JOE MADDON: Honestly, that was not part of the discussion. He's really good. He's outstanding, actually. They've seen Jake a lot, we've seen him a lot. And at the end of the day it really comes down to execution of pitches in the moment. We were able to get to him there.
The leadoff hitter, the leadoff at-bat by Dexter was actually huge. It's really rare that sometimes you can reflect back on a game of baseball, and the very first hitter of the game can set the tone for the entire thing. You'd almost think that's crazy, but he did. Of Course, Schwarber's homer created some distance. Then the other home run by Dexter.
But defensively, man -- the first play Addison had a chance to make that ball was scalded and the second one even harder than that. And how about the plays by K.B. at third, and the game called by Miggy. All that stuff was exciting.
So when I watch a game like that I'm focusing on those other ancillary kind of components and our guys played a good game of baseball tonight.
Q. Having said that, what impressed you most about Jake tonight?
JOE MADDON: The thing that really impresses, it's a pretty big moment. It's either you win or you go home, and you guys and ladies have heard him speak about this moment in advance and how confident that he was. Some people considered it like almost on the bragard side or flagrant, but for me it's self confidence, and again, he backed it up tonight. So that's what really stood out to me was his composure.
The attempt by the Bird faithful to chant his name, which did not infiltrate his mind whatsoever, which I didn't think it would, I thought it was kind of interesting.
Our whole team, you're talking about three rookies starting tonight. Pretty much all contributing in a big way, whether it was defensively or offensively. But Jake is a different cat, man. He's just a different cat. I could just think of Namath guaranteeing the Super Bowl victory, that's all I could think of the last few days. Just sitting in the lounge chair by the pool with all those reporters surrounding him. I was a big Namath fan in '69. That was my thought.
Q. Was there a pitch count number or runners on base?
JOE MADDON: It was infinity.
Q. He was going to finish the game?
JOE MADDON: Well, you know, it was not about pitch count. It was about him maybe losing his stuff or the fact they were getting to him somehow. We had Rondon warming up in case that were to happen, otherwise it was his game all the way. I felt that from the beginning. Otherwise the game plan was to hand Arrieta the ball in the 9th and try to upgrade the defense game in progress, and it kind of played that way.
Q. Given how good of a series you guys played with the Cardinals two weeks ago at Wrigley, what are your thoughts looking forward to playing them in a playoff series?
JOE MADDON: Really eager. Five games. It's a little different than this one and done kind of stuff. You have to spread it out a little bit. You have to work the game differently based on bullpen usage and those kind of things, pinch-hitting, and the roster itself is going to be different. The fact that it's a five-game series and not a one-game series where you have to organize it a little differently. I'm really excited about it. I'm already excited about it.
Everybody knows I grew up a Cardinal fan, and I get this opportunity as manager to work versus them in a Division Series 2015. That's pretty awesome, man.
Beyond that, I don't want to make it personal. It's about the players and our guys getting this opportunity. Our young guys. You have to understand, you have a bunch of young players getting this opportunity to experience playoff baseball their first year out of the chute. That down the road is invaluable. What's going to happen, everybody's always talking about the fact we may have arrived on the scene a little early or soon. This just benefits all of our guys down the road. So that's not lost on me. That's what I think about. But I'm really excited.
I know our guys are about the opportunity to play in St. Louis, and then bring it back to Wrigley. How about that? We get a chance to bring it back to Wrigley. That's pretty solid.
Q. As big as the moment was, how do you explain what comes across as a fearlessness in your team? One of confidence, they don't have the experience, but it does come off as fearlessness.
JOE MADDON: I really believe the process is fearless. If you're really focusing on outcome and just winning, then you can become fearful. But if you just focus on the process, the process is fearless. From day one we talked process more than anything. So tonight's game.
I talked to them yesterday, and Kenny was in the room, and I didn't realize it. But when I was talking to them, I never used the word "win" one time, which I was pleased to hear after I got done.
So moving forward, if you really listen to a lot of successful NFL teams or NBA teams, a lot of the focus is on the process. Talking to Kenny this year, my conclusion was the process is fearless. So moving forward, if we can just keep focus on that area, there should not be any concern about I practicing in "a big game".
We just won on Wednesday, and that was the message yesterday, which now makes us 15-14 on Wednesdays this year -- excuse me, 14-13. I didn't let the guys know that because I didn't know we were like .500 on Wednesdays going into today. That wasn't good enough. So tomorrow I'll post something like that makes it 14-13.
Q. I know Schwarber's just a kid and he's been kind of doing this all year, but you had talked about the importance of getting the lead. He seems unfazed for a rookie to arrive.
JOE MADDON: He is. That is the thing about it. When I talk about our kids, everybody really focuses on their skills, which are outstanding. But the thing that I think sets our young guys apart or permits them to win like this is the fact they're so accountable. They're accountable to the moment, their work is spectacular. There is never one excuse coming out of their mouths. Furthermore, not even me and the coaches. There are veteran players on this team that hold these young guys accountable to the moment also, which I absolutely -- I talked about it pre-game today. It's true. It's absolutely true. The veterans on this team are spectacular. So they make my job easier. They make the coach's job easier. And there is nothing more effective than peer pressure. There is nothing more effective than a message coming from a peer. There is nothing, I don't care what anybody says.
So really Theo and Jed did a wonderful job of putting that component of our team together also.
Q. I know you said you have these young guys and getting this playoff experience is valuable down the road, which could mean soon or later. But what if this is the year for these young guys and they're only 22, 23, 24?
JOE MADDON: We're thinking that it is. We're going to keep a positive outlook. It is about one day at a time.
We're playing on Friday, Peter? Okay. So we've got to focus on Friday only. That is the message.
I'm telling you, man, from the beginning of Spring Training, that's all I talk about. I don't want to play any different game when it gets to October than we played in Spring Training, in April, May, June, July, whatever. You play the same game, and if you prepare that way and don't apply more weight to any particular moment, chances are when you get to a more weighted moment from the outside, you can play your game.
So this does nothing but benefit our guys in the future. I really believe that, because I don't anticipate them, our guys changing in a sense. And if the accountability is there within the group, when a guy thinks things are going his way, when he can't find any allies, that's a beautiful thing. I don't think you're going to find an ally when in that clubhouse. It's a really tightly knit group.
Q. The numbers for Arrieta for June are historic. At this point, have you ever seen a pitcher like him?
JOE MADDON: I have. Bob Gibson, I was a Gibson fan growing up, and I hate to disappoint the Cub Nation, but I was a Gibson fan growing up. He was outstanding. My thought tonight was to attempt to take Jake Arrieta out of that game would have been tantamount to taking Bob Gibson out of that situation or a World Series performance. So I would say in my experience as a kid growing up, I saw Mr. Gibson out there tonight.