Oct. 30 Joe Maddon postgame interview

Oct. 30 Joe Maddon postgame interview

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Joe Maddon.

Q. An interesting last couple of innings there. Is that just a situation, elimination game, nothing left to lose here, let's roll it?

JOE MADDON: Of course. You've seen a lot of that during the course of the playoffs. It's something you can't normally do during the season without beating somebody up too badly. But I talked to Chappy before the game. He was aware of being ready in the 7th inning. So we had that all in play.

Jonny did a great job. I just felt in talking to him that it was the right time to get him out. He was pushing pretty hard there to get those outs with the base runners, et cetera.

So before the game, it was my intention to use CJ as a bridge, if we can, to get to Chappy. And the Napoli-CJ match-up I like a lot. It ends up being a single.

But don't understatement how important that play was that Zobrist made keeping that a single. A lot of times that would have turned into a double. That was a great play by Zo. Eventually we kept them from scoring. Chappy came in and did something, I guess, he's never done before.

So, yeah, there's all kinds of drama out there. When you have a guy like that that can pitch that many significant outs in the latter part of the game, it's pretty cool.

Q. To follow that up, was your mindset that it's Chapman, eight outs or bust?

JOE MADDON: Oh, yeah, it was. That was our best opportunity. I thought right now based on the bullpen usage recently, he's actually kind of fresh. He hasn't been overused in the last part of this season nor throughout the playoffs.

So, again, with him, like a lot of relief pitchers, late-inning relief pitchers you want to talk in advance of the moment. We did. So he was definitely aware of what may happen tonight.

Q. When Bryant and Rizzo hit the Bauer fastballs back to back, was that the offensive epiphany you were looking for?

JOE MADDON: Yeah, I loved it, man. You could see what happened after that. They kind of put their pitcher on the ropes a little bit. We had better at-bats. We got our three runs. Yes, all of that. That's kind of what happened in Los Angeles where all of a sudden we got that one big blow.

It's incredible when you do that what it does to your team and what it does to the opposition pitcher. It's just part of the game. So you have to be able to punch and counter-punch all the time, and we were able to do that tonight. The three runs held up beautifully.

Q. Those of us that have been here all year know the deal, but for the nation to see what Anthony can do with the glove on the biggest stage, how vital has he been for your defense?

JOE MADDON: He had an incredible evening. The pop-up, the picks, the dive. If Chappy had covered first base, there would have been a lot less angst going on. He was outstanding.

You're right. I mean, we talked about it before the game. The counterintuitive point about playing more defense tonight when we have to score runs. But we have to catch the ball to win. We have to, and we did. I think Riz, he's kind of like a security blanket for the rest of the infield. They know if they just get it in that direction, he's going to take care of it, and he did tonight once again.

So he's been that complete player all season long. But he really highlighted his defensive prowess tonight.

Q. You feel like you're going to have a happy Halloween now?

JOE MADDON: Yeah.

Q. Going to Cleveland for these games, these last two games, you feel like, we've got a real series now, a classic, something pretty special?

JOE MADDON: Yeah, I've never been looking forward to wanting to play the 7th game of a World Series in my life, you know. So yeah, we get to go over there with two rested starting pitchers. Again, from an entertainment perspective, if you're a baseball fan or looking to become a baseball fan, it was wonderful tonight, outstanding.

But I like to believe we're going to catch or gain some momentum from this game going back over there. But momentum's always based on your starting pitcher, too. And again, with these guys you saw how good their bullpen was. Once again, it's really important to grab that lead and hold onto it, and we did.

Q. You're showing a lot of confidence in Edwards, considering he was the first reliever you turned to, and the only non-Chapman reliever. How comfortable are you with him as this carries on?

JOE MADDON: I mean, very, very comfortable. Probably was not his best night overall. I mean, the velocity was down a little bit. He might have been a little taken by the whole thing. But I've got to get him out there. He's the righty that can really get out lefties, also, as well as Grimmer. Grimmer has been out there a couple times.

He's done a great job all season. And again, he was the right guy and then beyond that, I'm looking down the road. I mean, you get guys into these moments like this, an absolute growth moment for him. I really feel good about the next time we have to bring him out there.

Now I was hopefully getting at least two outs maybe the whole inning, and then Chappy just got to get six. But the flyout by Santana was very, very special to get that done. Yeah, I felt good about it.

Q. You mentioned "rested starting pitchers going", is this the exact kind of situation you managed Arrieta's workload for and pretty much your whole staff?

JOE MADDON: Exactly. We've been really aware of that, even Jonny Lester. I mean, although Jonny was the only one over 200, I think. But we attempted to do that from day one. Like I said, I had that conversation with Jake in Spring Training in the food room in Mesa first time I saw him. We talked and I brought it right up immediately. So we've been on the same page, taking him out of the games a little bit sooner.

The good part about last year was he felt it. He knows what it feels like now. And he knew that it might be wise to do that or pragmatic for this year, so we did. And even Kyle, early in the season Kyle, I had pulled him out early. I just thought he was growing into it, and he did, and eventually he had a nice body of work. But going into this next game, I mean, Kyle had 85, I think, on his last outing. I can't remember. Jake was right around 100. So they really should be in good shape, good stead going into the next starts.

Q. Kris obviously had the home run, but did you see a better approach from him today?

JOE MADDON: Yeah. He got called on a strike that apparently might have been up. And I guess the wind was down and away. I like the fact that he wasn't just swinging at anything. That's what we all have to be able to do. That's the kind of thing that could get him rolling. There is no question about that.

Beyond that I was talking in the other room, we got to play an American League game now, too, which, I'm not an advocate of, but I'll take it right now. So we get to get Schwarber back in the lineup, and that definitely lengthens what we potentially can do.

Q. Can you talk about a player like Kris, who comes into the Major Leagues and he's successful early on and has to learn to adjust to different pitching?

JOE MADDON: Oh, yeah, they come at him hard. Fortunately we've been able to keep him in front of Riz pretty much the whole year, I think. I'm really aware of protection. They walk Rizzo to pitch to Zobrist. I was fine with that. I'm good with Zo hitting in that moment. But the lineup again is always about protection. That's what I'm saying. Going into an American League venue now, and being able to utilize Schwarber, all of a sudden, those games get a little bit longer and a little bit thicker. That's just the nature of the American League.

So KB, they come at him hard. Rizzo from the beginning of this postseason, everyone's been pitching around him. That's just what's happening. So now we can do something possibly a little bit differently and see how it plays out.