Oct. 7 Russell Martin postgame interview
Q. Difficult against Johnson to elevate the ball, and when you're going up there, are you thinking you can take him out?
RUSSELL MARTIN: I definitely wasn't thinking home run. I got in a good count to hit in, and I got a pitch that was up in the zone, and he's the type of guy that doesn't necessarily make any mistakes over the plate, and in that situation he just left a fastball up, and I put good wood on it.
Q. Can you take us through the bottom of the eighth after Hardy's double, what CC did and what it ultimately meant to the game, what he did in that inning?
RUSSELL MARTIN: Yeah, absolutely. I think the biggest out was Jones, the strikeout, keeping Hardy on second base. If he gets that guy over, draws a walk, it just changes the game completely, they can bunt, they can do a lot of things right there. So that was a big strike out. The first pitch changeup probably the best pitch he had to hit all game. From then on, he just made pitches, established in right there, made a couple fastballs in, then went back to another changeup, had a decent swing on that changeup, as well, and on that 2‑2 count he just threw his best slider of the game and struck him out. And then after that, he just kept making tough pitches and got us through that eighth inning.
Q. You obviously had a big game defensively. When you play well on that side of the ball, can that have a positive impact on what you do offensively?
RUSSELL MARTIN: Well, I like to keep them both separate. I've been doing that all year, and this year especially was tough because I didn't have the best offensive season.
But yeah, when I'm on defense that's all that matters to me is taking care of my pitcher, making sure he's staying in the game and making the right pitches, also the right pitch selection. Any time you can help a team win whether it's on defense or offense, you're happy about it.
Q. As you mentioned you didn't have the best offensive year but you did have some big moments. In a game like this, how exciting is it and how thrilling to have that kind of a hit to put your team ahead?
RUSSELL MARTIN: Oh, it's a big lift. Kind of sparked us it seemed like, we added some insurance runs at the end there. But again, a pitcher of that caliber, you're not expecting to hit home runs against him. I was just trying to hit the ball hard, and luckily he left a pitch over the middle of the plate for me. But it definitely felt good at the moment, and I felt like it lifted the team a little bit.
Q. Being the catcher, do you get a sense of when teams are overanxious, and could you talk about the Orioles, first time in the big spotlight, that maybe you can use that against them?
RUSSELL MARTIN: Well, you know, they're an aggressive swinging team, and when you have CC on the mound and he's got a good fastball going, you like to ‑‑ sometimes first pitch, off speed, changeup. His changeup was really good today, so we used it quite a bit, and it's really deceiving to hitters. It looks like a fastball with the rotation and everything, and when it's in the good spot especially down in the zone you cannot really do much with it. He had a really good changeup today and we used that quite a bit, and then you mix with the fastball in and out you kind of get hitters in between, and that's what you're looking for. It seemed like hitters were uncomfortable with CC on the mound tonight.
Q. Talk about the play in the fifth inning, the ball in front of the plate when you threw to first, and did you really think you had a chance?
RUSSELL MARTIN: Well, off the bat it just kept getting away from me further and further. I just tried to get there in a hurry, and the ball was actually pretty wet, so I picked it up and threw it as quickly as possible. It was kind of in no‑man's land. CC when he throws, he kind of falls off to, well, his right side and I knew off the bat that I was going to be the one to have to make that play and Teixeira made a sweet pick like he always does, it seems, at first base over there. It definitely was a big play. It changed that inning.
Q. It was mentioned before this is not your first big hit of the year, three game‑winning home runs in the ninth inning or later. Do you have any explanation for that?
RUSSELL MARTIN: It's just ‑‑ you know, you either want to be in that situation or you don't want to be in it. I love being in that situation. For me, it's just you go out there and you do your best, and if you get it done, great; if you don't, then hopefully you get it next time. But I just like being in those situations. I feel like you just concentrate a little bit more, seems like you can kind of slow things down a little bit.