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Oct. 16 Chase Utley pregame interview

MLB.com

Q. What has impressed you the most about Corey Seager this year?

CHASE UTLEY: I don't even know where to start, to be honest with you. Last year, obviously, came up about a month to go in the season and he looked like he belonged there. You don't really see that too often from a guy his age starting out in the big leagues. This year he's just continued to get better on all aspects of the game. He makes playing shortstop look easy. He has a pretty big frame, for him to be as agile as he is, it's pretty impressive. I think we all know what he can do at the plate. Doesn't seem like any situation phases him. He's able to put great at-bats against lefties, righties, it really doesn't matter. And he's continued to improve and evolve over this year. He's definitely a bright spot in the Dodgers future.

Q. Last night when Adrian is able to have the big base hit off of Chapman, he hit a 102 mile an hour fastball. Is that a signal at all to you guys or does that give you guys more confidence against a pitcher like that? Obviously, you guys go up there with the belief you can get a hit, but that's not a thing that happens every day when a guy's able to do that. So do you think that kind of gives you guys a little more confidence?

CHASE UTLEY: Yeah, I think any time you have some success, maybe not yourself but someone on your team, that definitely gives us all confidence. We have been in some big situations throughout the course of the year and we have been able to come through a lot of the times. Not every time, but a lot of the times. So, yeah, that hit was huge and I think that definitely gave us confidence that we can hit a fastball.

Q. Same question with Corey Seager, except let's substitute Clayton Kershaw. What have your observations been watching him for a year now about how he goes about his business, how he has handled this heavy load during the playoffs.

CHASE UTLEY: Yeah, he's special. I had the great opportunity to play with Roy Halladay in Philadelphia for a few years and you would see what he did prior to a start, how much preparation he put in, whether that was in the video room or the weight room getting his body ready for that start. And I see the very similar qualities in Clayton. He grinds during the four days in between starts, he's watching a ton of video. Game day he's very quiet, very focused, he has blinders on, if you will. And believe it or not, he's better than now with playing with him, he's better than I thought he was. And that's a pretty big compliment, to be honest.

Q. Last night as many things happened late in that game, your line drive to Rizzo at the end it seems like not much different, it's over his head down the corner, do you go back to the hotel at all and think, dang, we still could have won that game?

CHASE UTLEY: Yeah, I think we put ourself in a good position late in the game to come back and win. We did a lot of positive things. You have to give credit to their guys as well for putting some heat on us and they were able to score some runs. I've played this game long enough, you try not to take anything back to your house or the hotel with you, you try to leave it all at the stadium. The whole goal is to try to hit a ball hard, most of the time they fall in, sometimes they don't. You hope that over the course of the year that they kind of all even out.

Q. Last night was obviously a stunner for everybody observing, but in the clubhouse afterward you guys didn't seem shaken all that much. What did you learn about yourselves this season that allows you guys to just move on and not be affected by that?

CHASE UTLEY: You have seen it, we're pretty resilient. I think you hear that a lot from a lot of playoff teams, but you have to be to get to this stage. Like I said before, we have had some big huge games during the year where we have come back, we have clawed back and the more we do that, the more confidence that gives us moving forward. And I thought we put ourselves like I said before in a great position to win. Scoring a couple runs when they bring in their closer, it was there for us. So, there was a lot of positives to look back from, from that game.

Q. You played up the middle for so long in your career, any observations on Javy Baez and how he plays defense in particular?

CHASE UTLEY: Yeah, I've seen some highlights of him. Obviously, we're in different leagues so you don't see him a whole lot. Looks like he brings a lot of energy to the field. Defensively I've seen some plays that he makes that are pretty impressive. Obviously, I think we know that he has a lot of power in that bat, and he seems like a very good player.

Q. Having played in Philly and having won there after many years of being between titles, how difficult was it to block out all the fan expectation stuff and/or did you guys as players even sense that as you were going through the process when you look back an at it?

CHASE UTLEY: Back then?

Q. Yeah.

CHASE UTLEY: We were just going along for the ride, to be honest with you. We had a lot of guys that had the same mindset and that was to win, try not to let the outside distractions distract us. And it's easier said than done, but I think we did a good job back then and this group as well has done a really good job of kind of focusing in on the game and what we need to do and not being distracted by the amount of attention that we're getting.

Q. You won a World Series with Joe Blanton in Philly, what have you observed in him over the years, his effectiveness at recovering from a tough outing and how much confidence do you guys have in him here tonight?

CHASE UTLEY: Joe's been great for us all year long. And going back to the Philly days, he reminds me of -- there's not a lot of terms that I can use -- but like a bulldog. He's out there, he's grinding, he cares, and you have a lot of confidence in guys like that. And for him to kind of re-invent himself over the past couple years, turned into a reliever, and it's been pretty impressive what he's done, not only this year, but last year. So, we have all the confidence in the world in Joe and I can't wait until he gets back out there.

Q. In Game 5 of the DS there was some unconventional moves by your manager and which people heralded him for. In Game 1 of the CS, unconventional moves and now people want to criticize. Is that an unfair position for him to be in and are those just kind of the waves that you have to ride as a team?

CHASE UTLEY: Like you said, you put it very well, it's kind of the waves you ride as a baseball team. Not every decision you're going to make is going to work out, but you put some thought into those decisions and you try to put your players and your team in the best position to win. And Dave's done that and the coaching staff has done that all year long and we have a lot of faith in what they're doing. We definitely don't second guess. I think it's easy for people to do that, but we, as players, we don't do that, we have a lot of trust in him.

Q. You saw Jake Arrieta on one of the best days of his career, when he has the stuff going like that, the cross fire, and it's a good day for him, as a hitter what do you think about and key on as you walk to the plate?

CHASE UTLEY: We know he's tough. He's got electric stuff. For every good pitcher you try to capitalize on their mistakes. They all make mistakes, some more than others, and you have to try to be ready for those mistakes and try to take advantage of those.

Q. What has impressed you the most about Corey Seager this year?

CHASE UTLEY: I don't even know where to start, to be honest with you. Last year, obviously, came up about a month to go in the season and he looked like he belonged there. You don't really see that too often from a guy his age starting out in the big leagues. This year he's just continued to get better on all aspects of the game. He makes playing shortstop look easy. He has a pretty big frame, for him to be as agile as he is, it's pretty impressive. I think we all know what he can do at the plate. Doesn't seem like any situation phases him. He's able to put great at-bats against lefties, righties, it really doesn't matter. And he's continued to improve and evolve over this year. He's definitely a bright spot in the Dodgers future.

Q. Last night when Adrian is able to have the big base hit off of Chapman, he hit a 102 mile an hour fastball. Is that a signal at all to you guys or does that give you guys more confidence against a pitcher like that? Obviously, you guys go up there with the belief you can get a hit, but that's not a thing that happens every day when a guy's able to do that. So do you think that kind of gives you guys a little more confidence?

CHASE UTLEY: Yeah, I think any time you have some success, maybe not yourself but someone on your team, that definitely gives us all confidence. We have been in some big situations throughout the course of the year and we have been able to come through a lot of the times. Not every time, but a lot of the times. So, yeah, that hit was huge and I think that definitely gave us confidence that we can hit a fastball.

Q. Same question with Corey Seager, except let's substitute Clayton Kershaw. What have your observations been watching him for a year now about how he goes about his business, how he has handled this heavy load during the playoffs.

CHASE UTLEY: Yeah, he's special. I had the great opportunity to play with Roy Halladay in Philadelphia for a few years and you would see what he did prior to a start, how much preparation he put in, whether that was in the video room or the weight room getting his body ready for that start. And I see the very similar qualities in Clayton. He grinds during the four days in between starts, he's watching a ton of video. Game day he's very quiet, very focused, he has blinders on, if you will. And believe it or not, he's better than now with playing with him, he's better than I thought he was. And that's a pretty big compliment, to be honest.

Q. Last night as many things happened late in that game, your line drive to Rizzo at the end it seems like not much different, it's over his head down the corner, do you go back to the hotel at all and think, dang, we still could have won that game?

CHASE UTLEY: Yeah, I think we put ourself in a good position late in the game to come back and win. We did a lot of positive things. You have to give credit to their guys as well for putting some heat on us and they were able to score some runs. I've played this game long enough, you try not to take anything back to your house or the hotel with you, you try to leave it all at the stadium. The whole goal is to try to hit a ball hard, most of the time they fall in, sometimes they don't. You hope that over the course of the year that they kind of all even out.

Q. Last night was obviously a stunner for everybody observing, but in the clubhouse afterward you guys didn't seem shaken all that much. What did you learn about yourselves this season that allows you guys to just move on and not be affected by that?

CHASE UTLEY: You have seen it, we're pretty resilient. I think you hear that a lot from a lot of playoff teams, but you have to be to get to this stage. Like I said before, we have had some big huge games during the year where we have come back, we have clawed back and the more we do that, the more confidence that gives us moving forward. And I thought we put ourselves like I said before in a great position to win. Scoring a couple runs when they bring in their closer, it was there for us. So, there was a lot of positives to look back from, from that game.

Q. You played up the middle for so long in your career, any observations on Javy Baez and how he plays defense in particular?

CHASE UTLEY: Yeah, I've seen some highlights of him. Obviously, we're in different leagues so you don't see him a whole lot. Looks like he brings a lot of energy to the field. Defensively I've seen some plays that he makes that are pretty impressive. Obviously, I think we know that he has a lot of power in that bat, and he seems like a very good player.

Q. Having played in Philly and having won there after many years of being between titles, how difficult was it to block out all the fan expectation stuff and/or did you guys as players even sense that as you were going through the process when you look back an at it?

CHASE UTLEY: Back then?

Q. Yeah.

CHASE UTLEY: We were just going along for the ride, to be honest with you. We had a lot of guys that had the same mindset and that was to win, try not to let the outside distractions distract us. And it's easier said than done, but I think we did a good job back then and this group as well has done a really good job of kind of focusing in on the game and what we need to do and not being distracted by the amount of attention that we're getting.

Q. You won a World Series with Joe Blanton in Philly, what have you observed in him over the years, his effectiveness at recovering from a tough outing and how much confidence do you guys have in him here tonight?

CHASE UTLEY: Joe's been great for us all year long. And going back to the Philly days, he reminds me of -- there's not a lot of terms that I can use -- but like a bulldog. He's out there, he's grinding, he cares, and you have a lot of confidence in guys like that. And for him to kind of re-invent himself over the past couple years, turned into a reliever, and it's been pretty impressive what he's done, not only this year, but last year. So, we have all the confidence in the world in Joe and I can't wait until he gets back out there.

Q. In Game 5 of the DS there was some unconventional moves by your manager and which people heralded him for. In Game 1 of the CS, unconventional moves and now people want to criticize. Is that an unfair position for him to be in and are those just kind of the waves that you have to ride as a team?

CHASE UTLEY: Like you said, you put it very well, it's kind of the waves you ride as a baseball team. Not every decision you're going to make is going to work out, but you put some thought into those decisions and you try to put your players and your team in the best position to win. And Dave's done that and the coaching staff has done that all year long and we have a lot of faith in what they're doing. We definitely don't second guess. I think it's easy for people to do that, but we, as players, we don't do that, we have a lot of trust in him.

Q. You saw Jake Arrieta on one of the best days of his career, when he has the stuff going like that, the cross fire, and it's a good day for him, as a hitter what do you think about and key on as you walk to the plate?

CHASE UTLEY: We know he's tough. He's got electric stuff. For every good pitcher you try to capitalize on their mistakes. They all make mistakes, some more than others, and you have to try to be ready for those mistakes and try to take advantage of those.