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October 9, 2019

Justin Turner

Los Angeles, California - pregame 5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You guys have been in situations before in which you've dealt with adversity, back against the wall, whatever cliché you want to use. Do you as the captain of this team have a conversation with the guys or do you feel that everyone is pretty much player managed coached?
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, I think everyone knows what's at stake, knows what's in front of us. A lot of guys have been in this situation before and so you just get prepared and go out there and play the game.

Q. So being in the fifth and deciding game really doesn't surprise you at all, considering the competition.
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, I don't think anything can surprise you in the playoffs. Every team at this point of the year is a good baseball team or they wouldn't be here. So it doesn't matter what the records are, what the numbers say, you still got to go out and play the game. So that's a team over there that is really talented and they want the same thing we want. So just got to embrace it and be in the moment and go out there and play the game and put the pressure on them.

Q. So really the series on their side came down to, so far, Strasburg and Scherzer. What are you guys working on today that you can divulge to get to Strasburg a little early, to get him out of the game?
JUSTIN TURNER: I don't think we are reinventing anything in there. We have got a lot of guys that have played really well all year long, and you just go into it, you know how he attacked you last time and you put together a game plan and you try to execute better. I think the biggest thing for us tonight is trying to keep him in the zone.

Q. You guys have prided yourself on play discipline, staying in the strike zone. It seemed like in that Game 2 there were a lot of swings and misses of stuff outside of the strike zone. Is there an adjustment that this team can make as you guys get ready for tonight?
JUSTIN TURNER: Yeah, you said it, just stay in the zone. Make him throw the ball over the plate and when he, or when pitchers have thrown the ball over the plate we have had a lot of success this year. So don't know what he's going to do. Anticipate that he's probably going to throw a lot of breaking balls and changeups like he did last time and we're going to do a better job tonight of staying in the zone and trying to get the ball up.

Q. You've talked at length about the confidence that Walker Buehler has when he takes the ball. But he also has the stuff to back up that confidence. As a teammate, how do you guys feel in terms of the confidence when he takes the ball for a game like this?
JUSTIN TURNER: We're confident in all our guys. So obviously, Walker's pitched in a lot of big games already in his career and he's had a lot of success, so I know he's ready, he's prepared, he lives for moments like these and we're excited that he has the ball.

Q. The first four games on both sides, veterans have had a big impact on these games. When all this is dissected, how much do you feel like the experience factor is a big part of whoever wins this series today?
JUSTIN TURNER: I'm not sure about that. I think we have a lot of guys with a lot of postseason experience, so it's hard to kind of point out who is the veteran and who is not. Belli's been here a lot, Seager has been a lot of these, Joc's been in a lot of these. So we have a lot of postseason experience, but again, that experience doesn't mean anything, you got to go out and play. So we're excited, we're ready, we're prepared and it should be a fun night.

Q. Piggybacking on that question about playing in a winner-take-all game. I'm wondering as you've played in more as an individual, how is your routine or process getting ready evolved?
JUSTIN TURNER: It's the same, really. You go about it the same way. You get in the cage, you do your work, you go through batting practice and do your routines. And when you walk out to the on-deck circle and to the box, you do your same routine. You don't change anything just because it's a Game 5. You go about it the same to give yourself the best opportunity to have success.

Q. What -- you hit on this a little bit but what is the particular challenge facing Strasburg in any given at-bat?
JUSTIN TURNER: I mean, he's got three good pitches. He's got a good fastball. And the breaking ball that, he does a good job of commanding, throwing it for strikes when he wants to throw it for a strike and throwing it for a ball when he wants to throw it for a ball. Maybe more so against the lefties, even though he does throw it against the righty, he's got that good changeup.

So again, the key to him is -- the key to any pitcher, really, is making them throw strikes. No matter how good they are, if you get them in the zone you have a better chance to have success and that's what we're going to focus on tonight.

Q. All things being equal, do you find it preferable to have that first series go the distance before advancing to the next series, just so you are playing regularly, so there's not this big gap between the end of the first series and the beginning of the second?
JUSTIN TURNER: I think preferably it would have been nice to just win three in a row and not have to worry about this. But, no, that's the beauty of baseball, that's the beauty of the postseason, and these series, seems like they're mapped out these ways for a reason. And as you can see, there's three of the four series are going to a Game 5 and it's an exciting time for baseball.

Q. Is there part of your day today where you do not think about this game? And whatever your answer is, I'm curious if the greater effort is to keep it in your head or to push it out of your head for period of time?
JUSTIN TURNER: I think it would be easier if it was like Sunday and there was football on and every TV in the clubhouse wasn't on some analyst trying to predict what was going to happen tonight instead of just letting the game happen and then reporting about it afterwards. So I think we have men's gymnastics on in the clubhouse right now, so, yeah.

Q. Physically how demanding and challenging has it been to keep getting on the field this year for you personally?
JUSTIN TURNER: I felt pretty good all year. I know, I haven't been on the injured list this year, which I've spent a lot of time on in my career. But I have had some stretches where I've been dealing with some things and it wasn't necessarily big enough to where I had to miss. And in September I was fortunate enough that the rosters were already expanded, so didn't have to go on there.

But I think it's just one of those things that the older you get the stuff happens. And you have aches and you have bumps and bruises and it's not quite as easy to just shake it off and get out there. So I'm happy with how much I've been on the field. I feel good right now. I'm excited and ready to go for this Game 5.

Q. In regards to Strasburg, you guys have seen him, obviously, this series and previously. Where for you or how for you does he stack up with the best in the National League?
JUSTIN TURNER: I mean, yeah, he's a really good pitcher. But it's the postseason, everyone we face, every guy that gets ran out there is a really good pitcher, that's why their teams are in the postseason. So, obviously, Stras, if you look at his postseason numbers, they're pretty good so far. And he's probably got a lot of baseball ahead of him. But our goal and our job is to put a dent in those numbers.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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