JOE MADDON: I should have said God bless you when you said that.
Yeah, there's some different things we have been working on. It was set up perfectly. It was the pitcher, first of all, and then here comes Addi, who has done really a lot of good work, extra work in regards to making that play happen for us, so all the -- you know, you have to have everything -- the situation has to present itself before you can take advantage of it. It was there and we took advantage of it. The first bunt wasn't optimal, but the pitcher had a tough time with the play, and then Addi's was perfect. So any way we could score any runs, obviously, especially in this ballpark, they're such a good ball club, we've talked about it before, whenever you have a chance to score, you have to take advantage of that opportunity, and we did today.
Q. Joe, how do you assess the series now 1-1, going to your Game 3 starter?
JOE MADDON: Tomorrow will be breakfast at Wrigley, by the way. I just want to make sure that you guys understand that. It's breakfast at Wrigley. We will have that tomorrow prior to -- I don't even know if the press is invited. Are they invited to breakfast at Wrigley? They can observe from a distance.
Anyway, getting Jake pitching the next game is kind of a good thought for us, obviously. He's been pitching -- how can I even say? You've all been watching; he's been spectacular. So go home tonight, have a day off tomorrow. We're going to have some breakfast at Wrigley, enjoy our optional batting practice, watch some NFL football on the big screen and then get ready for the next game.
Listen, I can't be more proud of our guys. Talked about it yesterday. We -- coming -- after that -- when you win a Wild Card game like we did, I promise you, you settle in, and our guys have definitely settled -- we didn't win yesterday, but we were not overwhelmed by anything. Today we came out and we played.
K.B., Kris Bryant did not get any hits, but how about the defense? Our defense, how about the play by Addison in the hole? They played a wonderful -- if you're a baseball fan and were not entertained today by that game, there is something wrong. I mean the game with the Blue Jays and Texas in Toronto and then this game today, you cannot get more entertaining baseball than that.
Q. When is the last time you squeezed two plays in a row?
JOE MADDON: Probably did it probably would say in Tampa Bay. Again, everything has to be set up properly for that. It just was. I mean that happens every so often, I guess a harvest moon, possibly, I don't know, but it's one of those things that you look for, you work towards, but it doesn't always present itself. Factors have to be present.
Q. Joe, Jorge, we don't talk to him that often because of the language barrier. How has he stayed prepared, and it looks like he's a different player since he's come back. The plate discipline is back. What have you seen from him?
JOE MADDON: I just see him totally engaged right now. I think he had been injured; he came back from the injury, we played him a little bit, but I think he likes what he's seeing out there. And I just think you're seeing a more engaged player right now. That's the best way I can describe it. The coaching staff has done a wonderful job with him, especially Manny. I know Manny is in his ear all the time. That's Manny Ramirez. So beyond our regular staff, whether it's our hitting coaches, John and Skeet, I know that Manny has been there with them a lot, and I could definitely see a difference in the method that he's going about playing the game, and it's beautiful to watch.
Like I said yesterday, I don't know if I told you guys, I was most impressed yesterday with him running first to third on that base hit. That's what I liked, and that kind of indicated to me that he was ready to go.
Q. Joe, you told me earlier that the fans should worry because the players don't.
JOE MADDON: Right.
Q. Do you think the fans should worry a little less tonight, after this victory?
JOE MADDON: Honestly, I used to hang out at Bell Hop's Bar in Hazelton, and we would go there all the time, and it's such great bar room conversation. Really, I understand where the fans are coming from. I'm still a fan in other sports basically. I try not to be a fan in this game. So, no, be a fan; please be a fan. Enjoy every moment of this. That's the thing I think that needs to be understood. We're in a unique position right now. We have worked very hard to get here, and if you're a fan and don't enjoy this, if you're a player and don't enjoy that, then you're really not doing this properly, so from my perspective, fans, continue to worry, please. From our perspective, we have to just go and play.
Q. Joe, you didn't do a lot of safety squeezing most of year. You did do a lot of it in September. Was that with a day like today in mind?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, honestly, it's so strange how that play occurs. I was just saying -- sincerely, everything has to be present. There is a lot of things that have to be present, including the hitter and the base runners and the pitcher. There is a lot of set-up involved in making that play work. So sometimes you have to wait maybe a month or two months to have it happen, and furthermore, you have to have the right people to execute it, honestly. So it just happened tonight that everything was set up well. The things we talked about in September showed up on October 10th. It's just one of those things. We work on it all the time. A lot of teams do now. You know, it's become a little bit more en vogue over the last couple years, so I'm just pleased we were able to take advantage of it.
Q. Counting the Wild Card game, you're 2-1 in the postseason and yet Bryant and Rizzo neither one has gotten a hit yet. Is that a good thing in that you haven't needed them or how do you feel about that?
JOE MADDON: They haven't gotten a hit yet, but I know they're totally engaged in the game. Like I said, I thought K.B. had a great game tonight. The defensive was spectacular. That play to his left, I think it was Peralta when he kind of stumbled and got Heyward at second -- Heyward is like a tremendous base runner. He's not just okay. He's outstanding. So he was able to get the force play at second base. That was really big.
The other plays that he made all night. So I know they're going to hit. They're gonna hit. The thing is to keep this rolling long enough to get them back in the groove a little bit, but I have all the faith in the world in both of those guys, so honestly, I'm not concerned. I'm really not concerned. I'm just pleased that we're playing a good brand of baseball. We're playing baseball well, and that's where we've won 2 out of 3.
Q. You were talking about the squeeze bunts and how everything had to kind of line up perfectly, all the factors involved. Are there factors that we don't see out there?
JOE MADDON: I don't want to give it all up, you know. It's not proprietary.
If you're, like, actually on the -- everybody knows what we -- okay, Green Bay Packer, he had Jim, Ringo (Bart Starr). You had Fuzzy Thurston. You had Kramer; you had Hornung, and you had Taylor. You know the sweep is coming, but if you do it properly, you can't stop it. It's kinda like that. That's exactly what I told the guys. They didn't even know who these guys were. But they don't even know who the present-day offensive linemen are, either. Back when I was a kid, that was very popular, the Packers sweep, you know it's coming, but you can't stop it. And I don't mean to get ahead of myself with anything. I'm just saying that when it comes to that play, even if the other team knows you may be doing it, if you do it properly, you could still do it, but everything has to be aligned properly.
Q. Keeping in that theme, you have the next hitter in a bunting mode as well, so is it just a sense of when you have a guy in a weakening situation with a large crowd, you just keep going for the throat?
JOE MADDON: Of course you are, but, again, it's -- the athleticism of the pitcher, how good he is at fielding his position may play into it. The first baseman's agilities, ability to throw the baseball, all that stuff, it all factors in. I mean this is all Don Zimmer stuff out here. This is all Zimm.
When I went to the devil rays a couple of years ago, Zim cornered me. I actually asked him about some things, and he cornered me and he talked to me about all this stuff, so whenever it works properly, he's the first guy I think about.
Q. Joe, you've talked sometimes about the volume of young players that you guys have. You started three rookie hitters yesterday and a fourth today. Do you think anytime tonight on the plane you will just like shake your head and say, man, I can't believe we have all these young guys?
JOE MADDON: See, but I don't -- you're right, but I don't see that. When I talk to them, I see a little bit of inexperience, but I don't see youth in a sense. When you talk to these guys, talk to them in the dugout, they're present tense, they're lucid. They look you right in the eye. You can have a normal conversation. You go out to the mound, conversations are easy. They're here. They're not overwhelmed by anything, and that's what sets them apart.
I've been talking about winning a Wild Card game and maybe 2 out of 3 right now, and who knows where this is going to take us, but the point is down the road the fact that these guys are getting this kind of experience or handling it in this way matters, so that's my take-away from all of this.