Oct. 10 Joe Maddon postgame interview

October 11th, 2016

THE MODERATOR: Who has the first question?

Q. In the 8th inning, obviously you didn't want Rondon to walk the first guy, but when you put him in, were you thinking that Chapman would get -- would maybe be a six out save night for him?

JOE MADDON: I was hoping not. Woody pitched against Belt, I liked that. He gets a base hit, and then Ronny on Posey was a better matchup based on what's been going on lately with Chapman versus Posey. So I liked that too.

Now, had he gotten Posey out, I would have let him pitch to Pence right there, but there was a threat for a bunt, there's all kind of things they could have done there. And I know it's hard to bunt a hundred miles an hour. So let's just bring him in right there, give him a little wiggle room. He gets a strikeout, and then you kind of feel okay about things.

And give Gillaspie credit, man. He did it a couple days ago. He got an elevated fastball and hit it to the far part of the ballpark. I think it surprised a lot of people. That's just a good at-bat on his part, and then Crawford hit. So I did not want to have to do that, but I felt we had to do it under the circumstances.

Q. A lot of times a game like this can be a punch in the gut, you but guys have been pretty resilient all year. What's the feeling like, and are you pretty confident that you guys will be able to shake this thing off?

JOE MADDON: Good baseball game. That's my takeaway. I think that both sides should be somewhat exhilarated. Obviously they win, so they're going to feel a bit better about it, but there's nothing on our side to be ashamed of.

I was really proud of our kids, man. How about Montgomery at the end there? We're down to C.J. in the bullpen, and he's not thrown that many pitches in an outing this year. So I did not want to have to put him in a three or four inning potential situation. Plus, they had all these lefties. So I felt good about Monty going as for as he possibly could have. If we had caught the lead, flip it over to C.J. at that point.

But up and down, everybody got to play pretty much. Tommy didn't get in the lineup today, and C.J. didn't play, otherwise pretty complete effort on our part. I loved our way. I thought we played it hard, we played it right, and they beat us.

Q. How challenging is it to manage in games like this, and where does this one rank in some of the all-time tough ones you've been involved with?

JOE MADDON: In the playoffs, I was involved in a game in Boston a couple years ago. We had a pretty nice lead, and they came back and beat us in Boston. Six-point lead, something like that. So, that was kind of a tough moment.

This tonight, obviously you want to win that game, you had it right there, you had your good guys, your best guys in there, everything seemed to be lining up properly and you didn't win. That's just the baseball game.

And you got to give them credit. You got to give them credit, man. They kept fighting. And you knew that they would.

At the end of the day, I'm going to leave pretty good tonight, because when you're in the dugout among your players and they're playing like that, with that kind of enthusiasm and effort and just everything right about them and we don't win, that doesn't mean you get upset, man. Just come back tomorrow and let's see what we can do tomorrow, and hopefully shut it out. But great baseball game from both teams.

Q. The numbers show that Bumgarner's velocity was down tonight. Were you aware of that early in the game?

JOE MADDON: I thought that he was wanting to throw more off-speed pitches, so maybe he wasn't feeling it tonight. That's probably what it was. Sometimes a guy doesn't feel it and they will go to plan B, and he has a great plan B with his curve ball and his cutter and his changeup.

So I thought -- you're right, I didn't see the bigger number on the board, but he still pitched well and effectively. We got the three runs quickly from our pitcher, home run, and it was really important. We only got three runs out of 85 pitches in four innings. That always concerns me when that happens. I've seen us do that before where we had like in the 80s after three or four innings and minimal runs.

Never a good sign, I don't think. However, we did have the lead going into the latter part of the game, gave us a chance to win it, but from Bumgarner's perspective, I think he was not feeling his fastball.

Q. I think it was just yesterday you were telling the beat guys that how difficult it can be for a closer to come in with runners, and he did strike out Pence. Was that a tough call on your mind? I know you just talked about it a little bit, but did you have to weigh that tough spot?

JOE MADDON: I had it set up before the inning began, based on their lineup construction. I was just hoping it wasn't six outs. That was the whole point. There was a potential there for maybe four outs, if we get Belt -- or Belt, Posey, Pence, get two out of those three out and obviously you're in a better spot. And it's even a better spot mentally for him. That's the part that's much more difficult, having to get out good hitters, six outs in the latter part of the game. And that's always been my concern.

So, it was set up that he had Gillaspie, and then in my mind we were looking for at least maybe one, possibly two. And then if you get one, two, three inning, then he's got a clean night. But it didn't play a that way.

Q. You're getting a lot of production out of your pitchers at the plate. Can you tell us an explanation for that? Are they doing extra work? Or how do you explain that?

JOE MADDON: They're good athletes. Jake's hit homers before. moves the baseball. is not even playing right now. He's one of the best hitters out of the group. Johnny Lester, everybody makes fun of his batting average, but this guy's got a really technically sound swing. Who am I missing in there? Johnny Lackey. Johnny Lackey can swing the bat a little bit too.

So they do. was a starter, and he's always swung the bat well. We work on it. I don't make them bunt all the time. They go up there, they know they have a chance to hit sometimes. And Bos, Chris Bosio and the guys do a good job of keeping the prep; that's my best explanation.

Q. Do you kind of surprise yourself by double switching a Gold Glover out of right field, and then the job Almora did when he was out there?

JOE MADDON: There was no choice. That was just based on -- had to do it because if Chappy gets out of that inning, he was going to come up fourth I think the next inning. And even if they tied the score, then it becomes more pertinent to do something differently.

So, just awkward. I put him there in the beginning just because obviously augment the defense, him and Contreras, but then in the way it played out, I had to take him out. But I was okay because Almora was available, and I have a lot of confidence in Albert. So, yes, it's very unusual to do things like that.

Q. How about the play on Almora made?

JOE MADDON: On Posey, yeah, I mean that -- he almost caught the other one. Albert is a really good outfielder. So you probably don't feel as good about making that move if you have to with somebody else going in the game, but with Albert going in the game I felt good about it.

Q. After a very long game like this, you've gone through a lot of pitchers and people in your roster, is there any carryover effect on something like that for tomorrow?

JOE MADDON: No, I honestly he believe our boys will be fine. And among the -- Chappy only threw about 20 pitches I think when we got him out. Travis, minimum work. Montgomery's definitely out tomorrow. Rondon is good. Strop is good. Edwards -- they're all good except for Montgomery tomorrow.

So we're in pretty good shape. The position players, it's exhilarating. They all got in the game, they kind of like that.

Q. Three oh-fers in the middle of the season, nobody notices, but since it's the first three postseason games for Anthony, any concern that he might start to press?

JOE MADDON: He doesn't appear to be. When you talk to -- I talk to these guys a lot before they go up there because I stand in that corner of the dugout, and he seems to be fine. I don't see him pressing. I think maybe he's out of his zone a little bit. He just has to organize his strike zone a little bit again. But in talking to him, I don't feel that from him.

THE MODERATOR: All right, thank you.