Oct. 20: Terry Collins Pregame Interview
Q. Was there any consideration to getting Kelly Johnson in there against Hendricks today?
TERRY COLLINS: Not a lot, no.
Q. Joe Maddon has become known for using interesting motivational tactics. He played the Rocky song when they were leaving the ballpark the other night. Wondering if you saw signs of that when you guys worked together in Anaheim, and whether you've ever used a movie or a song or anything like that with your guys in your managing career?
TERRY COLLINS: No, we didn't do too much of that. Joe has been very innovative when he got the job in Tampa and started to do some fun things down there for those guys, and it's caught on. It's worked.
But I'm not -- I haven't done much of that in my time. I grew up watching Lasorda who -- he was the entertainment. And Jim was pretty much let's go play baseball kind of thing. So I didn't see much. Growing up I didn't know it was even around there, and Joe's kind of taken off with it, and it's helped.
Q. You've obviously had some success on the bases so far in the postseason. How much of a part of it, of your game during the regular season, how would you describe the way you use running during the regular season?
TERRY COLLINS: Well, I'm a big believer in base running. If you've got the guys to do it. Again, I don't think you need to be very talented to be a good base runner. I don't think you need to be very fast to be a good base runner. I think it's about getting good secondary leads, reading balls in the dirt, all the things that you talk about constantly. But when it comes to stealing bases, there is something to that. There are some guys who can do it and guys who can't.
Again, when your lineup is based on power, you've got to be careful running yourself out of innings. But right now we've been in situations due to the weather in New York and the ball's just not going to -- there is not going to be that many, many home runs. We kind of changed the way we looked at the game and thought, hey, if we can steal some bases here and get a run here and there, it's going to make a big difference under the circumstances.
But here, Wrigley Field, you better be careful running here because you can hit a three-run homer in a second.
Q. Who would you compare the heaviness of Familia's fastball to that he's demonstrated here in the postseason?
TERRY COLLINS: Kevin Brown. He's the closest I've seen. That hard and that much sink would have to be the guy I'd compare him to.
Q. After seeing Niese have success against Rizzo on Sunday night, if you have to go back to Jon in that kind of spot, how much confidence does that give you?
TERRY COLLINS: A lot. He made a big pitch when he had to. The weather was not conducive to throw a lot of breaking balls for Jon. So coming out of the pen, he hadn't had a good feel for it. So he went with his strength and made a good pitch with it.
Q. With Steven Matz, where do you think his overall ceiling is going to be eventually as a pitcher, and what does he have to do to accomplish that?
TERRY COLLINS: He's got to stay healthy, number one. This guy's got plus stuff. He's got a plus fastball. He's going to be 94 to 97. He's got a plus curveball. He's got a good changeup. Now it's a matter of going out there every five days through the course of the season that he has -- you look up and there are some things that nag him.
So next year it's going to be a matter of making sure he stays healthy. Again, using all the things we try to do this year perhaps keeping him short one night and maybe skipping him in the middle of the season so that he stays as healthy as he can. But if you keep this -- if this guy runs out there 28 to 30 times, he's going to win some ballgames for you.
Q. What you saw with deGrom the other night and the leash that you gave him and the faith to stay with him, does that affect your confidence in him going forward in terms of tonight's start, whatever he might encounter, does it change?
TERRY COLLINS: Yeah, when you're as good as our starting pitching is, you know what? They're going to have some rough nights. But Jake has always shown the ability to fight through it.
I go back to last year, and it was early. He had only been in the Big Leagues for maybe a month. He started a game in Citi Field that he had no off speed pitch, none. And he just stayed with his fastball, his two-seamer. He was behind in counts and all of a sudden in the fourth inning he found his breaking ball, and he gave us seven innings. That showed me right there that he can pitch without his best stuff. So when you're that -- when you have that kind of stuff, you've got to let those guys try to figure it out once in a while, and the other night, in Game 5, he did.
So I have a lot of confidence that if tonight he gets off to a rough start, if he keeps the ball in the ballpark, you know, you've got to let him try to figure it out. But I'm hoping that he's back to his normal self tonight.
Q. You've got at least a couple of really hot hitters. Do you believe there is such a thing as momentum, particularly in a postseason series such as this?
TERRY COLLINS: Yeah, I think that's a huge -- that's a great word to use, there is momentum, and it carries on. When guys at this level, when they're hot, they stay hot for a while. I just think the focus, the energy level, the fatigue is not a factor in the postseason necessarily, even though it's October baseball. We have enough days off to get some rest. But what we've got to do, we've got to find a couple other guys to get them hot.
For us to be a real dangerous club offensively, we use -- it's pretty much throughout the lineup that we can do some damage. It's very similar to the Cubs. Everybody -- and I know it should be written, they're back in their place, and it's warmer, and they're conducive to this park.
So are we. We have power too. You look at our power numbers from August 1st on, we're dangerous. So I think this is going to help us here also.
Q. Anything new on Harvey?
TERRY COLLINS: Yeah, he's a lot better today. Matt feels a lot better. He's going to throw a side here. If he hasn't already, he's probably going to go out right now and throw a side. He looks like he'll be ready for Game 5.