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WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC: 2ND ROUND POOL F


March 17, 2017


Edwin RodrI­guez

Carlos Correa

Carlos Beltran


San Diego, California

Puerto Rico - 6, USA - 5

Q. Can you please tell me how would you place this victory in the series in Los Angeles in terms of your career?
CARLOS BELTRAN: Honestly, we are happy for the job that all the guys have done. I think the first days in Arizona gave us the opportunity to learn about our mission and to get to know each other and to focus what is on the front of our shirts. It was key, and I think the boys are having a great time, and this is a huge victory for our people, for our country. I know they are having a great time, and I know they are very proud. We're hoping in God to finish this mission.

Q. Edwin, Carlos, congratulations for the victory. How did you come in so aggressive against the U.S. and you decided to attack from the very beginning?
EDWIN RODRÍGUEZ: We tried to maintain the game that has brought us to this juncture, and we went progressive at the bases and we went aggressive from the very start. We were very patient at the home plate. And we were waiting for the pitch, and they were aggressive. Obviously the bases, we were putting pressure, and we had a ground ball and we went to first. That was a double.

Those games were so aggressive, Javier BĂĄez, and I think that that was giving pressure on the rest of the team. And obviously today was no different.

Q. I wonder what it means to you to make your second straight appearance in the finals at the WBC?
CARLOS CORREA: To me it's the first one I'm going to be part of. These guys have been part of the second one. So for me, it's something really special. Nothing compares to this moment right now, playing for my home country, being able to represent Puerto Rico and be able to bring a lot of joy and happiness to the people back home that are going through a tough time right now. So for me this is up there in my baseball career.

CARLOS BELTRAN: You know what? This is like a great experience. I think right now the fact that we got together as a team and went out there and played the game hard and with passion, with love, with the responsibility of representing our country. Like Carlos says, this is like an unbelievable win for us. The fact that we get the opportunity to go to the finals in L.A. really means a lot to us.

So we're happy, and I know our people in Puerto Rico are very happy also.

Q. Carlos, when you got to first base, you kind of gave it one of those (indicating), and then when you scored you did the same thing.
CARLOS CORREA: Yeah, that's kind of what we do when we get base hits, and we score runs, steal bases. We do something fun. We're young players out there having fun. Carlos doesn't have much hair here, but he goes like this (indicating). You saw it when he got the RBI hit. We're just out there having fun. We're having a good time. We're playing baseball really hard, and, you know, we're 5-0 so far, so we'll keep doing that.

Q. Edwin said he might join you guys with the look here?
EDWIN RODRÍGUEZ: I might. I have no chance.

CARLOS BELTRAN: It's coming. It's coming soon. It's coming soon.

Q. There was a lot of pressure. In your maximum expression, tell me how you got here -- how you got there to three outs?
EDWIN RODRÍGUEZ: I think this is what we've done in every tournament. We had the best of each one of our players, and every one of them, especially the young ones after this Classic, they're going to become much better players. One day they're actually confronting the best of the best, and they knew they had to execute those pitches.

There was quite a bit of pressure. After this tournament, I think when Edwin Diaz, when that season of Major League, he's going to know how to handle it.

Q. Carlos, can you please describe what it feels like to be in the same position of that team of 2013 and now to become part of this --
CARLOS CORREA: Well, during that time I was 17 years old, and it is quite incredible to be part of it. I think, like Beltran said, I would like to play 162 games with these guys, because this is a special moment. We love each other, we take care of each other. We've got each other. We are having an incredible moment. I have to go back to Spring Training, but this is something very special.

Q. Carlos, you have a very young career in the Big Leagues. What would you compare this to with the Puerto Rican team? With the first seasons with the Astros, did you imagine that you'd be on third base playing at the level that you're playing?
CARLOS CORREA: Well, when we played at Yankee Stadium and we won, the way that we're doing it now, it really is -- I know I'm not going to forget this, especially playing third base. I think the best for the team was for me to play third base, and I think until now, I've been doing a good job.

Q. Carlos Beltran, those six hits in the first inning, was that something that you had planned?
CARLOS BELTRAN: Well, honestly, as a team, as I said, we had a plan with Stroman to have flies and to be -- Stroman obviously made quite a bit of errors, and we executed our job and our plan. And that is one of the things that was extremely important, when we have these short series, to win these games.

And that first inning was just incredible because it gave us so much confidence. We went to the field with much more intensity, and we were confident with each one of us. Like Carlos Correa said, this is a family. We have stopped thinking about our name on the back and we've been thinking about Puerto Rico, and this has been a family as far as this team is concerned.

Q. Edwin, congratulations. Have you gotten the confidence to go up to a top opponent in this round?
EDWIN RODRÍGUEZ: Well, when we put together this team, we had a very young team. We have a mix, but we are all very old is, he is very young. And it was the first time this youngster was playing for the first time. They knew each other. They watched each other play, but playing together as a team. And after every game we play as a team, the confidence kept improving and getting better and better.

And not only winning, but also the quality of the team that we've been beating. I mean, we faced Dominican, we faced Venezuela, we faced United States. I mean, quality teams. We've been beating those teams. So the confidence of the team, they're confident as a team and keeps improving and improving. So we feel very confident going to L.A. right now.

Q. As you know we are from Japan, and the Japanese baseball fans would like to see a revenge game against Puerto Rico.
EDWIN RODRÍGUEZ: Yes, sure.

Q. But if you go out there as the first runner, it's impossible. How do you think about that?
EDWIN RODRÍGUEZ: We're ready to face any team. But definitely we'd like to face also Japan. And if at some point we're going to face them, we know. We've been watching them. We've been scouting them. We've got all the hitters and pitchers. We've got them. So we're ready for Japan because we know that we have a very good team.

But we feel very confident facing Japan or Netherlands or whoever wins tomorrow, USA or Dominican.

Q. Was it curious for you, Edwin, that three key players from the other side with Mychal Givens, Stroman, and those are Puerto Rican -- their background is Puerto Rican. Do you think that was quite an irony?
EDWIN RODRÍGUEZ: When Givens, when he pitched, that actually went through my head. Arenado as well. They were key in our victory. And they hit very well. Stroman, obviously we had a plan with him, but, yes, you're right. At some moment I -- those three had Puerto Rican heritage, and I think we started to really have a greater time knowing that this victory just is much more savored.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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