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October 14, 2018

Dave Roberts

Los Angeles, California - Workout Day

Q. Do you get a sense that the offense is getting better from late September on, and if that's the case, why do you think that is?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, I do. I think that obviously you look at collectively over the course of the season we've scored more runs than anyone in the National League. It's been as productive if not more.

But if you talk about September after the deadline and kind of trying to reassign roles, I guess, for our position players to kind of keep everyone involved, once they got into that rhythm and a new role change, I think the numbers speak for themselves as far as our production offensively and the win-loss. And part of why we wanted to get that implemented is so when we do get in the Postseason where things can change pretty quickly, guys have already done that, so it's not all new.

Q. Just a follow-up, the bullpen's steadiness has allowed the overall team to become more resilient.
DAVE ROBERTS: It's been great. These guys, as every bullpen goes through changes with the interchangeable pieces and because of injury or whatever performance, but our guys have performed really consistent for me. Every team has hiccups at some point in time, but you look at how we've matched these guys up and these guys are ready when called upon.

We've talked about September, one, started our playoff run, and they've been very successful and like you said, giving us a chance to hold our team within striking distance, have given us a chance to win games late.

Q. Are you still planning to return Grandal to the lineup, and along the lines of the lineup, are you expecting to use your typical left-handed hitting lineup against the right-hander?
DAVE ROBERTS: He's going to catch tomorrow. He's had a lot of innings from Walker and we like that battery. We like him against Chacin. He's had a lot of success against right-handed hitters.

And you'll essentially see that left-handed lineup our lineup against a right-handed pitcher. I don't know if we're going to keep the same or could add a little bit in the middle part of the order, but I would expect to see those same guys out there.

Q. It's interesting how you get into these situations which are the crowning moment of your career, it puts so much pressure, you don't have a chance to enjoy it. Obviously Craig Counsell doesn't have that problem. How do you balance it? You still have the locked-in focus, and make sure you win this process?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think that that's something that is a fair question. I probably am more guilty of staying in the moment, preparation, not enjoying the moment side of things. We've been fortunate enough to go to the NLCS the last four years, and had great moments going to the World Series last year. And even after the season you still kind of get ready for the next year.

So I'm trying to appreciate the moment and the opportunity and the gratitude. But I think that players, managers, and the coaches are very conscious of keeping their edge and focus, and you don't want to lose that. But as much as I say that, I just want to enjoy the moment, it's real hard for me to lose that edge and just kind of be in the now.

Q. Knowing you as a player and then as a coach and then as a manager, I've never seen you snap at anybody. Certainly it was 16 and 26 and saying, Hey, we're going to be playing in the National League West. What is the best manifestation of a team reflecting its manager's personality, and how you dealt with everything this year?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, I think that it's, for me, it's the consistency in how you approach each day. And as a by-product we started winning baseball games. But I think that for me it's such a long season.

But for me to blow somebody out for a result that is out of their control, per se, and the preparation and effort is there, that's just out of my character. And I just believe that guys are doing the right thing. And with this ballclub we'll come out on the other side. That's why I kind of got ahead of it. For me, I think the biggest compliment for all of us is that we stayed the course.

Q. You've gone extra innings yesterday, who was going to pitch?
DAVE ROBERTS: That would have been Rich Hill. So in about the seventh inning I had Rick Honeycutt talk to Rich and just kind of gauge his temperature. And so he was in to go in an emergency. So that allowed for me to essentially deploy guys knowing we had some coverage on the back end.

DAVE ROBERTS: Well, I think that it's the mindset, No. 1. And then I think that obviously then you layer in the matchup component. And I think that Turner Ward said it best, preaches to our guys, some of our guys, many, haven't done this very often. Obviously this aggressively. And so he preached his just take it as your first at-bat of the game, like you were a starter. And so guys have really started to -- that landed with a lot of our guys.

And so the buy-in and approach and wanting to be in that moment. And also we've done it -- getting pinch-hit at-bats. So it's like anything, the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel. And fortunately for us it's been very productive.

Q. What do you remember of Justin Turner when you were in the other dugout?
DAVE ROBERTS: My first impression, coach of the Padres, he was a platoon guy, bench guy, utility guy for the Mets, and always was taking grounders and moving on the field. Very jovial, outgoing, and he was always on the bench, chattering, and we had a little banter. I was the first base coach and he was on the bench at times. I understood his pedigree from Cal State Fullerton. I liked his at-bats. He was more of a spray guy.

And at that point in time I didn't really follow him until the postseason in '15, and his postseason with the Mets where big hit after big hit. So as I was interviewing for the job and got the job that winter I was really looking forward to getting to know him as a person, because I always liked him from the other side. And it was good to see him start to be a centerpiece. And so the more I got to talking to him the more I knew him it just validated my thoughts. And as he's grown he's been a guy that can do whatever I've asked or whatever we needed as a ballclub.

Q. Talking about who would have been your third-string catcher, since you were out of position players?
DAVE ROBERTS: That would have been Max Muncy. He's caught before in the past, and we talked about it. He feels comfortable. Obviously not completely comfortable. But I think in that situation obviously you know that that situation might not present itself again. There is a point in time where a manager has to make a decision whether you're going to be all-in. And to extend the game is a bigger, a better chance than worrying about the fallout, and I think we were in that position.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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