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Oct. 13 Dave Roberts pregame interview

MLB.com

Q. Since Game 4 ended, how many hours would you estimate you guys have spent diagramming what you might do tonight with your pitching?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, we've logged a lot of hours, a lot of debate, discussions. I think for us, there's just so many different ways this game can unfold. And for me to get all the different options and talk through it with the guys, it just helps me kind of get it and then once the game starts and have that information, and be ready to act accordingly.

But I think that obviously, with Rich, it's just one of those things where, you know, give us all you have for as long as you have, and you know, depending on where they are at in their lineup and who I feel best matches up in that particular part of the game, I'll go that direction.

So yeah, depending on how we score, how Scherzer is throwing, how Hill is throwing, all those different variables are kind of leading those discussions.

Q. Would Kershaw be available for an out?
DAVE ROBERTS: No. Absolutely not.

Q. You have mentioned the last few days that Julio was an alternative the other day and probably today. With Rich Hill, with three days' rest, how possible is it that Julio could be a factor early in this game?
DAVE ROBERTS: There's a good possibility you will see Julio tonight. I think our decision ultimately was Julio has pitched out of the pen, so there's some familiarity, albeit not a lot. Rich has not pitched out of the pen for a long time and to give him the best opportunity to have success, to go through his routine, that kind of won out for us. But certainly having Julio is available is a good thing for us.

Q. Since Game 2, what's the conversation about how Rich pitched in Game 2, and what sort of things has he worked on in terms of reigning some things in and some things?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think the way Rich pitched -- and I've heard him say that he takes some of the blame or whatever. But I thought that he threw the ball really well. You look at the first couple innings, he was completely dominant. Outside of the pitch to Lobaton, and he obviously yanked a cut fastball and hit Espinosa, but far as the pitch quality, the swing and miss with the fastball, the depth with the breaking ball, he really threw the ball well. And even the hit that Murphy got late, it was a soft-serve line drive out to center field.

You know, I think that you're going to see a focused Rich Hill and it just comes down to executing and even from our side, you know, Scherzer is going to have to execute and if he makes a mistake, we've got to be able to capitalize. So that's just the nature of our game and obviously things are going to be magnified tonight.

Q. Is there any concern about the length of time Julio has had between appearances?
DAVE ROBERTS: That first work out, I don't recall what day he threw a simulated game, four innings to our hitters, and looked pretty sharp. I think that's a factor.

But I think for us, we just trust Julio to go out there and execute. But I will -- I do like the weapons that he has. I feel that he's got swing-and-miss stuff. I trust the player in this spot. But with the 13-day layoff or whatever the days, I'll be mindful and Rick and I will be mindful of the sharpness.

But with that, all of the things kind of baked in together, we expect him to throw well.

Q. You played for a team in Boston that had a long title drought, and you guys got to change that obviously. The teams left in the playoffs have not as long a title drought but have gone several years without winning one. What would it mean for a city and even a team to be able to do that, especially in your case, in Los Angeles?
DAVE ROBERTS: It would be great. It would be great. Our fan base is as good, if not better, than any. 1988 is a long time. There's a lot of things that have transpired this season, ups, downs, us coming together, Vin's last year obviously is heavy on our hearts. Just to bring a championship to the City of Los Angeles; and I think that these guys over there feel the same way for this city.

But right now, I think that we're putting that, those expectations and desires to the side to just focus on winning one game. I think that's for me and for our guys, that's the best course of action.

Q. Because it has been so long since Rich started a game on short rest, how firm of an idea do you have of how long he can give you, and are there issues beyond the potential for the blister to crop up that factor into how long?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, I think the blister, that variable certainly comes into play, because we have managed him by giving him extra rest through -- with his starts with us since we acquired him. It was blister-driven.

So today, for him to go on short rest, I think that is something we're going to be cognizant of every inning, and also -- but as far as how well he's going to pitch, you know, short rest, that's something that no one knows until the game starts.

So I think that for us, he's going to have a lot of adrenaline. He's prepared. And so I expect him to pitch well. And you know, anything outside of that, you know, we'll manage. We'll manage.

Q. The lefties in your lineup have done very well against Max Scherzer. You were able to get to him in Game 1 he settled down, but besides the mechanics because we can go over that, and players have with me, what can you say about the confidence of your lineup about facing a 20-win starter, given that you've gotten to him before and what they are going to be feeling tonight?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think there's a lot of confidence. Obviously when you face Scherzer, whether you faced him a few days ago or you haven't, this guy's got elite stuff. He's a big-game pitcher. Our guys realize that. But having known that we have gotten to him before, and recently, I think that that bodes good for us and our psyche.

But if he executes pitches, it's going to be tough. So I think that he's going to come in with a lot of adrenaline, a lot of emotion, and the velocity is going to play up early. So for us, it's just a matter of trying to stay in the strike zone. I think that, you know, if he makes mistakes in the strike zone, I like our chances. And if we go out of the strike zone, it's going to be a little bit tougher for us.

Q. Speaking of the psyche, you guys won a pretty emotional game in Game 4. To what extent does that help you, if at all, today?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think that, well, obviously if we didn't win, we wouldn't be here. But it's momentum. I think that we've got a good feeling. And also, you know, in this isolated game, it does help in the sense that we've beaten him here before.

So our guys are confident and we're focused to do whatever we can to win tonight.

Q. Just wondered, what about this year, everything you guys have done, gone through, what do you think most about the year will help you in Game 5 tonight?
DAVE ROBERTS: I don't know the -- it's hard to quantify the fight in a team. But I do know that obviously you come playing on the road, Game 5, and it's going to be a boisterous and excitable, exciting crowd, environment.

I just think that our guys, with what we've gone through this year, can kind of eliminate the noise to focus on performance. So again, it's hard to quantify, but I just think that the confidence that we have in our group, where the accountability, being unselfish, those are things that get ballclubs through games like this.

So that's something that for me, the coaches, that's what we hang our hat on with the guys in the clubhouse.

Q. Have you got any cool, today, texts, phone calls, anything from your pops, just sort of the go get 'em thing that sort of stuck with you, and is Cole with you?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, my son's not with me. He's not happy, but he had to go to school. So he's not happy with me. He missed five days, anyway.

My parents, radio silence right now. I think they are just too nervous.

But no, I've got a lot of texts and just well-wishings and we're rooting for you, that kind of thing. There's really no -- yeah, there's been a lot of support. And I'm sure we're all getting that. I'm sure Dusty is getting his fair share, too.

Q. I haven't got any.
DAVE ROBERTS: You haven't got any, Timmy? I'll send you a text (laughter).

 

Q. Since Game 4 ended, how many hours would you estimate you guys have spent diagramming what you might do tonight with your pitching?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, we've logged a lot of hours, a lot of debate, discussions. I think for us, there's just so many different ways this game can unfold. And for me to get all the different options and talk through it with the guys, it just helps me kind of get it and then once the game starts and have that information, and be ready to act accordingly.

But I think that obviously, with Rich, it's just one of those things where, you know, give us all you have for as long as you have, and you know, depending on where they are at in their lineup and who I feel best matches up in that particular part of the game, I'll go that direction.

So yeah, depending on how we score, how Scherzer is throwing, how Hill is throwing, all those different variables are kind of leading those discussions.

Q. Would Kershaw be available for an out?
DAVE ROBERTS: No. Absolutely not.

Q. You have mentioned the last few days that Julio was an alternative the other day and probably today. With Rich Hill, with three days' rest, how possible is it that Julio could be a factor early in this game?
DAVE ROBERTS: There's a good possibility you will see Julio tonight. I think our decision ultimately was Julio has pitched out of the pen, so there's some familiarity, albeit not a lot. Rich has not pitched out of the pen for a long time and to give him the best opportunity to have success, to go through his routine, that kind of won out for us. But certainly having Julio is available is a good thing for us.

Q. Since Game 2, what's the conversation about how Rich pitched in Game 2, and what sort of things has he worked on in terms of reigning some things in and some things?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think the way Rich pitched -- and I've heard him say that he takes some of the blame or whatever. But I thought that he threw the ball really well. You look at the first couple innings, he was completely dominant. Outside of the pitch to Lobaton, and he obviously yanked a cut fastball and hit Espinosa, but far as the pitch quality, the swing and miss with the fastball, the depth with the breaking ball, he really threw the ball well. And even the hit that Murphy got late, it was a soft-serve line drive out to center field.

You know, I think that you're going to see a focused Rich Hill and it just comes down to executing and even from our side, you know, Scherzer is going to have to execute and if he makes a mistake, we've got to be able to capitalize. So that's just the nature of our game and obviously things are going to be magnified tonight.

Q. Is there any concern about the length of time Julio has had between appearances?
DAVE ROBERTS: That first work out, I don't recall what day he threw a simulated game, four innings to our hitters, and looked pretty sharp. I think that's a factor.

But I think for us, we just trust Julio to go out there and execute. But I will -- I do like the weapons that he has. I feel that he's got swing-and-miss stuff. I trust the player in this spot. But with the 13-day layoff or whatever the days, I'll be mindful and Rick and I will be mindful of the sharpness.

But with that, all of the things kind of baked in together, we expect him to throw well.

Q. You played for a team in Boston that had a long title drought, and you guys got to change that obviously. The teams left in the playoffs have not as long a title drought but have gone several years without winning one. What would it mean for a city and even a team to be able to do that, especially in your case, in Los Angeles?
DAVE ROBERTS: It would be great. It would be great. Our fan base is as good, if not better, than any. 1988 is a long time. There's a lot of things that have transpired this season, ups, downs, us coming together, Vin's last year obviously is heavy on our hearts. Just to bring a championship to the City of Los Angeles; and I think that these guys over there feel the same way for this city.

But right now, I think that we're putting that, those expectations and desires to the side to just focus on winning one game. I think that's for me and for our guys, that's the best course of action.

Q. Because it has been so long since Rich started a game on short rest, how firm of an idea do you have of how long he can give you, and are there issues beyond the potential for the blister to crop up that factor into how long?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, I think the blister, that variable certainly comes into play, because we have managed him by giving him extra rest through -- with his starts with us since we acquired him. It was blister-driven.

So today, for him to go on short rest, I think that is something we're going to be cognizant of every inning, and also -- but as far as how well he's going to pitch, you know, short rest, that's something that no one knows until the game starts.

So I think that for us, he's going to have a lot of adrenaline. He's prepared. And so I expect him to pitch well. And you know, anything outside of that, you know, we'll manage. We'll manage.

Q. The lefties in your lineup have done very well against Max Scherzer. You were able to get to him in Game 1 he settled down, but besides the mechanics because we can go over that, and players have with me, what can you say about the confidence of your lineup about facing a 20-win starter, given that you've gotten to him before and what they are going to be feeling tonight?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think there's a lot of confidence. Obviously when you face Scherzer, whether you faced him a few days ago or you haven't, this guy's got elite stuff. He's a big-game pitcher. Our guys realize that. But having known that we have gotten to him before, and recently, I think that that bodes good for us and our psyche.

But if he executes pitches, it's going to be tough. So I think that he's going to come in with a lot of adrenaline, a lot of emotion, and the velocity is going to play up early. So for us, it's just a matter of trying to stay in the strike zone. I think that, you know, if he makes mistakes in the strike zone, I like our chances. And if we go out of the strike zone, it's going to be a little bit tougher for us.

Q. Speaking of the psyche, you guys won a pretty emotional game in Game 4. To what extent does that help you, if at all, today?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think that, well, obviously if we didn't win, we wouldn't be here. But it's momentum. I think that we've got a good feeling. And also, you know, in this isolated game, it does help in the sense that we've beaten him here before.

So our guys are confident and we're focused to do whatever we can to win tonight.

Q. Just wondered, what about this year, everything you guys have done, gone through, what do you think most about the year will help you in Game 5 tonight?
DAVE ROBERTS: I don't know the -- it's hard to quantify the fight in a team. But I do know that obviously you come playing on the road, Game 5, and it's going to be a boisterous and excitable, exciting crowd, environment.

I just think that our guys, with what we've gone through this year, can kind of eliminate the noise to focus on performance. So again, it's hard to quantify, but I just think that the confidence that we have in our group, where the accountability, being unselfish, those are things that get ballclubs through games like this.

So that's something that for me, the coaches, that's what we hang our hat on with the guys in the clubhouse.

Q. Have you got any cool, today, texts, phone calls, anything from your pops, just sort of the go get 'em thing that sort of stuck with you, and is Cole with you?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, my son's not with me. He's not happy, but he had to go to school. So he's not happy with me. He missed five days, anyway.

My parents, radio silence right now. I think they are just too nervous.

But no, I've got a lot of texts and just well-wishings and we're rooting for you, that kind of thing. There's really no -- yeah, there's been a lot of support. And I'm sure we're all getting that. I'm sure Dusty is getting his fair share, too.

Q. I haven't got any.
DAVE ROBERTS: You haven't got any, Timmy? I'll send you a text (laughter).