Oct. 4 Don Mattingly Pregame Interview

Q.  Same lineup today. You guys obviously scored a lot of runs, was there any thought put into changing things up today?

DON MATTINGLY:  Not really. Feel like if we can get nine again today we'll be all right. So, like the way we swung the bat yesterday, I liked our approach. So, no, no reason to change.

 

Q.  What's Ryu gone through, going through these injuries and getting back over the last month or two and how do you think it's going to impact how he pitches in Game 3?

DON MATTINGLY:  Hyun‑Jin? He seems to not be doing anything a whole lot different. Other than he had the little thing with the gluteus muscle thing, which really was, I think it was a couple weeks, 20 days maybe. So he missed a start or two in there.

But he kind of does the same thing. This one is similar to the one earlier in the year. So, if it wasn't Hyun‑Jin, I would probably be a lot more nervous. But he seems to be able to not throw a whole lot and be pretty sharp.

 

Q. Why? That's the reason?

DON MATTINGLY:  That I feel comfortable?

 

Q.  Yeah.

DON MATTINGLY:  For the most part that's the reason. I watched him throw his pens and stuff and it's like he doesn't really miss the glove that much. And he could be out 20, 21 days, that's usually the length before he pitches again, but in the middle he's pitching or throwing and he just seems sharp. He's got such a simple motion and delivery that it seems like he's playing pitch and catch.

 

Q.  Puig had some nice at‑bats yesterday, and as you know, there's some stretches where he doesn't necessarily have great at‑bats. What's the rhyme or reason to it from someone who has been watching him for a couple years?

DON MATTINGLY:  I think Yas, he's been pretty locked in. His at‑bats have been really good since we went into San Francisco for that series late in the year.

Since then he's been having good at‑bats. I think with him it's just basically just being focused and locked in and confident. Like a lot of guys.

When you start swinging the bat better, you know it. You feel it. You're seeing the ball better. Things are coming a lot easier to you. When you get in those stretches that you're not hitting, it's all the opposite. You're not feeling great, you're not expecting to get hits, seems like you're always behind in the count, things like that and the confidence level just goes down.

I just think as the season's went on, the games have gotten bigger, his focus has went up, he's had success and the confidence has been rising. So, I think that's been the biggest thing. Just confidence.

 

Q.  If I could follow‑up on that. He seems to spend an awful lot of time out of the box last night between pitches. And I'm curious if is that part of a process of him calming himself, composing himself between pitches or was it sort of a, I don't know, was he trying to slow the pitcher down? What did you take from all that?

DON MATTINGLY:  I don't think it's any gamesmanship. I think he takes a long time all the time. He's probably one of the guys MLB's trying to change the game over, honestly. We got a few of them.

So, I think that's just him naturally. It takes a lot of time in between. So I didn't notice anything different yesterday than we have during the season. So, I don't think he's trying to slow the pitcher down, he may be. For me when you get out of the box, it is a chance to kind of regroup. When you get behind in the count or something is going on, it gives you a chance to think a little bit. So, I don't mind guys getting out. But that's pretty much part of his regular routine.

 

Q.  One more on Yasiel, and I'll ask the goofy question, given who he is. It looked like he changed shoes in the middle of the game. He had some kind of neon shoes on early and then different later. Also it looked like he had neon batting gloves but on the bases he had different batting gloves. What's really up with all that?

DON MATTINGLY:  You're really asking me what's up with all that? (Laughter.)

I do think, I did know that he changed shoes. I didn't know it during the game, I knew it afterwards, because obviously you guys seen the last at‑bat. He had a little thing going on like in the fourth. He changed shoes during the game, because they were, they felt like they were rubbing on his ankle somewhere. So he did change shoes. That's a fact.

The reason why, I think it was because it was they were hurting his ankle or something. Don't quote me on that. The batting gloves, I have no idea. Who knows.

 

Q.  Have you guys decided yet if you guys will start Kershaw Game 4, three days rest?

DON MATTINGLY:  We haven't even talked about it. Clayton, that was a rough one yesterday for Clayton. It wouldn't even be a day to even think about it today.

 

Q.  What do you kind of look at as far as determining factors going forward as you guys make that decision?

DON MATTINGLY:  Oh, just see where the series goes. Obviously, we're pretty much one day at a time and that's what we talk about a lot with this time of year is, even though you're looking at different scenarios, you're worrying about this game tonight, get a win, we're going to have an off‑day tomorrow, travel day, so at this point we haven't talked about it.

 

Q.  Whether there were warnings after the Puig hit by pitch yesterday and then after that, has there been any conversations with Joe or MLB or umpires today yet about any sort of anything?

DON MATTINGLY:  No, there was warnings yesterday after the incident and I haven't heard anything today.

 

Q.  The way A.J.'s swinging the bat right now do you see anything different or is that law of averages at this point?

DON MATTINGLY:  Well, A.J. had a good post‑season last year, swung the bat well I thought. I feel like this season has been a really tough year on him. If you really want to get into the whole thing for A.J. for me, he's had knee surgery during the season, once he finally got back from that, and that's during the season, not off‑season, once he got back from that, he has a weird injury, turns the ankle and does that pretty good, where he's out almost three weeks with that. Maybe he was out three weeks.

Then once he gets back from that, about eight to ten days later he gets hit right on the knee on foul tips two days in a row, same spot. And A.J. had a tough year of getting his legs underneath him, as far as being able to continue to work, continue to do a maintenance program, continue to do his weights. So to me he didn't really have his legs all year long.

Over probably the last probably eight weeks, six to eight weeks, he's been able to kind of continue to do a weight program, strengthening program where he's able to do his maintenance and to me that's why his swing just kind of is getting better and better.

I think it's been a frustrating year for him offensively, but I think it's been coming. We have seen better swings, he's been a little bit more on the attack.

But A.J.'s a guy for me that, he's going to be good in these type of scenarios, because he's going to know pitching and know what they're trying to do, he's going to have a game plan, and he's going to stick with it.

 

Q.  Yesterday after the bench clearing brawl ‑‑ or not brawl, excuse me, just benches clearing, are you expecting anything or have you heard anything about any of the guys who aren't on the roster, like did they leave the bench like Paco or Joc or any of those guys?

DON MATTINGLY:  I haven't heard anything. So, at this point I haven't heard anything about it. I know we had had some guys, I think they had some guys. I don't know if it's like the NBA rule where it's like, you know, you come on the floor or something, you know. So, I haven't heard anything about it.

But I'm sure if it's something they're worried about, if somebody was ‑‑ usually in that scenario if that guy is out there causing havoc, inciting something, then you're going to hear about it. I didn't think there was really any of that. I think everybody kind of knew we were trying to play baseball and didn't want anybody thrown out of the game. We didn't want to be going with less players. So I think everybody was for the most part fairly calm out there.

 

Q. If Clayton does end up pitching again in this series, whether it's four or five or whatever, what would your overall level of confidence be in him given the last two in the post‑season against these guys?

DON MATTINGLY:  Good. No, he was good yesterday other than that inning. So, Clayton, always confident. No doubts about Clayton and the way he'll pitch.

 

Q.  Yesterday Hyun‑Jin threw off the mound. Is there any reason he changed his mind? He throw from the mound.

DON MATTINGLY:  I think you said that he threw off the mound yesterday, Hyun‑Jin threw off the mound yesterday again. And nothing has changed. He's Game 3. I think to us him wanting to get on the mound again is just telling us how good he's feeling. He's kind of throwing a regular type pen, between the sim game we considered kind of like his last start and then he's thrown his regular pen in between his next one. So everything's pretty much on target with Hyun‑Jin. He's feeling good, so we're pretty confident that's going to be ready to go.

 

Q.  When did he throw the sim game?

DON MATTINGLY:  Wednesday.

 

Q.  To follow‑up on the question, the confidence is there in Kershaw, but if he gets into another long inning, lineup turns over again, do you maybe pull him out a little bit earlier?

DON MATTINGLY:  It will depend where it's at. Again, we have a lot of confidence in Clayton. One game doesn't turn into the next for us, every game's individual. There's ‑‑ we'll make decisions as they come up.

 

Q.  On Clayton, have you spoken to him since yesterday and as you've analyzed what happened, I know there's been a lot of talk about tipping his pitches, which it didn't seem to be?

DON MATTINGLY:  Signgate. Signgate's going on.

 

Q.  Yeah. And then, you know, he didn't get deep into the count in a lot of these guys and he was going most low with his fastball. What was your analysis of really what happened there?

DON MATTINGLY:  In that inning? I have spoken to him and seen him in the weight room, said hello to him, asked him how he was doing. He told me he wasn't doing very good, which I expected. And really, looking back, I did go back and look at the pitches and really just balls, too many balls in middle of the plate. Yadi's ball's right in the middle, Holliday's ball gets right where he likes it, Carpenter's ball ends up coming back to the middle, trying to get the ball away from him. He just made mistakes.

 

Q.  But this is a guy who mixes up his pitches and works around the zone so much, any particular reason why that happened with such consistency?

DON MATTINGLY: Well, you get ‑‑ sometimes you get away with mistakes and sometimes you don't. They made him pay yesterday.

He still was using his other pitches. You can always, probably always go back and say, well he should have threw this. Well, it's easy to say that. If he pops it out or rolls it over for a ground ball, you say good pitch; and if they get a hit, you say, oh, he should have used something different. So I'm sure he'll look at it and go over it, but at this point it's over, you make your decisions going forward.

 

Q.  Baez been really good for you, what was your analysis of what happened yesterday, was he a little amped up or what?

DON MATTINGLY:  No, again, just misses his spot. We know where we have to go with guys and if you don't get the ball where you want it, then you get hurt. There's not a whole lot of tricks with Pedro. It's power stuff, but still, he's able to locate and yesterday he missed his spot and you miss a spot with that guy, you end up paying.

The bat that hurt us was the Grichuk walk. That's what extended that. That's the guy you got to get.

 

Q.  Back to Signgate. When you were watching the view, did you see anything that would indicate tipping or that they knew what was coming?

DON MATTINGLY:  No, I'll tell you, I played a decent amount of time and I coached him for awhile, all the years from being hitting coach to watching, I have one guy that's ever relayed signs from second base. The actual sign, the actual pitch.

Most teams, and we know it, everybody tries to pretty much give location. It's common. It's all the time. Mac's been over with these guys for three years, they didn't do it when he was there. Last year ‑‑ it's not that easy. It's just not that easy. To me, it's silly. We know they're trying to do it and everybody tries to do it. We're switching signs, you do all this stuff, it's just not that easy. So, it's execution.

 

Q. Who was the guy you saw relay signs if he's not playing?

DON MATTINGLY:  Well, he is still playing and that probably wouldn't ‑‑ you guys would love to know.

(Laughter.) You would enjoy it. But I can't say it.

THE MODERATOR:  Thank, Don.

DON MATTINGLY:  All right.