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October 7, 2019

Max Scherzer

Ryan Zimmerman

Washington, D.C. - postgame 4

Nationals - 6, Dodgers - 1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Ryan, you've seen it all here. When you come to the plate in the 5th what's going through your mind?
RYAN ZIMMERMAN: I think same thing every time I come to the plate, you're just trying to do something to move the line, trying to do something positive. Honestly, not trying to do too much. I think it's a tough team, it's hard to string together at-bats and hits and, yeah, honestly, I mean, just trying to hit the ball hard and not trying to do too much.

Q. Max in the 7th, how were you feeling physically, what was the conversation with Menhart there?
MAX SCHERZER: I was just gassed. I was out. I was empty in the tank, giving everything I got. I could feel my arm slot was lowering because I was fatiguing and it just becomes a mental grind of you got to, in that moment, just collect yourself and just if your arm slot is dropping just focus on what you can do and try to execute pitches.

I caught a break with Pederson, that ball's an inch foul, it could have been an inch fair. But thankfully it was foul and I was able to execute a changeup and was able to get out of a big situation.

Q. Early on it seemed like you were down a little bit, 95, 96, but throwing a lot of strikes. Is that sort of intentional understanding that you've got to get deeper in the game tonight?
MAX SCHERZER: Yeah, I knew I needed to make a full-on start. There's been times, like I know there's times in the regular season where you're not fresh, where you come into a game and you got to conserve where you're at. Try to almost pitch more and today was kind of one those days, given that I pitched in Game 2. But I knew I could still pitch, I knew I had all the pitches working and was just trusting Zuk. Just back there, whatever he was putting down I was willing to just execute and just stay within our game plan.

Q. Zim, your contract's expiring and this could be your last game before a home crowd. Did you have any extra oomph at your at-bats, especially with the home run and a single right afterwards?
RYAN ZIMMERMAN: There's been a lot of people that think these are my last games.

MAX SCHERZER: I really don't think these are his last games. All of you think it's his last games.

RYAN ZIMMERMAN: The last home game they tried to give me like a standing ovation, I mean, I feel good. I think that we got plenty to go. But I mean, other than that, I think any time you play at home, especially postseason games, that's why you play the game. This is what you live for and, obviously, the game's here. But then even almost more so going to LA for Game 5 and Walker Buehler versus Stephen Strasburg with Kershaw probably available in the pen, I mean, this is why you play the game. This is what we live for.

Q. Could you describe the feeling first of hitting that home run and then when you're rounding first base and celebrating just kind of what that's like?
RYAN ZIMMERMAN: No, I don't think so. It's hard to explain that kind of stuff. Same thing I'm sure that he felt when he got out of that jam in the 7th inning, that's why sports are special, you can't replicate it, that's why you work so hard during the season, off season for times like that. And you fail a lot in those times as well, so I think when you do succeed and the team succeeds, you take some time to cherish that a little bit.

Q. Really for either or both of you. With your performances tonight, Howie's couple hits, Doolittle, Hudson in the bullpen, seems like this team places a priority in experience in a sport that now places a priority on youth. How did that show up in the game tonight and do you think other teams might learn something from it?
MAX SCHERZER: Yeah, we could joke about that. We're a bunch of viejos, we're old guys. Old guys can still do it.

RYAN ZIMMERMAN: Yeah, nice way to say veterans.

MAX SCHERZER: I feel young and I'm older than you.

RYAN ZIMMERMAN: Yeah, I think that, you know, we have a good mix. We do have an old team, whatever you want to call it, but I think we also feed off the young guys that we have and they feed off us, asking this guy about pitching, asking me about other things. Yeah, I mean it's a good mix, it's a good mix of guys and at the end of the day we just go out there and, honestly, all we're doing is trying to win each game and no different tonight.

Q. You've been teammates with him for five years now. It's a little awkward with him sitting right there, but what did you learn about what he's meant to this franchise and you can leave if you want.
MAX SCHERZER: He's the face of the franchise. He's been here the whole time, he's given everything to this organization, from the beginning to end, seeing through the good times, bad times, and in good times. And we just believe that we got some mojo and that we can win. We just believe in this clubhouse, what we have here, what we built here, and we have talked about it, that we just have it factor and we just know we got 25 guys that are going to lay it on the line every single time for each other and that's hard to replicate.

Q. Over the years you hit a few to the batter's eye, but when you're locked in you also go opposite field a lot, did you worry when you put a swing on it, and it was a good swing that would get in the wind, get knocked down?
RYAN ZIMMERMAN: Yeah, I mean I know I hit it really good, but I hit it pretty high. I think that that's one of those where you kind of watch the center fielder, I was watching Belli go and he kept running and running and once he started speeding up, you kind of get a little bit better feeling. But like I said, at this point you're just trying to hit the ball hard, you're just trying to barrel it up and not try and do too much and, yeah, got on top of one of those high fastballs finally.

Q. Max, any chance we see you in Game 5?
MAX SCHERZER: I doubt it.


Q. Not doing that again?
MAX SCHERZER: No, I mean, my arm is hanging right now. That was, that, that pushed me all the way to the edge and then some. So, yeah, I can't imagine any scenario where I'm pitching.

Q. Ryan, I'm sure you don't think about this sort of thing in the moment, but having the perspective of the entire history of the Nationals, on good nights like this, on big nights, do you ever find yourself thinking about the old days at RFK stadium or the last place finishes, does your perspective ever go there you your mind like that?
RYAN ZIMMERMAN: No, I think we're so far past that now. I think it's kind of made me who I am. A lot of these guys didn't even ever go through that kind of stuff. So I think we're -- and it's a good thing, we're moved on to we're expected to make the playoffs every year, we're expected to compete. We have an ownership group that puts a competitive team on the field every year, which we're very thankful for.

But I think that as far as me personally thinking back, maybe sometimes, but I think I'm pretty far past that and, like, most of the guys on this team are, maybe have never even experienced it, so I think it's a good thing that we don't think about that. We're expected to win every year, make, if you don't make the playoffs it's a disappointment. And we're going to give it our best shot again in a couple days to get past the first round.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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