Q. Can you just talk about the matchup with Edwards and what your options were?JOE MADDON: That was the only option. That was the right option. C.J. was the right man for the job. Harper is good, C.J. is really good. C.J's numbers against left-handed hitters are amongst the best
Q. Can you just talk about the matchup with Edwards and what your options were?
JOE MADDON: That was the only option. That was the right option. C.J. was the right man for the job. Harper is good, C.J. is really good. C.J's numbers against left-handed hitters are amongst the best in all of baseball. To say that I did not say anything in a derogatory manner would say I don't have confidence in him. I have all the confidence in the world in him. If that happens again you're going to see C.J. back out there. He made a bad pitch and the guy didn't miss it, and that's it. Sometimes that happens. Bryce is good. C.J. is good. Bryce got him.
NLDS Game 3: Monday, 4 p.m. ET/3 p.m. CT on TBS
Q. You held them to two hits last night, and it's two hits until late in this game. The way they have scored runs all year, I know it's hard to figure you're going to continue to do that but just one of those innings?
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JOE MADDON: Yeah, give them credit. Listen, first of all the pitch to Lind was a good pitch that he just kept fair, and he strikes out Turner on a good curveball. And you know, this is one of those things, that's called baseball. He's not trying to throw an elevated curveball right there. He just did.
If he throws that ball where he wanted to, we're in pretty good shape. Listen, C.J. is that good. He's all of that, over next several years he's going to establish himself as one of the best relief pitchers in all of baseball. He'll be right back out there. He's wonderful. It just did not work out tonight.
Q. What did you see in Montgomery?
JOE MADDON: Ground ball. If you look at the percentages it's really heavy in our favor, ball on the ground. He hung the changeup; he got the changeup, up. He's such a heavy ground ball guy, righties or lefties. For me it's a perfect situation for him to put the ball on the ground, but it just did not happen.
Q. You obviously let this one get away but you go home 1-1, back for two in your place. Can you describe that feeling?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, there's an upside and a downside. Of course you like to be going home 2-0. We played so well for two days. I cannot be happier than I am with our group right now. The way we've approached the day, the effort, the game, the execution, everything's been wonderful, really good. So they hit a couple home runs in the eighth inning and I'm not going to lose sight -- yeah, it's one of those, the proverbial, the comet.
You're happy leaving 1-1 before the series began but you'd really like to be leaving 2-0 leading in the eighth inning; however that's not reality. The reality is we lost a game, they beat us and we go home at 1-1 and then we have Quintana and Jay coming up, not bad. Really interesting series. Well played on both sides and I cannot be happier than I am with our guys right now.
Q. How do you feel about Zobrist as part of the finishing outfield? Looked like he misjudged or mistimed the home run.
JOE MADDON: If they got to that point, it was going to be a left-handed pitcher. So for me, I wanted to keep him in the game it. Was between him and Happ; we put Jason Heyward in there and I chose to go that way. You think it's going to be a lefty and it ended up being a lefty, so you had the switch-hitter still in the lineup. I don't think he did badly in the outfield. There's nothing he could have done in the home run and he actually -- he moves his feet really well. This guy, technically he's very good so he didn't do anything wrong.
Q. What did you think of Lester?
JOE MADDON: Real good. He was really good. I thought that inning that he had to fight through, the bases-loaded situation, probably took the seventh inning out of him. But he was really good. He was very, very good. And plus he ended up pinch-hitting anyway. Fastball was very outstanding, frugal with his pitches overall, primarily pitched with his fastball, too. I thought he was outstanding.
Q. You talk a lot about experience this series. How do you make sure this experience with C.J. tonight doesn't stick in his head when he's in this situation?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, like I was talking before, just talk to the guy. I talk to him on the bench all the time when he comes out of games, both good and bad. And listen, he's a young man; his stuff is dynamic. It's not good; it's dynamic. He hung a curveball. It happens in this game and a very good hitter didn't miss it. That's what I really have to make sure that he understands that message; that in this situation, he knows he wants to put it in the dirt. He knows -- and he didn't.
Maybe just slow yourself down a little bit more and really focus on what you want to do here. But listen, I don't want him to change anything about himself. This kid, he's wonderful, he's a big part of our present and our future, and I'm telling you, the next couple years, heads-up, he's going to be one of the best in all of baseball.