NLDS Game 3: Dave Roberts postgame interview

NLDS Game 3: Dave Roberts postgame interview

Q. What can you say about Yu's game and then your overall pitching performance tonight?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yu really stepped up huge for us. He was in command and control from the first pitch, working to both sides of the plate. The cutter was working really well, good velocity with the fastball and great command.

It was just fun to watch him just have his nerves calm and just compete. He was out there having fun.

Q. Obviously Bellinger and Barnes had a huge impact on tonight. But what have they been able to do throughout the year for this lineup and this clubhouse?
DAVE ROBERTS: Obviously Cody just had a breakout year, first year up in the big leagues and contributed right away defensively. Found himself set at first base, but really plays all over the diamond. Made some big plays for us defensively tonight. In the box struggled a little bit so far in the postseason, but put a good swing on that 3-1 fastball away. It was a big hit for us.

Game Date Results Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 6 LAD 9, ARI 5 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 7 LAD 8, ARI 5 Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 9 LAD 3, ARI 1 Watch


But thing is, even when he was struggling with the bat, he was still making great plays defensively and keeping us in baseball games.

With Austin, he's really matured as a Major League player this year. Behind the plate, just the confidence that he's had, he's grown to have behind the plate. In the batter's box, he competes every pitch, hits to all fields. He's athletic, can play second base, and tonight just keeping Yu locked in. They were in kind of rhythm all night long, so it was fun to watch.

Q. Speaking of Cody's defensive plays, when he went to the dugout in the fifth, what's going through your mind as he's draped over the railing?
DAVE ROBERTS: You know what, I should have been a little bit more -- I should have been a little bit quicker to save him, but it was a heck of a play going to the rail. That was a big out, just to get Mathis right there and not turn the lineup over. So the diving play to his right. Even after the flyball, the strikeout, the flyball -- or the groundout and the flyball in that situation at-bat, his second at-bat. But to keep his head up and be ready for that third at-bat to impact the game.

That's a credit to a young player who doesn't lose that confidence and continues to stay positive.

Q. What is it about this Dodgers clubhouse that makes it for these young guys to have huge expectations but they're able to deliver?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think it's the guys in the clubhouse, as far as the veteran players. And the coaches do a great job of really embracing everyone that comes through. With our roster, our depth, we make a lot of moves. Guys are going up and down because of options or injuries, and you get young players that come in.

Like you said, have expectations, but there's a lot to be said for a young player coming into a Major League clubhouse and feeling embraced. Guys like Justin Turner, Kenley Jansen, Clayton, all those guys do a great job, Chase Utley, do a great job of embracing those young players.

Roberts on advancing to the NLCS

Q. You've said multiple times this year that you'll bet on these guys every time. Is this the way that you play and the contributions that you got, is this what you envisioned when you placed that bet?

DAVE ROBERTS: Absolutely. You look at the three games in the series, and they're all team wins. Guys in certain roles, now relegated to certain roles, like Kenta, Austin Barnes, a different role, and Cingrani to get a lefty out, the at-bat quality that we had tonight against Zack Greinke, Robbie Ray the other night, was special. It really was.

From the first pitch there was a plan in place, and we executed. Our guys, the hitting coach did a great job preparing the guys, and we were relentless every single pitch, and really made Zack labor.

Q. Perhaps nothing encapsulates that more than Puig's first at-bat against him to go 10 pitches. What did you make of that, and what did that show you about Puig?
DAVE ROBERTS: Just the focus, the fight, and understanding that to compete to try to win every single pitch, there is huge value in that. Yasiel's eight to 10 pitch at-bat to then get the walk and then pass the baton, that was the mentality that we had from the outset.

To a man, they did a great job. All through the lineup you could see the at-bat quality we had. But Yasiel this postseason has been pretty spectacular.

Q. The at-bat before Cody homered, he had the one-pitch flyout, did you have a conversation with him to talk to him before that?
DAVE ROBERTS: I just talked to him after that flyout to left field and when he came back and put his bat back in the bat rack, just told him how much I believed in him and just go out there and what he's done for our ballclub all year. Don't try to do too much. Just be you and go out there and play the game with the zeal and youthful enthusiasm that he does. Don't really worry about results. Just go out there and compete.

It was nice to see him get some results that next at-bat.

Q. How rare is that just for a rookie to make that adjustment and stay with it against a guy like Zack?
DAVE ROBERTS: It's tough. It's tough. Because a lot of times Zack is one of the better pitchers in all of baseball. The game in this environment has a tendency to speed up on people. Not just young players. But for Cody to sort of reset, get some clarity and get a good pitch to hit and put a good swing on it, lot of credit to him.

Q. Dave, I'm going to assume that you wouldn't state a preference for which team you would play the next round.
DAVE ROBERTS: That's fair.

Q. So I would just ask you: Is there a preference?
DAVE ROBERTS: There is no preference. Both clubs are very good, very talented. So we're going to have our hands full. We're going to get back, celebrate tonight, get back home, and prepare for whatever team advances. But they're both great ballclubs, managed well.

I also want to say Torey did a great job with these guys this year. That team, they've got a special thing going over there. They competed. They competed all year, and it's fun for us, albeit a thorn in our side, to have a talented team in our division and to play them 18, 19 times a year. We go toe to toe.

But those guys, to their credit, the coaches over there, the players, Archie Bradley going 50 pitches and a day's rest, and going 40-something pitches, those guys fought to the end.

So tip our hats to those guys.