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World Series Game 5: Roberts pregame interview

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Q. Your team has done some incredible things this year, especially coming from behind and winning, like last night. Do you sometimes get a feeling or a hint that it's going to happen when it happens?

DAVE ROBERTS: We do. We always talk about seeing it happen. Our guys, to see it happen, but also to have it happen before, obviously it gives guys confidence. And last night was a testament to the guys of just playing 27 outs. And the big hit by [Hernandez], and obviously Logan, that two-out hit, kind of let us exhale a little bit, and the at-bats in the ninth inning were huge for us.

Q. Your team has done some incredible things this year, especially coming from behind and winning, like last night. Do you sometimes get a feeling or a hint that it's going to happen when it happens?

DAVE ROBERTS: We do. We always talk about seeing it happen. Our guys, to see it happen, but also to have it happen before, obviously it gives guys confidence. And last night was a testament to the guys of just playing 27 outs. And the big hit by [Hernandez], and obviously Logan, that two-out hit, kind of let us exhale a little bit, and the at-bats in the ninth inning were huge for us.

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Q. Today's lineup with Justin at DH after coming out of last night's game, just what his condition is? And if this game at Dodger Stadium, would he be in the lineup?

DAVE ROBERTS: If it was at Dodger Stadium, yes, he would play. It was just kind of weighing his calf versus being comfortable being the DH. Charlie never DHing before, Corey would really rather play the field. I think if you put everything in and trust the defense, second base, at third as well, so it's sort of a no-brainer for me.

Q. If you had to use Maeda tonight, how much do you think you can use him?

DAVE ROBERTS: If we had to use him, I think it's a one-plus situation. How much more past that, probably not much more. But in talking to him, Kenta feels good, and the day off obviously did him good.

As far as Brandon, he's available, but try to stay away from him, if we can.

Q. Shawn Wooten is known a little bit as having a good relationship with Cody Bellinger and Corey Seager in particular. How much impact has he had in having him on the Big League staff during this postseason?

DAVE ROBERTS: Shawn has been great. He's been great. He's known these guys for quite some time as far as through their Minor League ascension, and has a great relationship. And there's a lot of talking about mechanics. Those two guys in particular are mechanics-driven hitters. And so to be able to speak the same language with those guys is big. And the comfort level, the trust that he has, and they have in each other I think is a great thing. For Turner, Tim, to really empower Shawn and to kind of allow him to do what he does with these players says a lot about him, as well.

Q. How much is the clubhouse culture strengthened by having so many guys that have overlooked, who have been cast off other teams, who have been cut, journeymen, how much does that strengthen what you have inside there?

DAVE ROBERTS: Ironically I think it's great in the sense that you have guys that essentially play with a chip on their shoulder, but the great thing about our guys is the two guys that are probably the most decorated, if you look at Clayton and Chase Utley, are guys that weren't that type guys, but have that DNA type. So now when you have essentially guys who have the most decorated baseball careers are that blue-collar, grinder, chip-on-your-shoulder-type player, and you get guys like [Enrique] Hernandez, Austin Barnes, Logan Forsythe, guys like that, that really helps this ballclub tremendously, Rich Hill.

So it's a nice mix of not only youth, but veterans. But at the core, though, the guys do have a certain pedigree as far as just grinder types.

Q. Perhaps the only decision you've made in the World Series that might have raised some eyebrows was taking Rich out early in Game 2. Your thoughts about going back to him in Game 6?

DAVE ROBERTS: I wouldn't change it. I would do it again. And Game 6, he's going to start Game 6. And once Game 6 starts, we'll see. We'll evaluate. We'll watch how it goes, how he's throwing the baseball, how the pen is, how the usage is at that point in time and what's at our disposal. But right now I'm just focused on tonight.

Q. I also have a clubhouse culture and unity question: Yesterday before the game all the players, including yourself, got together in a big huddle in the dugout. I saw a lot of smiles. I saw Clayton yelling a lot, it was obvious listening in. There was a mention on Darvish's Instagram that players said to him, "Hey, we'll get this one for you."

DAVE ROBERTS: Was it Y-u or y-o-u? Bad joke, sorry.

Q. Anyhow, Yu Darvish was very grateful toward his teammates for such comments. About the huddle, what can you tell us about it?

DAVE ROBERTS: It's a tight group. And I think to the guys' credit they embrace the moment. And it's baseball; you've got to have fun. And I don't know who was the ringleader right there, but it was fun to see Corey in the middle, Clayton yelling and Yu with the big smile on his face. And everyone was there. And I saw those guys there, so I had to jump on somebody's back. And it was just kind of the fun, what you do before a game and kind of get the energy up, if it already wasn't up.

But it was fun and getting guys ready to play. We've done that before and it was good to see.

Q. It didn't work yesterday, so --

DAVE ROBERTS: (Laughing) I'm sure they'll do it again today, I'll be in there.

Q. When did you recognize what a weapon what you had in Brandon Morrow? And what makes him so effective?

DAVE ROBERTS: Well, we knew what we had in Brandon. That's why our guys acquired him. But in Spring Training he was very good in Spring Training. You see the plus, plus velocity. And you always think of in a shorter stint, will his stuff play up? And so he really embraced coming out of the pen this year, and he did that for our Triple-A club. Had an out clause. And came up to us and really dominated. And so went back down, came back up and it didn't go back down again.

But it was clear early. Then it's a matter of me just kind of gaining that trust in him in higher-leverage situations. And as the season goes on, you've got to test him and see how he responds. But everything we put in front of him he responded really well. And so now you look at the way we kind of manage things, outside of Kenley, he's in the highest-leverage spot. He's created every opportunity for himself.

Q. Pitching coaches and players from both teams have talked about the difference in the baseballs being used in the World Series. Get some thoughts from you about that?

DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, it's interesting. It does seem like the balls are jumping more. And you look at the numbers. The pitchers talk about it feels different in their hand. The one component is the slickness and guys at different ballparks rub it up differently. So I really can't speak to that.

Sort of feels the same to me. But it's hard to argue the numbers. You know there's more velocity. Guys are swinging harder. I know in Los Angeles the air was light. It was hot. The ball was flying, carrying more than typically. But, I hesitate to try to give you any insight because I really don't know.

Q. You've been pretty consistent how you've used your bullpen after the playoffs. After a month of high-leverage situations pretty much every time someone goes out. Do you sense any tiredness in your guys? And if so, how they've responded or handled it, only two more games, obviously push through it?

DAVE ROBERTS: I think they responded to every situation. I would expect everyone on the field to be tired at this time of year. So it's a long season. So to expect any player, reliever, starting pitcher isn't tired at this point is out of the question.

But I think on a micro level you look at how we've used Brandon Morrow the last four days. He's probably more fatigued than the next guy in the pen. So I'd definitely take that into consideration. But when you're trying to win a championship, sometimes taking the long view isn't a luxury. You have to kind of win that day.

So our guys are in and the focus is to win tonight, but ultimately, yeah, two more games.

Q. When managing Clayton tonight, do you have to take into account the possibility of using him in 6 or 7?

DAVE ROBERTS: I won't take into account the uses of Clayton in 6 or 7. But obviously if you look at whatever happens and the potential side day that he might have, there's no other games left, potentially, yeah, it's been there. But at the forefront of my mind, I just want to watch Clayton. I expect him to pitch well, like he did in Game 1, and go from there.

So I think that this is the most important game of the season, and we have our best pitcher. And I'm going to manage it accordingly.

Q. Your pitchers seem very aggressive on strikes, different than other teams, is that something you really try to work on to get to that point, because in the long run it saves them pitches?

DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, it's clearly obvious that when you do get ahead of hitters, that you fare much better. And it's also clear that these guys are aggressive. So the idea of throwing a get-me-over slider or a fastball that gets a big part of the plate, is not the plan, obviously. You're still trying to execute a pitch on the first pitch. But our guys do a very good job of throwing strikes, not walking guys, missing bats in the strike zone with the fastball.

So to be where we're at right now, that's a lot of the scouting, signing guys and all that stuff. So we have a certain type of pitcher, I guess, that we look for. And strike-throwers are one thing, and obviously you've got to have big stuff, too.