Oct. 18 Terry Collins postgame interview
Q. We all knew coming into the series the depth of your starting pitching, but the fact that you're 2 0 with deGrom going in Game 3, what's that say about your staff and how they approach these games?
TERRY COLLINS: Well, we've pretty much haven't hid the fact that we think we have pretty good pitching. They're young, they're inexperienced. They don't have the credentials that Kershaw and Greinke and Lester and Arrieta have, but they're going to be good pitchers. They're going to be really, really good, and we're really proud of as fast as they've come and the way they've handled themselves this summer. But they're going to we think we can stack up with anybody. And with Jake going, we've just got to go in there. They play great in Chicago. It's a park built for them, so it should be a great series continued.
Q. I feel like we're asking this every night, but it's quite a trophy case you've accumulated with the talent of starting pitching that you guys manage to continue again tonight. What do you think of that accomplishment, and what you've been able to do with these starters?
TERRY COLLINS: We've gotten big hits. Again, because of the pitching we're facing, we're not crushing the ball, but we're getting big hits. We're getting guys on base, and it seems like somebody will come up with a big hit or a big play, or a stolen base when you need it. I mean, Grandy tonight, another good game for Murph, another big game. I was excited to see David swing the bat better. Both balls he hit were hit hard. So we're coming, maybe it's coming. But we'll take what we've got, and we're going to ride that pitching. Our bullpen went unnoticed because of the job Noah did, but they were outstanding tonight.
Q. I know velocity isn't everything in pitching, but how much of an advantage is that aspect of your rotation having guys coming out throwing high 90s, sometimes low hundreds?
TERRY COLLINS: I'm going to tell you, that's why when you look at our pitching staff, you just shake your head. The game is changing. Those power arms, everybody's got them, but they're usually in the bullpen. We have guys, and we're very, very lucky, it seems like they go out there and they maintain it. They can maintain 95 to 98 for six and seven innings at a time. I'll tell you, that's tough on hitters, especially in weather like this, that's really tough on hitters. So we're just really, really lucky, and the organization has done a great job accumulating this talent and we kind of feel real good when Steven Matz starts to get as consistent, because he's just as good as everybody else.
Q. Getting back to your bullpen, you've had guys starters, relievers all come in and do the job for you so far in these playoffs. Curious what it is about your guys that you think allows them to succeed in different roles and whether you have even changed your thinking about how important bullpen roles are?
TERRY COLLINS: I wasn't a pitcher, so I was never one that thought to have a particular role outside of the guy pitching the 9th inning was that big. But at this level, it is big. Guys want to know when they're going to be used. Our guys have done a great job. But they're all caught up in it right now. They're all caught up in the success of what's going on. As I said before, the one thing that's really helped us is those guys walk through those clubhouse doors and they hang those egos on a coat rack, and there are no egos in that clubhouse. Everybody wants to win. Everybody's playing to win and rooting for each other. They don't care who is in the game, just get it done. When they get their opportunity, they're ready, because they want to be part of it. So just like tonight, I haven't used Jon, really, as a primary to get a lefty out. Came in tonight and got a huge out for us. I got Steven Matz up, if Rizzo got up in the 8th, and Steven Matz was going to face him. He was what we thought was the perfect guy. So you just kind of feel good that everybody's buying into what's happening down there.
Q. You touched upon it a little bit, but you expressed so much confidence in David, even through his struggles here. How gratifying was it to see what he did in the first inning?
TERRY COLLINS: Well, it's huge. He's so important to the club. I told you we had a little laugh last night when I asked him how he was feeling physically and he said he was fine, and he said, "Outside of the fact that I suck right now, I'm doing good." But that's the mentality. I told him, I said, "Well, if there's one guy around here who is not worried about it, it's me. You're going to be in there tomorrow. Now if you tell me your back's stiff after the cold night, I get it. I understand that. But we need you in the lineup." We need his presence in the lineup. He's still dangerous, and every time he walks in that batter's box, you just feel good like he's going to get something good to hit, and hit it over the fence or against the fence. That leadership, you've got to have it on the field.
Q. As much as everyone talked about the Cy Young candidates on the other teams, the fact that you have such depth in the starting pitching that your Game 3 matchups in both series should be assets. You have Niese in the bullpen, Colon in the bullpen. How much has it been an asset maybe not to have the name Kershaw, but to have the depth that you have with quality guys?
TERRY COLLINS: Well, it's huge. That's why we thought if we could get to postseason, we could match up with a lot of teams, everybody, because we have depth. Everybody's got real good this is Big League pitching, everybody's got them. But we've got some talented guys. We all look at Noah and Jake and Matt as the big three, but I'm telling you, Steve Matz is really good, too. And we've got two starters in that bullpen that I wouldn't be afraid to start at any time. So we're very, very lucky that we have the pitching we have. It's going to make the difference because in these kind of games, these kind of series, we're going to face good pitching. So whoever pitches best wins, and that's why I think we've got a good shot.
Q. When you get that three run lead right there, three batters in, what kind of lift is that for the guys on the bench? Do you think that puts Noah at ease a little having that lead going out there?
TERRY COLLINS: It certainly was a big lift for the guys on the bench because it was Jake Arrieta who, I mean, this guy there's some good candidates for the Cy Young, but he's one of the legit ones. When you can jump out to the lead on him, you've got to feel pretty good where you're sitting, and I think it helped Noah relax a little bit. Hey, I'm just going to go out and pitch. We had a limit on Noah tonight at a hundred pitches, due to the fact that he's come back on two days'. But he was very, very good. Again, even though he threw a lot of pitches, lot of strikes. So we've just got to get ready for the next game.
Q. With Noah, no injuries, no Tommy John, he came up in May. What do you think about his development from the time he came up as a rookie doing what he's doing?
TERRY COLLINS: Well, he gets it real fast. When he first got here you could see the power arm. I'm going to tell you, this guy sat on the bench. He pays attention, he listens, he asks questions. He got better real fast because he did what he's supposed to do, and that's learn things that he needed to work on. Fred talks about it a lot about going to a bullpen session, and he picked up a two seamer in one bullpen session and it's become a big pitch for him because he works at it. That's what makes him really good. This guy is going to be an outstanding, outstanding pitcher for a long time. He's big, he's strong, hopefully we keep him healthy, and he has no fear. He's not intimidated by anything. Of course when you're that big you shouldn't be intimidated by anything. But he's legit.
Q. How about that catch by Granderson in right? How important was that in keeping the Cubs from starting a comeback?
TERRY COLLINS: Yeah, it was huge. It was a great catch by Grandy. Both sides of the ball, you've got to play this game on both sides. Even in the ninth inning, it hurt us, but not covering first base, boy, it can come back and really bite you. Fortunately we got away and it didn't matter, but Grandy made a great play on that ball.
Q. The relief stint for Noah, do you think that helped him even more confidence wise? And did he have to dig deeper because of that, because he pitched the other night?
TERRY COLLINS: I think so. Again, when I talked to him a couple days ago about pitching tonight, he said, "Yeah, I'm fine. I feel great, I'm ready to pitch," and he wanted to start. But I think going into that game at Dodgers Stadium, that was a big game for us. And to have him at his age and the fact that he's never pitched out of the bullpen, just walk in there and pound that strike zone was big for us. I think coming in tonight, he's got all the confidence in the world, and he should. But we're just going to be careful with him knowing that it was two days.