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October 9, 2019

Dave Martinez

Los Angeles - postgame 5

Nationals - 7, Dodgers - 3

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What a series for Howie Kendrick just starting the way it did and then ending the way it did. Just what did you see from him this series and how did you feel for him seeing him come through in that big moment?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Oh, he was -- look, what I know from Howie is he's going to give me everything he has. It may not always be good, but at the end of the day I know what I'm going to get and I couldn't be more proud of him just staying in the moment. Things happen in this game, but we worked really hard at keeping him healthy all year to get him here today. I'm so proud of him. I mean, huge, huge moment for him and for this team.

Q. We just drilled Dave Roberts here about the pitching choices. At the end of this game, for yourself, were you surprised by any of that, whether it's Kershaw coming out to face Rendon, Kelly pitching the second inning, the intentional walk to Soto, did any of that sort of counter what you were expecting?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No, you know, they have their way of doing things. And I've always said my focus is is what we need to do and try to stay ahead of the game. That's all can you do. He felt like Kelly was the guy right there. So I was just trying to get the guys to keep playing hard and they did that.

Q. What were you doing in this series that was so successful against Kershaw?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Just really was trying to get the ball up on him. He's an unbelievable pitcher and we just need to be patient and just see the ball up in the strike zone.

Q. How do you compare him to his great days? Does he have as much velocity, does he move the ball around as much? You guys were sitting on pitches high in the zone.
DAVE MARTINEZ: Hey, he's still a great pitcher and very competitive. His VELO isn't what it used to be, but he knows how to pitch and that's why he's so successful.

Q. How relieved were you to see Walker Buehler come out of this game?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He's really good. He's going to be good for a long time. His stuff was nasty. You can only talk to the hitters about so much, but when he's throwing his secondary pitches over for strikes, he's tough. He did that tonight. He was filthy.

Q. Here's two more for you: Number one, it's the first time that this franchise has been in the NLCS since the 1981 Expos. How excited are you for everything that you've been through and the history of the team in Washington?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I'm really excited, one, for the boys in that clubhouse that fought all year. As you all know, we were 19-31 at one point and turned this thing around. So I've said this all year long, that these guys, this group is resilient, they won't quit until the last out, and they play hard every single day.

As far as this franchise, I couldn't be prouder to be a part of this franchise. For the fans who showed up through all those miserable days that we had early, hey, thank you, appreciate it. And, yeah, we're playing for a National League championship. A lot of fun.

Q. Secondly, on Strasburg, after he had the shaky first inning, was it just the residue of him collecting himself and settling down, how great he is, to be able to pitch the way he did the rest of the way?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Oh, he was phenomenal and he did settle down. And after that first inning I saw a guy that just said, you know what, I'm just going to go out there and control the game, and did he that. He threw up four zeros for us and kept us in the game and that's what we needed.

Let's not forget our bullpen. Our bullpen came in today, after putting Corbin in, after he struggled coming in, in relief last time he came out and shut them down, Rainey coming in and getting two big outs for us. And then Huddie and Doo have been unbelievable for us down the stretch, and they come in and shut what I believe is one of the best hitting teams in the game over there. Those guys can hit. They hit all year long and they did a great job.

Q. Two more for you: Were you at all hesitant to go to Corbin, just after how he looked in Game 3? And how close was Max Scherzer to coming in to this game?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No, we didn't want Max pitching at all. But I did tell Corbin he's going to have to pitch at some point, I really felt that. And I just was trying to pick the moment that we needed to put him in and we did that.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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