Oct. 7 Don Mattingly pregame interview

Oct. 7 Don Mattingly pregame interview

Q. Was the decision to pitch Clayton Kershaw today made by committee? And did Clayton also lobby to do it?

DON MATTINGLY: I'd say probably a little bit of all of that, definitely by committee. Wouldn't be something I would just take on and say that's what we're doing. The scenario was something that we talked about before the season even ended. Once we knew we were in and had ourselves set up, seeing the schedule for the playoffs, we looked at different scenarios for Game 4 and what they could be. Primarily when you look at that you're looking if you're behind there and what do you need to do. Then as we kept looking at it, it made more and more sense. If it worked out, again, if it worked out, that you'd be able to go Clayton Game 4. Then if something wouldn't work out here, have Zack for Game 5.

So that's kind of how we started the thought process. Put that, again, before the playoffs even started and the season was even over, lay that out with Clayton, seeing where he was at with it. Let him basically do whatever he wanted with it. Then after Game 1, he was barking right after the game that he was ready for Game 4. We're like, no, no, no, no, no. Let's see where you're at tomorrow. Let's see how you're doing. Then really that process was just a matter of waiting things out to see if he kind of responded to everything and how he was feeling, and then really making sure one last time that he was a hundred percent with it. Because if it was something that he wasn't a hundred percent with, and really everyone wasn't with, we wouldn't do this. So that's how it came about.

Q. Hesitation with the fact that he threw 124 pitches and has never started on short rest particularly in the Postseason?

DON MATTINGLY: That sounds probably right in today's game. The game I take him out at 122, he would have went back out and he probably could have gone 160, to be honest with you. He never comes out of a game that he feels like he's tired. Obviously, we wouldn't do that to him.

But as we talked to him last night and we basically say, hey, Clay, you've got to be a hundred percent sure. We're not going to take any chances with your career. That is the last thing we'd do. And he says all the work I do, everything I go through every start, it's for this kind of game. So he was the one basically saying this is why I work so hard. This is the game I want.

Q. So when did you make the final call, and when do you tell Ricky the change of plans?

DON MATTINGLY: Before we left last night is really when we wanted to get all the way through it. Made sure kind of final, final on it, you know? Then before we left we let Ricky know where we were at.

Q. Having someone like Zack on your team, did it help make the decision to start Clayton a little easier knowing you've got someone like that that could come through tomorrow?

DON MATTINGLY: No question. It's like you've got two aces. It was just it really made it I think it's the reason you come up with the scenario for this game when you're ahead 2 1. I think if you're behind 2 1, it's easy. But if you're ahead, it wouldn't have, for me, without Zack being there, I don't think you make the same decision.

Q. If Ricky had pitched the same way in his last three starts as he had in his first 12, would you have made the same decision, or would you have made a different call?

DON MATTINGLY: I think I don't think this has anything to do with Ricky. It's really more to do with Clayton and Zack. When we told Ricky last night, he goes, I understand. You've got the best guy in the game out there tonight. So Ricky was again, we go to these games and you really, you're looking to win. I mean, you want your best chance to win, and this really we feel like gives us the best chance to win.

Q. You mentioned this was a decision by committee. Who all was on the committee?

DON MATTINGLY: Obviously, everybody. My bosses and with Ned and his group. We've talked about these scenarios and as they came down, we continued to talk and back and forth.

Q. Was Kasten a part of that too?

DON MATTINGLY: Stan usually is not in any of the talks. I'm assuming I don't know how that chain of command works. I'm assuming that Stan is obviously, it wouldn't be my place to tell Stan. It's Ned's place to tell Stan.

Q. You often talk about not wanting to put guys in a position to do something they're not used to doing, taking them out of their comfort zone. Does this go kind of against that a little bit?

DON MATTINGLY: I don't think so. This is pretty normal I think for the playoffs. I think you see it all the time. I know I've faced a guy in '95 that pretty much did this in Randy Johnson. So if we were asking him to play first base today, that would be a little out of his comfort zone. I think on the mound he's pretty comfortable.

Obviously, we think too much of Clayton to do anything that if he wasn't a hundred percent sure, hundred percent on board, if people weren't I mean, you're always going to question whatever, but we just feel pretty comfortable with it.

Q. How much did you or did you not toil over this decision, and obviously if it works out, that's great; but if it doesn't, you're to Game 5 and that decision is questioned.

DON MATTINGLY: Well, I can't really honestly, if you save everything for one game, I think I'd question myself a lot more when you have two aces and if you don't play them both. We've got two chances to we've got two chances if something doesn't work out the way we want it to tonight, then we're sitting with an ace in Game 5.

Q. Did Clayton do anything different in between considering the fact that he had shorter rest?

DON MATTINGLY: He did something with his program. He would probably talk about it later. But I think it was just a matter of cutting out one of the I don't know exactly what his exact routine is. But he just went a little lighter.

Q. Second thing, how concerned are you about the way Paco Rodriguez has pitched? And how do you analyze the way he's pitched over the last couple of weeks anyway?

DON MATTINGLY: A.J. said his stuff was good last night. Said it's the best it's been in a little bit. But obviously, that tells us something last night. Still doesn't again, like we talked about Ricky earlier, and you just don't and Hyun Jin has a little bit of a rough game it doesn't kick Paco out of any plans. It just means he's in a little stretch right now where he's had some stuff going on with him as far as not getting outs.

It's like anybody else. Somebody's either swinging the bat good right now or they're not. Paco's been through a little stretch. Doesn't mean we lose confidence in him and know who he is. I think the thing we love about Paco is it's always professional. From day one, this guy is quiet. He goes about his business. He does all his work, and that's what we pay attention to. Make sure he continues to stay on his program. Not all of a sudden change. Make sure that we're able to communicate with him from the standpoint of you're not going through something that anybody else hasn't gone through. Just he's going through it right now. So we'll just be aware of that.

Q. Your pitching coach was quoted last night saying that you would not pitch Kershaw today because you wouldn't jeopardize his future. This kid is our future. Can I assume he was a dissenting vote or he was the last guy to come around? Or was that him just sort of towing the company line until there was a public announcement?

DON MATTINGLY: Well, I don't know if the words that you use are his exact words. But I don't know if it was something to the fact of, why wouldn't you? So I think why wouldn't you is part of it is some of the reason that's we go over. He's part of the future of this organization. He's one of the best young pitchers in baseball. That's the reason that you would think not to. I don't think he's I know he didn't say anything about not wanting to, because I've been in all the meetings.

Q. There's been a lot of speculation, and I know you've heard a lot of it about your future. Is the decision to set up a Kershaw Greinke thing related to that at all? You need to win the series?

DON MATTINGLY: No, it's nothing to do with my future. It's just winning period. We're trying to win a game today. We're trying to put ourselves in the best position to win a game today.

Q. How much thought did you give to what this does for a potential NLCS rotation?

DON MATTINGLY: It's about winning today. Obviously, we know what it does if we're able to take care of our business tonight. But I don't think you can this is not a time to look ahead. This is a time to take care of your business in one game. We talk about momentum in the playoffs. We win Game 1. We feel good. You lose Game 2. You feel bad. You win Game 3. You feel good. So it's day to day. We want to win today, and this gives us our best chance.

Q. Bottom line, do you think you're taking a risk here?

DON MATTINGLY: I don't. I think if I don't think Clayton does. If this would have been a decision that we try to make without him being involved with it, it would be something totally different. If he wasn't a hundred percent on board, and, again, I think the words that we listen to and his words, that's why he works so hard. He works so hard to get to this position and to be in this game. That's why you do extra work. That's why we protect him all year long. I know he threw a lot of innings this year, but his pitch count did not run a bunch over I can probably count the times on one hand it went over 115. So we protect our guys all year long to be able to get them in position where when you have a chance to do something.

I'm not having to push any of these guys to do anything. I'm not going to have to push Hanley on the field because his leg's a little sore. These guys want to be out there and they want to do what they're doing. So this isn't about us trying to get these guys to do something. They want to accomplish something.

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