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Oct. 9 Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin postgame interview

MLB.com

Q. Josh, can you describe that last play, what you saw and what made you break for home?
JOSH DONALDSON: Well, it was 3-2 and Russell was taking some pretty big swings. So I was expecting contact right there. I was able to get a pretty good secondary. I was at third base when the throw was being made. Once I saw him miss the pick, I felt like I had to take a chance right there, and fortunately for us I was able to make it.

Q. Can both of you guys talk about moving on for the second straight year and accomplishing the first step of your goals or the second step, whatever it is?
RUSSELL MARTIN: Well, it definitely took a collective effort. I felt like this series was kind of an indicator of how our team is built. We're resilient. We play good defense. Our pitching has been tremendous throughout the year, and in the small sample size I kind of felt like we touched on everything that we were able to accomplish all year. But for me it's pitching and defense and obviously the offense is necessary. But we've been doing that all year.

So it's just nice to have a team that goes out there and battles, guys that play hurt. Guys play banged up. No excuses. Just really proud of this team and the way we handle ourselves. And obviously with the circumstances against this team that we kind of had some bad blood against, I kind of felt it was good baseball being played, and we kind of put our emotions aside and played good baseball.

JOSH DONALDSON: I think Russ hit it right on the spot right there. It was two really good teams going at it and we're excited to come ahead. There's no way I would have thought we would have swept these guys because they're a very good team, and you know they're just as resilient as we are. They answered back today with Sanchez on the mound, and we were able to kind of put that many runs up early.

It's kind of one of those things where as an offense you have a pretty tough task at hand because Sanchez has been a horse for us this year and been dominant. And they did a great job of battling back, taking the lead on us. And we were just kind of able to do what we do, grind out at-bats and fortunately for us they were kind of able to make a couple of mistakes that benefited us.

And with the wild pitch or passed -- I don't know what the official scorekeeper gave it -- but they allowed us to tie the game up. Zeke hits a ball down the line, the guy makes a great defensive play down the line, and we were kind of able to answer back with some good defense. And Osuna, I mean, this guy did a great job for us.

I mean, it's awesome that we have him on our side. And just at the same token, Matt Bush for those guys did a great job. I think I looked up when Russ was up, he had 40, 50-something pitches, I don't know if he's ever done that in his entire career and still throwing 99 miles an hour. It's a pretty tough task for us as well, and we were able to sneak one across.

Q. You've been through a fair bit physically over the past month. Where are you at right now? And obviously you ran pretty well on that play. How physically restricted are you or how good are you feeling right now?
JOSH DONALDSON: I want to say I'm not physically restricted.

RUSSELL MARTIN: Just lie.

JOSH DONALDSON: It is what -- when you have 50,000 fans screaming it kind of numbs the pain a little bit. It gives you that little extra jolt of adrenalin. So I'm going to leave it at that. I don't really want to be too specific about anything. But the fact of the matter is I want to be out there for my team and my teammates want me out there and I want to try to contribute in any way possible. And for the most part I've been able to do that.

Q. Rounding third, was there any doubt in your mind that you were going to make it? And Russ, at what point did you figure out that he was safe? Did somebody mob you? Was it the crowd?
RUSSELL MARTIN: I was looking at the play unfold. As soon as I kind of saw the pick, or I saw him leave the bag early. And I saw the bobble and then I looked at Josh and he immediately took off. And when that happened, I kind of saw the footwork and the guy's a lefty -- Mitch Moreland is a lefty. He kind of had to reset himself, and kind of saw the play unfold and saw that he had a bead on it.

So I was just hoping for kind of like an offline throw, and the throw's a bit low, I think, and Josh snuck in there and just a great offensive baserunning play.

JOSH DONALDSON: What's kind of crazy is, I know -- I played against Mitch Moreland for a long time and played against him in college as well. The guy has a great arm. So it wasn't one of those situations where I was just wheeling around third to score because I respect Mitch's arm.

And for me the deciding factor was once I saw the ball get away from him, I felt like I had to take a chance. And that situation in the game, if he ends up throwing me out, making a great play you kind of have to tip your cap to him. But I'm banking on the fact that I'm going to make it more times than not, and it ended up working out for us tonight.

Q. Can you guys take us through how bizarre it was, you cross home plate you get mobbed and you had to wait on that review, and you hold off a little bit? And then you celebrate again, what was that like and how bizarre was it as a way to end the game?
RUSSELL MARTIN: Anticlimactic is the word. You're kind of just waiting. Celebrate, we think we won, and then they challenge the play and you're like: Oh gosh, let's not have a technicality kind of ruin this moment for us right here. And it didn't, gratefully. But it was a little bit of a buzz kill at the time. You're just like -- because I didn't see the slide at second base, I didn't know if it was a good slide or what's considered a good slide now, I don't even know. But I was just happy that they ruled no interference and whatnot and we won the game.

JOSH DONALDSON: I concur. It wasn't one of -- it was.

RUSSELL MARTIN: It was like a double celebration.

JOSH DONALDSON: Yeah, it was kind of like.

RUSSELL MARTIN: No, we didn't win yet, oh, yeah, we did, yeah.

JOSH DONALDSON: I don't know. It's kind of one of those things where the slide replays, it's hurt us a couple of times this year. I want to say it was the second game of the season playing Tampa Bay. I think I actually ended up scoring the go-ahead run, and Tampa, then they call Bats or Bautista for the interference.

So it's kind of like.

RUSSELL MARTIN: Cost us the game.

JOSH DONALDSON: You start going through the memories of how it's affected you in the past. And you're just -- I looked at Eddie, I said, please tell me you had a good slide. If you don't have a good slide this isn't good. We are not cool right now if you did not have a good slide. (Laughter) but fortunately it was good. And Eddie had a good slide right there. And we were able to win the game.

Q. Josh, given who you beat, is this a little sweeter given the history last year and the beginning of this year?
JOSH DONALDSON: I will be as honest with you as possible. I tried not to get caught up in that stuff. It's kind of one of those things where it gets put out in the media a lot about what's going on. And Russ, he's been around a while, I've been around a while. And we've been a part of stuff that's somewhat dramatic like this in the past.

And the best way that I know to handle it is just to go out there, put your egos in check. Your team comes first.

And you have to do the best that you can in order to help your team win. If you let all that other stuff kind of distracting you and getting into your head, you know, it's going to somehow affect your game probably not in a positive manner. And so for me I try to -- I brushed it off and, honestly, I turned the page from it after we left there. And I just wanted to go out there and play good, clean baseball. And I felt like both teams were able to do that.

And fortunately for us we were able to win the series as well.

Q. As a follow-up, you look at -- you've been pitching great all year, and the last three games the power game has returned. Do you feel like these guys might be peaking a little bit at the right time?
JOSH DONALDSON: We definitely feel good about where we are at right. We feel, Russ touched on it earlier, we're pitching well and we're playing good defense and right now we've been able to hit the homer. And that's a big -- that's a big positive for our offense, because there's times when we rely on that, because we don't have a lot of guys in our lineup that are speed-oriented and that are going to really take advantage of a lot of extra bases. Just because some guys, we don't have that. That's not how we're really built.

But we are built to hit the long ball and we were able to do that this series. And it's going to be important for us throughout the entire way.

Q. Josh, you hinted about how you're feeling, and Russell as a catcher I'm sure you have knocks. It's been a wild ride this last week. How important is it now that you get a few days off?
JOSH DONALDSON: It's important. We were kind of talking about it on the plane ride. The better or the earlier we were able to kind of win this series, not saying that we we're looking past Texas, but we said, hey, man, if we were able to kind of win in a shorter series right here, it would give us a little bit of time for some of the guys on our team to kind of heal up a little bit. We feel like.

And we're definitely going to enjoy tonight. We're going to celebrate and have a good time, but then it's going to go back into recovery mode, and we have -- Russ has done a great job being behind the plate, thank God. I don't ever want to do that again. I see the beating he takes on a daily basis.

So we're going to -- we definitely appreciate, A, winning the series, and B, that we'll get a few days to rest.

RUSSELL MARTIN: I agree. You can spin it however you want. Some people like to say a couple of days off might throw our timing off. I really don't believe in that. At this point in the year a couple days off can do wonders. So for our bullpen, our pitching, get everybody's arms fresh. And the same thing for guys who are banged up. A couple of days can go a long way in this game it seems like.

JOSH DONALDSON: And thanks to Jason Grilli and Benoit and a few other guys, we have the oldest team in baseball, I think, oldest roster. So we're going to -- there's going to be some guys who are a little bit older that's going to need a few days' rest. They're going to need a blow.

Q. Josh, can you describe that last play, what you saw and what made you break for home?
JOSH DONALDSON: Well, it was 3-2 and Russell was taking some pretty big swings. So I was expecting contact right there. I was able to get a pretty good secondary. I was at third base when the throw was being made. Once I saw him miss the pick, I felt like I had to take a chance right there, and fortunately for us I was able to make it.

Q. Can both of you guys talk about moving on for the second straight year and accomplishing the first step of your goals or the second step, whatever it is?
RUSSELL MARTIN: Well, it definitely took a collective effort. I felt like this series was kind of an indicator of how our team is built. We're resilient. We play good defense. Our pitching has been tremendous throughout the year, and in the small sample size I kind of felt like we touched on everything that we were able to accomplish all year. But for me it's pitching and defense and obviously the offense is necessary. But we've been doing that all year.

So it's just nice to have a team that goes out there and battles, guys that play hurt. Guys play banged up. No excuses. Just really proud of this team and the way we handle ourselves. And obviously with the circumstances against this team that we kind of had some bad blood against, I kind of felt it was good baseball being played, and we kind of put our emotions aside and played good baseball.

JOSH DONALDSON: I think Russ hit it right on the spot right there. It was two really good teams going at it and we're excited to come ahead. There's no way I would have thought we would have swept these guys because they're a very good team, and you know they're just as resilient as we are. They answered back today with Sanchez on the mound, and we were able to kind of put that many runs up early.

It's kind of one of those things where as an offense you have a pretty tough task at hand because Sanchez has been a horse for us this year and been dominant. And they did a great job of battling back, taking the lead on us. And we were just kind of able to do what we do, grind out at-bats and fortunately for us they were kind of able to make a couple of mistakes that benefited us.

And with the wild pitch or passed -- I don't know what the official scorekeeper gave it -- but they allowed us to tie the game up. Zeke hits a ball down the line, the guy makes a great defensive play down the line, and we were kind of able to answer back with some good defense. And Osuna, I mean, this guy did a great job for us.

I mean, it's awesome that we have him on our side. And just at the same token, Matt Bush for those guys did a great job. I think I looked up when Russ was up, he had 40, 50-something pitches, I don't know if he's ever done that in his entire career and still throwing 99 miles an hour. It's a pretty tough task for us as well, and we were able to sneak one across.

Q. You've been through a fair bit physically over the past month. Where are you at right now? And obviously you ran pretty well on that play. How physically restricted are you or how good are you feeling right now?
JOSH DONALDSON: I want to say I'm not physically restricted.

RUSSELL MARTIN: Just lie.

JOSH DONALDSON: It is what -- when you have 50,000 fans screaming it kind of numbs the pain a little bit. It gives you that little extra jolt of adrenalin. So I'm going to leave it at that. I don't really want to be too specific about anything. But the fact of the matter is I want to be out there for my team and my teammates want me out there and I want to try to contribute in any way possible. And for the most part I've been able to do that.

Q. Rounding third, was there any doubt in your mind that you were going to make it? And Russ, at what point did you figure out that he was safe? Did somebody mob you? Was it the crowd?
RUSSELL MARTIN: I was looking at the play unfold. As soon as I kind of saw the pick, or I saw him leave the bag early. And I saw the bobble and then I looked at Josh and he immediately took off. And when that happened, I kind of saw the footwork and the guy's a lefty -- Mitch Moreland is a lefty. He kind of had to reset himself, and kind of saw the play unfold and saw that he had a bead on it.

So I was just hoping for kind of like an offline throw, and the throw's a bit low, I think, and Josh snuck in there and just a great offensive baserunning play.

JOSH DONALDSON: What's kind of crazy is, I know -- I played against Mitch Moreland for a long time and played against him in college as well. The guy has a great arm. So it wasn't one of those situations where I was just wheeling around third to score because I respect Mitch's arm.

And for me the deciding factor was once I saw the ball get away from him, I felt like I had to take a chance. And that situation in the game, if he ends up throwing me out, making a great play you kind of have to tip your cap to him. But I'm banking on the fact that I'm going to make it more times than not, and it ended up working out for us tonight.

Q. Can you guys take us through how bizarre it was, you cross home plate you get mobbed and you had to wait on that review, and you hold off a little bit? And then you celebrate again, what was that like and how bizarre was it as a way to end the game?
RUSSELL MARTIN: Anticlimactic is the word. You're kind of just waiting. Celebrate, we think we won, and then they challenge the play and you're like: Oh gosh, let's not have a technicality kind of ruin this moment for us right here. And it didn't, gratefully. But it was a little bit of a buzz kill at the time. You're just like -- because I didn't see the slide at second base, I didn't know if it was a good slide or what's considered a good slide now, I don't even know. But I was just happy that they ruled no interference and whatnot and we won the game.

JOSH DONALDSON: I concur. It wasn't one of -- it was.

RUSSELL MARTIN: It was like a double celebration.

JOSH DONALDSON: Yeah, it was kind of like.

RUSSELL MARTIN: No, we didn't win yet, oh, yeah, we did, yeah.

JOSH DONALDSON: I don't know. It's kind of one of those things where the slide replays, it's hurt us a couple of times this year. I want to say it was the second game of the season playing Tampa Bay. I think I actually ended up scoring the go-ahead run, and Tampa, then they call Bats or Bautista for the interference.

So it's kind of like.

RUSSELL MARTIN: Cost us the game.

JOSH DONALDSON: You start going through the memories of how it's affected you in the past. And you're just -- I looked at Eddie, I said, please tell me you had a good slide. If you don't have a good slide this isn't good. We are not cool right now if you did not have a good slide. (Laughter) but fortunately it was good. And Eddie had a good slide right there. And we were able to win the game.

Q. Josh, given who you beat, is this a little sweeter given the history last year and the beginning of this year?
JOSH DONALDSON: I will be as honest with you as possible. I tried not to get caught up in that stuff. It's kind of one of those things where it gets put out in the media a lot about what's going on. And Russ, he's been around a while, I've been around a while. And we've been a part of stuff that's somewhat dramatic like this in the past.

And the best way that I know to handle it is just to go out there, put your egos in check. Your team comes first.

And you have to do the best that you can in order to help your team win. If you let all that other stuff kind of distracting you and getting into your head, you know, it's going to somehow affect your game probably not in a positive manner. And so for me I try to -- I brushed it off and, honestly, I turned the page from it after we left there. And I just wanted to go out there and play good, clean baseball. And I felt like both teams were able to do that.

And fortunately for us we were able to win the series as well.

Q. As a follow-up, you look at -- you've been pitching great all year, and the last three games the power game has returned. Do you feel like these guys might be peaking a little bit at the right time?
JOSH DONALDSON: We definitely feel good about where we are at right. We feel, Russ touched on it earlier, we're pitching well and we're playing good defense and right now we've been able to hit the homer. And that's a big -- that's a big positive for our offense, because there's times when we rely on that, because we don't have a lot of guys in our lineup that are speed-oriented and that are going to really take advantage of a lot of extra bases. Just because some guys, we don't have that. That's not how we're really built.

But we are built to hit the long ball and we were able to do that this series. And it's going to be important for us throughout the entire way.

Q. Josh, you hinted about how you're feeling, and Russell as a catcher I'm sure you have knocks. It's been a wild ride this last week. How important is it now that you get a few days off?
JOSH DONALDSON: It's important. We were kind of talking about it on the plane ride. The better or the earlier we were able to kind of win this series, not saying that we we're looking past Texas, but we said, hey, man, if we were able to kind of win in a shorter series right here, it would give us a little bit of time for some of the guys on our team to kind of heal up a little bit. We feel like.

And we're definitely going to enjoy tonight. We're going to celebrate and have a good time, but then it's going to go back into recovery mode, and we have -- Russ has done a great job being behind the plate, thank God. I don't ever want to do that again. I see the beating he takes on a daily basis.

So we're going to -- we definitely appreciate, A, winning the series, and B, that we'll get a few days to rest.

RUSSELL MARTIN: I agree. You can spin it however you want. Some people like to say a couple of days off might throw our timing off. I really don't believe in that. At this point in the year a couple days off can do wonders. So for our bullpen, our pitching, get everybody's arms fresh. And the same thing for guys who are banged up. A couple of days can go a long way in this game it seems like.

JOSH DONALDSON: And thanks to Jason Grilli and Benoit and a few other guys, we have the oldest team in baseball, I think, oldest roster. So we're going to -- there's going to be some guys who are a little bit older that's going to need a few days' rest. They're going to need a blow.