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October 26, 2019

Dave Martinez

Washington, D.C. - pregame 4

Q. How is Kurt doing and what's his availability like?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He had an MRI this afternoon and I wait on the doctor to see what the results were. He says he feels okay. But until we see those results, we'll know more after.

Q. What kind of balance do you have to make with the World Series of deciding to keep him on the roster or not? How fine a line is that?
DAVE MARTINEZ: That's something we're going to talk about with him and the doctor and Paul Lessard and see where we're at. Obviously we need a backup catcher. If he's not going to be able to play for a few days, we're going to have to do something else.

Q. What adjustments are you guys planning on making from yesterday's game to today's game to try to take home and make the series 3-1?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We need to -- we left a lot of runners stranded yesterday. We need to be aggressive, but aggressive in the strike zone. We chased a lot of balls outside the strike zone yesterday. And I don't mind our guys being aggressive, but I want them to be aggressive in the strike zone today.

We were one or two big hits away from blowing that game open, so hopefully we get those today.

Q. With Max last time, they obviously are disciplined in laying off stuff that doesn't end up being a strike. Does he have to let his stuff play in the zone a little bit more because they're pretty good at laying off stuff?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, when we talked about this coming into the series, that they don't chase. So we've got to attack the strike zone, we really do, and let them make good pitches. They're going to swing, as well. If the ball is over the plate, they'll swing. But we've got to stay in the strike zone, especially early in the count, and get ahead.

Q. Back to Kurt, if you get to a point tonight and you have to decide something and there's a question of maybe he's available tomorrow but you're not entirely sure, would you be willing to go into a game tonight not knowing that or do you need to know by tonight that he is good to go?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, that's going to be, like I said, I want a definitive today. I mean, we have to. So if we deem that he can't be ready for a couple of days then we're going to have to do something. If he's just borderline -- but we'll see.

The last I spoke to him, he doesn't feel as bad as he did yesterday. So that's a good sign. But until I actually hear from the doctor and Paul and see what the results were, I can't say at this point how long he's going to be out.

Q. What is the biggest challenge of facing Urquidy today in a possible bullpen game?
DAVE MARTINEZ: One, we haven't seen him. This is the first time we're going to see him. And when you face a guy for the first time, like I said, I like for our guys to be aggressive. We've got a bunch of aggressive hitters, but we've got to get the ball in the strike zone and we've got to see pitches.

I think we want to get off early. I tell these guys all the time, Hey, scoring first in these big games like this, it's important. But let's get the ball in the strike zone, let them work a little bit, and we'll go from there and see how he does.

Q. You don't want to lose any of these games but last night you didn't have to use your A bullpen. And you did get some good innings from guys that hadn't pitched in a while. Is there kind of a double good part to that in that you've got Doo and Hudson fresh and you learned something about Ross and those other guys?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Absolutely. Those guys came in, we talked about this last night. They did a great job, they really did, from Rodney to Ross, all of them. They all came in and did. The fact we didn't have to use Doo or Huddie, even though we were prepared to, they're fresh today.

But I liked what Joe did. And Rodney has had two really good appearances for us. I like him. And even Suero came in and threw the ball really well.

We're in a good position. My concern, obviously, is Pat, hopefully Pat could keep us in the game and go deep in the game, and our bullpen will be ready to go.

Q. Last night with a guy that lives at the bottom of the zone and for a team like Houston that doesn't chase a lot, how do you work the umpires in a situation like that knowing you have to have the bottom of the zone for a guy like Sánchez to be effective and maybe for Corbin tonight?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, for me, Sánchie did a really good job of actually staying in the moment. Some of those calls he thought were questionable, but he didn't let them affect him. So he pitched well.

But sometimes you need those pitches. He knows that. But he pitched through it, and I thought he did really well and I thought he handled himself really well.

Q. When you guys got Corbin you already had two aces and obviously you stepped out to get another one. What was the importance of doing that? What was like the thought process behind extending yourselves to get a guy like that?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, one, he was left-handed and that helped a lot. But to get a guy like -- he's put together some pretty good years in the past. To bring another guy there that we did our due diligence and our background on what kind of person he was and what he meant to his organization, Arizona, and he fit.

But that being said he's been everything as advertised. He's been unbelievable. He competes every day. He wants to go in. All he wants to do is win. He's kind of a quiet guy, another one of those guys that don't really have much of a heartbeat until he's out on the mound and then he gets fired up.

Man, he's done unbelievable for us this year and he's continued throughout the postseason. Here's a guy I asked to pitch out of the bullpen, with no questions asked said, I'll do whatever it takes for the team. That's who he is.

Q. When you guys are potentially going to face five, six different arms in a bullpen-type game, do you have to guard against giving too much information to hitters, in terms of scouting reports or do you mostly go with the starter and let them look at the relievers themselves? How do you approach that from a pregame preparation standpoint?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, we've got to recognize the guy we're facing first and, like I said, try to score early on him and then go from there.

For the most part we faced these guys already in the first three games, so I think they know what to expect. So we've just got to go out there and work good at-bats. And we typically are good about doing that. We've just got to go out there and, like I said, play our game.

Q. Max is going to get to navigate this lineup again tomorrow, obviously that was a pretty good cat-and-mouse game the first time around. What do you expect from the mental approach and cerebral side of Max that going into this might work out pretty well for him?
DAVE MARTINEZ: After the first game, he's already sat down and kind of mapped out his game plan for his next game. So as you know Max, he's all in. He's got a plan. Hopefully Suzuki can catch him. If not, then Gomes does a great job with him as well, and he's caught it before. They'll have a plan going into tomorrow.

Q. Last night down 4-1 the fans are basically out of the game. All of a sudden you bring power off the bench and everybody standing and cheering and doing the shark thing. Were those things you thought about when you thought about who was your first pinch-hitter?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Honestly this particular time, no. I really wanted him to get on base (laughter).

It's awesome, you know? What's funny is that as everything was going, we were in the moment, I look in the other dugout and I can see those guys over there laughing. And everybody is doing -- I was waiting to catch one guy in their dugout trying to do the Parra shark. I didn't see it, though.

Q. Last night was a rather lengthy nine-inning game. Is there anything you think should or could be done about having four-hour games like that?
DAVE MARTINEZ: You know what, we're in the World Series. I mean -- I know a lot of it has to do with TV, commercials, and things of that nature. We've got a three-minute in between -- three-minute in between innings time. So it is what it is.

Unfortunately, I said this before, I can't drink caffeine anymore, but a couple cups of coffee would have done wonders for me during the game yesterday.

Q. You guys had trouble at times early in this season with bullpen games. Does being in a series like this, seeing the relievers, does that change the dynamics for you, when you think about preparing for this?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah. Like I said, we've seen these guys for the most part for three games now. Getting a chance to actually see them and face them, it helps a lot.

So I'm assuming today we'll be a little better off knowing what to expect when these guys come in.

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