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October 10, 2016

Jayson Werth

Anthony Rendon

Los Angeles, California - Postgame 3

Nationals - 8

Dodgers - 3

Q. As you guys are going through that game, you've been in some pretty close post-season games like that before. As it's getting down, their bullpen is kind of holding them down. Does it feel similar at all, and do you flashback to games that are similar in the past or is it completely gone from your mind?
JAYSON WERTH: No, I think you're just locked in in the moment. We had a long, kind of a long night with the travel and everything, and I felt we had some momentum coming into the game. Then they got that run early. And when we answered back, I felt like we were in good shape.

Then Chooch pinch hits and hits a homer and gets it close, and you never know what's going to happen from there. But our bullpen did a great job to lock it down.

Q. I've got to know if you've ever hit a ball harder than that, first. And second, feels like it's not that long ago where you guys were on the verge of the NLCS before, and wondering what's going through your head today. Tomorrow, you're going to wake up with a chance to go.
JAYSON WERTH: Well, I think you could probably check Statcast and see if I've ever done that, I'm not really sure what that whole thing is or anything (laughing).

You know, that one felt pretty good. I played a lot of games here and I've always wanted to hit one out of the stadium. I never thought it was possible, and I still feel the same way. So that ball doesn't get out, I don't think I can do it.

But we've been fortunate here to be in the hunt coming down the stretch, almost every season that I've been in Washington, going to the playoffs; it's the third time I've been in the playoffs. I'm hoping this is our year. We're battle-tested, we're playoff-tested and we've got a good group of guys. We've been playing together a long time now. So I feel like this is our opportunity.

Q. I could be wrong, but it seems like you're having a lot of fun right now these last few days; like extra hop in the step. I feel like 37 going on 27 right now. Does it seem different than past postseasons for you?
JAYSON WERTH: I think after last year, with the injuries, and the way it ended and, you know, I felt like it was just like an opportunity lost.

With getting Dusty this year and the moves at the deadline, again, I just feel like this is -- you don't always get opportunities. I feel like it got taken away last year, and obviously I can't play this game forever. So I feel like this is -- I feel like this is our chance and I also feel like maybe this is my last chance to do it. For whatever reason, just been having fun.

Q. I'm sure you probably answered this before, and both of you can weigh in on this, but what kind of difference has Dusty made as far as in the clubhouse and running the game, and the atmosphere around this team?
ANTHONY RENDON: I think it's just a more relaxed environment. He doesn't put too much pressure on us, if any at all, because I feel like he knows what we're going through. He's just been a great life for this team and this year, so it's been fun to play with him and behind him.

JAYSON WERTH: He's a pretty warm guy. He's always got friends around. He's got people in and out of the clubhouse.

We were in San Francisco and he brings Willie Mays in the clubhouse for it felt like a couple hours just to hang out. He's always keeping it light, and like I say, he's real generous and warm. It's been refreshing.

Q. Did you think your club was the kind of team that could out-slug the Dodgers, as you have done these first few games, and what is it like for you to have this kind of tremendous game in the playoffs?
JAYSON WERTH: I feel like we can slug with anybody. We have the type of lineup that has balance. I saw some stat, we had six guys that hit 20 home runs. That doesn't happen very often.

But you know, we've got the team that I feel like can slug, we have the pitching that can pitch and we have the bullpen that can shut people down like they have done the last couple games.

What was the other question?

Q. Just about your personal game in the playoffs.
JAYSON WERTH: Yeah, I'm trying to have good at-bats. Ever since Dusty moved me into the 2-hole, I just felt like my job is to get on base for the animals behind me. I'm just focused on getting on base and scoring runs and having good at-bats and making the pitcher work. That's pretty much been my game my whole career, even before I started playing professionally. Just trying to be me.

Q. This is the first time -- you won the first game in St. Louis, but this is the first time you've been in the driver's seat with multiple shots to close it out. Is there anything you tell the guys about how you handle it and how you did it in Philly?
JAYSON WERTH: No, I don't feel like I need to tell these guys anything. Like I said, this team is battle-tested and playoff-tested. We know what we need to do. I mean, it's a young team, but it's not a young team. We've got a lot of guys that have played in a lot of games, so there's not a lot that needs to be said.

Q. For the last 80 or 90 games, you've been driving in a ton of runs; just on a good run of that, or are you becoming a better RBI man as your career goes on or what's up?
ANTHONY RENDON: I'm not sure. I guess if I knew the answer to that, it wouldn't have just been the last 80 or 90 games. It would have been the whole 162.

I think just trying to stay within myself, trying not to do too much, and just trying to put the barrel on the ball like I've been taught ever since I was younger. I guess just staying within myself.

Q. The way the bullpen is throwing right now, what's it like playing behind these guys, especially given how ever since last off-season, it seems like everyone has been questioning them and doubting them? What's it like being behind them right now?
ANTHONY RENDON: It's exciting. I guess it could be maybe a little boring at times because they get everybody out. But it's -- knock-on-wood now (knocking on the table).

They work quick and they're not afraid to go after anybody, and they are not going to let the guys put the balls in play which keeps the defense on our toes the entire time instead of us being stagnant out there and just in la-la land. It's definitely fun to be around.

JAYSON WERTH: I think it gives us confidence. We're always in a game. We're never out of it. Even when we're behind, we can tack on runs when we're ahead or we can get some runs when we're behind. I feel like the bullpen is going to hold up. And might not have been the case or the feeling in years past.

Q. You talked about the home run and always wanting to hit one outside Dodger Stadium. What other things are evoked when you come here, things you might have thought roaming around?
JAYSON WERTH: Well, obviously that Steve Finley at-bat, or really, even that whole game, I kind of go back on that game a lot over my career.

You know, it was a must-win game for us. We were second to last day of the season, we were one game up over the Giants. We don't have a starter on Sunday, and they are pitching Jason Schmidt. At the time he was one of the most dominant guys. I think we are down three coming into the ninth and we end up scoring seven.

I don't know, the course of my career, I've always gone back to that game, because it was like, you know, just the most unlikely circumstances of winning. I had that 12-pitch at-bat, hit that base hit to right to tie the game. That's probably the one thing about this place that will always be pretty vivid.

Q. This is a little bit similar. The tension of games like that, the final score didn't end up tense, but both of you, how did it feel in the dugout, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth inning, big, pivotal game, one-run game. Did the team feel right, like it's supposed to feel in those situations?
JAYSON WERTH: Yeah, I would say so and it has felt that way for awhile. Like I said, this team, we're tough. We're resilient. This team knows how to win. We've been here before.

Our dugout, like Tony said, it's relaxed. That's a pretty good environment to play in.

ANTHONY RENDON: Yeah, definitely. There's going to be a lot of emotions just throughout the playoffs, and in tie games in general, but it's how you respond to that. You've got to hone those emotions and stay within yourself and not let those emotions get the best of you, so we've done a great job doing that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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