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Oct. 7 Torey Lovullo pregame interview

October 7, 2017

Q. How confident are you with Robbie Ray on the mound and particularly even though this is a playoff game against a Dodger team that he has, of course, the numbers that he has against this year against L.A.?TOREY LOVULLO: Well, we feel really confident every time Robbie takes the

Q. How confident are you with Robbie Ray on the mound and particularly even though this is a playoff game against a Dodger team that he has, of course, the numbers that he has against this year against L.A.?
TOREY LOVULLO: Well, we feel really confident every time Robbie takes the mound, and he's earned that. And we know that obviously it's a playoff game and the stakes are a little bit higher, but I know he's going to go out and execute a game plan like he has all year long. He was an All-Star. He's one of the best pitchers in the league as far as I'm concerned. The record, the earned run average will bear that out as well. So we feel very comfortable and very confident with Robbie throwing for us tonight. He should be wide open. The big question I've been getting asked leading up to this point right now is how many pitches can he throw? Well, I think he threw 23 in the last day of the season. I think he threw 34 in the Wild Card game, and we're going to take those and add those two up for the last seven days he's thrown 50-some-odd pitches. So we feel like he's going to be wide open and throwing exactly as many pitches as he normally has.

Q. Could you just go through your thought process on the lineup? You made, I think, two changes with Iannetta in there and Descalso instead of Drury?
TOREY LOVULLO: And also, Lamb instead of Rosales. That's right okay, so...

I'm aware of the reverse split factor with Rich Hill, and he's a quality pitcher. We're going to look for any type of advantage that we can possibly get. I spoke yesterday about the catching rotation that CI was going to get the nod today, so that was going to happen no matter what. But inserting the two lefties in there was a little bit of a strategy. It's not a mystery. You can see the numbers for yourself and understand what my thought process is. So, on top of that, and in one case in Daniel Descalso who has playoff experience is manager's dream when you can put him in there and he's not going to be affected by the moment. Not that anybody else could or couldn't do his -- that job at that level, but I just felt very comfortable with that experience factor.

Q. Being on a different coast in a different league, what were your impressions of Paul Goldschmidt last year and how have they matched what you've gotten this year?
TOREY LOVULLO: A couple of inter-league series against the Red Sox, watching him, and just appreciating everything he did on a daily basis, and it was more than just the at-bats. It was the defense. It was the knowledge on the bases, it was shorting the bases. It was being a leader and kind of picking up on who the left player on that team was by him also doing all those little things kind of gives you the impression that he's a pretty special player. So, a lot of things that I saw and then started to read and hear about, and confirm what type of player he was. I went on the record, and I'll still go on the record saying he's a definite MVP candidate, and I feel like he deserves that from me because I watched one of the elite players play at an impressive level all year long. On top of that, the things I get to see are those great leadership qualities inside the clubhouse. He's a great teammate, and he's manager's dream.

I know I said that about Daniel, but he's the type of guy I can go to in any situation and say where are we at, and he gives me a great bird's eye view of things. I rely on him as the leader of that team for a reason.

Q. Looks like after last night, Corbin lining up for the Game 4 start, what went into your thinking having him in the rotation and Godley in the bullpen, and I guess Taijuan as well?
TOREY LOVULLO: Yeah, well, we just prepped out a couple things that started with the Wild Card game. We wanted to have as many weapons as we possibly could in the bullpen for the Wild Card game which meant that we were going to have to leave one of our starters off in preparation for yesterday's game. So we determined that was going to be Taijuan.

The next thought was between Zack and Patrick about potential starter, potential reliever, we just liked the ability for Zack to come in games and get quick outs and go deep into the game quickly, which, if he's throwing out of the bullpen would eliminate -- he was in the game for a reason. You're probably getting beat or starters come out early for another reason. But it would allow us to get to where we needed to and not have to go through more of a bullpen than we needed to to get to the back end of the game.

Patrick has had a lot of effectiveness at home against the Dodgers, and we just felt like if we did get to a Game 4 situation, and we are thinking about Patrick, not yet confirmed for Game 4, that it was going to be a really good remedy. A really good solution for us.

For me, I'm looking at Game 4 as a very pivotal game. I think that's the most important game in a five-game series, and I couldn't think of a better candidate than Patrick to be throwing at home.

Q. What do you mean not yet confirmed?
TOREY LOVULLO: Yeah, if Patrick's needed tonight, we'll run him down to the bullpen and he'll throw in the bullpen tonight. So we're just piecing this thing together. The Wild Card game takes its toll in a few areas, especially your pitching staff. So we're leaning in that direction, but we haven't yet announced it, and that's why.

Q. In light of how well Godley threw last night, any second thoughts into not getting him the start?
TOREY LOVULLO: Patrick not getting the start?

Q. Godley, as well as he threw last night, any second thoughts on not getting him a start?
TOREY LOVULLO: You mean like last night perhaps or somewhere along the way?

Q. Sure.
TOREY LOVULLO: No, I think the criteria that I'd walked through originally was Zack was going to fill a lot of different roles and allow us to give our bullpen a breather and get deep into the game. So his versatility may have maybe hurt his chances of being a starter. But we needed somebody as versatile as him to be in the bullpen or potentially give us as much length as he did. In a couple scenarios we had Zack walking through a part of their lineup for six batters and everything went the way we wanted. Or we needed some length, and we felt like he was the best candidate for length out of the bullpen.

Q. You guys are headed home. I know the atmosphere at Chase field was pretty electric for the Wild Card game. What's that mean for you guys when you have a sellout like that and you had the noise that you had in that ballpark that night?
TOREY LOVULLO: Yeah, we're Arizona proud. We try to represent that entire state the best that we can. And let them know we're leaving it out there every single day. They've responded by coming out and supporting us. That Wild Card game was pretty impressive. That crowd was trying to take the top off of that roof and top off of that building. It was really, really felt from the dugout. I know our players responded. We appreciate their support, and we've got to continue going out and playing good baseball and make sure they show up again. So I'm anxious to see what happens when we get back home. I'm looking forward to seeing that crowd.

Q. How differently, if at all different, do you approach today given it's a five-game series and not a seven? I know you kind of touched on that with Corbin.
TOREY LOVULLO: Well, a couple people have been asking me questions about is today the most important game of the series. The way I looked at it was yesterday was the most important game of the series. And today, the one we're playing right now is the most important game of the series. So, you know, we want to win. We know we're down 1-0, and we're going to do everything we possibly can to even the series and go back home. But we've got to go out and perform at the level we expect to play and perform at. We didn't have a great game yesterday. That wasn't a typical Arizona Diamondback night. I just want our guys to go out there and be themselves and see where that lands us.

Q. Coming into the series, would you have viewed a split on the road as a win for the bigger picture though?
TOREY LOVULLO: I don't want to just sound like that was our only goal to be satisfied with the split. But with everything that we have in front of us and it's the only thing we can do. I would be very, very satisfied with the split. A lot of people break it down differently, and I know journalists might say a split was all they needed. It's something that you hope you can get to, but I was shooting for as high as I could shoot and I wanted to win both games here. But, unfortunately, we can't do that. We can just do our very, very best and walk away with the split and if that happens, we'd certainly be satisfied.

Q. I was wondering if you could talk about that moment being able to give the ball to Jimmie Sherfy considering your relationship throughout his entire life, in his first postseason appearance?
TOREY LOVULLO: Yeah, special moment for both of us. As I mentioned I'm from Southern California, born in Santa Monica, raised in the valley. Here I am handing a ball off to one of my son's high school teammates that I watched grow up playing baseball. It was a surreal moment for me. I know we made eye contact, and I'll never forget what that feeling was like. It was a proud moment. Almost like a parent is handing the ball off to their own child, and that's how I view Jimmie.