna keep going off that.”
Q: You kiss the bat before every pitch. Can you talk a little more about that?
A: “I don’t kiss it I just sniff the pine tar, and it just kinda smells good to me, and kinda just resets my mind, getting me locked in for the next pitch.”
Q: Would you describe that as superstitious at all or is it just kind of routine?
A: “It’s a routine.”
Q: Do you have any baseball superstitions?
A: No, I’m not big on that. I’ve got some routines though.”
Speaking with both players was enlightening, as I learned a lot about how simple approaches are often favored by players in professional baseball. Easley and Bednar seem to have a pretty specific idea of how they want to go about their business, but definitely don’t sound like they’re overthinking to any degree. They both have been playing well, and it was nice to hear that their approaches to the game of baseball sound like they’re equally as impressive as the way the two guys have been playing lately.