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NLCS Game 2: Joe Maddon postgame interview

October 15, 2017

Q. Was Wade unavailable, and if he was available, why was he not used either to start the 9th inning or certainly when the lineup turned around to the top of it? JOE MADDON: Because I really just needed him for the save tonight. He had limited pitches. It was

Q. Was Wade unavailable, and if he was available, why was he not used either to start the 9th inning or certainly when the lineup turned around to the top of it?
JOE MADDON: Because I really just needed him for the save tonight. He had limited pitches. It was one inning only, and in these circumstances you don't get him up and then don't get him in. So if we had caught the lead, he would have pitched. That's it.
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Q. Letting Almora hit against Jansen, you really haven't let him hit against righties, and that's one of the tougher ones in the league. What was the thought process there?
JOE MADDON: Among a lot of our guys, he's a guy that makes contact. It might not be a high average sometimes against a righty, but I thought he had a better chance of making contact. If you look the way he pitches and, again, if you dig deeper, our lefties are really not a good matchup, I didn't think, for him at that point. I thought he wouldn't have moved the baseball, and he did.
Q. Why Lackey in that spot?
JOE MADDON: Because he was going to pitch the next inning, too, and two righties coming up right there. I liked him a lot on the first guy, Taylor. Once that walk occurred, all bets were off against Turner. Nobody is a really great matchup against Turner, so it just did not work out. I liked him against the first guy.
Q. The approach against the bullpen in general, are you happy with it? Obviously the results you're not happy with.
JOE MADDON: We scored again, we scored one run today. That's the issue. We've scored 11 runs in six games during the playoffs. We had, like I said, five with ten, and one with nine, and now it's six with 11. So we just have to become more offensive. That was a great game. I thought our defense was outstanding. We played great defense all over the field. Really entertaining game. They got us in the end. That just happens sometimes. I thought the defense was great. I thought Jonny Lester, we hung with him as long as we could. That's part of the issue there. If we had gotten Jonny deeper into that game, then the bullpen usage could be different. But this is pulling two-third, and then you're pressed with these other guys sooner, and it makes the end of the game tougher.
Q. A guy like Lackey who is a starter, is that kind of the risk you take in terms of the first batter, might not have the command right away? The walk was the problem?
Video: NLCS Gm2: Maddon discusses the 4-1 walk-off loss
JOE MADDON: Was the big play. I'm just betting on his experience right there as much as anything. I know that he went out there and tried to make the pitches that he wanted to make. I know that the crowd would not affect him, and it didn't. Just the first walk he just kept trying to get Taylor to chase. Once he got to two strikes and he didn't chase, to the hitter's credit. Then I didn't see the last pitch to Turner, but obviously it was pretty good. But I really thought that John would not be affected by the moment.
Q. With Carl, mission accomplished for him? The cameras caught you giving him a message in the dugout after. What was the message?
JOE MADDON: Pretty much that's you right there, brother. You can do that. You know you can do that. You've got four outs, I believe. And hopefully that's going to pick him up for the rest of the series. But that's what we've seen on a more consistent basis this past season. The outliers have been what you saw in Washington, where the performance wasn't as good. But for the most part what you saw tonight came out like 96, 97, 98. Second inning maybe down to 96, but made some really good pitches.
Q. Does a loss like this sting more than a, quote/unquote, normal loss?
JOE MADDON: It's a loss. The biggest -- I mean, you could always come back to the 9th inning and point out the guy hit a home run. But we have got to do better than one run. We've just got to do better than that. Offensively we've kind of been stifled. We're pretty fortunate to be in this position right now based on the number of runs we've scored over the last week. So we have to do a better job at the plate. Like I said to the starter, we have to get the starter more deeply into the game to really permit the way you want to use your bullpen.
Q. You've relied on your experience throughout this whole postseason. It's one of your strengths. How about now, losing this team in this manner going back home?
JOE MADDON: I know we'll be fine. We'll get a good day's rest tomorrow. We'll come out and play our game. On Tuesday we've got Kyle going, which is good for us. They have a good pitcher also. But, listen, we lost two tough games here, very difficult games. I thought we represented ourselves well. Again, today typically I love the defense. I thought it was outstanding, we just did not get the hits, and that's been pretty much the motif this entire postseason. We've had one really good offensive game, and even in that game a lot of the runs were scored in awkward ways. We've got to start hitting more consistently.
Q. Just to clarify, Joe, you said Wade was only available for one inning. If that had not been true, would he have been in the 9th inning, or are you holding off for the save situation?
JOE MADDON: No, I don't necessarily hold off for the save. In the situation tonight coming off his last performance -- the other thing you have to consider is this. You have to understand when you have a guy like that coming off the performance that he had, to warm him up and not use him is equally as bad. Warm him up, not put him in the game, and then ask him to pitch maybe two innings later, that's really not good for him. So today, tonight I really was waiting for that opportunity to grab a lead and then throw him out there. That's what it was all about. There was no way he was pitching more than one, and that was pretty much it.
Q. What is different about this Dodgers team as opposed to last season?
JOE MADDON: Not a whole lot for me. We saw two really closely contested games. I think the difference is we're on -- if you remember last year we didn't score any runs early on against the Dodgers, and then we did and we finally got them. I think more than anything they're very similar, in my mind's eye, it's just that us, we have to get our offense going.