Oct. 12 Terry Collins postgame interview

Oct. 12 Terry Collins postgame interview

THE MODERATOR: First question for Terry.

Q. Terry, we've seen so much of what Cespedes can do. In a lot of ways the play that energizes you is him beating out a play to shortstop. Can you talk about seeing that and what that meant for you guys?

TERRY COLLINS: He talked about the other day that when we were getting ready to -- when we were in Los Angeles for Game 1, I walked by just to say something to him, and he said, "It's time to play." And he shows you what he can do. This guy's electrifying on the field. He can do anything he wants, and that kind of hustle shows that he's determined to, again, to get us on, let us ride his back, and he's a dangerous player.

Q. Terry, you talked before the game about how you wanted your players to handle things tonight. I wonder what you thought about how the fans handled things and what that might have added for the atmosphere for the team?

TERRY COLLINS: We knew going in it was going to be loud, it was going to be a lot of energy. The response when our guys came on the field was unbelievable. Certainly Ruben, him walking out there I thought meant a lot to all the guys on the club and the fanbase. They were tremendous, and when we fell behind they were still 100 percent into it and I think it helped us come back.

Q. When the Dodgers went up 3-0, what did you guys do in particular to shut them down after that?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, once again, you know, we always put Matt in a tough situation. I mean the poor guy hasn't pitched in 10 days. Some days he starts, he doesn't -- you know, and I've seen this guy pitch a lot of baseball games. He worked harder tonight to give us five quality innings than I have seen him work at any time at any start. He didn't have his good stuff. He had to work the entire night to make pitches. He was deep in counts. He was falling behind. He was missing targets, and I mean, that's what you had to do. He had to go out there and battle, and he just kept us in the game. He was bound and determined that they weren't scoring again, and he came off -- as a matter of fact, he came off after the second inning and said, "That's all they're getting," and that's all they got off him.

Q. Curtis Granderson has had a phenomenal year for you this year but what has made him a patient yet a dangerous hitter at the same time, and he seems to do both of those things well, Terry?

TERRY COLLINS: I think he's very comfortable. I think the fact that Kevin (Long) is here helps him a lot. They have such a great rapport. He was so happy when we hired Kevin, and I think Kevin keeps him calm. Kevin knows his swing better than anybody. I think if he gets out of whack, he can be fixed in a hurry. But you're right, he's had a tremendous year not only on the power front, but on getting on base.

Q. Just to follow up on Curtis, I wonder if this felt like his season to you a little, like there's a lot of noise around Utley and Harvey and Cespedes, but the biggest hit of the game is probably his hit, which has kind of been like his season, understated, but very productive?

TERRY COLLINS: You've been around him more than I have. This guy is the same way every day. He doesn't look for headlines, he just likes to play. He loves to be in the lineup. He doesn't care where it's at. When he shows up, you're going to get all you can out of him, and right now he's led the way most of the season, and right now, like tonight, you know, when he walks up there, he's dangerous. That's why I have no problem -- and I know his numbers aren't great against left-hand pitching, but I know one thing, you make a mistake and he can hit one over that fence in a hurry, or against the fence. So he's really played good for us.

Q. Two things, did the umpires ever issue a warning? And also, the Commissioner mentioned he was going to speak to both managers before the game. How did that go?

TERRY COLLINS: They did not issue warnings.

The Commissioner before the game had Donnie and I and Sandy and Andrew Friedman in and just said, listen, he understands the game the other night, what happened, and the impact it had on both teams. But the game was the most important thing, and we had to go play it correctly, and Donnie and I totally agreed. We just said the one thing we wanted to make sure didn't happen was that nobody on either side or the umpires got too carried away, because as we all know during the course of a game, someone's going to get knocked down, not intentionally. There's going to be someone who slides, makes a funny slide or something, and it's all part of the game. And he said, "I totally understand." We're going to play the game, and I thought our guys responded very, very well to it.

Q. How do you assess how Bartolo has been in the bullpen so far? And what kind of role can he play going forward?

TERRY COLLINS: He's Bartolo. He comes in, throws the ball over the plate. He's going to sink it, he's going to cut it. He's going to move the ball around the strike zone, but he's not going to change his demeanor. And that's why I put him in. I wanted strikes, and he came in and did a good job.

Q. Terry, you joked before the game about not wanting to see Kershaw. How much of a challenge is it to try to close out the series against him?

TERRY COLLINS: We came into this knowing we were going to see him twice and possibly Greinke twice. That's a tall order for anybody, any team. But it is what it is, so if we can get our guys home so they can get some decent sleep, they'll come back ready for tomorrow. He's tough, but he's coming back on short rest. I don't know how long a leash he's going to have, but we gotta make him work as we did the other day in Los Angeles. That's the only way -- when you face him, you better hunt a pitch and you better hit it. If he's on, he's real tough.

Q. You already talked the small ball aspect, but there aren't a lot of guys in baseball who can put the ball where he (Cespedes) put it on his home run. What kind of lift is that seeing that example of power? Does that give you any kind of lift also?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, you know, home runs mean a lot. I mean, they get guys excited. They get the team excited. You know, the fanbase loves home runs. And our team's built on power. And so when we hit home runs, we think we got a big chance to win. And it's all about trying to get on base, and then have somebody up there that can hit something into the seats. And when we do that, we win games.

Q. You were talking about Matt getting through those innings. What role did Travis have in getting him there? And also, what's his growth been like this year working with the staff all year and doing the things he's done?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, Travis has come a long way. When he first got here, he worked very hard defensively. His offense was down. Now, last year in the second half he came up and started swinging much better.

But our guys like pitching to him. He's a very, very good receiver. You know, he ranks in the Top 5 in all of baseball for getting strikes called, and pitchers love that. He sits down, if you watch him between innings they have a game plan, which I think is one of the biggest things you can do is, how am I going to get the first hitter out the next inning? And they have a plan before they go out there and he's done a good job.

Q. Going back to Bartolo, is he a guy you can run back out there after two innings because of his experience as a starter and throwing a lot?

TERRY COLLINS: I haven't talked to him yet after the game to see how he feels, if he can come back tomorrow. We gotta protect Steven a little bit; he hasn't pitched in a while. We gotta back him up with some guys that if he can get us through five or six, that would be great. If Bart can give us a couple of innings tomorrow, it would help, but if he can't, we got Jon Niese, Robles. It's about getting Steven as deep into the game as he can get us tomorrow.

Q. To win a game of this magnitude by that margin without a vintage Harvey performance, what does that say about where your team is right now?

TERRY COLLINS: Well, when we came back in that one inning, I'm telling you, Matt was determined that he was going to go out there and shut them down. Even though he didn't have his best stuff, and I think each inning we came in after that when we kept seeing zeros up there, guys relaxed and put better swings on the ball and had better at-bats. And even though he's out there and everybody on the club knew he didn't have his best stuff, we still think he's going to win. That's the demeanor that he carries around, hey, I'm winning this game and it helps the offense when, hey, look, they're not scoring anymore.