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Oct. 10 Mark Melancon pregame interview

MLB.com

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for being here. First question.

Q. Just what did it feel like to get the first post-season save under your belt yesterday?

MARK MELANCON: It was great. I mean, I've pitched in the playoffs before, but to get a save was great.

Q. What's surprised you most about this team, maybe something you didn't expect about them from afar, but have come to learn about them since you joined them?

MARK MELANCON: Well, I was really impressed that just any deficits we've had, I felt like we've never felt out of a game.

And I guess Trea Turner kind of gives you that extra push any time you need it. He's been unbelievable down the stretch. And if he gets on base, it's like he's on second and third before you know it.

You know, those deficits are nonexistent really mainly because of him, and then you've got Murph coming up. It's been pretty impressive. The team just never feels out of it and you don't ever get that sense at any time during the game. So it's pretty cool.

Q. A couple of times Dusty late in the season had you pitch three days in a row and then go across multiple innings, stuff you could do in the post-season. How much do you think that prepared you for what could happen with the rain out, potentially three games in three days where you could appear?

MARK MELANCON: Sure. I don't need to be prepped for that (laughs). I would like to -- you know, I've done that before and you know, Dusty knew I could do it.

But we needed those games and those situations came, so that was something that just the situation was there. So I don't think he really was prepping me for it, but I'm ready to do it if need be.

Q. There's been some debate as to when to use closers on the road in these playoffs. Would you want to go in there, say, top of the ninth or in the ninth inning with a tie game?

MARK MELANCON: Sure. Any time they feel it's best to use me, I'm going to be available. I know that situation's come up a few times in other games. You know, that's the manager's call.

Q. The emotion of that win yesterday, the ride to finish that game, win it the way you did, with the way the crowd was, you pitched in front of some electric crowds. What was that like for you yesterday, and how much did that help push you guys across the country with the long travel and early start today?

MARK MELANCON: Right. Yeah, I mean, we didn't get the first game, which obviously you really want. So to come back and get the second game and being on our home turf with the crowd the way they were, it was a special feeling for sure.

Q. Having been here now for awhile and having had a chance to see the way Dusty runs the clubhouse and his relationships with players and whatnot, what impresses you about that? What strikes you about how he does things, as opposed to maybe the way some of your other managers have done things?

MARK MELANCON: Dusty just lets us play. I mean, he doesn't get in the way. He doesn't restrict us from really anything as far as -- he just stays out of our way, allows us to play, trusts us, gives us the confidence and backs us. I mean, that's as much as you could ask for in a manager.

Q. Can you talk about the left-handed pitching for you guys and kind of the different personalities and different strengths that Solis and Rzepczynski bring to the table?

MARK MELANCON: You've got Oliver, who has got I think the most veteran status, and then Rzepczynski has got a lot of movement on his ball, and then Solis has the power behind it.

We've got quite a bit of difference in all three of the lefties. You know, it's very -- I feel like it's just weapons that Dusty is able to use in given situations that most teams kind of have similar lefties. We have three very different lefties, which is a huge advantage.

Q. Following up on Charlie's question, if you lose Game 2, you're traveling across country, much different feeling, I would imagine, than taking a split across here. What was the mood like and what was the flight like coming off of that?

MARK MELANCON: Well, given the rain delay and traveling later than we had anticipated, it was kind of like, let's just get there and get settled for this one o'clock game.

But much better mood. I mean, guys were, like I said, getting that second game was huge. Obviously you want the first game, kind of relieves some pressure, when you don't get it, your back is a little against the wall. We came through and got the second game.

Now we feel like we're right where we wanted to be. You know, we expected to be here, at least, if not 2-0, and going forward, we feel like we have the upper hand.

Now, given the way the playoffs play out with two at home to start with, home-field advantage and then two away, it's kind of different, because you could potentially win or lose, I mean, you could lose on the road and the visiting team has the home-field advantage. It's kind of weird.

But I think it is ultimately the best way to go with the fifth game being at home, I think. But yeah, when you lose that first game, you start thinking, you know, we're not going to lose this thing on the road, so we'd better get our act together and get going and get back in front of our home fans.

Q. You were really tight with your teammates in Pittsburgh, and how was it when you came over in the deadline with this team? Did they embrace you and bring you in with open arms?

MARK MELANCON: Yeah, you know, baseball is such a -- there's such camaraderie in all of baseball, and the turnover in baseball is so great that, you know, you come and you go, and you end up knowing a lot of people on a lot of different teams.

You know, obviously you get to know your guys that you've been with for the last three years or whatever, but it's a business like anything. These guys were awesome when I came over, and I felt like I fit right in just like I had been there for a long time.

So Dusty made it easy and the rest of the guys made it easy. The bullpen, we have a blast down there and we got our own things now, and it's pretty cool.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks very much. Appreciate it.
 

THE MODERATOR: Thanks for being here. First question.

Q. Just what did it feel like to get the first post-season save under your belt yesterday?

MARK MELANCON: It was great. I mean, I've pitched in the playoffs before, but to get a save was great.

Q. What's surprised you most about this team, maybe something you didn't expect about them from afar, but have come to learn about them since you joined them?

MARK MELANCON: Well, I was really impressed that just any deficits we've had, I felt like we've never felt out of a game.

And I guess Trea Turner kind of gives you that extra push any time you need it. He's been unbelievable down the stretch. And if he gets on base, it's like he's on second and third before you know it.

You know, those deficits are nonexistent really mainly because of him, and then you've got Murph coming up. It's been pretty impressive. The team just never feels out of it and you don't ever get that sense at any time during the game. So it's pretty cool.

Q. A couple of times Dusty late in the season had you pitch three days in a row and then go across multiple innings, stuff you could do in the post-season. How much do you think that prepared you for what could happen with the rain out, potentially three games in three days where you could appear?

MARK MELANCON: Sure. I don't need to be prepped for that (laughs). I would like to -- you know, I've done that before and you know, Dusty knew I could do it.

But we needed those games and those situations came, so that was something that just the situation was there. So I don't think he really was prepping me for it, but I'm ready to do it if need be.

Q. There's been some debate as to when to use closers on the road in these playoffs. Would you want to go in there, say, top of the ninth or in the ninth inning with a tie game?

MARK MELANCON: Sure. Any time they feel it's best to use me, I'm going to be available. I know that situation's come up a few times in other games. You know, that's the manager's call.

Q. The emotion of that win yesterday, the ride to finish that game, win it the way you did, with the way the crowd was, you pitched in front of some electric crowds. What was that like for you yesterday, and how much did that help push you guys across the country with the long travel and early start today?

MARK MELANCON: Right. Yeah, I mean, we didn't get the first game, which obviously you really want. So to come back and get the second game and being on our home turf with the crowd the way they were, it was a special feeling for sure.

Q. Having been here now for awhile and having had a chance to see the way Dusty runs the clubhouse and his relationships with players and whatnot, what impresses you about that? What strikes you about how he does things, as opposed to maybe the way some of your other managers have done things?

MARK MELANCON: Dusty just lets us play. I mean, he doesn't get in the way. He doesn't restrict us from really anything as far as -- he just stays out of our way, allows us to play, trusts us, gives us the confidence and backs us. I mean, that's as much as you could ask for in a manager.

Q. Can you talk about the left-handed pitching for you guys and kind of the different personalities and different strengths that Solis and Rzepczynski bring to the table?

MARK MELANCON: You've got Oliver, who has got I think the most veteran status, and then Rzepczynski has got a lot of movement on his ball, and then Solis has the power behind it.

We've got quite a bit of difference in all three of the lefties. You know, it's very -- I feel like it's just weapons that Dusty is able to use in given situations that most teams kind of have similar lefties. We have three very different lefties, which is a huge advantage.

Q. Following up on Charlie's question, if you lose Game 2, you're traveling across country, much different feeling, I would imagine, than taking a split across here. What was the mood like and what was the flight like coming off of that?

MARK MELANCON: Well, given the rain delay and traveling later than we had anticipated, it was kind of like, let's just get there and get settled for this one o'clock game.

But much better mood. I mean, guys were, like I said, getting that second game was huge. Obviously you want the first game, kind of relieves some pressure, when you don't get it, your back is a little against the wall. We came through and got the second game.

Now we feel like we're right where we wanted to be. You know, we expected to be here, at least, if not 2-0, and going forward, we feel like we have the upper hand.

Now, given the way the playoffs play out with two at home to start with, home-field advantage and then two away, it's kind of different, because you could potentially win or lose, I mean, you could lose on the road and the visiting team has the home-field advantage. It's kind of weird.

But I think it is ultimately the best way to go with the fifth game being at home, I think. But yeah, when you lose that first game, you start thinking, you know, we're not going to lose this thing on the road, so we'd better get our act together and get going and get back in front of our home fans.

Q. You were really tight with your teammates in Pittsburgh, and how was it when you came over in the deadline with this team? Did they embrace you and bring you in with open arms?

MARK MELANCON: Yeah, you know, baseball is such a -- there's such camaraderie in all of baseball, and the turnover in baseball is so great that, you know, you come and you go, and you end up knowing a lot of people on a lot of different teams.

You know, obviously you get to know your guys that you've been with for the last three years or whatever, but it's a business like anything. These guys were awesome when I came over, and I felt like I fit right in just like I had been there for a long time.

So Dusty made it easy and the rest of the guys made it easy. The bullpen, we have a blast down there and we got our own things now, and it's pretty cool.

THE MODERATOR: Thanks very much. Appreciate it.