Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

MLB News

NLCS Game 3: Roberts postgame interview

October 18, 2017

Q. Can you take us through your thought process on sending Yu to hit for himself. And when you get a result like that, when he walks on four pitches, do you feel like you're sort of living right?DAVE ROBERTS: I just felt we had a two-run lead right there,

Q. Can you take us through your thought process on sending Yu to hit for himself. And when you get a result like that, when he walks on four pitches, do you feel like you're sort of living right?
DAVE ROBERTS: I just felt we had a two-run lead right there, and Yu was throwing the baseball really well, and I felt he could continue to go and get us outs. So right there, obviously you have Grandy available, but to still go out there -- and Edwards has really been tough on left-handed hitters. So to still get a base hit, it's not a gimme at all. To feel that I could extend Yu for more than an inning, I just felt that the value of continuing to get outs and to be able to deploy the bullpen later in the game, I just felt there was more upside for me.
Q. And to see Yu drive in a run right there?
:: NLCS schedule and coverage ::
DAVE ROBERTS: Obviously it validates and makes you feel better about it. But you still have to go into that at-bat expecting not to come away with a run right there. But the story of the night, obviously, is Yu Darvish. After that first homer that he gave up on the cutter that backed up, he was dominant. He just had that rhythm, the poise, and didn't allow a whole lot of hard contact. He put us in a great spot, and we just fed off of him tonight.
Q. Obviously Ethier waited quite a while, the whole season really, for this moment. The fact that when the opportunity presented itself, the fact that he was able to capitalize on it immediately, what does that kind of say about him? And, also, just how happy were you for him in general?
DAVE ROBERTS: Very, very happy for him, and the game honors you. And a guy like Andre who has done it the right way for such a long time and repeatedly said he just wanted to be a part of this and to prepare every single day like he's going to play, and when that opportunity presented itself, he was ready. For him to come through and perform and pick us up the way he did is no surprise. It's just a credit to his professionalism.
Q. When you traded for Yu, was this the kind of start you envisioned at the time in July? Were you thinking this far ahead?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. We saw him a little bit from the other side, and he's one of those top-of the-end rotation guys. So when you're talking about trying to win 11 games in October, you need that front-end pitching, and that start against Arizona, and tonight, this is why you trade for guys like that.

Q. What's it like to rebuild a swing like Chris Taylor has done, and to have this kind of success?
DAVE ROBERTS: It takes a lot of confidence in yourself and trust to see yourself as a marginal Major League player. But to take a chance on trying to learn a new swing and to bet on yourself, and that's what he did. He committed to it. We saw early in Spring Training he was a different hitter. So he's a tireless worker. He's got a great head. He competes, and now you take that swing chain, and he's an impact player.
To be able to start him in centerfield the first couple games, and then to start him at short and to get on base, to slug, drive runs in, catch the baseball, he's a huge asset for us.
Q. I know this has been the case all season, but you've had so many guys in the lineup today and contributed today who have taken strange paths maybe to the playoff start. Chris Taylor was traded, Andre's been hurt a lot the last couple years. Guys coming off surgeries, like Morrow. What's that say about this team that this is the group you have right now and has you in a 3-0 lead in the NLCS?
DAVE ROBERTS: It's a very focused group. Obviously, you look at the talent, we're deep. It's a very unselfish group. So when you take those components, you can weather a lot. We've really played well all year, and we had a tough spell. The focus has certainly been heightened in the postseason. I think we do a good job of trying to win one game at a time, and today, it was a team effort. Credit goes to the coaches and the players.
Q. Does it feel like with your bullpen you have a piece for almost any situation that might arise?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah. We've done -- as an organization, we've done a great job of putting together not only a roster, but a 'pen that we feel can combat any lineup. So when you're looking at a lineup like the Cubs' or the Diamondbacks', who are very dangerous and can do a lot of different things, but for us to be able to match up and feel confident in those guys that we're running out there, I think that it obviously instills confidence in me when I go to them in the 'pen.
But those guys still have to go out there and execute. Josh Bard, our bullpen coach, Rick Honeycutt, I can't say enough about what those guys have done preparing our pitchers to go out there and have a plan. Then those guys have been executing.
Q. Just, I guess, looking big picture, you're one win away from the World Series. You're 6-0 in the postseason. Do you allow yourself to take a step back and appreciate where you're at?
DAVE ROBERTS: No. No. I think that right now we're just laser focused on trying to win baseball games. So that obviously, if that presents itself, obviously it will be great. But right now our focus is Arrieta and trying to figure out a way to win a baseball game tomorrow night.
Q. This roster has a lot of guys who have persevered to get to this point in their career -- struggles, injuries, surgeries, trades. Does that help in this situation when all these guys have is this track record of persevering to try to get to this moment, do you think?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, I think it gives guys -- you have a lot of guys that don't take things for granted. You know that things aren't going to always come easy, and you don't have many opportunities when you're in this position, not just in this position, but in baseball in general. You don't know how many opportunities you're going to get to play this game and be on a team, and then be on a team that can win and is successful. It keeps getting escalated from that point.
We're just -- I think that's something we try to pass on to some of the younger guys is don't take these opportunities for granted, and going back to that five NL West Championships in a row. This doesn't really happen, and you can't get complacent to think that year after year this is going to be a thing. Maybe it will, but history says there's going to be an expiration date. Hopefully it isn't, but we're going to keep riding it right now.