JOE MADDON: First I'd just like to congratulate the Cardinals. I mean, they're the standard bearer so for us to be able to beat them tonight really is important to us as a franchise, organization. They've done it for so many years. Everybody knows I grew up a fan of that group as a kid growing up, so I just want to say, for us, believe me, it's kind of special to be able to beat a team of that magnitude. They just compete constantly, so to come out on top, you feel a bit fortunate but I want to congratulate them on a 100-win season. They were fabulous.
Q. Can you just talk a little bit about what you were feeling in that ninth inning and just after the final out was recorded --
JOE MADDON: Get three outs.
Q. Talk about what this team has been able to accomplish this year?
JOE MADDON: Get three outs. I mean, Carpenter is so tough. You get two quick outs and then he hits a bullet to the other side, Piscotty is showing you he can into the seats. So it was a really uncomfortable moment, but I thought Hector looked good. I was still pretty much there. I was still pretty much in the moment. I was watching Hector and I thought he was definitely breathing well, he was fine, Bos made the trip, gave him some good information. Again, just get through this, not trying to look too far into the future. I was just watching Hector, and I thought he looked fine.
Q. How close were you to hitting for Hammel in the second inning?
JOE MADDON: Real close. If the bases would have been loaded it would have been La Stella. The fact it was first and second and Hammer, he can handle the bat pretty well, which he showed you with a base hit to center field, but it was pretty close.
Q. There's this idea that experience is so important in the playoffs, and people talk about it a lot and obviously this is a relatively inexperienced team, especially with a lot of rookies. What do you make of that? Do you think this is a particularly -- group of rookies that's particularly well suited to excel in the playoffs or do you think that possibly the experience thing could be overblown relatively speaking?
JOE MADDON: Well, the reason I think our guys have done so well. There's two reasons, I think: Number one is they really are good makeup guys. They're good character guys. They don't make excuses. They're very accountable to the moment. I think it begins there. And beyond that, I'm telling you it's about our coaching staff and our veteran players. Our veteran players, people talk about this a lot and sometimes it's -- you kind of fluff it off, and I'm telling you how important it is. Our guys and like David and Jon, and you saw what Miggy did tonight. You cannot overstate how important that is. I think it's a combination of the kids themselves. They're just really accountable, young baseball players that are very skilled. Combine that with this wonderful group of veterans that give them good information on a daily basis. Everybody bought in from Spring Training on. We've been on the same page pretty well, and to have that really occur, the veteran group really has to buy in because they're the ones who are going to carry the message for you, and I've talked about it all year. So it's a combination of the coaching staff combined with the veterans.
Q. How would you describe your bullpen and its ability to come through in the clutch tonight?
JOE MADDON: Well, they had a lot of innings to suck up. Again, it's not like Jason was throwing the ball poorly. I just didn't overall like the location of some pitches, and I knew I didn't want to wait for us to tie or lose the lead. Eventually they did tie it up, but I don't want to not be proactive in advance of the game being tied. So I did what we did. The bullpen was fabulous. Grimmer's job, Grimmer really set the tone for the bullpen. The two lefties, Travis Wood and Clayton had a big out, a big out facing one hitter there. So up and down they were all wonderful. Cahill gave up a couple runs, but he threw the ball great. I mean, it's a two-strike, base hit down the right field line and he elevated a changeup to Moss. Otherwise he had great stuff, too. From the beginning to the end the bullpen was fabulous.
Q. Did the second and fourth games go about as you had scripted, the starters give you whatever they do and a lot of relievers in the game?
JOE MADDON: Well, we were kind of like toying with that idea during the course of the season. I know you're aware that we did run some bullpen games during the course of the year, and the fact when you have Travis Wood and then Trevor Cahill showing up, even Clayton, although I did not use him in a more elongated role, is capable of two-plus innings, so we have those kind of guys that kind of match up to the other team, especially Cahill and Clayton, and essentially put the ball on the ground. Travis Wood doesn't know a right-handed hitter from a left-handed hitter. He's kind of neutral.
Q. On the bullpen a little bit more, you had three guys getting big outs there who have been DFA'd at some point this season. What's that say about your pro scouting staff, what Bos has been able to do, all that stuff?
JOE MADDON: Listen, I have a lot of confidence and faith in all our guys. It does say a lot, the fact that you have sometimes look underneath some stones, you have to turn them over and see what's underneath there. You have to research a little bit more deeply and find out. I haven't seen Cahill throw a whole lot and neither Clayton prior to them coming to us. Of course Fernando and I go way back. But it's the group -- listen, our group is very thorough to say the least, and like I said before the game today, talking about our scouting department, professional, free agent and also the player development is outstanding. I got to see it in Spring Training. The entire group is really outstanding.
Q. After everything Javi went through this year, especially at the start of the year, how much did you enjoy seeing him come through that moment for you guys?
JOE MADDON: It was fabulous because after like last night's game he was a little bit almost nonplussed a little bit in that game and then came out today, and I talked to him before the game. I asked him to own the game tonight, just own the game like you do. I've seen him playing winter ball. I've seen him in San Juan last winter was the first time I saw him play, and I saw how comfortable he was and how well he played with that kind of confidence, and I've seen it this year, too. My advice to him tonight was just to own the game, and he kind of did.
Q. It's often said that regular season stats don't really carry over to the postseason, but how significant was the two series wins you have over the Cardinals since September?
JOE MADDON: Really significant. I talked about that all year, also, I think. In the beginning of the year they had us. They had us late a lot of games and I thought they were out-experiencing us early in the season. We'd have leads, some of our bullpen guys had a tough time with them like I said before when we opened this up, they don't quit, man. That team does not quit. They've got a bunch of pros over there and they're used to winning so you've got to play nine innings. You have to be relentless as they are. So eventually, season in progress, you have to at some point teach yourself a lesson and show yourselves you can beat them, and the lesson then would be to the other team that this team can beat us, too. So I've always been a proponent of that even though you might not get it done early in the year, you definitely want to see progress by the end, and we did.
Q. You talked about the process over the outcome all the time. How much more challenging does that become when you're going to be playing for a pennant and the World Series is right around the corner?
JOE MADDON: Not at all. It's even more important right now. I mean, if you really want to -- and I can't emphasize this enough, that the process is fearless. If you want to go out a little bit wide eyed and worry about outcomes, you're not going to play as good as you can, you're not. But then you go out there and understand, I'm going to go out there, take my ground balls, I'm going to move my feet, throw to first base, BP, I'm going to work the whole field, check out your video, game-in-progress, that at-bat, what can I do differently? Next at-bat, don't even worry about the score of the game. That will take care of itself. If you take care of all these smaller components that will eventually turn in your favor.
Q. Can you tell me what you were feeling like when the ninth inning began after one out, after two outs?
JOE MADDON: Honestly, I mean, you might be disappointed, but I was just like totally locked into that particular -- I'm watching, we get the out, we get the out, and here comes Carpenter, and I know how tough he is, and he didn't disappoint. He hit that bullet to left center, and here comes the next guy who hits home runs and he just hit one again Rodney the night before. I'm still looking at that. I had already told -- I told Bos, give Kyle Hendricks a heads up if in fact this game went into extra innings he was going to have to pitch and he needs more time because he's not a normal relief pitcher. So that's what I was talking about in the ninth. There's no time to like hope and wish that you're going to win the game. You have to continue to work the process.