Q. Besides getting the win and avoiding having to play a deciding Game 5, is there any bigger message sent by the way you guys did finish this off against a team that's been so tough to eliminate?JOE MADDON: Well, I think as a group, obviously, it's two years in
Q. Besides getting the win and avoiding having to play a deciding Game 5, is there any bigger message sent by the way you guys did finish this off against a team that's been so tough to eliminate?
JOE MADDON: Well, I think as a group, obviously, it's two years in a row now that we're getting to this particular level. I think it validates on a lot of different levels the job that we have done to this point.
I think if you're a player on this particular team within the organization, it's getting to the point now you want to expect to get to the postseason and you want to expect to get deeply into the postseason. It also speaks to the way we played. Javy just touched on it that there's 27 outs and you don't give any of them up and you keep playing for all 27. After the game, even on the mound there taking the photographs, the guys were chanting "We don't quit, we don't quit."
We don't quit. That's really what it comes down to. You hear that all the time, everybody says it, but you have to actually live it. And I have to tell you, I've seen it so many times from this group. And that's a big part of our philosophy. And I like to keep things simple, and that's simple, and I can't -- I don't want to get complicated. We just play 27 outs.
Q. Would you agree that Anthony started to get better at-bats tonight?
JOE MADDON: He walked. He walked. That's it. What did he have, two walks? Two walks and a line drive up the middle, right? When guys are struggling at all, more than likely, for me, they're expanding their strike zone. That's it. That's normally what causes guys to go backward.
And he, being who he is, and like I said before the game, they're going to target him. They're going to say we're not going to let him beat us. We're just not going to pitch to this guy. And I'm sure that was part of the game plan. So, he finally made the adjustment today. We just -- he just needs to take his walks, if they want to do that and move it along to the next guy. Zobrist's double, pretty big play. Very large play today. So we were maybe non-conventional in the way the lineup is built. I think I pinch hit for Addison for the first time ever today. But they all knew coming into it. Double switch for Jason Heyward yesterday, they all knew coming into it. I explained it to them before, things are just a little bit -- it's the same but everything's different in regards to the kind of moves you may make at this time of the season. They're all on board, and it just happened to play out.
Q. To use like a video game analogy, you see it as you're kind of just going to the next stage, the next level, there's so much expectation in this club, you're two steps away now from --
JOE MADDON: Yeah, and we love it. I'm telling you, man, that's a good word. Expectations is a good word. Because normally it means that you have something good attached to it at the other side. Pressure expectations, I want our guys to thrive on those two words for the years to come, I want the organization to. In the end that means there's a lot of expected of you. Good. There should be. We should all have a lot expected of us. And then it should be it should manifest itself in the sense that it should bring out the best you. And I think that you saw that tonight within our group. You've seen it all season, that's actually like 106 wins I think for the year. That's pretty significant. So all those things I want to have us channel in a positive direction.
Q. Any thoughts tonight on facing either the Dodgers or Nationals, knowing that neither Scherzer nor Kershaw can pitch Game 1?
JOE MADDON: Honestly, I don't have any desire either way. I really don't. Washington's a shorter plane ride. Couple time zone changes going out west. Know Andrew with the Dodgers. Andrew Friedman and I are friends. Washington, I don't know as many people. We have a house, I mean, there's all this kind of stuff.
It doesn't matter. Because when you start worrying about who you're going to play, it could bite you. Because it really shouldn't matter. We played both groups this year. We played decently against both. It's a different time of the year.
So, again, I really don't. I'm just happy to be in the dance.
Q. So much has been made about your team having that wonderful atmosphere, relaxed, fun, almost a clubhouse, kidding around. How easy has it been for you to get the guys to buy in, and how much fun has it been for you as a manager to work with this team? You had some good teams down in Tampa, but this is a special group.
JOE MADDON: This is a special group. It's pretty easy when you want to have kids act like kids. Listen, but you see them on the field, they play. We play hard. I think we play it right. We're pretty fundamentally sound. Normally we play a good game of baseball on a daily basis. And understand, we're going to get better. These kids are young. They're young. This whole infield today. Rizzo was 27, by far the oldest out of the whole group. When you put Contreras behind the plate, and of course if Soler is in the outfield, then it's pretty youthful. So, to be able to be participating in this particular moment now speaks well for the future, because I don't anticipate any of them changing when it comes to their personalities, their methods. I just think they're going to get better. Not -- they're not going to get full of themselves and think it's just going to throw my glove out there and it's going to come to it. I don't think our guys will ever be that way. So, it's fun. I like to have fun. I have never done anything well in my entire life that I didn't enjoy. I want them to enjoy this moment. They enjoyed the moment tonight, and they get a chance to move on.
Q. Your top of the 8th, you go down one, two, three. What's going through your mind going through the bottom?
JOE MADDON: Johnny Cueto at Wrigley Field. And I was telling the folks in there if you ever looked at those numbers, they're not good for us. He's really tough on us. Like Rizzo is 3-26 or 27, something like that. I think some people are like O-fer. Our team batting average might be barely over 100. So I mean that. In the first game, my thought was, full disclosure, I did not want to see him in the 5th game. I don't care where it was being played. He's deceptive. He's good. He knows what he's doing out there, and he gives us problems. So I'm happy to not having to face him in a winner-take-all game. That was it. I'm being very honest.
Q. You get to reset your rotation, which I would assume, however you do it, everybody will be fresh. It will be the way you want it. And whoever you play won't have that luxury. How much of an advantage is that for you? And, secondly, scoring like you did tonight, at late in the game, and with Rizzo getting going, does that make you feel like maybe this lineup is going to break loose like it did at one point last postseason, or are these postseason games just grinds and that's what people should expect?
JOE MADDON: I think you should expect the grind. The pitching's so good on both sides. You don't get to this point without good pitching. It would be difficult for me to imagine we're just going to go out there and start pummeling the baseball. I just want us to work good at-bats. Work good at-bats. Like last night we got Bumgarner up to 85 pitches after four innings. That's pretty solid right there. That was an example. Tonight Matt Moore was outstanding. I never seen him pitch like that. I've seen him good. I've seen him win a playoff game in Texas. But that's as good as I've seen him. Total package, everything, command, everything he had going on tonight. It was outstanding. So, yeah, regardless of who we play, the pitching's going to be good. Yeah, we have a little extra break, but we just went through that coming off the season having to wait on the Wild Card to get to this particular moment. We got to wait on that. So I think we handled that well, and I didn't feel any rust, the famous, the buzzword right now, rust. I didn't really notice that about us.
Q. You just talked about the rust and all that. Is that a worry in the back of your mind that players can get rusty?
JOE MADDON: It's hard -- no, I'm not, and I tell you, we have such a great leadership within the clubhouse. You're at a particular time of the year that you should be eager and ready to play. Regardless of the weather, wherever you're playing at, all that kind of stuff. And you should be ready to play. So, I -- rustiness, if there's any, that should be kicked off after the first couple innings. And I also believe that rust is really mitigated by good starting pitching. So if your starter goes out there and pitches well, if you're a little bit rusty, it gives you a chance to get into the game.
Q. When you look at how your players came in the 9th inning after that one-two-three 8th, did you think there was any like -- I don't want to use the word osmosis, that your players were able to sort of channel that instinct that they had, like the Giants, where you guys just wouldn't give up, wouldn't quit, give it everything to the last out?
JOE MADDON: I want us to -- I think we're building that reputation, just like the Giants have established that reputation, that you do play to the last drop, and that this time of the year you better come with your A game because we're going to show up for 27 outs. I really -- yeah, I -- listen, it's impressive that we beat them. They're -- regardless of what their record was this year, and I know they had their travails in the second half, but they're outstanding. And their professionalism and how they play it's really -- it's high and it's top notch. And so I think it's for us to be able to beat them and beat them here in this particular game, hopefully I think that bodes well for the future in regards to how we feel about ourselves.
And the last question, I do want to congratulate the Giants. Listen, I've known Bochy for a long time. I've always had a tremendous amount of respect for him and how he does things and this entire organization. I have a lot of friends in this organization. I actually had the pleasure of meeting Willie Mays before the game today, which was really special for me. So for us to be able to win today, it's like I said, to beat you guys in this ballpark is not easy, and it's -- the way you guys do things, I think it's very admirable and a great example for the rest of the industry.
Q. What do you think about Bochy's run of 10 straight elimination games?
JOE MADDON: It's crazy. I'm talking about that, it's crazy good. It just doesn't happen. That's so difficult to do. When we talk about Bochy, we have not been good friends but we have been friendlies for a long time, and I remember when he managed in Riverside. I remember that. I remember having conversations with him. And he's just likable. He's a likeable guy. But then I've always thought he had a fearless method of managing, which I always respected in any manager, when their not afraid to do different things because they're not afraid to answer a tough question posed. And that's one of the -- I think one of the best ingredients a manager can have, and I think he's just dripping with that. So I always felt that way about him. And furthermore, just a side note, my son had to do a photo shoot with him one time for a friend, and he treated my son like gold. And my son still is a Bochy fan. I hope Joey, if he's watching right now, he's not too upset. Because the way Bochy treated him at that time, he just got on the phone and told me what a great gentleman he was and how well he treated him.