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October 13, 2019

Dave Martinez

Washington D.C. - Workout Day

Q. Just wanted to ask about Victor, where he's at right now. Is he doing anything today as far as running baseball activities? And are you expecting him to be ready tomorrow night?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We're going to run him a little bit today. He's got to get some treatment, and then we'll say tomorrow he'll participate in BP and do a little bit more running, and we'll see where we're at tomorrow.

I'm not going to anticipate anything until he comes in tomorrow, but he's progressing, and hopefully he'll be ready tomorrow.

Q. Hey, Dave. I didn't get a chance to ask you this after the game, but could you help me through the thinking with Patrick? Before the series, you kind of said, yeah, I won't. You might not use your starters kind of out of the pen for the longer series, and obviously, you got Patrick for the one out, but do you think maybe at some point in this series you might try to do it at home? Or what is your thought process at that point?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yesterday, he was scheduled to throw a bullpen. Obviously, he's pitching Game 4, so we had discussions before the game with him if he wanted to just hold back in case we needed him. It so happens he was able to get an out for us, but he was going to throw a side after the game.

So I just thought, just get him in the game and be done with it, and it was a great opportunity for him to face Wong right there.

Q. I guess why did you like that matchup as opposed to using Elias or some of the relievers that you have in the pen right now?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Like I said, he was available. Moving forward, Elias is going to have to get those big outs against the lefties here in the next couple days.

Q. Davey, when you are making decisions about who to bring in and who to bring out and making pitching changes, particularly in the postseason, how are you weighing analytics versus the moment versus kind of if it's a well-known guy, just his general reputation? We've seen different decisions made by some of the managers you've been playing, either leaving a starter in longer or bringing in someone from the bullpen who's a big name or whatever. How is that process for you in the postseason for you if it's any different than the regular season?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, there's a variety of factors that go in. Perfect example, with Sanchez, who's thrown a no-hitter, gives up a hit, who could have probably pitched a little longer, but the fact that he'd had over 100 pitches, I thought that was perfect. He got us to the eighth inning. We had Doolittle that was fresh, and I thought that was perfect.

Yeah, a lot of things go into factor -- matchups, analytical numbers, all kinds of different things that we look at, and we try to match up our pitchers with their hitters as best as possible.

Q. Do you ever feel like -- or how often do you, if you do this -- do you ever feel like just your instinct or your thought in the moment overrides the math and you make a decision that way?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Well, people -- what I try to do is measure in the human factor, as well. Numbers can't indicate that sometimes. So if a guy's throwing the ball really well, if he feels good, I mean, that, to me, matters a lot. So I use that, as well.

Q. With the starters you guys have had, between Max, Strasburg, Corbin, Sanchez, Doolittle, Hundson and Tanner Rainey, those guys recorded all of your outs in the postseason so far. What does it mean to be able to rely on those guys so much? And how long can you rely on such a small group of pitchers in, potentially, a seven-game series?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Everything starts with our starting pitchers. When they start the game, you try to see how long they can go. Fortunately, we're built -- this team's built around our starting pitching, and they've been pitching really well. I'm hoping that this continues, but there might become a moment where somebody goes five or six innings and we have to do something else. When that happens, we'll have the matchups ready for the in-game decisions.

Q. Quick follow-up on Victor. If he's healthy, how tough is the decision given how well Michael A. Taylor has been playing? If Victor is healthy, what are you doing in centerfield?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Victor has been in centerfield all year, and he's played really well for us. When he's healthy, he'll get a chance to play. But like I said before, we want him to be at 100 percent. So until then, we'll see what happens here in the next day or so.

Q. When Noll's involved in the playoffs, sort of like Asdrubal Cabrera, what do you say to them, or what do you want to see from him to kind of stay ready, given his new role, and to be ready when you need him?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He's a constant professional. We talked, and I explained to him what's going on. He's always ready. Same thing with Matty yesterday. He hasn't gotten many at-bats, and he stayed ready and came up with a big hit for us yesterday.

These guys know what's at stake. They know their role. And when they're called upon, I know they're going to be ready.

Q. Is there anything specific, I guess, in pinch-hitting that you like to see or am I over thinking it?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, like I said, these guys are prepared. I know, when they come in, they have a game plan of who they're going to face. At times, you often, as a pinch hitter, you've got to be ready, and you've got to be aggressive early in the count.

Q. Davey, little things seem to affect Strasburg in the past, whether it was the temperature, the mound, things like that, but it seems like this season, he doesn't let the pressure in the moment get to him very much this season. That last game against the Dodgers, he allowed three early in what was the biggest game of the season, but he didn't fold. How and why is he able to do that this season, or have you seen him build up to that?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, he's been awesome. I mean, the biggest thing for him is what we always talk about is to control the controllables. Some things, he can't control. Just worry about getting outs and getting to the next pitch. The biggest thing with him this year is getting to the next pitch and focusing on just getting outs.

Q. I know you're obviously locked in on getting these next two wins, but in the bigger picture, it's been a pretty eventful year. What has just pleased you the most about your team and to get to this point?
DAVE MARTINEZ: For me, it's the fact that they never gave up. They never feel like they're out of any game. They pulled together. When things are going bad, there was no pointing fingers. They stayed -- everything stayed amongst us in the clubhouse, and they matured as a team. I mean, this is about the closest unit I've ever seen, and they're having fun right now, and it's been great.

I think the message here that we sent is they're not worried about the series. They're worried about just playing one game tomorrow and then going from there.

Q. And just as a follow-up, how about you personally? How has it been for you this season?
DAVE MARTINEZ: It's been a little wild, but it's been a lot of fun. Like I said, I believed in these guys. I never gave up on them. We've had a lot of fun together. I had some health issues. Thank God, I'm cleared of all that, and here we are today, getting ready to play Game 3 of the Championship Series.

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