Oct. 10 Joe Maddon pregame interview

Q. Joe, without much of a body of work against Garcia, how did you go about setting up a lineup for today?

JOE MADDON: Just looking at information as much as anything. You look at the superficial stuff. He reads a reverse split guy, better against righties than lefties. Without having the actual eyeball test seeing him in person, I have to rely more on information in this situation, so I did. And according to our work, he's trending a little bit more to becoming more of a traditional left-handed pitcher. So I went with the particular lineup that you see. Probably La Stella would be the one lefty I could have used otherwise, but it was a perfect opportunity to get Soler and Jackson in the lineup, so that's pretty much it.

Montero is catching, you saw that. But, again, when I haven't had a chance to actually see somebody play, it makes it a little bit more difficult to understand what I'd like to do.

Q. Joe, how does his hurt being this season kind of factor into your scouting -- 

JOE MADDON: I'm sorry; who?

Q. Garcia's, factor into your research of him?

JOE MADDON: Not really, I mean, the way things are done today, man, it's incredible, the way everything can be broken down, whether it's through video or just stat information and analytical component, so you could still get a pretty good read on it. There is still nothing better to me than the eyeball test, actually being able to either hit against him or just watch him as a manager for coach from the side, which I have not been able to do. So you have to rely -- I'm relying more on information right now, so hopefully that information is pretty solid, which I do believe.

But that's it. It's incredible; you could scout every Major League game every day and break it down into these little, minute bites for everybody, so the information is there; we just have to go out and execute, that's it.

Q. Given Schwarber's hot hitting the first two games of the playoffs, was there a thought for you to put him in the lineup still against a lefty?


Q. Joe, sort of regardless of what happens today, how much comfort can you take knowing when you go home, you will have Arrieta on the mound, no matter where the series stands, whether it's 20-2 or 1-1?

JOE MADDON: Yeah, I would much prefer it being 1-1. The thing about going home, I'm really pleased they're going to be able to go home and have our fans watch a playoff game at Wrigley Field. That was like one of my first thoughts after we beat Pittsburgh a couple of days ago, to get it back. I mean that was part of the drive as a wild card team to get past Pittsburgh was to bring that game home also. Our fans are spectacular. You saw the reaction on Clark the night we did beat Pittsburgh. It's pretty outstanding. It's astounding also to watch all of this unfold, and really, again, I feel fortunate to be a part of it, but it's really about trying to win today's game and get back on even ground and then moving into that game with Jake, which would be even more desirable at that point. So I've talked about it all year, really attempt go go one game at a time, one moment at a time, so let's take care of -- today's Saturday, let's take care of Saturday and move it along.

Q. Joe, somebody wrote this morning in the paper, well, last night proved that the Cardinals are who they are and the Cubs are who they always are. There is a fear in a fan, deep down in the fans of Chicago, is there some truth in that? Do your players worry about that? Should the fans worry?

JOE MADDON: The fans should always worry. It's always the prerogative of a fan to worry, I absolutely believe in that. That's what bar rooms are for. That's what little forums are for online in this 21st century stuff. The fans should always worry. I'm always about fans worrying; go ahead and worry as much as you'd like. From our perspective, we have to just go out and play the game like we always do. I'm here to tell you, man, I just can't live that way. The line I've used is I don't vibrate at that frequency. It has nothing to do with anything; it really doesn't. And I talked about it the other day, the process is fearless. If you want to always live your life just based on the outcome, you're going to be fearful a lot. And when you're doing that, you're really not living in a particular moment, which -- and then, of course, you're going to be like -- I'm 60; I'll be 80, and if by the time I'm 80 20 years from now, if I've just been worried about outcomes I'm going to miss a lot. So you've really got to get involved in the process, and from our players' perspective, that's all I talk about. I've not even mentioned about winning one time to these guys during this whole time. It's just about taking care of -- if you take care of the seconds, the minutes, the hours in a day take care of themselves. So for our fans back home, please go ahead and be worried, that's okay, but understand that from our perspective in the clubhouse, we're more worried about the process than the outcome.

Q. Joe, you hoping for the same type of strike zone available for Mr. Hendricks last night that was available for Mr. Lackey last night?

JOE MADDON: Thanks, Bruce (Laughter.) Even though it's a structured strike zone, it's always interpreted differently by whomever is behind the plate. We will just react accordingly. The beautiful thing about our game is you get a chance to turn the page and move on to the next day.

I thought our guys handled the entire moment really, really well yesterday. I was very proud of our guys. Every day presents different challenges, and you have to make adjustments constantly based on different factors. Whether it's the wind, the sun, the temperature, or even who is umpiring the game, it all is a part of what is going on. So I was proud of the way our guys handled yesterday. That's in the rear-view mirror. We're going to attempt to go out there and play our game today.

Q. Joe, back to the process, every sport is like that, to certain degrees, obviously, but what do you do or what do you say beyond just preaching it every day to drill that in, because it's easier said than done, obviously?

JOE MADDON: It's just the way I act. I mean the way I -- when the players look in the corner of the dugout, what do I look like, how do I walk in the door after a tough moment, when I have conversations with them, that's really important that I remain consistent; and furthermore, this is a team meeting right now. We're conducting a team meeting for my entire group right now. Every manager, coach the way this is set up these days has the opportunity on a daily basis to conduct a team meeting, because I know they listen or hear or read everything that is said and done.

So this is a wonderful venue for me as a manager of this team to conduct a team meeting without actually doing that.

So that's how I view it. And so the answer is, they always hear me talking this way. The message is always consistent. It will remain consistent. I believe it wholeheartedly, and I think if you talk to our players, they'll pretty much echo the same kind of opinions. Something we talk about from the first day of Spring Training.

So like you said, I think every coach in every sport would prefer having their group look at it that way.

Q. Joe, the second half of the season for Kyle Hendricks versus the first, how much of the improvement was the location and the movement on his change-up?

JOE MADDON: A lot. I think the location, first of all, of his fastball. I think he's -- for me, he's been able to get ahead of hitters more consistently, and it's been -- the fastball has been going where he wants it to go. That might not make a whole lot of sense, but it doesn't always happen that way. So it's his location, the command of his fastball has gotten better, and the change-up played off of that.

Any pitcher if you don't command your fastball, the other things that you would like to do are less effective because of the hitter does not have to honor the fastball first, the change-up becomes less effective, the slider, the curve; whatever, so I think as his fastball command has gotten better, everything else has improved because of that. And with that comes confidence. I don't even know how much confidence plays in the reliability of a particular pitch. It's just who we are I mean as human beings. The more confident we are in what we are doing, obviously we do it better. And I think over the last -- I would say over the last four or five starts I could see his confidence on the rise.

So I really feel good about him going out there today. I think you're going to see Kyle at his best, and what that's going to look like is a lot of ground balls, may be a lot of called strikes and hopefully a couple of chases.

If you see a lot of balls in the air, it's not a good day for him, but if you're seeing like the fastball getting ahead of hitters, he's probably going to have a nice afternoon.