Oct. 26 Joe Maddon postgame interview

October 27th, 2016

Q. Joe, you often talk about the importance of scoring first. How important was that tonight? And for Jake to do what he did?

JOE MADDON: We did. That's our goal. That's our mantra on a nightly basis. If you look at this playoff run for everybody, the team that scores first normally has a pretty good advantage. We want to do it all the time. Then that probably did permit Jake, maybe the improper word is to relax, but he got settled in better.

Overall he had great stuff. His command, a little bit scattered at times, but he kept battling through. Didn't give up any hits. Finally it was like 96 or 98 pitches by the time I took him out. I think a lot of it he just had a hard time gripping the baseball. It was kind of difficult with that. But great stuff. Great stuff.

I thought Willson did a really good job with him tonight, also. I thought they worked well together. But scoring first is always something you want to do.

Q. You've addressed this a few times, I think, but what are the chances that Schwarber will be able to play left field in Game 3? Will tomorrow help determine that at all? Does one day make any difference? Where are you guys at with that?

JOE MADDON: That's going to be what the doctors tell us. I have no idea. We're going to go back. We have mandatory workout tomorrow, so we're going to be at the ballpark. If it's okay, possibly you might see him taking some fly balls, if there's any chance at all.

But I honestly don't know. That's something I'm waiting to hear from our guys, from our medical side, because obviously he looks good. He looks good at the plate. Running the bases he looks pretty good so far. I talked to him there before his last at-bat. I asked him if he got on base if he was good to go. He said, yes, and I said, okay, fine. Good to go as far as running. I said, "Just make sure you stay smart with it." And there's nothing about watching him that tells me that he's inhibited right now.

Q. Speaking of Schwarber again, what has his presence in the middle of your lineup done for the rest of the guys?

JOE MADDON: You saw, he jacks everybody up. Those couple big hits he got, again, really Rizzo really responded to it well. The whole group did. It makes your lineup longer. It makes it thicker. It makes it better. Zobrist is seeing better pitches right now because of that, too, I believe.

So we knew what it would be like all year long. We didn't have it. And now we're going to have it in a short spurt right now, and it's kind of fun. It's a great weapon to have.

You see how he's taking pitches that are just borderline. I don't know if that last pitch was a strike or not, but he's really seeing the ball well. And that's the part that's probably the most amazing part. Hitting the ball is one thing, but you can see he's not jumpy. He's seeing borderline pitches, staying off a ball, he's not check swinging and offering. That's the part that's really impressive to me.

Q. Schwarber again, you've been in the game a long time, does anyone comparable come to mind this guy not playing April 7th to October 25th, and performing at the level that he is?

JOE MADDON: No, no. I mean, I've seen guys come back from injuries during the season, but they've gone through rehab and they didn't have that severe of an injury to come back and play. I don't think there's any real comp for it. I don't. Nothing that I've seen. I'm just going through the mental Rolodex right now. I don't think I've seen that.

You know, CC () came back from a pretty good injury in 2008. We actually played a game at the Trop for him to make sure everything was fine, something in his leg. Or his hand, maybe it was his hand was pretty bad. So we had to go through that. But to blow up your knee, you know, and then to come back, that really speaks to the surgeon, too, the doctor. That's quite a job that this guy did to get him back on his feet.

And then the rehab part of it. I get to watch it all the time, because our clubhouse permits it. He's insatiable with his work. He just is, and our training staff has done a great job. So there's a lot of people that have helped this cause, but he's a different cat. He absolutely is.

Q. You had six players tonight under 25. How easy is it to forget that they're that young and maybe take them for granted how good they are?

JOE MADDON: Yeah, there might be moments at the game, particularly at the plate, where you see it. They might get a little bit out of control on occasion at the plate. But in the field they've been outstanding, whether it's Javy -- and I thought Willson made some really pertinent trips to the mound today. Really well-timed, good trips to discuss strategy with the pitcher. I was really impressed with that.

You're right, I don't really think about these guys are that young. Addison really swung the bat well again tonight. Up and down I don't focus on that. I mean, before the game I heard that, and of course I realized that. But game in progress, you're so able to speak with them, and if you need to make any adjustments they can hear you. They can slow it down to the point where they can hear you.

So, again, this is 2016, moving forward as they've gained this experience from this season and the World Series experience, they're going to keep getting better. These kids are going to get better. They're scratching the surface of how good they can be.

Q. This is when you're at your best, grinding out long at-bats, getting on bases other than hits.


Q. The other thing I wanted to ask you about, is a World Series game in Wrigley Field, what do you think it's going to be like?

JOE MADDON: Well, the at-bats, we got, was it 3 2/3 when we got Bauer out of there with 87 pitches? That always concerns me because we only had two runs at the time. We've done that often this year. We've left a lot of guys on base. And I don't want to stand here and moan or groan about anything, but we see pitches, we grind out at-bats. The one thing that would really get us over the top the rest of the series as we do that, finish it off. Score a couple runs there to make it somewhat easier in the latter part of the game, but we've done that often this year. That's what we do. We see pitches, even like last night, I think we saw 151 pitches last night. Normally when you see 151 pitches, you score several runs. You don't get shut out. So I liked the at-bats last night, and it continued tonight.

Wrigley, it's going to be -- you know, it's always good. It's always crazy good, but I'd have to imagine a little bit more than that, especially coming back at 1-1. I think the folks will be jacked up about the win tonight. But it is, it's the finest venue there is in professional sports and maybe in all of sports. I really, when I stand there in that corner, haven't been around, but when you look up and you see that last seat in that farthest corner, it is always filled on a Monday at 1:00 it will be filled. So our fans are all of that. But now having a World Series to root for, it's going to be incredibly special.

Q. You may have been asked this before, when was the first time somebody raised the possibility that Kyle might get -- when did it first cross your radar that he might get to play in the World Series?

JOE MADDON: It wasn't crossing my mind at all until, gosh, I don't know the exact date. It was right while we were playing the Dodgers. We were in Los Angeles. We were in L.A. and I can't remember exactly, probably it was Theo came to me and said that he's been cleared to hit by the doctor. And we didn't even ask; the doctor said it to us. So he's cleared to hit, good, so let's go. We hit a little bit in the cage there in L.A. in that small clubhouse there. Then, okay, we have some games we can send him down to Arizona, have him get involved in the Arizona Fall League. We can set up something at the complex to have a pitcher, an actual pitcher that has good stuff throw to him. Of course, he went above and beyond by tracking pitches up against the pitching machine and getting his hands all bloody and all that good stuff.

So I don't know. There might have been a week ago, something like that. It wasn't more than a week to ten days at the most. I'm here to tell you, it wasn't on my radar screen at all, because I was told that -- I kept encouraging him for next year. We were not expecting him to be ready for the playoffs right now.

Q. The Cleveland hitters did a lot of stepping out of the box and calling time. What were your thoughts on that?

JOE MADDON: Well, that's just gamesmanship. When you do a scouting report, everybody's going to attempt to try to do something to disrupt the flow. Hitting is timing, pitching is the upsetting of timing, and it's almost working in reverse where they're trying to upset the pitcher's timing. I have no problem with it. I mean, I don't even see it half the time. I get so engrossed in what I'm doing.

I don't know if you're talking from a timing-of-the-game perspective or you're talking from purely an annoying perspective from the other side. I don't know where you're coming from on that. But for me, that's gamesmanship, and that's been part of the game forever.

Q. I know you're deferring to the doctors when it comes to Kyle and the field and that kind of thing, but yourself, when you do get a chance to maybe see him catch fly balls and that kind of thing tomorrow, what are the types of things you're looking for?

JOE MADDON: I have total faith that he can. I'm not even concerned about that. My concern is what the doctor does say regarding lateral movement, quick stops, abrupt stops, change of direction. Those are the kind of things I don't know anything about.

So I am certain that if he went out there with a fungo hitting fly balls, he's going to look somewhat normal going after the fly balls, absolutely. But I don't know the biological component of this where I don't even attempt to try to get involved with that. That's exactly what I'm talking about. So I assume or would assume that he's going to look normal, but what does the doctor say?