Q. You faced Hudson a lot in your career. This team has faced Hudson a lot over the years. What in your mind is the key to trying to put something together off him? He has been pretty tough.
ADAM LaROCHE: You will get something to hit. You have to get to him early. Huddy, throughout his career, he is known for, once he gets past the third, fourth inning and settles in, he gets to be really tough. If you can get to him the first two, three innings, ideally, it is huge. Not to say he can't be beat after that, but once he gets rolling, he's good. Really good.
So, yeah, I mean, I don't know. He's got it figured out. He knows when to make adjustments. He knows how to read hitters really well. He has a knack for that again. He pounds the zone, typically. Be ready to hit early.
Q. How much confidence do you have in your own starter today, Jordan Zimmermann?
ADAM LaROCHE: A ton but, again, we can say that about all our starters. He is a bulldog out there. No emotion, he is really confident in his stuff, in his pitches. He is fun to play behind. Works pretty quick. Usually pounds the zone and you know, "here it is, hit it." I love that mentality.
Q. I know you are pretty good friends with Hudson. You guys hang out sometimes. Is that any different because of the playoffs? Have you seen him? Hung out with him at all?
ADAM LaROCHE: When they got to town, we hung out a little bit. I consider him a good friend, but I don't think he will take it easy on me. You know, I plan on doing whatever I can to get him.
Q. No knuckleballs today?
ADAM LaROCHE: I doubt it. I think it was a one time Spring Training deal.
Q. For Doug Fister, a guy that works the way he does, what is it like to play behind him?
ADAM LaROCHE: I don't know that we are in this situation without Doug this year. He missed a big part of the year. I don't know how many starts he missed. The guy has been key. I think he's helped our other starters a ton. I think he's helped the other starters watching not only the way he works between starts, but his approach when he is starting, and the way he attacks hitters.
You know, the guy doesn't break 90 miles an hour very often. He has a knack for sawing guys off, which is pretty tough to do, with that velocity. He has figured it out. He is not afraid to pitch all the way around. I think everybody has been more than pleased with Doug. Great guy. Great competitor. Never wants to come out of the ballgame. If it was up to him, he would go nine every fifth day.
Q. I know you played for several different teams in your career, and a good chunk in Atlanta. You have been here four years now. Wondering how you view this franchise within your career? Kind of when it is all said and done, where this place fits in the big picture to you?
ADAM LaROCHE: Well, you know, I have a good view of this place coming here a lot. It was not a good situation, to say the least. Obviously, it was the old ballpark. Teams weren't very good. Fans didn't show up. That was kind of my take when I signed here. That is what I remembered about D.C.
Then the last few years, it has been unbelievable. My first year, I don't ever remember seeing any National jerseys or hats walking down the street. I live all the way out in McLean, there is Nats flags and gear and bumper stickers everywhere. It has been a blast to be a part of it. I hope that it doesn't have to end after this.
We will see how it goes. It has been a special place to watch that transformation.
Q. After having played last night throughout weekend, what you had to do to try to stay sharp, was the feeling like you were ready, for what amounted to an All Star Break layoff?
ADAM LaROCHE: We didn't have a choice. We had to be ready, whether we were or not. We played that simulated game. It was a lot of fun and it got intense, too. We got as close as we could to getting the blood flowing a little bit.
You never want to take that many days off. It is, it is just like an All Star Break. Sometimes, that can take a minute to get the timing back. Hopefully we got that out of the way yesterday, and everybody will be ready to go.
Q. You see in the postseason teams approach things offensively a little differently, knowing how meaningful one run can be this time of year. As hitters, do you approach at bats differently in the postseason, in terms of moving a runner over, doing the little things, putting more emphasis on that to get a run in?
ADAM LaROCHE: I don't know. I think when you talk about approach, I think a lot of that comes from the manager. What you are talking about, you may see guys bunt more often. You'll see guys bunt to get a guy over, instead of trying to swing to get him over, to try to push every run across. Again, those games during the season are meaningful, too. We are doing, whatever the recipe that works for our lineup.
You know, if it is a guy who bunts and can bunt, he will bunt. You don't see guys who don't normally do things go out and do it now because it is postseason. What we have done obviously worked over six months, and we don't want to change too much of that.
Q. A few uncharacteristic defensive lapses yesterday. Is there anything that you can do or have done to kind of correct that from a preparation standpoint or is that a matter of being more mentally focused?
ADAM LaROCHE: Be specific on the lapses you are talking about.
Q. Denard dropped one, a passed ball, things like that.
ADAM LaROCHE: You are talking about the one off the wall? Is that the one? That is no routine play. Denard has made us feel like they should be routine, because he makes them all the time. That is obviously a tough play up against the wall. He makes that play a lot.
I don't know. My play was a bad decision. I came up I am coming in, I really got to go off my gut right there. I have my back to the runner. I have to just kind of, from experience, know the timing of getting to the ball, how much time I got. It was cutting it a little close. Ended up costing us a run.
You know, we played aggressive baseball all year. Sometimes it doesn't work out. A lot of times it has. It saved us runs. So now is not the time to be back on our heels playing defensive.
Q. You had a good at bat yesterday against Lopez. Do you expect to see him a lot more this series? Did you see him better yesterday than you have maybe early on in your career?
ADAM LaROCHE: I saw him okay. Again, I stayed ahead in the count most of that at bat. He is really tough when he gets ahead. You just don't see left handed sidearm too often. Yeah, I would expect to see him again, at least. I mean, I don't know. I think this time of year, they typically don't mess around with riding a starter out too long. If things are starting to turn, I think that they will use the bullpen as much as they need to.
That is the goal. That is always the goal, get the starter out. If we can get into the bullpen, we have done our job. The sooner the better.