JOE MADDON: It could be possibly. It depends on the pitching. We're going to see a new young guy tomorrow. It's more of a mental trend than a physical trend. You have to be able to push back mentally as much as anything right now. Because when it comes down to work, you don't need any more batting practice or video study or data information. You just have to mentally hang in there and keep pushing back until you get it. It's just about hard contact. Overall, the at-bats haven't been bad. We're just not hitting the balls. We're not striking it well. So we're making it easier on their defense. But, it's more of a mental exercise than it is a physical one right now for me.
Q. After that San Francisco series, you said you didn't think it would be different. It would still be a grind. You didn't think you'd pummel the ball. You just wanted your guys to work good at-bats. Based off that, how happy are you?
JOE MADDON: Well, we're working the at-bats. Obviously we're looking for more results. We did attempt to shake it up a little bit today and obviously didn't play very well. But, listen, I've got a lot of faith in our guys. It's a difficult moment to be in to come back out here on the first game here, two more left before we get to go home, and you have to fight through some pretty stringent adversity. But that's how this thing works sometimes. Again, from my perspective, there is nothing differently to do, except to really come out tomorrow with the right mental attitude, and that's our best weapon, I think.
Q. You mentioned that adversity. You spent one day out of first place the whole season. Even in the first round when you had adversity, you had already won the first two games. Is this as big a test as your team is now going to face? And how do you keep them from getting too -- pressing too hard about it?
JOE MADDON: Well, again, it's conversational. They're going to react to how I'm going to react. I've always believed that. I've always thought for me regardless of the situation that I have to be consistent when I walk into the room. They have to see consistency from me, which hopefully they're going to be able to do. But beyond that, man, like I said, there is not a whole lot to do except come out and play again tomorrow. I believe we're going to be ready to play. We do need to make better contact. We're going to have to pitch well also. They're going to throw that same left-handed-laden lineup against us, and we'll have to do well against that. But more than anything, I think we need to get a couple runs and hits and runs early to try to get that kind of feeling back. Because obviously, when you're not scoring any runs, it makes it even more difficult in the dugout.
Q. Speaking of the mental part, in that eighth inning there, 6-0, Joc Pederson steals third and then Baez kind of fumbles the ball, didn't go home. It looked like a team that was kind of shellshocked at that point. What did you see in that inning? And secondly, was there any issue with them stealing third base up 6-0?
JOE MADDON: Not at all. The object of the game is to score runs, and from that perspective ours is to prevent runs. No, I have no problem with any of that kind of stuff.
But what really broke down there was the stealing of third, we just need to pay better attention to them right there. But also I don't know if that was a hit-and-run or if that was a straight steal with Puig and the ball ends up in the left field corner. Again, an unlikely situation. I just look at it from a matchup perspective. I like Montgomery in that moment, and it just did not want to play out for us.
Not necessarily shellshocked, it's just they're in an aggressive state right there. They have everything going their way, and that's kind of a tough hop for Javy. If he makes it clean, he's probably out at the play, and it looks a little better for us. But overall, I've never had a problem with teams trying to tack on or add on runs. I've never really understood that where they're trying to embarrass us. Our objective is to stop them, and of course we're trying to score runs, so I have no problem with any of that.
Q. When you face Hill for the first time and he's a two-pitch guy, were you trying to take one of the pitches away? Also, Rizzo had a really good at-bat in the second, got the walk. I'm sure you were hoping that would bring him and everybody else out of it at that point?
JOE MADDON: The other thing, you're right about Hill, two pitches, but he does different things in regards to changing speeds. You saw the kind of like side-arm elevated fastball also that he's trying to do. We just could not generate. But you're right, I mean, Riz needs to accept his walks like he did. And you'd like to believe that's going to get him going in the right direction, but we just couldn't -- the last two games we've not been on the barrel of the bat at all. It's pretty much been weaker contact. We've got to get back to making the hard contact. We normally hit some home runs, we draw some walks, we will strike out. We're just not hitting the ball hard like we normally do.
Q. Jake's performance giving up those home runs. Could you discuss that?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, I thought he was in good shape. They got the one run with two outs and the base hit by Seager, that's okay. The pitch to Grandal probably looked decent on the monitor, whatever, and of course Grandal's not been hitting the ball well, but then he grabs one right there.
To the point, I thought Jake was throwing the ball well. I really did. That kind of surprised him and us at that particular juncture. Even if you walked him right there with Toles coming up, there were two outs, still a base open. I would have walked Toles right there and that pitch to Hill with the bases loaded even though it was first and third. That's what I was going to do. So I was really anticipating even possibly a walk, and that was going to be okay. I did not see that home run coming right there.
Q. There's a lot of talk here about what you guys are not doing. But how much of it is that and how much is the Dodgers' pitching?
JOE MADDON: It's always a little bit of both. I think you've got to give their pitching credit. We did well the first night and then Kershaw pitched, Kershaw happened. And that happens to a lot of folks. So tonight we were expecting and hoping to do a little bit better than we did, so you've got to give them credit. And of course their closer has been outstanding. You don't want to have to be trailing after seven-plus innings or eight innings right now against this group, the way that guy is throwing. It's a combination of both. We have not been swinging the bat that well, and they've been pitching well. Listen, we've lost two out of three. There's time left. We'll come back and play the game again tomorrow, but we have to do better at the plate, no question.
Q. You spent one day out of first place the whole year. You've never really been in a situation quite like this. Is this kind of a moment of truth for your team this year?
JOE MADDON: Oh, you know, I'm so bad at drawing kind of lines in the sand and things. Again, for me, it's about putting this one in the wastebasket, come back and play tomorrow. It's one day at a time. I've preached that all season long. We have a very good pitcher pitching tomorrow, so today. We're able to win that game tomorrow, and the narrative's going to change entirely. So I can't get so dramatic about it. I just want our guys to come out and play our game tomorrow and, again, be a little bit more offensive and hopefully pitch like we normally do and catch the ball. But it's obvious. We just have to hit the ball better and we haven't done that.