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October 28, 2018

Dave Roberts

Los Angeles, California - pregame 5

Q. When you're making decisions with pitchers, whether it was Rich last night or any game during the regular season, how much of that equation is analytics in your mind and how much is managerial feel?
DAVE ROBERTS: With last night it certainly -- it's kind of -- it's a combo. I think that you have information, and information, data, analytics, whatever you want to call it, they're facts. Every game is different. To script out a game is very difficult to do.

Last night it was definitely on the gut, and it didn't work out. Talked to Rich again this morning and just making sure that we're on the same page. But he pitched his tail off. And he left it all out there. One of the best games of his life.

Q. Regarding speaking with Rich this morning, it seemed like there was a slight discrepancy between what you took out of the conversation you had before the seventh inning versus kind of how he framed it afterwards. Are things on the same page in terms of where you guys are at with that? He said he felt he was still pitching well, even going batter for batter.
DAVE ROBERTS: He was pitching well. He was pitching well. In my opinion, just the emotion of what he was going through, the Bogaerts, the long sixth inning, and as I went out there, I didn't wave to call in a left-handed pitcher. So as I went out there, he met me down the slope. So I just feel that right there for me to -- and then we had the conversation, hitter to hitter, keep an eye on me. As a manager you have to listen. And I think that any manager can leave a player, particularly a pitcher in there until it doesn't go well. And I think that that's the easy thing to do.

But when you have a conversation with a player that you've never had before in the dugout prior to going back out there, I think that's telling. And when you go out to the mound and are given the ball after, with not signaling in, I think that's telling, as well.

So am I going to debate that Rich was competing and he gave everything he had? Absolutely not. It was a valiant effort, a tremendous effort and we didn't get the job done. But from what I got, that led to my decision and it didn't work out.

Q. Pardon me for asking this question, but earlier, before some games, you would let us in on I might go early with Kenley this game this game, meaning you don't have to necessarily wait until the ninth.

Q. Assuming Clayton has a magnificent seven innings, do you have a feeling on that or would you wait for the matchup?
DAVE ROBERTS: It's more of for Kenley, he's our best reliever, has been for quite some time. And if the situation presents itself where it's the best part of their lineup, essentially, Kenley will be behind Clayton. So however that sets up, I don't know yet, but Kenley is available tonight.

Q. There's a lot of conversation about this, so I think I'll pose you the question: How much of what goes on in a game is dictated in your group by baseball operations which you're a part of, and how much flexibility do you have when you get into the game to depart from the whole picture or what's been presented to you as you've set up the game?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, there's a lot of scenarios that I think that every manager and coaches I talk to, front office, and you go through potential scenarios, and the right matchups, hitter versus pitcher, pitcher versus hitter, and that's the responsible thing to do. And as the game plays out, I use my coaches and ultimately make a decision. And most of the times they work out, and sometimes they don't.

But it's a combo. And I think that in any situation you've got to be able to take in information and kind of disseminate it. And so, again, it's a combo.

Q. Obviously there's star, there's Cy Young candidates, Steve Pearce is going to come in here a little bit. Seems to represent what happens a lot in these World Series, these grinders, these two or three-tool guys come through. And Moreland, as well, and you have a couple - Muncy. Can you just talk about that and the importance of those guys as opposed to the $30 million guys?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, any World Series, we can go back to that I can recall, from Luis Sojo, that's kind of what happens because when you're game-planning against a particular team, there's the superstars that you don't want to let beat you. We put Mookie on, we put J.D. on, and what happens is those guys will have opportunities. I don't know Steven Pearce. He was ready. Has had big hits for them, and Mitch, big hit last night. It's a credit to those guys. But typically the way you want to do it is not let the superstars beat you. If you look at history, a lot of the second-tier or the kind of the under-the-radar role-player guys come up with those big hits.

Q. You guys all series long have done a really good job driving up pitch counts of their starters I think early in the innings. Are you satisfied with the way you're attacking their bullpen with the same type of tenacity or could it change?
DAVE ROBERTS: It could always get better. I thought we did a really nice job yesterday with Rodriguez. Their bullpen, when you've covered nine innings of Eovaldi, that's tough for any offense. I thought we did a great job with Kimbrel last night. And I thought we did a really nice job with Sale, and had Price on the ropes in the fourth inning in that second game. And so I expect us to grind out at-bats.

We haven't really broke out. Yasiel had a big hit yesterday, but I do like the intent. And so our focus is to win a game today and we're not done, as gloomy as it might look, but offensively I like our guy taking the mound today. And we're going to stay the course.

Q. I have not seen your lineup today. Can you give it to us please?
DAVE ROBERTS: We've got Barnes catching, Freese at first, Muncy at second, Machado at short, Turner at third, Taylor in left, Kiké Hernandez in center field and Yasiel Puig in right.

Q. The lefty-righty matchups like in Game 1 and 2, that's why Bellinger and Joc are not in there?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, I think that Joc's got some pretty drastic splits and Cody does, as well. And I think that Muncy, his at-bat quality, I like him in there today.

Q. You were with the Red Sox when this whole thing started. And now three World Series championships, they're in their fourth. Is this as good, if not the best, Red Sox club of these four teams?
DAVE ROBERTS: It's up there. It's up there. You look at starting pitching, I like the starting pitching we had in 2004. But offensively very balanced, very athletic. Probably more athletic than the teams that I remember as far as on the defense, considerably better defensively. The base-running, the threat to steal a base, up and down the lineup. The bullpen strength and the arms, that's real. So very comparable, they're very good teams. You don't win 108 games in that division, that league, in this day and age unless you're a pretty good club. And Alex, the coaching staff, they've done a great job.

Q. How are you handling all the criticism? There's been a lot of it today, including from the White House. How do you handle all of that?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think it's more of doing what you believe in and trusting it, and knowing that you have the player's best interests in mind and the team. And so I think that there's a lot of thoughts and opinions that people don't have all the information, which is commonplace these days and cultivate opinions and give out there. So I think for me it's noise and I really haven't paid too much attention to it. I've had a conversation with our players, which for me today is the most important thing, and which should be every day, the coaches. And I'm focused on winning today.

So I really don't have too much bandwidth to kind of really take in all the criticism. But it's part of it. I haven't really thought too much about it, I really haven't.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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