Oct. 3 Pregame Interview J.D. Martinez
Q. It was such an amazing regular season for you, and now you're always going to be able to say I hit a home run in my first postseason at bat. What does that mean to you?
J. D. Martinez: It's definitely awesome, just to be able to tie the game up, you know, in the first part. But, I don't know, I kinda look back now and it's kind of a waste just because the results weren't what we wanted it to be and the playoffs is all about winning and getting closer to the next step.
Q. J.D., all losses are tough, but how do you put that one behind you and go on today?
J. D. Martinez: Knowing that it's a series of five, you know, and it's the first team to win three games. It's not over. It's just one loss. If we can split a game here, you know, and go back home with a 1 1 and have two games at home, it's something we're definitely confident about going forward.
Q. What is your take on Chen and the approach against him today.
J. D. Martinez: To be honest with you, I've never faced him, so I kinda just gotta go out there and get a feel for him. Obviously you have your video and you watch it and you get to pick the brains of some of the older guys. But besides that, I really don't have a set approach on him yet. I'm just going to go out there and see what he kinda has.
Q. You have so many veteran teammates that you've talked to this year, what do you think you've learned the most and is there a certain person who has taught you the most?
J. D. Martinez: I think the one thing I have learned the most from all the veteran guys is kinda like not to dwell on a loss or a bad day. There will be days where we got our face kicked in and it will be a big game, and we're on the bus and it's like, the veteran guys act like we've never even lost. Of course everybody is feeling it, but how they turn the page and move forward was something that I really learned and picked up. It was pretty awesome.
Q. J.D., you mentioned that you had never faced Chen. Last night when the game begins, you have something in your mind about how you want to approach Tillman and then there is a spectacular start in front of you, he strikes out the side in the first inning and Victor walks up and hits the ball out. Without giving anything away, how much of what you saw over those four at bats dictated your approach when you got in there?
J. D. Martinez: Huge! Especially when you never faced a guy before, you kind of almost take the approach that I had in the minor leagues, where you never had film or anything, you just go up there and see how the guy's pitching guys before you. That's kind of what I did yesterday. I watched the way Tillman was working against Kinsler, Torii and Miggy, Victor is different because he's a lefty, but that's how I developed a plan towards him. I saw the way he was attacking those guys with fastballs and fastballs up and it was working. He struck out the side. He's not going to change just because I'm coming up.
Q. How big of a challenge is it facing Baltimore's bullpen? How good have they been against you guys this year?
J. D. Martinez: Against us this year, like I said, I wasn't here the first time that we really faced them and I wasn't playing the second time, so I really don't can't say from my standpoint. From what we've seen and I've seen through them yesterday, they have a great bullpen. They got a lot of guys coming out of pen throwing hard. The guys we saw, Miller throwing 95, 96, Britton, the same thing and even Hunter, the same thing, so they got a great bullpen. We did a good job of wearing down Chris Tillman to get to their bullpen and we couldn't take advantage of them when we got to them.
Q. How improbable is it that you're on this stage literally after where you started this season?
J. D. Martinez: Yeah, I mean, like I say all the time it's truly a blessing from God. If somebody would have told me a year ago in April, even in May, that I would be here right now talking to you guys about the postseason, I would have kinda laughed at 'em. But, you know, everything happens for a reason, you know, and God is always behind the scenes working in mysterious ways. Sometimes what we see, what's going on in front of us, isn't really what's happening. He's behind us. He's got his own plan and you gotta trust in him and continue to work hard and whatever happens happens, going forward.
Q. You know that clubhouse very well being a part of it, but if you could pinpoint one thing about the guys in that clubhouse as to why this team is successful, what would it be?
J. D. Martinez: Experience and talent. I think when you mix those two things together, you know, you have a recipe for a pretty good player and we have a lot of guys that have that. They do a great job of helping the younger guys, and being really the core and the foundation of the team so that all the younger guys kinda don't feel the pressure, and they can kinda just learn and go along with it. Guys like Victor, Miggy, Torii, Ver, they do a great job contributing outside of baseball to the younger guys, walking them through situations of, Hey, what were you thinking here? This is kinda what you should be thinking, this, this and that. They do a lot of mentoring and I think that's huge. It's helped a lot of our young players grow, including myself.
Q. J.D., we've heard a lot every year about guys who come up from being role players to being everyday players and the adjustments that are involved, not only getting regular at bats, but also opponents seeing you more than once and getting scouting reports. What have you learned from getting the everyday play for a long stretch now? How did that force you to adjust your game, even after the hot start?
J. D. Martinez: You know, this league is all about adjustments, and the one thing you kinda notice when you're playing every day is how teams make adjustments. Once you start having a little bit of success, they are going to make their adjustment. And as quickly as you can turn around and make your adjustment to them is how successful you're going to be. I think that's one of the things you start learning from being hot and playing every day at the beginning, you know. The league, they made their adjustments and their change to you, the way they pitch you, the way they attack you, and just learning and learning from that and making the adjustments the very next at bat or the very next pitch. Stuff like that is one of the biggest things I've learned throughout the year.