Oct. 12 Mike Matheny pregame interview

Q. Mike, you start Tommy Pham today. Can you explain why out of all your options he was the right one to start today?


MIKE MATHENY: We look at some of the at-bats, even though it's a pretty small sample size of what our guys have been able to do. We're facing a pitcher that's throwing the ball very well right now, and trying to take some guys that have some confidence just going right now. The swing looks good, and Tommy has been one of those players that we know that can get into the lineup and help us do something. We know defensively, also, he brings a plus going out to the outfield. All around a great opportunity for him to jump in and do something for us today.

Q. Is it safe to say that Game 4 starting pitcher is TBA?


MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, best way to say it.

Q. Could you elaborate on what this TBA might -- characteristics that TBA might be, I guess, what will go into the decision and who's available to start?


MIKE MATHENY: Well, I think obviously we'll just see how things play out today, see how things go tonight with who we use and how long we need to use them, and we'll go into tonight's game about just about everything we have, so we'll look and see how things play out as far as the result goes, and then make a decision afterwards.

Q. Is there anyone not available in the bullpen for today's game?


MIKE MATHENY: I think just about everybody is ready, yep.

Q. You mentioned that Tommy brings some defense. When you looked at this game, how much did defense sway some of the decisions that you made as far as that it could be low scoring or it could be eventful, I guess, with the wind and the way it is today?


MIKE MATHENY: You know, I'd say very few times this season has defense really swung the scale one way or the other. We've been a team all season that's tried to scratch and claw and figure out a way for our offense to go out and produce enough for us, and with that being said, that is basically the foundation of why we go with the guys that we go with.

Obviously when Tommy jumps up there and comes up with a big pinch-hit home run, and just watching, too, how he finished the season when he got the opportunities, this kid has got great bat speed and ability to jump in there, and he's not afraid of the situation. All those things, you know, lend itself towards giving him an opportunity, and then some of the at-bats that he has, we go back through and watch the film on the at-bats our guys have had against each individual pitcher, and if there's something in a swing or something in an approach that may lend towards one person having a better chance of success, we're going to go in that direction.

Q. You guys haven't faced Jake Arrieta since July 7th. Is there anything you notice on film that he's done differently in the second half and what's the challenge of facing that?


MIKE MATHENY: Well, I think going even further back than that, there's no question of the stuff. I think the difference right now is just stuff with confidence. We watched that game in Pittsburgh, and I think he continued to show everybody why he's had the kind of season that he's had, and he feels good about every pitch he has.

So it's going to be one of those dogfights for our offense, to get in there and grind out at-bats right from the top. We know he's in a good spot. He's not going to make a lot of mistakes. If he does we have to be ready and capitalize on it, but he's in the kind of position that he wants to be right now, and we're going to have to do something special.

Q. I think Lance said yesterday he's approaching it as if he's the Game 4 starter, and until he hears differently -- obviously with TBA being the phrase you mentioned, that's still a possibility, but what's the best way for someone in that situation to handle it until they find out for sure?


MIKE MATHENY: Well, I think when we get to this point of the season, a lot of our own ideas of how it should play out for us individually are kind of thrown in the backseat to what's best for our club. That's the kind of team that we've had. We've been very fortunate to see an amazing amount of selflessness to where guys are putting the club in front of their own individual -- sometimes own individual goals. That's hard to do, especially in the world that we're in that's so individually statistic driven, but overall a guy like Lance Lynn knows that we're going to do what's best for our team and he's going to come out and do everything that he can to help. I think that's just something that we've seen on a pretty consistent basis.