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NLDS Game 4: Joe Maddon postgame interview

October 11, 2017

Q. Was Wade just not ready yet, when Carl threw a pitch and you went to Wade, was there any thought of maybe going to Wade before Edwards even had a chance --JOE MADDON: I wasn't thinking about it in the first place. I thought C.J. was going to --

Q. Was Wade just not ready yet, when Carl threw a pitch and you went to Wade, was there any thought of maybe going to Wade before Edwards even had a chance --
JOE MADDON: I wasn't thinking about it in the first place. I thought C.J. was going to -- should be able to get that one out. At that point, I'm looking at there's potentially, tie the game and you might need Wade for two innings. Once it got to the point where it looked like C.J. was missing the plate a lot, we got him ready. We would not have put him in the game if he had not said he was ready. The phone rang, he said he was ready, we put him in the game.
Q. Your general thoughts going forward for a deciding Game 5, and also, this was a very close series. Tonight 5-0, ball but a ball that goes into the basket by a little bit and the error?
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JOE MADDON: Taylor, that ball had to be absolutely crushed. That's into a gale, high, opposite field, all those factors are involved. Give him -- that surprised all of us, obviously. Once C.J. was having a hard time, I thought Wade could get out of this like I thought and then four outs, and we'll see what happens.

But give Taylor credit because you have to scald that ball to get it out. We have to do a better job offensively. We scored limited runs and their guy was outstanding like we talked about beforehand; Strasburg was that good. The changeup was spectacular. We did not -- hit that one ball good early to left field that the wind knocked down. Otherwise, we didn't have a good time against them.

Q. What stood out to you about his outing?

JOE MADDON: Gets ahead in the count. Fastball command is outstanding. He's really able to throw his fastball for a strike when he wants to, where he wants to. His curve was really good, too. He had everything going on tonight. If you don't get him early in the count, it's really difficult because he has these two other outstanding pitches to throw deeper in the count, curveball, changeup, which he did.

The last time we played him, we tried to jump him early but we didn't have a lot of success in Washington, either. He's pitching absolutely at the top of his game right now. That is really good stuff; give him credit.

Video: [email protected] Gm4: Maddon on using Lester in Game 4 loss

Q. What did you think of Jake?

JOE MADDON: You know, Jake, physically, fine. Command, off a little bit. Battled through that. I mean, it was 90 pitches after four. And how about Jonathan Lester tonight? He gave us a chance to win that game. I thought overall Jake, stuff-wise, not bad, but not as sharp as he can be.

Q. What's the mind-set and plan for tomorrow with your pitching staff?

JOE MADDON: Well, you've got obviously starting, Kyle, and then Quintana will play the role of Jon Lester tomorrow if it's necessary. We talked about that pregame; if, in fact, it was really close which it was. That was a good spot for Lester tonight and then tomorrow, just everybody's available tomorrow. So it will start with Kyle, and Q is ready tomorrow to back up like Jon did tonight and the entire bullpen. We'll be fine tomorrow.

Q. Last time you were in this position was Game 7. What's the message and mind-set to the team heading into this winner take all?

JOE MADDON: Honestly, I don't say a whole lot. I actually don't say anything. I just want them to go and prepare like we normally do. Like I said, we just have to be offensively a little bit better tomorrow. They have been really good. We have been really good. Listen, they got a Grand Slam. Otherwise, it's kind of like the same game both sides.

We walked a couple guys which really hurt to set the whole thing up, but neither side killed the ball tonight. They punctured the wind, we didn't, and they got the win. But that's been pretty much the entire series. Both pitching staffs have done a great job.

Q. What made you decide to go with Lester tonight and what did you think of the pickoff?

JOE MADDON: The fact that he was available; you know, we could have done him or Quintana, but he pitched before Q, so we went with him first. We didn't know exactly where Jake was going to be tonight, so we talked about that in advance. Now, when that showed up, if this score was like we're losing 4-0, he would not have pitched tonight. It would have been Montgomery and the rest of the bullpen.

But that part of ballgame, I felt strongly about it. It was the fact we predetermined that he's going to back up Jake tonight and then Q would back up Kyle tomorrow night because we're able to do that. That was it.

Q. On your hitters and the lack of scoring, what would you point to for the big issues and any quick answers for what would help tomorrow?

JOE MADDON: We've just got to stay in our lane, in other words, not chase. But again, that's easier said than done. That changeup is so spectacular. We chased a lot. We were out of the zone a lot, and if a pitcher can get you out, outside of the zone, he's going to keep doing that.

We have to be better in the zone. We have to force their pitchers in the zone more consistently and not miss your pitch when you see it. It really comes down to that. I don't know what the weather is specifically going to be like tomorrow night.

Again, we have been here before. Our guys are ready to play. It's been a really interesting series. Both teams have reflected one other pretty closely and they got us tonight, and we just have to fly back east and try to get them tomorrow night.

Q. You've been here before, deciding games; one I think we can remember from last year. What are managers, players, coaches like, in a winner-take-all game?

JOE MADDON: You know, the players are definitely going to be mentally involved. I mean, like they always are, but maybe even a little bit more. So coaches will go over their work a little bit more than they normally do. Although I'm really not an advocate of that. I just want us to go play.

Just do our normal patterns. We prepare like this for every series, not just this series. Do our -- prepare normally. The difference would be like we're talking about Quintana's available out of the bullpen tomorrow night; Lester was available tonight. That's unusual.

Obviously you don't even do that during the regular season, but for the most part, if we can stay in our lanes at the plate, make sure that we see our pitches over the plate to swing at, and continue to play with the same kind of mental intensity, I'll be fine.