JOE MADDON: Win on Wednesday. It's just about tomorrow. We just can't -- of course, we have to win four in a row, absolutely, but I want us just to concentrate on tomorrow's game, that's it.
I don't have team meetings. I don't believe in them. For me to stand up and give a speech has nothing to do with tomorrow at all. Our guys know how to come prepared to play. I expect the same thing tomorrow.
The Mets have just pitched exceptionally well, and you've got to give them credit in these three games.
So from my perspective, business as usual tomorrow. Come out, get ready to play, and just take it from there.
Q. Do you find optimism in the fact that the Yankees-Red Sox series were 3-0 and then you guys can come back and possibly win? Any parallels?
JOE MADDON: I'm really happy that it's not a five-game series that we're going through right now. I'm really pleased with that. The fact we still have an opportunity to come back and do this, of course you think about those things, you think about the parallels, think about the fact that that happened against a New York team. We think about all that stuff, but it's up to us to go out and play and execute.
But I put all my stock in the fact that I know our guys are ready to play tomorrow. Then it moves back to Jon, then it moves back to Jake, and you kind of like those kind of things. So we'll start Jason tomorrow, and just like you saw today, if we have to go to the bullpen early, we'll do that. We actually did a pretty good job. There's two pertinent plays there, the slow roller to KB, had a lot of spin on it, that Murphy beat out, and then the play off the glove of Schwarber, not easy plays. I'm not denigrating the defense at all, tough plays. And that put those two extra runs on the board that made it a little bit more difficult.
So, again, another close game. We have to score more runs. And they played exceptionally well.
Q. I know they checked on a couple runs after, but Cespedes steals third base. Can you talk about how big that was and the kind of sequence after that?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, that was our fault. We permitted him to do that. That was a very big play right there. In general, they just have played well. They've played really well. They've done little things well and they've taken advantage of us in different moments. We've not been able to overcome that because we're not hitting the ball like we normally can. So you see that.
And again, this time of the year everything does magnify a bit, and so, yeah, that was a big play on their part. Like I said, beyond that, just to keep the game in check, the wild pitch, pass ball, whatever, wild pitch on a strike three, that's a run. A ball off Schwarber's glove, that's another run, but was contributed with the slow roller to third. All these things really become very important. Chopper to first base, good base running on their part, Murphy's part.
So, again, it's a really closely contested game. They had the edge regarding some of the little things that they did. We have to come back tomorrow and bring it back to us.
Q. You mentioned the wild pitch and things get magnified. I mean, there were two curveballs, I think they were, in the dirt right before that?
JOE MADDON: Curveballs, yeah.
Q. I mean, maybe not the smartest to go back to it a third time or what do you think?
JOE MADDON: It was, because he struck him out. So it was actually a pretty good pitch. Miggy's able to block that ball a lot, and he was very upset with himself. It's not an easy play, but it's a play that a catcher can make, and he knows that. So, actually, it played well, we just didn't block the ball.
Q. You guys stressed deGrom early, all those pitches in the first inning. In your eyes, what changed after that?
JOE MADDON: He just got -- his command tightened up a bit. I thought early on underneath the ball a lot of pitches were high. I don't think he knew where the ball was going through it, and all of a sudden he found out where it was going, and that's what happened. I saw from him better command of his fastball down in the zone. There's like really good late carry on the fastball from the side, I thought. He's just got a better game in progress to his credit.
From our perspective, we tied the game up, Jorge's homer to center, big play; and then they go ahead on the ball in the dirt, not so bad. Like I said, the slow roller beaten out, and the flyball to left field, those are two big runs that really made it more difficult at the end.
Q. Joe, I think you've always emphasized that you need a bunch of one-game winning streaks in this kind of situation?
JOE MADDON: Yeah.
Q. Can you frame the issue, how difficult it is to have four one-game winning streaks when they have that starting pitching and that's what you've got to do it against?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, it's not easy. I totally agree with you there. It comes down to we have to pitch equally as well, if not just a little better. Not easy to do. We've done it this year at different times.
Like I said, tomorrow, obviously, is a very important game. To get it back to Jon and Jake would be kind of interesting, if we can get it back to those two guys. Even today, Kyle, we didn't go deeply into the game with Kyle, but he absolutely gave us an opportunity to win. The bullpen gave us a chance to win also.
They did another, like I said, a really great job of pitching. So not easy. I totally agree with that, it's not going to be easy. But of course it can be done, we just have to move the ball a little bit more often in situations and a little tougher outs at times. But you've got to give them credit, man. It's not just that we haven't been that good, they have been that good.
Q. Playing off your statement about the one-game streaks that you want to get, Murphy's had home runs in five straight games. Do you believe in the momentum when a guy like that is really hot?
JOE MADDON: Sure, absolutely. We have to do something to take it back. He struck him out on the first pitch, a nice front door, front hip kind of a fastball struck him out. And then the ball -- kind of a way that he pulled and brought back. You can even see on his foul balls against Travis, who is throwing the ball extremely well, 93, 94, you could see his at-bat there, he was on everything leading up to the slow roller to third base. I could see that from the side. So he gets the squibbler, but to his credit he beats it out because he ran well. I'm a big fan of guys that run hard to first base.
From my perspective, it's pretty much it doesn't matter who is pitching right now. Obviously, if you look at the line of pitchers that he's hit home runs against, he's just in one of those moments. But you can't worry about that. It's about us taking care of our side of the coin. We have to be a little bit more efficient offensively, absolutely. It would be nice to grab a lead and hold on to it for once. That would be pretty important tomorrow.
Q. Given how much you've had to use your bullpen with your third and fourth starters, historically a lot of managers would go to their number one starter for Game 4 on short rest, why does that not have appeal for you guys?
JOE MADDON: Because you've got to win four games. It's not just about tomorrow's game. Like I said, I think the bullpen, even though you saw a lot of guys play today, they're really not taxed going into tomorrow. The number of pitches thrown was relatively light, and they also had a day off previous.
So even if we have to do that tomorrow, we've been pretty successful, actually, keeping the other team down. We've just got to score more runs. I'm not concerned about that, honestly.
We have to win four games, obviously now. So it's not just about tomorrow. If we could, like I said, tomorrow, win that game, get it back to Jon and Jake, that's pretty attractive at that point.
So the other flip side of that is a lot of times pitchers don't do that well on three days' rest, so why even take that risk right now when you know you've got to win more than just one game. If it was one and done, you may do something like that, but it's got to be four and done.
Q. Back to Murphy. What have you tried to do to mix it up with him from game to game as he's been doing what he's been doing?
JOE MADDON: We actually didn't do that badly today. Hit the home run, flyball to left, drove it to third, punch out, I can't remember his other at-bat. Did he have two hits? What was the other?
Q. Infield and center.
JOE MADDON: Yeah, the squibbler, okay, that's a good pitch. Pop up to left, a strikeout. Homer, I'm missing one at-bat in there somewhere. I thought overall we pitched pretty well against him is my point. We walked his last time against Rondon. Didn't he walk? Double-play, right. So overall I thought we pitched pretty well. He hit the home run, so that really stands out. But I thought overall we pitched him pretty good today, and I'm not going to give out all that proprietary information on how we pitched to him. But I thought our guys did pretty well today.
Q. Just how difficult is it to generate offense when your guys have struggled to get on base leading off innings so far this series?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, it's not been any fun. I mean, today the weather was more favorable to us, and I thought overall we did hit some balls well. I mean, Schwarber, that ball was at least six inches outside that he hit for a home run, and then Soler crushed that to centerfield. But overall hard contact wasn't -- we didn't do a good job with that. We didn't do a good job of getting on base early.
They pitched well. There is no other way to slice it, cut it, describe it. They have pitched well. They've had command of their secondary pitches, really good command of their secondary pitches.
The big thing, obviously, is to get back in the game. We win tomorrow's game, and hopefully that might push them back a little bit and we can take it from there, like I said, with Lester and Arrieta.
But to this point, I give them credit. They have pitched that well. Their secondary pitches have been outstanding.