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Oct. 14 Terry Collins workout day interview

Q. Can you just explain why you think Jake is up for this challenge and he's the right guy to pitch for you tomorrow night?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, when we were getting ready for the postseason one of the things when we sat our rotation down, we felt that he was pitching the best of anybody, and that's nothing to take anything away from Noah, how he was throwing or Harv. We just thought this guy was pitching best.

Q. Can you just explain why you think Jake is up for this challenge and he's the right guy to pitch for you tomorrow night?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, when we were getting ready for the postseason one of the things when we sat our rotation down, we felt that he was pitching the best of anybody, and that's nothing to take anything away from Noah, how he was throwing or Harv. We just thought this guy was pitching best.

So if anybody was going to pitch two games in the series for us, it would be Jacob deGrom. So it worked out that way. Fortunately we didn't have to bring him back on short rest. He hasn't done it, and he's uncomfortable doing it. So we're lucky he's got an extra day.

Q. Did you sense the mood on the flight out here this time any different than when you were coming out here for Game 1?

TERRY COLLINS: Last time when the game was over, and I don't know when you guys went in there what the reception was in the clubhouse, but we're pretty positive still. Our guys are upbeat. Nobody wants to fly all the way across the country for one game. But I think that we're as excited as we were the other night.

Obviously, the first game was really impactful. Now we know this is really a huge game for us, and, like I said, you talk to the guys today in the clubhouse before we left, and they're excited.

Q. You only faced a righty once in this series, that was Greinke the first time. Would you expect not necessarily the order, but the same players for Flores and Tejada, meaning the four on the field CHK CHK CHK?


Q. What's it feel like to have the season boil down to one win-or-lose game?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, I've looked at it this way. Obviously, this is where you want to get. You want to get to postseason. Any time you're down to win or lose, it's a tough situation. There's a lot of pressure on both teams. But I'll tell you, I'm so proud of the way our guys made it through the season. This, to me, is gravy. We're going to go out and play real, real hard.

But they can't take away what these guys accomplished all year long. You can't take that away from them, no matter if we lose tomorrow night or we come out on top. We're very, very happy with what we've accomplished, and we'll be prepared tomorrow.

Q. DeGrom was one of the elite pitchers throughout the season. Did he show you something with the composure and the medal he showed in Game 1.

TERRY COLLINS: Yeah, he did. Certainly I was very, very excited, very pumped up in Game 1, and I'm sure he'll probably tell you once he got settled in and pitched an outstanding ballgame. I think now he's a little more comfortable, so hopefully his first few innings are a little easier than they were the first game for him. But I really, I'm real confident he's going to go out and pitch another great game. He's just got to get some runs to work with.

Q. Just because it is Game 5, how tight are you going to be with deGrom in getting guys out of the bullpen if anything were to happen in the game?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, we've got, obviously, this is one of those games where you're in a situation where everybody's available. You're looking at Noah's going to be down there tomorrow, Matt, if we need him, they'll all be there. So we'll just see how the game's moving along, and what the match-ups are going to be and who would be our best options. But certainly it will be everybody we've got in the pen.

Q. I'm sorry, you said Matt? You said yesterday he wasn't available for Game 5?

TERRY COLLINS: I talked to him on the plane today and he said he'd be ready. So if we need him, he'll be out there.

Q. Just to follow up on that, how much do you have those guys? And second question, you've faced so much adversity this year. How confident are you that they can be resilient again tomorrow in a tough spot?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, we showed it the other night. We showed it coming off the loss here last week with all the drama that took place on the field that night. We came back the next day in New York and played great. So we had a tough game the other night against arguably the best pitcher in baseball. So it's one of those things. You've got to gather yourself and get ready for tonight, and you've got to face another great one tomorrow. That's the big leagues.

So I think we're going to be resilient enough to go out and face a good ball team. We like our rotation, we like our staff, and we like our lineup. We've just got to go get some good balls, good pitches to hit, and hopefully hit it where nobody's standing.

Q. And Noah and Harvey, how much do you have in them?

TERRY COLLINS: Oh, you know, we're not going to -- I'll tell you, if Jake gets in trouble in the second inning, which would be a shock to me, you know, we're talking about guys only going one or two innings tops anyway. Because, again, we're in the National League. The pitcher's got to hit, so you're not looking at somebody going three or four innings like you would maybe in the American League.

Q. What do you think about the manner in which your lineup has performed in this series to this point?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, we've got some guys that are struggling, Mike. I mean, everybody does. If everybody was hitting, we wouldn't still be playing Game 5. So we've got to get Lucas going. There is no doubt about that. He's a big piece of the lineup in the middle of the batting order. You're looking at even though David's averages now, he's getting on base. So he's got some walks. He's got two big RBIs.

As I said many times, our lineup, if we spread out the offense, we win games. We win a lot of games. Right now we've got to have that tomorrow. We've got to have 1 through 8 for sure produce some runs for us.

Q. Not to rehash the whole thing, but when Matt went to Cincinnati and he said what he said about being available for the bullpen in Game 5, that thing resolved itself in a favorable way compared to what it was?

TERRY COLLINS: We're going to be smart about it. We're not going to be foolish and go right to Matt Harvey, and say if Jake's in trouble in the second inning. So I think we've got to be wise enough to know that this will be the first time he's ever done something like this too. We're talking about three young pitchers who have never pitched in the post season and now you're asking them to do things they've never done before as far as pitching out of the bullpen. So we're going to be smart about the decisions we make.

Q. I just meant from Matt's perspective, because he was getting a lot of flack in September twice coming to you and said, hey --

TERRY COLLINS: Yeah, he wants to pitch. He never, I don't think he ever shied away from the fact he wanted to pitch in the postseason. We're here now and he's ready to take the ball when he needs it.

Q. Two things, first, why do you think it's getting harder these days to identify 7th, 8th, 9th inning guys in the way maybe the Royals have? I know you've struggled a little bit, the dodgers have struggled a little bit. Why is it so volatile?

TERRY COLLINS: That's a great question. That's a legitimate question. I think obviously when you're looking at the Kansas City side, they've got three power guys and they go 7, 8, 9. To find three power guys to be able to do that is an oddity. I mean, we've got three guys we like a lot. One guy's a real power guy, and the other guy's strike-throwing guys who need a little finesse.

So they're different guys. Most of the time when you've got guys that are throwing, kind of like the Dodgers, you've got Baez and Hatcher, and then you go to Kenley, they've got three power arms on the back end of the bullpen, where it's just hard to get those guys, because you look up, and a lot of those guys are closers some place else. Teams are grabbing your 7th inning guy to be the closer at other clubs.

Q. Given how well Bartolo has taken to what you've asked him to do, could you see him pitching five, six, sen years in that role? It's all command?

TERRY COLLINS: It's all command, you're absolutely right. The one thing about Bartolo is you've got to accept the fact that he's not a strikeout guy. So when you're looking at the back end of a bullpen, there are a lot of situations where you need to get a strikeout where he's going to make him swing the bat.

So, yeah, there is no reason why Bartolo Colon couldn't pitch a few more years, even as a starter. He's got one of those arms that's durable. We've seen it here in the postseason. He throws every day. But, it's going to be -- I think it all depends on how the legs hold up, because that's a huge part of pitching. When you've thrown all the innings he's thrown, boy, I tell you, he's a Marvell, no doubt.

Q. You just mentioned some of those guys struggling in the lineup. What's it meant to have Murphy perform like he has?

TERRY COLLINS: He's got big hits, and that's Dan. But, again, Murph's had a good postseason. He's got a big hit for us, especially home runs. We've got to give him some help. Grande's been getting on. And look at it the other day. We talked about it with Clayton, so you kind of throw it off to the side, but we had one guy in scoring position. So that just tells you how well the Dodgers have pitched.

Like I said the other night after the game was over, we knew when we clinched and the Dodgers clinched and we knew we were going to play the Los Angeles Dodgers, we knew what we were facing, that we were going to face Clayton twice and Zack twice, and it was not going to be easy.

So as good of an offensive club as we think we might have, it's the old adage that's been used many times, good pitching stops good hitting, and it will always be that way. That's why you've got to work so hard to create some offense against those guys.

Q. If you've got a lead late, could you see yourself using Noah out of the bullpen there in the 7th or 8th?

TERRY COLLINS: I could see it, yeah.

Q. With Jake, he's obviously he has great numbers no matter what the situation, but coming off the loss this year, he's been exceptionally good. Have you noticed a difference in him in those situations, kind of the classic ace, stopper mentality?

TERRY COLLINS: That's a great question for him, because he only knows what his thought process is. But the good ones step up when they know the team needs them. They just rise to the occasion. They know that they're on the stage, they know they've got to carry their club for 7 innings and keep them in games, and he has the ability to do that. He is a -- you look at the demeanor, laid back, great smile. When he's on that mound, he's fierce. I've seen a lot of reactions when he's come off that field after a bad outing. The anger. You can see it, you can feel it, so he's a competitive guy. And that's why we kind of like the situation he's in tomorrow night.