Oct. 12 Don Mattingly pregame interview

Oct. 12 Don Mattingly pregame interview

Q. Why no Andre Ethier in the starting lineup today?

DON MATTINGLY:  Well, Dre's a little sore. He was sore at the end of that game last night. We didn't know how it would go. Obviously, 13 innings wasn't our optimal game for him coming out of the gates like that. So he's a little bit sore today. We feel like we'll have him available by end of the game, double‑switch, pinch hit, all that kind of stuff. But didn't feel like it was ‑‑ we were hoping to get two straight.

If it ends up being a game that's a 7 or something last night where we can defend late or something, we'd probably have him today. But at this point, we don't.

Q. Was Hanley injured last night? Is he sore?

DON MATTINGLY:  Hanley's sore today. He got it pretty good.

Q. In the ribs?

DON MATTINGLY:  Yeah, in the ribs. He's a little iffy for me today. He's in there and we've got him in the lineup right now. But he's sore, and he's moving slow. They're going to hit him up and get him moving and see what he's going to be able to do. So it's going to be ‑‑ even though he's in the lineup, this could be a game time type thing where it changes. He's doing okay, but not perfect.

Q. I'm just curious, when you talked last night about the pinch‑running situation in the 8th inning, talk about shooting your bullet when you have the chance. I'm curious how you reconcile a decision like that waiting until the 13th inning on your closer, and how you make that decision last night and going forward in terms of when to use him?

DON MATTINGLY:  Well, we thought it was just that kind of game last night. Usually you're not going to use him until you have the game. If we get a lead, you're going to put him in. But at some point during that game, you're going to use him.

So once they get into a situation where it's a guy in scoring position there, we're going to try to stop it right there with Kenley, our best guy. I talked to Kenley after the game, and that's kind of the old‑time way of using a guy. They bring relievers in with the game on the line and people everywhere. Nowadays we bring them into the inning and get a clean inning and things like that.

But that was just that type of game. That is the reason I double switch right there because if he gets those outs, he'll go out for another inning. You see what they do. They go two innings with their guy last night. It's just that time of year and it was that type of game that was the right time for us.

Q. Could you see using him earlier on the road in the series?

DON MATTINGLY:  It just depends on the situation. We have an off day tomorrow. Do you use guys differently today knowing you have an off day tomorrow and you would. But it's tough to kind of start thinking two innings or something like that with him at this point when you're trying to win a game today. So game by game it changes, and his usage changes from how we used him the night before.

Q. Looking at a couple replays with the play at home plate with Mark Ellis and Yadier Molina, it didn't look like Yadier quite got the tag on during the collision. It was like shoulder to shoulder. Did you even put any second thought to talking to the umpire and challenging that? Do you expect that's going to be an out call every time even if the glove isn't technically right there?

DON MATTINGLY:  I think if you get to the point next year where you have replay or anything that actually change it, then I think you've got a chance to question it. They're not going to change it no matter what, last night.

From our standpoint, and I'm sure from everybody basically in the ballpark, you see Mark Ellis gets up and walks away, he doesn't think he got to the plate. Molina walks away, he doesn't think he's even close to being safe. From our point of view, the ball beats him, he holds on to it. It's hard to say in slow‑mo he didn't get the tag on him.

That's not going to change last night. But that's where replay has a chance to change it, because it's almost like one of those touchdowns in the NFL in the last two minutes or whatever, right? They replay every play. So I don't know how the replay's going to work next year. But I'm assuming that they're going to want to get that call. They're going to want to get that right. I don't know if that's going to be a challenge or if it's going to be just automatic.

Q. Last night after the game you still seemed pretty comfortable with that decision to pinch‑run for Adrian. Having had a night to sleep on it, have your thoughts on that changed at all?

DON MATTINGLY:  No, that's why Dee's on the team. We have a chance to win a game right there. You don't know if you're going to go 13, you don't know if Adrian's going to come back up, we don't know that Puig doesn't hit a ball in the gap right there and he scores or hits a ball. We go first to third and win that game right there. There are a lot of things we don't know. We know after the fact, we just don't know during the thing.

The reason that Dee's here, there are a number of guys that if they lead off that inning with a hit, Dee's going to run. It's not just Adrian. There are a bunch of guys that we'd probably run for right there.

Q. On that play, did Dee have the green light to steal or did you want him to just wait for the ball?

DON MATTINGLY:  No, he has a chance to run. One of the things that we've talked about before we went out there is it's not like he has to go first pitch. Because Yasiel's up, we know we're not going to bunt there with Yasiel. So it's not like he has to go first pitch. Part of Dee being out there is the fact that the pitcher has to rush a little bit. He's got to be aware of Dee, and there are a number of plays that Dee affects. Even the ball that they got him at second, he's trying to basically run there and got caught. Didn't get quite the jump he wanted and then got stuck. If he has a regular lead there, he's probably safe at second on that ball, and he probably beats that if he's just playing ‑‑ doesn't basically have that false break. He in a sense has a green light, but it's not like he has to go first pitch. That is one of the things we wanted to make sure. That guy's really quick. We know Yadier throws good. So we've got to get something in our favor that tells us he's going to make that.

Q. With Kershaw on the mound today would you consider today a must‑win?

DON MATTINGLY:  I think in the playoffs you look at every game as a must‑win. I think you play to win every day. Even though it's a series, it's not like it's a season. You're looking to win and change momentum today.

We go to Atlanta last week, win the first game, lose the second, and it's like they had the momentum going into our place. If we win the second or lose the first game and Atlanta wins the second, we'd have gone home feeling like we got a split. Everything's great. It's all perspective.

If we can get a split today and get ourselves back home and play well there, so ‑‑ every day really feels like a must‑win. Momentum changes daily with the playoffs. So, must‑win.

Q. Last night when you had Mark bunt in front of Hanley, did you have a feeling they were going to intentionally walk him?

DON MATTINGLY:  We pretty much know that they'll walk Hanley there.

Q. Was it because he was injured that you were comfortable with that?

DON MATTINGLY:  No, we're comfortable with it from the standpoint that if you watch the way they pitch Hanley all night long, they're not going to let Hanley beat him. He's not going to get anything to hit no matter if there's a guy on first or where he's at, they're going to pitch around him. It's really one of the reasons we tried the hit‑and‑run early in that count, trying to give him a shot at getting a guy over and maybe you're forced to pitch to Hanley a little bit.

But once we missed that, we've got to try to get a guy in scoring position, and leave a Michael Young and Yasiel. We know we've got other guys that can drive in a run. We've got to take our best shot at basically needing one hit.

Q. How difficult is it facing a kid like Wacha today that you guys have never seen before, but yet obviously has great stuff?

DON MATTINGLY:  It makes it tougher. Obviously, we have video, a lot more now than you would have had in the past. But we could watch every game he's pitched.

We had the same scenario with Teheran in Atlanta. We hadn't seen him. This guy has great stuff. He's been pitching great. So Mark has put a pretty good game plan together we feel like for him, seeing what he does and what he's been able to do. So we'll try to be able to execute that. Hopefully we can put some runs on the board today and Clayton's good.

Q. Lance Lynn is going to start Game 4. Do you have any thoughts on using Ricky in last night's game?

DON MATTINGLY:  If we got into a emergency situation, we would have used Ricky last night. Kind of that's the only game that you could have. But Ricky's really on the outskirts of that game last night for us.