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October 7, 2019

Dave Roberts

Washington, D.C. - postgame 4

Nationals - 6, Dodgers - 1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What did, the what was the problem with Rich Hill that he couldn't get through that third inning and what did that do to your bullpen plan the rest of the game?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, I think that Rich all night the depth of the curveball, it just wasn't quite there. I think that the curveball was up all night and the finish wasn't quite there. Obviously there was a walk in there, obviously, that hurt. And you get Strasburg -- or Scherzer and then the block base hit. So one of those things right there. He competed and I think to get out of that inning with one run and to get Kenta right there in that spot to get Kendrick was big. And to finish three innings and to be knotted up at 1 was a good spot for us with six innings to play. But I think tonight it was just one of those that the breaking ball command just didn't have that sharpness.

Q. Could you go through your thought process going there with Julio and then after that with Pedro?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, obviously you've got considered usage, recent usage with Kenta and going multiples yesterday, and to get him to go one plus again tonight, loved him right there. And now you're talking about Julio, you're trying to get one inning out of. In that part of the order, handedness doesn't matter, we used Julio in that situation before. So to, yeah, hit for Kenta right there with Pollock and then tap Julio in a spot that you like versus left and versus right. And at that point in time I don't think he had that command tonight, to be quite honest.

There were balls that were just missing arm side and got behind a turner and yanked it in there. So I think Howie tried to get in there on him and the base hit, and so right there for me I just felt that Pedro was a better matchup considering where he was at as far as freshness and I just liked him in that spot, I really did. So the thought was for Pedro to continue to get out of it and continue on and got ahead of him, 97 above the zone, and Zim put a really good swing on it. So it's something that the result certainly wasn't what we would have hoped for but as far as kind of the process, I loved it.

Q. Clayton Kershaw was stirring early. Can you share what scenario would have brought him into the game? And also the fact that you did not use him in that game, how it sets you up for Game 5.
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, obviously this game Clayton was available and it was more of a situation 7th, 8th, 6th, 7th, 8th, potentially 9th inning tied or with the lead. And so obviously the game got away from us and so now to preserve him and to have him ready to go, whatever we need from him, for Game 5, is certainly a good thing to be piggybacked at some point with Walker. That's kind of the thought.

Q. You head back home for Game 5. You have to be comfortable with that, but also from a baseball standpoint and a fan standpoint that pitching matchup is going to be marquee.
DAVE ROBERTS: Oh, Game 5, win or go home, Buehler, Strasburg, it's, those guys are premier pitchers in this league. And to get them at our place, we have just seen Strasburg recently and obviously he had his way with us so we're going to have to make adjustments. And I'm sure he's going to either do what he's been doing or make adjustments and we got to kind of -- I like the familiarity, the recent familiarity. There's going to be 45,000 fans there, but, yeah, as a fan, as a player, you live for moments like this.

Q. Just your impressions of Scherzer tonight.
DAVE ROBERTS: You know, you just can't say enough about him. You can't say enough about his compete. He just sort of wills his way to getting outs. And, obviously, in that first inning we put up a run and with the homer and from that point on he just, yeah, he minimizes damage, he punches a lot of guys, and yeah, I just can't see anybody better, really. And so I guess the one solace is we don't need to see him in Game 5.

Q. Did the weather play any role for you in that game, particularly the wind and the way it knocked down some balls?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, I mean, no, I mean, it's obviously it works both ways. Zim got his ball. Wind picked up seemed like after that. I thought Seager hit a ball really well. Muncy hit a ball really well. But that's, there's nothing you can do about that. We got beat tonight.

Q. You'll have Kershaw available for Game 5. Would you expect Ryu also if you need him?
DAVE ROBERTS: I think that, yeah, I mean, I'm sure he would be available. But I think that if you're talking about, obviously, Kershaw, Jansen, Kelly, and so -- Kolarek, but I think that, yes, Hyun-jin I'm sure will be available, but we'll see what happens.

Q. Did you initially think that that ball down the line that Joc hit was fair?
DAVE ROBERTS: I did. I thought that typically when you get bead in on a ball it pretty much stays true. Maybe the wind kind of was blowing it a little bit, pushed it a little bit foul, but I mean it was a matter of inches. And that could have obviously flipped the inning, and you never know what would have happened. But, shoot, Max threw the heck out of the baseball tonight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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