THE MODERATOR: First question for Joe Maddon.
Q. Joe, we talked before the game about how your team would come out, and that part of it seemed okay. I guess it's one of those nights where you tip your hat to the other guy. And what was he doing besides throwing a lot of quality strikes out there?
JOE MADDON: He's good. He gets such great movement both directions with his cutter and his come-backer. He was hitting his edges. He pitched well. You've got to give him a lot of credit. He pitched well.
I liked our at-bats overall against Miller. I liked the fact we got him up to 50 pitches, also. So there were a lot of positives with that. We struck out a lot, but I'll defend the fact that we had some good at-bats. We had some opportunities, we were just unable to obviously get the big hit and knock the run in.
But saw a lot of pitches tonight. Kluber was outstanding, but I thought we did a good job against Miller.
Q. Bryant and Rizzo against the Dodgers in your two shutouts, they were pretty much cuffed. I think they were 3-for-14. Tonight I think 0-for-7. Is that a result of a couple Cy Young Award pitchers? Once you guys get going against the rest of the staff, or they get going, you seem to produce?
JOE MADDON: I'm a believer. I know we're going to be fine. You're right, they pitched really, really well tonight. Kluber was outstanding. Up and down the lineup overall I saw a lot of good things among a lot of our hitters tonight. How about Zobrist's great night? How about Schwarber having not played all year had some really good at-bats. I thought Javy had some good at-bats. Contreras coming off the bench was fine. David Ross worked good at-bats.
I mean, I'm not disappointed by any means except for the fact that we did not win. I thought we came out ready to play. They pitched well. The first inning hurt. The walks, not even the dribbler or the hit batter. It was the walks prior to that that really hurt us. And then their nine hole hitter Perez kicked us, man. He drove in four points today, so give him a lot of credit.
But overall, I was not disappointed. I know we had 15 punch-outs, I get it, but the quality of the at-bats were not that bad.
Q. In the 7th inning when you let David Ross bat against Miller, did you just like the match-up there for Ross as opposed to maybe Almora or Soler?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, I thought two things, I thought David could hit him or David would accept his walk more than the other guys. As it turned out, he got called out on a check swing, that could have been ball four. David works good at-bats in that moment. So I felt good about him, actually. I felt better about him.
He's been in the game against Miller. Miller has struck out a lot of people over the last several times he's been out there. I think with Soler coming off the bench or Albert they had less of a chance than David. Because I thought there was a twofold opportunity to either get the hit or draw the walk.
Q. Would you talk about letting Schwarber face Miller twice, and how you thought he battled him?
JOE MADDON: Great. I mean, he accepted the walk the first time. That was outstanding. That's when Miller still was kind of frisky. The second time up he's kind of on fumes and he battled through and pretty much missed a hanging slider there at the very end. So I thought he got two really good at-bats versus him today. I thought the bat speed looked good.
You could see on the finish sometimes maybe the brace grabs him just a little bit. I kind of noticed that. Otherwise there was no kind of negative atmosphere surrounding his at-bats. I thought they were outstanding, actually.
Q. Kind of an unusual move that the game time is moved to 7:00 tomorrow because of rain coming.
JOE MADDON: Yeah.
Q. Does that have any effect on you? Do you remember anything like that ever happening?
JOE MADDON: I do not remember that, but I think that's a great idea, if, in fact, that's going to happen. We went out for that pitching change, and Rizzo said, "Hey, look at the scoreboard, the game's been moved up an hour." So that's when I realized it had been moved up an hour, on the mound.
But with technology as it is and you have good weather reports, I'd rather do that than have the game start at 8:00, and then get caught in the latter part of the game with some rain. So I think it's a good idea.
Q. Not that you'd be worried about your team after one game, but the fact that you had trailed 2-1 in the last series and the way your team responded to that, does that give you confidence going here after losing Game 1?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, listen, I'm not upset whatsoever. Like I said, they pitched really well tonight. Jonny pitched -- wasn't on top of his game, but really gave us a chance to win. That first inning, like I said was unfortunate. Those three runs in the last inning make it look really awful, that six. I mean, Ronnie just hangs a slider and the guy hits a home run. Otherwise it's tightly contested, and who knows what happens in the last inning. The six runs makes it look more lopsided.
But I have no concerns. I thought we were ready to play. Our guys looked really good. They were great in the dugout today. It's the first game. I'm fine, we're fine.
Q. Did anything in the game today inform you about the Schwarber start tomorrow, and do you think he can handle anything in Wrigley more than pinch-hitting?
JOE MADDON: What I saw today is that he absolutely will start tomorrow. I didn't even realize this, but before the game we were talking about can he play at Wrigley, and Peter Chase corrected me, he has not been cleared to play defense yet. So we'll have to wait and see. That's a doctor's call.
So he definitely passed the eye test for me regarding swinging the bat at the plate. And I kind of alluded to that also that, let's just keep an open mind about it. But I will have nothing to say with that. That will be called from the medical staff.
Q. Talking about feeling good about the at-bats and feeling good going forward, is part of that just knowing they don't have another Kluber, that he pitched well tonight, but if you keep doing these at-bats, maybe things will happen?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, I have so much confidence and trust in our guys. Listen, I've seen Kluber before. That does not surprise anybody that's seen him before. I know Bauer, UCLA kid. I know he's got a really good arm, also. I've seen Tomlin, after that, I've seen all these guys from the American League, and they're good.
The guy tonight, like you said, he's in a different league. So if we can continue to work these same kind of at-bats, I feel good moving forward. And that's not to denigrate anybody we're going to face. I just thought we actually did better than that all looked tonight. So I'm eager to get back out there and play again tomorrow.
Q. Just to follow up, when teams shut down Bryant and Riz, what do they do? How do they attack them?
JOE MADDON: Well, I can't tell you that specifically now, otherwise we'd have to get -- for me primarily I think KB chasing pitches out of the zone today, but again, Kluber does that to a lot of folks. And with Anthony, he fouled his pitch back a couple times. Again, when I talked to him on the mound there, the pitching changes, he was very upset with himself because he's seeing the ball really well right now. When your hitters tell you they're seeing the ball well, you can take some solace in that, too.
So our guys are good. They'll be ready to play tomorrow. I like the idea of the game being moved up just if it's going to take the weather out of it. So that's all good stuff. But, again, I'm pleased with our guys.
THE MODERATOR: First question for Joe Maddon.