Oct. 9 Terry Collins pregame interview

Q. You've touched on how quickly Noah picked up the two-seamer, the sinker. How much of that helped his development, especially early on after he made his debut?

TERRY COLLINS: One of the things you try to do at this level is try to get easy outs. Try to get outs early in the count. The two-seamer has allowed him to do that. Now he has a lot more confidence to pitch to contact early in the count where he doesn't have to worry about trying to strike somebody out, so I think it's been a big help to him.

He still has the ability to add to it, if he wants, or go back to the four-seamer. But it's helped him in certain situations where, hey, look, he's having seven and eight pitch innings as opposed to seventeen or eighteen pitch, and I think it's because of the two seamer.

Q. Going into game day, what is the mod like inside the clubhouse, and what are your guys feeling right now?

TERRY COLLINS: They're excited. It's been a while since we've been here. We made a pledge to our fan base that we were going to win, and we're here, and so they're all fired up. We've got some young guys that are very, very excited, and we've got some veterans that let these guys know this is what you play for. Now just go play. Don't think there is any added pressure. You've got to go play the game and execute the way we've been doing it all summer long.

Q. Welcome to Los Angeles. How is Bartolo Colon doing? Is he going to pitch in the playoffs?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, we'll see. I hope so. Right now there is a possibility that when we get to Game 4 we haven't decided on a starter, but Bart's in that mix. But he brings this tremendous poise and leadership right now because we have him in the bullpen for the first couple games where he comes in, he's not intimidated, he's been in this scenario before. He throws strikes. Doesn't beat himself. All the things you look for out of a relief pitcher. So right now we hope that Jake goes eight, and I give the ball to Familia, so I don't know when he's going to pitch.

Q. Can you explain your decision to keep left-handed hitters in the lineup against Kershaw?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, if Juan was still here I probably would have gotten Juan in the lineup. But we know when Murph's swinging good, he hits anybody. Grande has done an absolutely tremendous job of getting on base for us, and you need that in these kind of series, in my opinion.

I think Lucas Duda lately is swinging the bat. You look at his numbers throughout the year against lefties are pretty good. And I've looked at Clayton Kershaw's numbers against right-handed hitters, they're outstanding. So it really doesn't matter, to me, where you hold the bat. You better get in there and get a good pitch to hit, and I think our lefties can do that.

Q. When you mentioned you were a little uncertain about the Game 4 starter, was that more of a reflection against Matz's health status or wanting to keep open the possibility of Jake on three days rest?

TERRY COLLINS: Yeah, I think we need to keep that open. We don't know what will happen. Certainly I'm not going to say today that Jake's going to be the guy. It all depends a lot on tonight. If he goes deep into a game, if he has to work hard, he probably won't come back on three day's rest. Clayton's done it three times. This kid's never done it in his whole career. When you're asking young guys to do things that they've never done before, you can set yourself up for some failure. So we're going to take a good, hard look and see where we are when it comes to Game 4 and see what happens.

Q. You're talking about young guys being excited. One of them obviously being Conforto. In a bizarre, way does it help that he sits and just watches the first game?

TERRY COLLINS: I don't know. He's such a good player that I think it wouldn't have mattered. You might. You might get him to relax a little bit when he sees what the energy level's going to be like. But hopefully he gets a chance to get in there tonight. But I'm certainly, as I've said many times, you look down the road and this kid's going to be an everyday, outstanding, hitting outfielder with power. So want to get him in there.

Q. You're talking about how you have a very young, talented team. A lot of these guys are making their postseason debuts. Is there anything as manager that you're looking for to make sure they're not getting too high and the jitters aren't getting to them?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, I've got a clubhouse full of pretty good leadership, and I don't think the rights of the Cuddyers or Grandersons and Colons are going to let these guys get too cared away. They're going to keep them pretty much under control. Once the game starts, emotions are what they are. Certainly when I talk to Jake after the All-Star Game and he told me how excited and how nervous he was when he knew he was going in the game, and I think tonight he'll be that same way in the first inning. When he walks out there and realizes he's got to make pitches, I think the nerves will go away and he'll pitch his game.

But they should be nervous. These guys grew up watching this kind of a thing. So it's great for them. I looked at the Dodgers lineup today, they've got a couple young guys too that they should be pretty excited about having this opportunity.

Q. The last couple of weeks whenever we asked you about home-field advantage you basically said it's not the end of the world one way or another. Up until now the visiting teams have won every single postseason game. What is your theory about why there is such balance in that?

TERRY COLLINS: Number one, when we watched a couple of the games, and I really don't have all the answers, but I've talked to enough managers that tell me a lot of it, when you start out at home, the pressure's on you. There's that added thing. You're the guys who are supposed to win. You've got the better records or whatever it may be, and that's why you've got home-field advantage, and the visitors just go in more relaxed. So I told the guys yesterday, look, we've just got to play our game. We play good on the road. Let's not change anything, and no matter what happens, we're going to still go back to New York and we hopefully can salvage something here and go back and get the advantage. But I just think it's the fact that you heat is on the home team for me.