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Oct. 19 Dave Roberts pregame interview

October 19, 2016

Q. Dave, I know you touched on this yesterday, but Urias is 20 years old, huge stage. What do you do or tell him to kind of make him understand just be yourself?DAVE ROBERTS: I won't have that conversation with Julio, and I don't think any of our guys will.

Q. Dave, I know you touched on this yesterday, but Urias is 20 years old, huge stage. What do you do or tell him to kind of make him understand just be yourself?
DAVE ROBERTS: I won't have that conversation with Julio, and I don't think any of our guys will. I think it's just understood. So for me, I don't feel any sense to have that conversation. So I expect him to go out there, prepare like he has been and pitch the way that he has, compete like the way he has and expect to win a baseball game.
Regardless of the stage, I expect Julio to be Julio.
Q. Have matchups gone too far and should starters be allowed to pitch deeper?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, I think that that's all relative to the game. So I think that every manager would like their starter to go complete game shutout, but I think that there's a certain point in the game where the starting pitcher is not being as effective, and you have other options that, you know, when you look at analytics or data, those are facts. So where certain options have shown better, then as manager it only makes sense to trust that information as well as your eyes. So I think that there's two factors for me when I'm seeing starting pitchers that the stuff starts to fall off a little bit, the swings from the other side start to get better, so that right there kind of leads to my decision.
Q. This game tomorrow, regardless of what happens today, is going to be a huge game. Either Kenta takes the Dodgers into the World Series, or the series is tied. Can you talk a little bit about your confidence you have in him for this game? And what do you see in him to improve to get out for the Dodgers tomorrow?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, we'll get tomorrow, then. Kenta, I expect him to go out there and get ahead of hitters, pitch off the fastball, makes the breaking ball to change and just compete. So I have all the confidence in the world in Kenta that he's going to give us a chance to win a baseball game tomorrow.
Q. Are there any circumstances at all where you'd consider Clayton for tomorrow?
DAVE ROBERTS: No, no. Kenta.
Q. Corey Seager's been so good all season, probably your steadiest player. But when you look at Justin Turner, not only his offense, but his defense as well, how close is he to being a co-MVP?
DAVE ROBERTS: Very close, very close. I think the great thing about our club is there's really no clear-cut MVP, and I think you look at a lot of ballclubs around baseball that you might have that guy. But I think that you could make an argument for four or five guys for our club to be the MVP. So, yeah, Corey's been our most consistent player all year and playing, obviously, a premium defensive position. But what J.T.'s done on the field, off the field, and on both sides of the baseball certainly is MVP, for our club, worthy.
Q. Rich Hill said yesterday that watching Kershaw was so inspiring to him and really motivated him. Today, Kenta said that watching Kershaw and Hill was stimulating to him and motivating to him. Have you ever seen one player or, I guess, if you look at Kershaw and Kenley, a group of players who have been able to inspire and infect the rest of the team in terms of momentum and motivating them through their leadership?
DAVE ROBERTS: Those are great things to hear. You don't see it very often. I think that you look at great players and as you talk about great players, as Clayton is, for me, you look at one part of it where his individual success is in one bucket, but the other part is what he does and the impact he makes on everyone else in the clubhouse and their desire to be great and to give a little bit more, and that's what Clayton has done.
I talk to these guys, and each game I want them to be mentally and physically exhausted, you know, because that just shows me and the coaches that you're leaving everything out there every single night. So, again, that's great to hear from Richie, from Kenta. And I know that the other players in that clubhouse echo that.
Q. Your running game yesterday was very good. I was surprised. But are you planning to keep on it?
DAVE ROBERTS: I can't tell you that.
Q. No? Why not?
DAVE ROBERTS: I can't tell you my strategy.
No, the guys did a great job on the bases, and they did what they could to help us win a baseball game.
Q. All year you've given chances to guys like Toles and Segedin, and Grant Dayton, and shown confidence in them in tough situations. How much of that goes back to maybe your experience where you were kind of coming up the hard way and wanting that type of opportunity from the organizations you were in? How much do you go back to those days?
DAVE ROBERTS: There is a little bit of that. But I think the bigger thing for me is as I learn these guys and have conversations, and I see that they don't scare off. And I think that in the positions that they've been in, and I think that's something that if a young player in any specific spot, they don't scare off, that I'll continue to bet on that player. We've got a lot of young players that we've used this year. Across the board, these guys are tough. So I do like giving guys opportunities. I love young players, and we've needed them this year.
Q. Of course we know how far back the rivalry goes between the Giants and the Dodgers, but can it be said that in a roundabout way they have helped you in this series, because they have pitched the Cubs so well in the first round and maybe you guys have had some of the same approaches to the hitters that they had in the first round?
DAVE ROBERTS: You know what, the Giants are obviously a great franchise, and they pitched well against the Cubs and really pushed them to the end. But our scouts internally, guys that are out there that don't get the notoriety, I mean, we're just -- as I talked to Andrew over the course of this series and the last series, I just have 100% certainty that no one's going to be more prepared than we are. So our advance -- the analytics guys, to put the coaches and players in the best position, I think that has been really, really huge.
Q. Last night in the clubhouse to a man, every player said that they gave so much credit to the staff in how you guys designed the game plan in order for them to succeed. What can you tell us about the process, the video work, and all that goes into preparing and designing a game plan for a game like this?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think the thing is, I think as a player, the easy part, as far as the will, is playing. But our players really understand and I know our coaches do. You've got to enjoy the process and the preparation. And I think our players really understand that and appreciate the time that the coaches put in to preparing these guys to be in the best position.
So when we have meetings, there is 100% participation, 100% buy-in. So I can't say enough about the coaches, what they've done and the time they've put in. But it goes to the players really accepting it and buying in, and then executing during the game, which they did last night.
Q. Do you remember the first time you were introduced to analytics and whether you bought in initially and how long that process took? Or did you take to it immediately when you first started getting introduced to it?
DAVE ROBERTS: You know what? I think I don't recall the first time, but I think that me coming up with the Indians and going to the Red Sox, they were forward-thinking. So there were things out there and information that -- you know, I'm all about getting information. I said that from day one. So I think as we've moved on, there is more information and the more the better, and it's my job to kind of decipher and filter what makes sense and what I feel needs to get to the players and to the coaches. But I don't recall when, but it's one of those things where baseball is so nuanced that it's not all the information. It's not all the gut or the eye test. It's somewhere in the middle, and that's the beautiful thing about this game. There's got to be some marriage of the two. So I appreciate what I have around me.