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October 4, 2019

Dave Martinez

Los Angeles, California - pregame 2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. As you were putting together the lineup tonight was offense maybe more of a priority than anything going with both Zim and Howie?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, I just like the matchup with the righties on Kersh tonight. Zim has a pretty good history on him. And definitely want to keep Howie's bat in the lineup.

Q. Because Doolittle hasn't pitched in a while could you potentially extend him on a night like tonight if need be to kind of bridge to the 9th inning?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, I mean part of the decision making was if we had the lead today, we have to throw him, get four outs out of him, then he could do it. So that was the big question. We got to use him and we got to use him in the right way. Being that we have a day off tomorrow, we can get him out there. And if he's pitching well maybe get five outs out of him. So we'll see.

Q. Ready to name a starter for tomorrow?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, Max Scherzer will be Game 3, yeah.

Q. Will Anibal be available out of the bullpen at all?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, he's available today.

Q. It's a little off the Series. Considering your background with Joe Maddon, have you talked to him and where do you think he's going to resurface? Do you think that with all these respected and experienced managers out there and so many jobs open that these guys are going to start to get jobs again?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, I think that Joe's definitely going to get a job again. Where he might end up, I mean there's a lot of good teams out there, so I'm sure he's going to interview for a couple of them. But he'll work again. These other guys, I hear Buck's name, Joe's name. I think these guys, yeah, I think they're, if they want to manage, they're going to be a lot of inquiries.

Q. And you were kind of in the wave of managers getting a first shot at it, like Davey Roberts too. So you kind of took advantage of the way the manager situation was going.
DAVE MARTINEZ: Well, yeah, I mean, you know, that's something I'm really grateful for the Nationals to give me the opportunity. I interviewed quite a few times and finally got a job with the Nationals and I greatly appreciate it. Hopefully it will continue, our relationship will continue to grow for many years, but right now I'm focused on today.

Q. Last night after the game you mentioned that it didn't seem like the guys were pressing. I think Trea said similar things also. Other than having conversations like you did and saying, just have fun, what else do you do in that situation? I know you're not bringing camels to the playoffs but are there tricks up your sleeve?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Why can't I do that?

Q. Are you bringing camels? What else can you do in that situation, other than just say have fun because it's easier said than done, I would think?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, they got to remember how we got here. My biggest thing is don't try to be a guy, be the guy, just be part of a guy, just be yourself. And that was my message to some of these guys earlier today, just, hey, just go out there and be who you are, don't try to do too much. But all 25 guys are going to participate at some point in time. Just be ready and just do the best you can. That's all that you can do. These guys, the reason why we are here is because they played together as a team and it takes a whole team to win, it's not going to take just one individual, so they all just got to go out there and play their game.

Q. But is there anything that's not conversational, whether it's a song in the clubhouse or a gesture like a non-talk thing that happens?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No, I'm going to play them a little -- so I got a video today from the choir of the Washington Cathedral, and they played a song for me today, so I'm going to share it with the team. It's pretty cool. A bunch of kids, but, yeah, I'm going to let them listen to it. So maybe that will loosen them up a little bit. Big fans. They all had their Washington Nationals gear on. It's pretty cool.

Q. It's not Baby Shark is it?

Q. It's public?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah. Did you see it? Yeah, they sent it to me and I thought it was pretty awesome. So, yeah, so you guys saw it. Look, watch it. They did -- hey, they do want a name the megalodon shark at the museum, Parra. How about that? That was interesting. I got an e-mail about that, too, I said, well, you better let Parra know.

Q. My question pales in comparison now. But Victor Robles first complete season in the majors. Can you talk a little bit about how he grew this season. And we know about the defense but what the up side could be with the offense going forward?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, he's definitely matured in many ways. First and foremost, I really believe that he has a chance to win a Gold Glove. He's done unbelievable out in center field for us. As far as the hitting, everybody sees the raw talent that he has and I think the big key for him is -- and he's starting to learn the strike zone. And as he gets better at that you're only going to see him improve. The biggest thing -- one day I could see him hitting in the top of the order for us, so, but he's continuing to get better each and every day.

Q. When it comes to bullpen usage, how much rehearsing do you do before a game, how much discussion is there with the front office about situations and how you're going to deploy your guys, or is it more in the moment for you?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No, it's all -- well, a lot of it, I get stuff analytically brought to me before each series. And I start analyzing before each game. When I get their lineups I start seeing how we can use these guys on a daily basis. I got certain guys that can do all right against lefties, but just that one left-handed reliever, so we got to utilize those guys as well. So but these guys, look, I know our bullpen's had their struggles, but I say this all the time, those guys take the ball. I've asked them to do things and they have always took the ball and they have come through when we needed them. So they're a huge reason why we're where we're at and I got to continue to use them. I said this from the beginning, there's 25 guys on the roster, them included, so they're going to be used.

Q. It might be nitpicking a little bit because he's been so good all year, but the last few weeks is there anything you've seen in Rendon that maybe suggests why the production hasn't been quite the same?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Other than fact that he was dealing -- he was sick, he's been real sick, I think he's -- yeah, I think he's going to be okay, I really do. Yesterday he hit a, he lined out to right center field, which is a really good sign. For him he's got to utilize the whole field. Sometimes, I tell him sometimes that maybe he gets a little bit too cautious about trying to hit the ball to right field when the ball's middle in. Every now and then just go ahead and try to drive the ball to left field and get your sites out more in front of you than trying to hit the ball the other way. But he's the guy that makes our lineup go. I expect him to come out today and be the Anthony Rendon that we have seen in the past.

Q. Considering Stras is going on two days' rest here, what are some of the things you'll be looking for, early innings into the middle innings, that might indicate to you that he's definitely on or maybe things aren't quite as strong as usual?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, we're going to keep a close eye on him and just watch his mechanics. We'll see, if he's landing hard, that's a good indication that he might be getting tired. But I think that, like I said, I think he's ready to go, that's for sure. He feels good. So the mid innings is going to be where I tend to really like start figuring out where he's at. But we'll know. I'll know right away. Paul will know as well. If he is flying open, if he's started landing hard, then we need to really start paying attention to that.

Q. You guys are getting shifted a lot. This team shifts overshifts, how do you guard against kind of thinking too much about that as a hitter and I guess what's your message to guys when maybe they are getting three infielders on one side against them?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, I always tell them don't think about it. You can't guide the baseball, just go up there and hit it. They do their due diligence but just go you up there and take a good swing. I wish, you could say, hey, I can sit here, manipulate the ball to go somewhere. You think some hitters do but I really don't believe that they can. Just go up there and just put a good swing on the ball and wherever it goes, it goes.

Q. With Max, what did you learn about him on Tuesday in the progression? Do you think he can be Max Scherzer by the end of this?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Oh, there's no doubt in my mind. I mean, when he came out that first inning last time and was throwing 99, I got worried, because you don't typically see that from him. And every one of his pitches was 4 miles an hour harder than what he typically he throws, and I thought, man, we really need to get him to just slow it down, calm down. As game went on, he did that and he started pitching a lot better. So I think he actually learned something about where he needs to be coming out the first inning and getting through that first inning.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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