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October 16, 2016

Joe Maddon

Chicago, Illinois - Postgame 2

Dodgers - 1, Cubs - 0

THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. It seemed like an awful lot came down to the ball that Javy hit that I think most people thought might go. You know this ballpark better than most. What did you see and what did you feel, what did you smell?
JOE MADDON: It's one of those things that you get -- you're so used to watching a ball come off the bat, you knew it was just not far enough. You just knew it. It was hit well, then immediately you look at the outfielder and you look at the wind, and you know that all in advance. When you watch BP you'll say it's going to land the in the second row. You just knew that was at the wall, and that's just one of those moments. He had great at-bats. He played another excellent game. But I thought that it was going to go to the wall, and that was it.

Q. Joc Pederson has not been good against left-handers. You had a lefty warming in the sixth, but you put in a right-hander to face him, and it was successful. Can you take me through your thought process?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, I don't know if they're going to pinch hit there or not. I like that righty on him. If we didn't have the appropriate right-hander, I would have brought in a left-hander and gone with a lefty versus one of their righties. Possibly. But I knew I liked C.J. in that situation. And then Javy makes another Javy play right there by doing what he did. But you have to make your choice right there before the game, our list knows that they may pinch hit for before the game, and I kind of try to mentally walk through what they may do if we did this or that. So I like C.J. versus him right there.

Q. Kershaw appeared to be as good as ever. What's your evaluation of his work tonight?
JOE MADDON: Give him credit, man. I thought he pitched primarily with his fastball. The thing that I was really curious about was velocity and location before the game, and he had both. Command of his fastball was outstanding. He didn't really have his curveball today, which should have worked in our favor. I think Javy had the base hit up the muddle on a curveball. Other than that, he might have thrown five. Slider became more pertinent for him later, but primarily pitched with his fastball and kept the ball off our barrel. He didn't strike a lot of guys out. I was taking a little bit of solace in that. I think he ended up with six strikeouts in seven innings, which that's okay. If we're moving the ball that much, you would think or I would think that we're going to get more hits than we did. So kept the ball. He kept the ball off the fat part of our bat. He threw strikes like he normally does. So despite not having rest, his command and velocity were still good.

Q. You said before the game that you would know pretty quickly if Kershaw was going to be on despite those factors you mentioned. At what point in the game did you realize that this was going to be a good night for him and it was going to be sustainable?
JOE MADDON: From the beginning, I just -- I was really trying to pay attention to those two items, and they were there. It became apparent that he did not want to throw his curveball, I thought, and that the slider was just hit or miss for him. He pitched with his fastball, and he pitched to good spots. There was no complaints about balls and strikes. I thought he pitched well and he hit his spots. And we didn't -- we had some good swings. Zobrist had some good swings, Javy had some good swings. Riz hit that one ball, way gone, foul. Contreras, they had those couple base hits up the middle. Again, we had some decent at-bats, but we didn't really strike the ball like we normally strike it, hard. There was primarily even some of the good, better swings were still not necessarily really hard contact, so they were able to defend them.

Q. How do you evaluate how Kyle pitched today?
JOE MADDON: Well. He started out really good, obviously, and then gives up the one home run to Gonzalez, but I -- that last inning right there, he's getting into that high 80, right around 90 number, again, trying to figure out the appropriate thing to do there. We could have just gone with Woody on Gonzalez but chose to let him go. Change upswing and miss, eventually draws the walk. I don't know exactly what the thought process was there. But he walks him. And then Reddick, again, it could have been a ground ball double play easily. And then it came to the choice we were talking about, if you bring in Travis right there, there was a threat of Wood -- excuse me, versus they could have gone Puig or Kendrick. They had a lot of different things they could have done. I liked C.J. versus Pederson better. So I thought he did well. I'm talking about Kyle again. I thought he did well. He had good stuff. Everything was good. The couple walks, I just think those are walks based on he was okay with the walk. It's not that his command was bad.

Q. So far the starting pitching in the series has been pretty stellar. How important do you think it will be for Jake to give you something similar in Game 3?
JOE MADDON: Of course. We're going to need that. Hill has been very good. I've never seen him in person, only on television. And, yeah, we just -- it would be nice to get our offense rolling. I'm sure they're saying the same thing. But I anticipate continued good starting pitching on both sides. Anticipate good pitching on both sides. So, it's going to be a lot of the same, like you saw tonight. They normally don't have Hill pitch more deeply into the games, but all their bullpen gets -- they weren't utilized tonight, plus they get a day's rest. That's the two-three-two thing, where like even with Chappy tonight, utilizing Chappy, because there was the potential for a two-inning situation for him had we tied the game. So, they all get their day out there. Both sides of the bullpen should be frisky by Tuesday.

Q. When you've got younger players without much playoff experience to have some slumps throughout the playoffs, a couple guys just one hit, do you have to toe that line differently in the playoffs, or do you just kind of let it all take care of itself over time?
JOE MADDON: No, you got to continue to play through the bad lie. That's just -- it is what it is. You stay with your guys. Dodgers have good pitching. Cubs have good pitching. I'm sure they're saying the same thing about some of their guys right now too. They had an all-left-handed lineup tonight versus Kyle, which they wanted, and they squeaked out one run on a homer. So it's an industry-wide situation. It's very nice to be in this moment with young players. It's really nice two consecutive years to be in the Championship Series with a very youthful group. Again, putting your scout's cap on, it bodes well for the future. Of course, I want it to happen right now and get to that next round. But we have young guys. They got some really interesting young people also. That's just the nature of the game right now.

Q. Back Baez, I know we talk about him every night, but can you talk about that play in the 6th again, just how heads up he is, and basically his baseball IQ in general?
JOE MADDON: That's what I'm telling you. That's a perfect example. Tonight it manifested itself on defense. That's a play some other guys might have processed in advance. The next part was just that Addie understood to go get Gonzalez after that. Because at first he was kind of -- didn't know where he wanted to go with it next, it wasn't a play at first base, but we completed it. Doesn't surprise. It doesn't surprise me Javy doing those kind of things. He's really been impressive, he has. Before the game, during the game, he's definitely in the moment. He's not taken by the situation at all. And, again, when I look at that, I really think about him now and in the future how good it's going to be for him and the Cubs.


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