Q. How long have you been thinking about moving Andrew Toles into the leadoff spot, and what went into that decision today?
DAVE ROBERTS: I thought about it on the flight here to Chicago and slept on it, and you just think about what I feel gives us the best chance to win today, and you take what Andrew's done in the postseason through September, the at-bat quality. And I think that also it has to do with the player as far as Chase and talking to him prior and just having him understand my thought and to have him just totally accept and whatever decision I made for the good of the team, obviously played a factor in it. So I think those two variables for me made it actually pretty easy. I think that also giving Chase a different view from the different part of the lineup might help him get untracked a little bit.
Q. We all know that Blanton had had an outstanding year, he's had kind of a rough time in this series. Is it just a matter of a couple of pitches, or is it something mechanical or fatigue-wise with him?
DAVE ROBERTS: I don't think it's fatigue. I think there might be a little try too hard. I think that when you're trying to spin that slider a little too much, it has a tendency -- you try to create a little bit too much, your front flies open and it kind of ends up being a little bit of a cement mixer. But with Joe, he's one of the key guys out of the pen that have got us here, so my confidence in him in any big spot hasn't wavered.
Q. Toles has been so good at being unaffected by all of this from the day he came up, even into the playoffs. Was there ever a concern at all that by doing this he may realize where he is now?
DAVE ROBERTS: No, no. I think that with our guys -- and if there was a thought, then I wouldn't have made that move. I think I've shown all year long that I've done some things that I probably wouldn't have done if I don't think that guys could have handled it. So I think that with Andrew, he's a baseball player, so regardless of if he hits coming off the bench or he starts and hits 8th or first, I really don't think that it will affect his at-bat quality.
Q. As crazy as this may sound, how much of the calculus with Clayton's day today and how long you can go with him is the potential -- stressing the word "potential" -- of him being available out of the bullpen tomorrow?
DAVE ROBERTS: That, that doesn't play any factor in my decision for tonight. I think the one factor is that knowing Clayton has had an extra day helps me have clarity on how long I want to run him out there. And obviously that has -- how he's pitching and the stressful innings, all that, obviously, plays a factor. But for me, for tonight, I feel good about our guy going tonight. And the only focus for me really is winning tonight, and however way we go about getting 27 outs, with a win, is my only thought.
Q. Another Toles question. Just where he was over the last couple years, how surprised or impressed are you that he's done what he's done for you and continued it on this stage?
DAVE ROBERTS: More impressed, and I think that it's easy to talk about, to write about, but really to live the life that he lived and to accomplish what he's accomplished in such a short time and to be on this stage and really to be unfazed, it's remarkable. And it's -- all the credit goes to Andrew.
Q. Without giving too much away about the game plan tonight, how much data -- what were the key things you guys collected on Hendricks from the standpoint of facing him earlier in the series?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, I think it's pretty easy. If you watch Hendricks pitch, which we have obviously watched a lot and you guys have seen, they have a certain plan of attack. He does. He mixes speeds, he pitches down in the zone. And so for us to get him up in the zone and to use the big part of the field, if we're rolling over and hitting balls on the ground, then I don't like our chances, but if we're running counts, getting the ball in the air, getting him up in the zone, I like our chances.
So, I think it's actually there's really nothing that is a secret on either side. It's about -- you hear players and coaches talk about now it's just everything's out there, we have seen them, just recently, so now it's about execution.
Q. Knowing, of course, it's one of the great cliches in baseball, right, score the first run, and it's really important, but in a game like this, knowing the atmosphere, knowing everything that's at stake, the way the fans are, how important would a first run be for your club tonight?
DAVE ROBERTS: You know what? It would be important. I think that you can kind of spin anything any way you want, but I do believe that if you look at both clubhouses, to get a lead, to get a point early would be huge.
I think if you look at the last couple games, they have scored early and they built on it. So I think that, yeah, to get that first run would be nice.