Oct 6 Matt Williams Pregame Interview

Q. I see Ryan Zimmerman is not in the lineup. Why have you decided not to start Ryan Zimmerman?

MATT WILLIAMS: Why have I decided not to start Ryan Zimmerman? Because we have our lineup that we've set, and he's not in it initially, but there will be certainly opportunity for him we hope during the course of the game to come up with a big at bat for us.

Zimm's numbers against Bumgarner are not great. So our lefties hit him pretty well. We've got some hits and some RBIs and some homers against him. That's the reason.

And nothing in particular, though.

Q. Your team kind of emotionally imploded in Game 2, how

MATT WILLIAMS: Not even close. Emotionally imploded?

Q. As far as being ejected from a game, yelling at the umpires

MATT WILLIAMS: Oh, oh, I see. I understand what you mean. Okay.

Q. How challenging is it going to be to keep emotions even keel in this big elimination game today?

MATT WILLIAMS: Well, I would imagine that our guys play with passion and that's a really good thing. They want to win as badly as anybody. I don't view that as emotionally imploding. I view that as intense and caring and wanting to win.

So, you know, I would use a different term than you used, of course with regard to that, and no disrespect to your question (laughter). But it's not how we view it. So we'll try to win this game and go on from there.

Q. That was a really long, draining loss, a long plane flight. This game time is weird for you guys, it's really early in the morning. What do you do to try to make sure your guys are ready? Do you have to have a talk with them or do anything in terms of making sure they are fresh and ready to go?

MATT WILLIAMS: No, I think they are all itching. And by the way, this is going to be a 5:00 game for us. So it's not early. We're on East Coast time. So this is right up our alley. So it's something that you have to deal with. You play extra innings, you play 18 innings and have to fly across country and that's what you have to do. There's not much you can do about it.

Had a good workout yesterday, everybody is ready. It's a tough pitcher and a tough team and we're going to have to play well if we hope to win. But that's the plan. That's why we're here.

Q. As you and the coaches yesterday are talking through lineups, how do you weigh the balance between trying to eject offense with the way things have gone the last few days versus the best defensive team behind Fister versus what you've done all year. What's the balance of that?

MATT WILLIAMS: I think the last part of that question kind of rings true. We have got here by doing things a certain way, and you know, to change things up is one option.

But, we trust our guys. We have faith in our guys. And offensively it hasn't happened the first two games, but that doesn't mean it can't happen today.

We had a game against the Giants here that Bumgarner pitched, and so they take that experience. We certainly have confidence in Doug going out there today and helping us win, and our guys creating opportunities like we have all year. The question is: Do we get that big hit. And we try to do that.

The game is going to present itself today like it would any other day. And, you know, we're looking forward to that. It's no easy task, certainly. Madison has pitched very well. We'll try to put some things together against him today and see what we can do.

Q. How is your bullpen doing and is Craig available today?

MATT WILLIAMS: Yeah, everybody's good. With the day off, Tanner was 30 pitches and Craig certainly is available with the day off. Everybody is ready and available for today's game.

Q. Have you heard from any guys you've played with here in recent days since the series started and since you got here in the last few hours or whatever it's been, day; have you seen anyone from those years?

MATT WILLIAMS: Yeah, just folks around the ballpark. Saw Larry yesterday. He was outdoing stuff when we were on the field and came by and said hello. There are a lot of familiar faces here, for sure.

Yeah, it's nice to see everybody and have everybody say hello. Very nice.

Q. Did you give any thought to putting Lobaton behind the plate both because of his success with Doug, and the way the first two games have gone for him offensively?

MATT WILLIAMS: Wilson has the ability with one swing of the bat to change the face of the game, though. There was some thought, sure, but with regard to the first two games, we need to make sure that we look to put our best offensive team in there, as well. That's a consideration.

But, you know, with the day game here, the ball carries a little bit better than it does at night. The weather's warm, so my experience, playing here in this area, and certainly this ballpark during the day, it's a better park to hit in.

Those considerations all go into in it, but we decided to go with Wilson today against a lefty. He's seen righties so far, so hopefully we get an opportunity and he comes through for us today.

Q. One of the key elements was Petit's six shutout innings. Can you let us know what impressed you more about Petit and what are the equivalents on your staff to a Petit?

MATT WILLIAMS: Unfortunately I had a very good view of it on television (laughter).

And what I noticed was that he didn't make any mistakes. He started some games for the Giants, but especially coming out of the bullpen in a long relief role has been really, really good. He's been probably one of the best in the game, certainly late in the season. And he's been used in that role a lot.

So I have known him since he was a much younger pitcher in Arizona. He didn't make any mistakes. He just put the ball where he wanted to. He changed speeds. He threw to both sides of the plate and, you know, kept everybody off balance.

With regard to that, if you look at it, in our bullpen currently, that's Tanner Roark. That's how he's pitched all year. He doesn't blow the radar gun up, but he makes his pitches and he throws it where he wants to.

Generally Tanner is a starter for us. If I was to compare our bullpen to that, that long, relief type situation, that would be Tanner.

Q. When you're in a do or die game like, this do you handle your pitching staff differently?

MATT WILLIAMS: I think it depends on the game and how it starts and where we're at and what's needed to potentially if Doug's short, then that means we're behind, right? So if that situation presents itself, then we have to make decisions to try to stem the tide, get back in it, look at matchups for the next two, three innings.

We saw it a little bit in the game last night, the Angel game where they used a shorter guy right after and then went to the longer guys. So depends on where you're at within their lineup or your matchups upcoming for the next inning plus.

So, again, all hands are on deck, and everybody's available depending on what the game presents. Hopefully it doesn't. Hopefully it's Doug for eight and go from there (smiling).

Q. If the game goes a certain way, would Stephen be available today?

MATT WILLIAMS: Potentially. That's last case, the emergency, hopefully not another 18 inning affair.

But, you know, yeah, of course he's available. It would be an extreme emergency situation if we got to that point.

Q. To lose a game that that's long and that draining, did you as manager feel the need to go around and try to lift guys or make sure they were up? Did you do that? And if so, did you do it individually with guys or was there any sort of team meeting where you said anything?

MATT WILLIAMS: No, we had most of the guys here yesterday for the workout. Generally all of them were here, not everybody was on the field. Some guys in the cage. Some guys continue to do their normal routine.

But those conversations happen every day, regardless of playoffs, regular season, 18 innings, nine innings, doesn't matter. Those things happen every day with our club. There's no need to have a team meeting. Everybody understands where we're at and what's at stake.

You know, for today's game, I encourage them to go out and let her fly like we always do, and do the things that we do that got us here. There's no need to try to change things now.

So like I said, it's a tough opponent. Bumgarner is a very good pitcher, they are a very good team, and if we do things correctly and we have a chance to win, we hope to do that today and move to tomorrow after that.

Q. Just to follow up on Zimm, when it came earlier in the week you talked about how you look at it and think about maybe putting him in. Was it mainly just, like you mentioned about his history versus Bumgarner, was health a factor?

MATT WILLIAMS: No, health is not a factor. There's a lot of things that go into it, without getting into specifics. You know, it's important for us to play good defense behind Doug and be defensively sound in that regard.

The fact that our left handed hitters have some history and have some success here; Rochey is hitting .286, Bryce is hitting .333 off him. There's lots of things that go in it, but health is not a factor. It's not a question of his hamstring being bad. As we go today, we'll look to a situation today to give him an at bat in a very important situation in the game.

But, you know, on the other side of that coin, we got here because we have our lineup, and everybody has a very important part in that lineup. To drastically change it would probably not be prudent at this point, anyway. We hope he gets in there and gets a big hit for us.