THE MODERATOR: Questions for Joe Maddon.
Q. Joe, Kris Bryant's throwing errors, in either of those was he trying to force it or do too much? And on Montgomery going to second for the double play instead of getting the force at third, was that, again, a little aggressive?
JOE MADDON: The thing with KB, that ball, first when he did the pirouette, it's just a play maybe to take a little more time with. The other ball should not have been thrown at all, that's all. The slow roller, probably processed the pitcher's running, so he said give it a go. That's what I saw of the whole thing.
But the first play, I think he had a shot had he slowed it down just a little bit, and found the first baseman. But he's made so many good plays all year. That just happened tonight but that's what I saw.
Montgomery, again, you rarely ever teach somebody to go to third base. You just don't do that. In his mind, there probably was, like everything being perfectly done, a possible chance, but I can't fault him on that. You are just trained to do that. You rarely think about just throwing to third base to get one out. That's probably the industry's fault with all of that.
So we made mistakes. Absolutely, we made mistakes tonight. That was part of it. But then again, we just have to do more offensively to give ourselves a chance.
You're going to make mistakes on occasion. You have to be able to play through the tough moments by doing something offensively, and we haven't been able to do that.
Q. Looking forward to tomorrow, do you take any comfort at all out of the fact that Miller has been used two days in a row now, and you did get to him and score a run off him tonight?
JOE MADDON: Although Shaw and Allen were not, so it's hard to get a lot of solace from that thought.
No, it's good that he did. I was checking that out while he was out there. He went 46 a couple days ago, 17 yesterday, and I think almost 30 today, and still had great stuff. Dexter just worked a really, really good at-bat right there. So they're still firm down there.
We've just got to grab a lead. We've got to grab a lead in the latter part of the game and avoid those guys with either being tied or them having a lead. That's what we have to do. And again, that just speaks -- we scored first; I kind of liked it. That's kind of a good thing normally, but we just did not add on.
I thought we had better at-bats against Kluber tonight than we did a couple nights ago, but the hits just weren't there. Although, they hit some homers tonight. We hit some balls good enough for homers tonight, but the wind was blowing in. We just didn't pick the proper night to do that with.
Q. Joe, Lackey pretty visibly was not happy with some of the calls at home plate. Did you feel like he was being squeezed?
JOE MADDON: No, I mean, that's kind of normal behavior out of John, so it's hard to tell. I didn't get a chance to view it from in front or behind, so I don't know.
I had a nice talk with Marvin. You know, the thing that we try to teach our guys is that we're good enough that even if an umpire misses a pitch, we could work through that. I'd like to believe from a hitter's perspective and also from our pitcher's perspective, you have to anticipate a call's not going to go your way. It happens to everybody. It happens to both sides every night, so you can't necessarily go there mentally. You've just got to keep moving through the moment.
So, no, I really don't know. I haven't had a chance to really view the pitches straight up, and Willson wasn't complaining a whole lot when he came back in.
Q. I note the Indians also did a good job against the Red Sox and Blue Jays, but why do you think they've been so effective stopping your offense so far?
JOE MADDON: You know, their formula's been they have such durability in the bullpen that outside of Kluber, they're just looking for that five-inning moment with the lead and then they could turn it over. That's the abnormal part to have three guys able to spread out that much work in a positive situation.
It's hard to do that. It really is. And everybody's going to be clamoring, that's the way you should work your bullpens from now on, but you have to have the appropriate people to do that, and of course during the season it would be much more difficult as opposed to the microcosm of the postseason. So I think that's it. They have the right guys among their pitchers to do that, and Kluber kind of like gives them a blow, like what he did tonight.
So it's just been abnormal in some ways. But they've been pitching great. They've been outstanding. And like you said, they've been outstanding through the entire postseason. And you can see it. We're obviously having a tough time, like the other teams did.
Q. Considering how set-up they are at the back end, can you just take us through the thought process of not using Schwarber there to take a shot against Kluber in the fifth?
JOE MADDON: What was --
Q. With Coghlan hitting.
JOE MADDON: Yeah, leading off the inning, yeah. I didn't want to waste that right there. You don't know. The score at that time was still like 4-1, correct? 3-1. So there's no reason to burn him leading off right there. Because if they're going to go to Miller -- if the game's close, you would have seen Allen or Shaw there in the latter part of the game. And I was willing to use him in a lot of different spots, not just for the pitcher.
So for me, I didn't think it was wise to use him right there. I thought Coghlan had himself a decent at-bat. You're just looking for a more profitable moment to expend him. So I have no issues with that at all.
Q. After you got the lead, do you think that maybe Lackey's command got away from him a little bit there for the two or three innings that put you in a hole?
JOE MADDON: We gave up the homer, that ball was properly struck. The other run we kind of gave to them. The ball never left the infield and they got another run. Then eventually one more on the double, single. He ended up pitching his best ball. As we had taken him out, the last two innings, he was putting the ball on the ground, there was better sink on it. He found his groove.
So, no, I mean, John's John. He always knows what he wants to do out there. He's really calculated. Again, maybe not as sharp as we've seen him in the past, and I still think it's the residue of being injured this year at some point. Though if you look at the gun readings, they're pretty similar. But who knows exactly. He'll never admit it if he doesn't feel a hundred percent.
I thought he was fine. He got us through five. The big hit there for me was Kipnis' homer. That really made the game awkward. It went from 4-1 to 7, and that made the game awkward right there.
Q. When you look at tomorrow, do you think about shaking things up lineup-wise at all just for the sake of doing it when you've scored four runs or six runs in four games?
JOE MADDON: Part of tomorrow's issue is defense with Jon pitching. Part of our success with Jon pitching is to catch the ball and have the right guys in the right spots, so probably not. I mean, David's going to catch. David Ross will catch tomorrow. But otherwise, there's not a whole lot you can or want to do.
Of course, Schwarber's just available to pinch-hit. We can't play him in the field right now. David's going to catch, and defensively on the infield Jon normally throws a lot of ground balls and you want to be ready for that, too.
So these are the guys that got us here. I'm very pleased with all of our guys. We had the one good game offensively in Cleveland. We just need that one moment. We have to have a one-game winning streak tomorrow, and if we do that, I really would be feeling pretty good about going back to Cleveland.
Q. Do you feel like you've managed with appropriate urgency considering the situation? Do you plan on being more aggressive tomorrow considering the deficit that you guys have, and six and seven if it comes to that?
JOE MADDON: I don't understand what you're talking about. Specifically where?
Q. Bringing in Schwarber, one of your best hitters ends up in the on-deck circle to end the game?
JOE MADDON: Right, but there was actually no place to put him. I mean, you're trying to get people -- when you have a deficit like that, you really want to utilize him when there's an opportunity to drive in more than himself. So Almora hit with nobody on base. When the lead got disparate right there, it became even more urgent to save him for a moment when you have a chance to drive in more runs.
So Miller's just not a good match-up. You say Kluber, leading off an inning. I didn't think that was the appropriate time. I don't think it's a lack of aggressiveness as much as it is looking for the right opportunity to expend him.
Honestly, I don't agree with that.
Q. Joe, you might have touched on this with the one-game winning streak, but how do you feel going into tomorrow with Lester pitching and beyond that you would have Arrieta and Hendricks?
JOE MADDON: That's what I'm saying, to get through tomorrow is obviously very comforting. We get to celebrate Halloween appropriately at that point. So going back over there, having those two guys ready to pitch, it's just a matter of us gaining offensive confidence. That's what we need right now. More than anything, when you're not hitting like that, the whole vibe's very difficult to push in that real positive direction.
So you'll continually try to, you know, be positive in the dugout during the course of the game. But you know, it's difficult. It's difficult especially this time of the year. We just need that offensive epiphany somehow to get us pushing in the right direction. And if we do that, I really think based on what they have left pitching-wise, going back over there and what we have, I kind of like our chances.
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Joe Maddon.