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October 18, 2017

Joe Maddon

Chicago, Illinois - postgame 4

Cubs - 3, Dodgers - 2

Q. Javy, prime example of how cruel and beautiful this game of baseball is, huh?
JOE MADDON: Absolutely. Just give him credit for sticking with it. Very difficult start to the postseason for him, and that's what he can do. Starts the double play to end the game. His entire game is spectacular. When young guys like that really struggle, you've got to stay with him. It was a really good matchup for him tonight. He took advantage of it, give him a lot of credit.

Q. How quickly did you know that Jake was back to being Jake tonight, and the confidence level you saw in him and kept in him?
JOE MADDON: I thought the movement was spectacular. I could see the movement from the side. That's what I was basing it off of. Bellinger's first at-bat told me a lot, I thought, about movement. Then after that he needed to throw strikes to get ahead of hitters. Curveball was really good I thought, too. More than the slider.

More than anything, I'm watching their reaction to his pitches and the swings and misses, the ball was moving that much. So, he needed to pitch as deeply as he did for us to get that win tonight. Good for him. Stayed with him as long as I thought we could. And Brian Duensing has been outstanding all season, gets Bellinger to pop up. But I thought the movement was spectacular from Jake's pitches tonight.

Q. What exactly was the official explanation on the play with Granderson? It seemed like the video board and the stadium had something --
JOE MADDON: Validated? It was not a good explanation. Listen, I'm all about the umpires, first of all. I'm not going to sit here and bang on umpires, and I love a lot of guys on this crew. I've known them for a long time.

But that can't happen. The process was horrible. To have that changed and if Granderson hits the next pitch out, I might come running out of the clubhouse in my jockstrap. That was really that bad. So you can't permit that to happen. The process was wrong. The explanation was eventually -- eventually it turned into hearing two sounds. Not one of them saw a foul tip or heard -- thought it was a foul tip. It was based on two sounds, which I totally cannot agree with that process whatsoever. When you have 40-some thousand people, it's late in the game. The other sound could have come from some lady screaming in the first row. I have no idea. I can't buy that process. Could have been a guy too. I don't want to bang on a lady.

Q. Can you talk about Wade's work tonight? If you need a closer tomorrow, who is it going to be?
JOE MADDON: It's not going to be him. So this is where the guys got to pretty much do their jobs. Wade did the job tonight, so tomorrow we'll be able to parcel it out a little more cleanly. Strop's good, C.J.'s good, Lackey's good, Rondon's good, Duensing's good, Montgomery's good. They're all good.

So other guys got to do it. We have to be much more offensive. It's got to start happening tomorrow. We're going to do this. Going to pull this off, we have to become more offensive tomorrow.

Q. Just to clarify, the call was by the home plate umpire on that strike? Because it seemed like you were yelling at Welke a lot.
JOE MADDON: I was yelling at everybody, man. That was bad process. I got bad process. That's what I'm yelling at. Again, I know Wolfy for a hundred years, I know Mike for a hundred years, I know a lot of these dudes for a hundred years. But I can't accept that under those circumstances.

If that next pitch goes out of the ballpark, obviously, on a wrong call, I am really not a good guy at that point. So bad process. Hear two sounds where nobody actually physically saw or actually saw the ball tip a bat and become a foul ball? If somebody had said that, what am I going to say at that point? But nobody saw anything. That's the part that I had a difficult time with. And there is no way, no way I'm not getting ejected at that point. I've got to make my point. Just being honest.

Q. Given what you've seen from Quintana in this postseason --
JOE MADDON: Thank you for settling me down. I appreciate it. Q's been great. He's ready to play all the time. Q's just good stuff. The stuff's really been spiking in a positive direction, velocity has been up, curveball has been better. I know one thing, he'll be ready to pitch tomorrow night.

Q. When you look at this game, a lot of your players or a couple of your players before and last night said they didn't feel any pressure; that the pressure was all on the Dodgers because of the fact that no one is expecting them to win at this point, they can just go out and play their game. Is that the proper message? Is that what you want to hear from your team playing these next games?
JOE MADDON: I never want us to use the word -- I mean, pressure, like I said before, is a good word. So if they're taking that word and channelling it in a proper direction, I'm all about it. If you're taking that word and it's going to cause you to clam up, not be yourself, go attempt different methods, I don't like that word.

But I love the word. I want there to be pressure. I want there to be a carrot at the end of the stick. I want all of that. I talk about never putting the pressure to exceed the pleasure, just meaning to handle the moment. But we do, we started this with a trip to Omaha, Nebraska, in Spring Training before their very first workout, and now we are here, coming on October 19th. It's a lot of time in between.

So there's a lot of different moments that occur. Some are pressurized, and that's good. Otherwise you're home cooking steaks right now. This is a good thing. I want our guys to respond properly and utilize that word for motivation as opposed to becoming cowardly.

Q. Does it help you guys tomorrow that you beat Kershaw in Game 6 here last year and have a decent record on him, and if you win tomorrow, what's that do for you guys?
JOE MADDON: It helps us with, honestly, good at-bats. The guy's so good. You just don't know what he's going to look like coming out tomorrow. We have to elevate our game offensively. It's just that simple. It's not about maybe kind of, hopefully; we've got to do it.

How do you do that? You have to stick with your game plan. You've got to be more centered. You've got to be a tougher out with two strikes. You've got to move the baseball in situations. We're capable of doing all those things. That's what needs to occur for the next three games against Los Angeles.

Q. Davis had a nice at-bat there. What was the thought process in not having him bunt? What was the strategy?
JOE MADDON: He doesn't like to, and I knew that. I'm upstairs in the TV room, whatever, in the video room, and I said after the first pitch, I bet you Wade told Davey he doesn't like to bunt. It's simple.

Q. You've been ejected before?

Q. I'm not sure that anybody's ever seen you quite as animated. Where would you rate yourself on this one?
JOE MADDON: I mean, I was upset. I mean, listen, this is an elimination game, man. This isn't just another one. This isn't June 23rd, this is an elimination game. Again, with all due respect to the umpires, and as Ricky Bobby once said: Once you've said "with all due respect," you can say whatever you want.

With all due respect, under those circumstances, that can't happen. It can't happen. If Granderson hits the next pitch out of the ballpark, that can't happen. The process was not good. That's my argument. The process was a bad process. That's my argument.

If I don't do that, what do my players think if I don't stand up for our guys like that? What do they think in that moment? That's part of it.

The other part is you want to win the darn game, man. You want to win the game. And if that takes the game away from you right there, that would be really awful.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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