Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

World Series Game 1: Dave Roberts postgame interview

MLB.com

Q. How can you describe Justin in the postseason?

DAVE ROBERTS: You look at his career and this guy, I mean, all-time records for RBI -- I mean, I know that I've seen things and just watching from the other side. And he just comes up with big hits, not only in the regular season but the postseason, especially. And the on-base, the OPS, all those things, the home runs, all those hits, it's hard to explain. But he's that guy that you want in the big spots, and he doesn't scare off.

Q. How can you describe Justin in the postseason?

DAVE ROBERTS: You look at his career and this guy, I mean, all-time records for RBI -- I mean, I know that I've seen things and just watching from the other side. And he just comes up with big hits, not only in the regular season but the postseason, especially. And the on-base, the OPS, all those things, the home runs, all those hits, it's hard to explain. But he's that guy that you want in the big spots, and he doesn't scare off.

:: World Series schedule and coverage ::

Q. How much has Chris Taylor, just since he moved into the leadoff spot, I know your offense didn't have any real issues, but it sparked the lineup. How did he spark it?

DAVE ROBERTS: It did. Just having Chris at the top of the order, where every time he gets in the box he's a threat. He can grind you for ten pitches in at-bat. He can earn a walk, he can slug you, he can steal a base. And I think that just to have the discipline that he's had all year to stay in the strike zone, and when a pitcher makes a mistake he makes you pay.

To have that consistency all year long, not just in the batter's box, but to have him in centerfield, started out in left field for us, filled in at short, played some second for us. He's done it all for us. He's one of the guys that gets overlooked with all the superstars we have on this team. But he's a big part of this.

Q. You've seen Kershaw good many times, how good was he tonight?

DAVE ROBERTS: I look back at some of the video, is and I can see it from the side and I see the swing and miss, the depth of the slider, the fastball command, the back-door cutter, the curveball. Tonight was one of those nights I think the first time in a while, where we've seen all three of his pitches synced up. He just was repeating the delivery, held the velocity. Was throwing the baseball where he needed to, where he wanted to. Very talented team over there. And for him to get ahead, keep them off balance, work them from front to back, up and down, to all quadrants. This was a special night to Clayton.

Q. Wonder what you think about, that the No. 1 and 2 hitter in your lineup for the World Series not too long ago were probably secondary thoughts, and now they're hitting 1, 2 in the World Series?

DAVE ROBERTS: And all the credit obviously goes to those guys. And I think that there's just a DNA piece to those two guys that they had opportunities. They created opportunities for themselves, and they expect a lot from themselves. They prepare the right way. They believe in their abilities. And so now, yeah, you see their two stories, and you look back a few years, and seeing that they're hitting 1,2 in the World Series, it's a credit to them. I don't think that it surprises them as far as those guys know that they can be productive Major League players, and now for us we're just reaping the benefits.

Q. Guys who came here as really low-profile guys playing a big role, how important is that in team building, besides just the big contracts?

DAVE ROBERTS: For us here speaking of this organization, I believe, we believe, that it's imperative to have that kind of grinder, blue-collar player. You look at the baseball season, it's a long season. And you're talking about Spring Training. It's a game of failure. Playing in a climate where it's fantastic all season long, you need to have those guys that really live and die baseball. And when it gets hot in July, on the road, and you're going 17 of 18, you need those guys that are just tough and the grinders and the blue-collar guys.

That's what we talk about kind of getting the right guys with this organization and you talk about those two guys, top of the order, they just fit that perfectly.

Q. The Turner homer, did you think it was gone off the bat? Did you see more carry of the ball tonight?

DAVE ROBERTS: I thought it was gone off the bat. It was hot. And the ball seemed like it was carrying. I saw the first -- the Bregman ball early, that I thought it got in on him and it carried. And so when JT got that ball elevated, I thought he got enough of it.

That was a good at-bat. Grinded, got two strikes, behind the count, and Keuchel tried to come in with a cutter, and left it out over a little bit. Really took a great swing. Gosh, JT has had so many big hits for us this year.

Q. Before the game you had mentioned that Corey Seager was going to bat 6th today and was going to move in the two-hole tomorrow. Justin Turner has done so much in the two-hole. Is that still the plan and why?

DAVE ROBERTS: It's still the plan. I think that we really try to focus on each game, each starting pitcher who are opposing that particular day individually. And I think that the at-bats Corey took tonight, getting him in the flow of the World Series playoff baseball, again. He really didn't miss a beat in the batter's box.

Yeah, he'll be hitting 2 tomorrow.

Video: WS2017 Gm1: Roberts on Turner coming up big

Q. Where does Turner go?

DAVE ROBERTS: Turner will be in the 3.

Q. It's related to that last question, but how do you evaluate Corey tonight?

DAVE ROBERTS: Well, Corey is our shortstop. And I thought in the box he looked good. I thought he took some good at-bats, even lining into that double play in the first inning. He had the one bobble on the potential double-play ball, but I thought that he was moving well. Devenski, reverse-split guy, right-handers had success against him. So I wanted to run Charlie out there and give him a shot to maybe get something started.

Q. Is it almost a discredit to what call Justin has done in the postseason incredible, because of what he does on a daily basis throughout the season?

DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, I think so. Obviously there's more eyes. There's more at stake. But I think when you talk to JT, talk to guys in the clubhouse, there's a certain way you play baseball, and whether you're in the back field at Camelback Ranch in Arizona at Spring Training, or playing Game 1 of the World Series, there's a certain intensity focus that should be there. And JT is that guy that plays a certain brand of baseball every single time he steps foot on the baseball field.

So I think this is all he knows. This is what he does. And obviously it's a bigger stage, so there's more made of it. And rightfully so.

Q. The guys haven't seen a whole lot of Verlander, and talk about one of the premier pitchers in the game. What do you possibly tell a bunch of guys who have never faced him to expect?

DAVE ROBERTS: Well, it's plus, plus stuff. I think that Grandy has had the most at-bats against him; he's not active. We saw him in Detroit this year. This guy, he's a one. He's a No. 1. He's a horse. He's got the 3-4 pitch mix. Gets lefties and righters out. There's plus, plus velocity. The slider as he changes his grip, the change, the curveball. He's going to compete. And we've just got to go out there and it's a different style of pitcher, obviously, than Keuchel but we've got to go out there and try to win pitches. He's going to come after us, but I think that our guys will be up for it.

Q. (Inaudible) Tonight with the Robinson family here, can you tell a little bit about that full circle moment, especially because of your friendship with the Robinson family?

DAVE ROBERTS: When you see Rachel coming up, and Sharon and David, knowing my relationship with them and knowing them when I was a player here, very wide-eyed and still just to see Mrs. Robinson with just such class. And she's just timeless. And to know some of the back story, and to be intimate with them is really an honor, and it's one of the huge, huge perks that I've had in my life as far as being a Dodger, and being a part of their family, in a sense.

For them to come back and make the trek, I think that the fans were very excited about that. I think that she was really excited.

So for me it's very humbling to be able to call them friends.

Q. You pulled out Clayton when he only had 83 pitches, were you thinking about Game 5?

DAVE ROBERTS: Was I thinking about Game 5? No. I was thinking -- I thought he threw the ball well for seven innings. I thought that I liked having Brandon Morrow come in, and I knew that Kenley could potentially get four or five outs. That's kind of all I thought. He was throwing the ball well.

Could I have extended him? Absolutely. And as that inning, that half inning, was actually a longer inning, anyway, it made me feel better about going to the pen there.

Q. You just won your first World Series game as a manager. What are the things that were going on in your mind? Is the feeling different than when you were playing?

DAVE ROBERTS: You know what I think? Speaking for me, personally, it's more -- and I think to the group as well, to the team, it's more, yeah, it's the World Series. But I think we had our goal and our mindset of winning 11 games in October. So right now we've won 8. And that's the only thing that we've been thinking of.

So, yeah, it's special. It's hard to compare it to being a player. But I know right now that this is a laser-focus group and we have a lot of work to do.