The moment is not too big for Willson Contreras.
That much can be concluded from his first season in the big leagues.
After homering on the first MLB pitch he ever saw, Contreras is still living up to the hype four months later.
Contreras leads all Cubs hitters in postseason batting average, going 7-for-17 (.412 AVG) with three RBI.
The Cubs have made it a point to get Contreras in every single playoff game as either a defensive replacement or pinch-hitter and he's hit safely in six of the seven contests in which he's earned a plate appearance.
"I'm feeling great," he said. "Like I always say, I don't try to do too much. I don't try to hit a homer. I just make my plan before I come up to bat and just execute it.
"If you think about the postseason, you're gonna put pressure on yourself. You just take it day-by-day like it's a normal game."
Contreras has shown his spunk all season long, wearing his emotions on his sleeves.
The same was true in the Cubs' win in Game 5 of the National League Championship Series Thursday night.
After singling in the eighth inning, he raised his fist in triumph.
"I'm a really emotional player," Contreras said. "I was excited to hit. He was throwing 99 mph and it's not easy to him. That was just my reaction."
That emotional style has been on display all postseason.
The Cubs had an 8-1 cushion by the time he came into Game 5 to catch, yet he made sure to let home plate umpire Alfonso Marquez know he didn't like the strike zone. Even with a big lead, he still felt the need to protect his pitchers.
He got one of the Cubs' biggest hits of the playoffs with a two-run single during that epic NLDS-clinching comeback in San Francisco.
In Game 4 in Los Angeles Wednesday night, Contreras was called for his second catcher's interference of the postseason, but also picked Justin Turner off second base to get the Cubs out of the first inning. In that same game, he delivered the RBI hit that busted the Cubs out of a 21-inning scoreless streak when he plated Ben Zobrist in the fourth inning.
In Game 2 against Clayton Kershaw, Contreras stepped to the plate and as the all-world left-hander delivered each of the first two pitches, Contreras put the bat on his shoulder and didn't even bother to get into a hitter's position.
Contreras wound up striking out in the at-bat, but he also sent a message that he would not be intimidated by the three-time Cy Young winner and was one of only two Cubs to collect a hit off Kershaw in that game.
Contreras reacted similarly during the regular season, including during his first week in the big leagues when he faced Marlins ace Jose Fernandez.
"That was part of my plan," Contreras said. "That was something I had in mind. I just wanted to see how he pitched."
Now Contreras will get to see Kershaw again Saturday night at Wrigley Field as the Cubs sit one win away from the World Series.
"I'm more comfortable at home plate [against him now]," Contreras said. "I know when to start my timing and stuff."
Game 6 coverage on Saturday, October 22
“Cubs Postseason Live: Pregame NLCS Game 6” at 6:00 PM CT on CSN
“Cubs Postseason Live: Postgame NLCS Game 6” at approx. 10:00 PM CT on CSN
Game 7 coverage (if necessary) on Sunday, October 23
“Cubs Postseason Live: Pregame NLCS Game 7” at 6:00 PM CT on CSN
“Cubs Postseason Live: Postgame NLCS Game 7” at approx. 10:00 PM CT on CSN
CSN to provide massive post-game coverage should the Cubs advance to the World Series
Cubs Hall of Fame legend RYNE SANDBERG joins hosts David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth for each pre-game edition of “Cubs Postseason Live”
“SportsNet Central: Cubs Playoff Central” airs TONIGHT at 10:30 PM CT
Chicago, IL (October 21, 2016) – CSN Chicago (CSN), the television home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago Cubs, will continue to provide fans with expanded, surrounding coverage of the Cubs vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 2016 National League Championship Series!
With the Cubs JUST ONE WIN AWAY from advancing to their first World Series appearance since 1945, the NLCS shifts back to Wrigley Field this weekend for Game 6 tomorrow night (Saturday, October 22) and, if necessary, Game 7 on Sunday night (October 23). For each game, CSN is set to once again deliver expanded, one-hour pre-game editions of Cubs Postseason Live presented by Fields Auto Group, along with extensive post-game coverage on Cubs Postseason Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Should the Cubs advance to the World Series with a win Saturday night or Sunday night, CSN will provide MASSIVE post-game coverage on Cubs Postseason Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois, featuring the potentially-historic celebratory scenes inside and outside of Wrigley Field and throughout the entire city of Chicago for hours on end.
Hosts David Kaplan (@thekapman) and Todd Hollandsworth (@hollytime28) will once again be joined by Cubs Hall of Fame legend RYNE SANDBERG for pre-game editions of Cubs Postseason Live presented by Fields Auto Group, which will include up-to-the-minute on-field reports from Cubs beat reporter Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull) and CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney).
In addition, TONIGHT at 10:30 PM CT (and airing at 10:30 PM every evening on non-game nights throughout the playoffs), CSN will provide viewers with expanded Cubs playoff coverage via GMC SportsNet Central: Cubs Playoff Central. This half-hour show, featuring a rotation of Cubs experts including Kaplan, Hollandsworth, Crull, Mooney, and Luke Stuckmeyer, will provide fans with up-to-the-minute Cubs-Dodgers NLCS news and updates, player/manager interviews, workout day feature reports, comprehensive game previews/recaps, and much more.
Please note the following details for Comcast SportsNet’s surrounding Cubs-Dodgers NLCS coverage this weekend:
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 (GAME 6)
6:00 PM – Cubs Postseason Live presented by Fields Auto Group (from Wrigley Field) – Hosted by CSN’s David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth, along with Cubs Hall of Fame legend Ryne Sandberg, this special ONE-HOUR, pre-game edition of Cubs Postseason Live will break down and preview Game 6 of the NLCS featuring numerous interviews, a thorough Game 6 preview featuring pitching match-ups and player analyses, a recap of Games 1-5, along with the latest on-field pre-game reports from Kelly Crull and Patrick Mooney.
10:00 PM (time approx.) – Cubs Postseason Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois (LIVE from Wrigley Field) – An expanded post-game edition of Cubs Postseason Live, hosted by Kaplan and Hollandsworth, will feature Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conference, live locker room player interviews, a complete breakdown of the Game 6, plus, additional live on-field, post-game reports from Crull, and a preview of Game 7 (if necessary). Should the Cubs win, CSN will provide massive pennant-clinching celebratory coverage inside and outside of Wrigley Field and throughout the city of Chicago for hours on end.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23 (GAME 7 – IF NECESSARY)
6:00 PM – Cubs Postseason Live presented by Fields Auto Group (from Wrigley Field) – Hosted by CSN’s David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth, along with Cubs Hall of Fame legend Ryne Sandberg, this special ONE-HOUR, pre-game edition of Cubs Postseason Live will break down and preview the deciding Game 7 of the NLCS featuring numerous interviews, a thorough Game 7 preview featuring pitching match-ups and player analyses, a recap of Games 1-6, along with the latest on-field pre-game reports from Kelly Crull and Patrick Mooney.
10:00 PM (time approx.) – Cubs Postseason Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois (LIVE from Wrigley Field) – An expanded post-game edition of Cubs Postseason Live, hosted by Kaplan and Hollandsworth, will feature Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conference, live locker room player interviews, a complete breakdown of the Game 7, plus, additional live on-field, post-game reports from Crull. Once again, should the Cubs win, CSN will provide massive pennant-clinching celebratory coverage inside and outside of Wrigley Field and throughout the city of Chicago for hours on end.
In addition to the comprehensive Cubs NLCS coverage on CSN, viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com throughout the playoffs even more comprehensive 24/7 coverage, including:
- Live stream of Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conferences.
- “Cubs Pulse,” a one-stop social media and behind-the-scenes destination that reveals the latest real time trending topics, player buzz and expert insight from Twitter and Instagram. Plus, “Cubs Pulse” aggregates all Cubs player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #CubsTalk.
- “Cubs In-Game Live,” – featuring STATS Inc.’s enhanced Game Zone real-time tracking system – is a second screen platform for PCs, tablets and mobile devices that combine state-of-the-art infographics, data visualization of real-time statistics and game info with rich social interactivity tied to CSN Chicago’s live game broadcasts.
- Push Alerts: CSN Chicago will deliver Cubs push notifications for breaking team and player news, “Insider” reports, plus game reminder alerts via CSN Chicago’s SportsTalk app for iOS and Android devices.
- CubsTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Cubs playoffs news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. CubsTalk contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent, which includes the upcoming #CubsTalk podcast.
- CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney will provide extensive team/player news, special feature stories, and much more throughout the NLCS. Follow him on Twitter @CSNMooney for 24/7 inside access. In addition, Cubs digital reporter and producer Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) will also provide Cubs reports/features on the beat with Mooney for every NLCS game. Follow @CSNCubs on Twitter for full team coverage, giveaways, fan photos and the very latest team news.
- Cubs coverage on CSNChicago.com/Cubs is presented by Wintrust.