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Oct. 18 Dave Roberts postgame interview

October 18, 2016

Q. With Yasmani, a big theme of his story this year has been his stick-to-it-iveness, struggled early on, came aboard in the second half. In the playoffs, struggled and then came aboard today. Can you talk about how well he's played in these playoffs? DAVE ROBERTS: Well, in the playoffs,

Q. With Yasmani, a big theme of his story this year has been his stick-to-it-iveness, struggled early on, came aboard in the second half. In the playoffs, struggled and then came aboard today. Can you talk about how well he's played in these playoffs?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, in the playoffs, and I think even going back through the season, his defense has been remarkable and elite. So, yeah, he had his struggles early on, but really had a great second half and put together a really nice year. The postseason, what he's done to our pitching staff, the starters, the guys in the pen has been remarkable. And I just can't say enough about his growth. And really, just going through the struggles offensively, and understanding that his primary responsibility is to control the pitching staff. And today that at-bat that he put getting behind the count, fouling some pitches off, and getting a fastball in his nitro zone, and driving it out of the ballpark, obviously a huge at-bat. Reddick right there, legs out an infield single. So that's kind of just what our guys do. But for Yasi to get rewarded and putting together that at-bat was huge.

Q. Rich Hill's performance tonight looked like he completely neutralized their offense. Was that it?
DAVE ROBERTS: Richie, it's interesting that the starts that I've seen him this year, it wasn't his best stuff. I think that curveball command wasn't as I know he would like it, but that just shows that he goes out there and competes. He still has a very good chance to get guys out, but I think that his preparedness, his guts, you know, really kept those guys at bay. But changing speeds, pitching off the breaking ball, mixing in the fastball, yeah, he kept them off balance all night. I know that it meant a lot for him to give us six innings and throw six scoreless.

Q. Joe Maddon was talking about how effective he was when he dropped down with his delivery. Did he do more of that tonight than he has in the past, or is this something that he's been working on all along pretty much?
DAVE ROBERTS: No, he does that. He has that in his mix. But I think that the regular delivery, you know, the feel for locating that curveball wasn't as it normally is. So I think that just to add a little more deception by dropping down, throwing the fastball, that big strikeout to Rizzo. As a hitter, changing the arm slots, it gets tough to stay in there.

Q. You've pitched Jansen multiple innings, multiple days. Your thoughts on the comfort level doing that, and also keeping him in for the final inning with a big lead?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, I think that this was an important game for us to have. All of these games are important. But I think [he] threw 18 pitches a couple days ago, off-day yesterday, had him in there, had him hot. Still we added on, which was great to see. But for me, I didn't want to change the momentum at all. And the first out pitch count was manageable, so I think that I felt good just leaving him in there.

Q. How concerned are you at all with nerves when it comes to Julio and making this start?
DAVE ROBERTS: Not at all. Not at all. I think that getting an opportunity to know that he's a Game 4 starter, to prepare for that start, which he's had the opportunity. And one of the things I think for all of us is nerves is the least of our concerns.

Q. Did you see something a little different in Corey's at-bats tonight, and how important could he be moving forward after a game like this?
DAVE ROBERTS: Obviously, Corey's a huge piece to what we're trying to get to. He's had some struggles recently. But every time he gets in the box, I expect something good to happen. But today he got some good pitches against a very good pitcher. That two-out hit was huge to get us on the board. But the at-bat quality all night long for Corey was great. Using the big part of the field. You know, the right center, the left field, bullet up the middle. So he checked all the boxes tonight.

Q. Yasmani said he was basically just trying to make contact and fight off pitches after he got to two strikes. But for a guy who hasn't hit a home run since I think September 22, to put that much power into a ball that he's just trying to make contact with, were you a little surprised he hasn't gone deep in as long as he has?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, you know what, I think it's one of those things where Yasmani has been victim of trying maybe a little bit too hard. I think that when you're seeing a lot of balls out of the strike zone, that's not a good combination. So when you've got two strikes, he just wanted to try to see the baseball shorten up. And a lot of times when hitters shorten up and see the ball, you still maintain your bat speed. So he's a strong young man, and he put a good swing on it.

Q. The second inning was the one inning where Hill seemed to be fighting himself a bit. He walked two batters and a lot of pitches. If he gives up a run there, are you starting to get the bullpen going? Is that how close it came from going from a six-inning outing to a two-inning outing?
DAVE ROBERTS: It was a thought. It was a thought. I think that maybe if he had lost a hitter, I might have thought about it. And I was thinking about it a little bit. But still he's had some abbreviated starts lately, so I really wanted to have him get an opportunity to work through it. And I really didn't feel comfortable about pulling the plug on him tonight. So I wanted him to kind of work through it, like I said. And fortunately he did.

Q. What are the factors that could go into determining your rotation beyond Game 4?
DAVE ROBERTS: I just think that kind of where we're at in the series. But I like Julio tomorrow, and I like Kenta as well. And I think Kenta, the linescore didn't show how well he pitched in Chicago.

So right now we're not worried about deviating from our plan.