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October 27, 2019

Dave Martinez

Washington, D.C. - pregame 5

DAVE MARTINEZ: Before we get started, I want everybody to know that Max will not start today. He had -- yesterday he had a little bit of spasms in his right trap and neck. They treated it. He woke up today a lot worse.

So Joe Ross will start today.

Q. When you found out that Max was hurting, what were some of the things that you guys tried to do to help him overnight before it got worse?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He was in there with the training staff, getting all kinds of treatment. Tried to put him -- did all kinds of stuff. And today was just -- he woke up, right away texted Paul and said that he was really hurting.

And if you all know Max, obviously he pitched with a broken nose, he's been hurt before, he's gotten through things. When he comes in and says he's hurt this bad, he's hurt.

And I can tell you now he's very upset. He wants to be out there with his teammates. But hopefully we can get him back here for either Game 6 or 7.

Q. Is this any corollary to the back stuff that he had earlier?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Nothing. It's something totally different. It's in his upper trap and neck.

Q. Were there any signs? Did he deal with this at all during the season?
DAVE MARTINEZ: This is something that, like I said, he came in yesterday and felt it a little bit and had these little spasms. Today he woke up and it was a lot worse.

Q. At that time when you found out yesterday, were you worried about his status for tonight's start?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Obviously. It's his right side. The reason being, yesterday I didn't use Joe and some of the other guys in preparation in case this would have happened. And hoping that he'd wake up today and felt a lot better. He didn't.

Q. Have you decided yet if you're keeping him on the roster?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Absolutely, yeah. We're going to keep him on the roster. If this gets better in the next 24 to 48 hours, being that we have a day off tomorrow, hopefully he'll be available to pitch one of those two games.

Q. What is the plan with Joe today? Is he starting the game as if he's a starter, is he sort of opening?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He's starting the game. We're going to let him go as much as he can go.

Q. So then if it's going to be Joe today and then, say, Max potentially can get better overnight with a day rest with treatment, are you still committed to starting Stephen on Tuesday or could Max slide in there now?
DAVE MARTINEZ: As of right now, I mean, I would leave Stephen starting Game 6 and if need be, depending on where we're at, if Max could come in out of relief, he comes in. If we go to Game 7, Max starts Game 7.

Q. What's Kurt Suzuki's status right now?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He's better today. Yesterday he came up to me towards the end of the game, told me he could pinch-hit. I thought with Joe starting, let Yan catch, give him another day and with an off day tomorrow he should be ready to go Game 6.

Q. Did something specific happen with Max, an incident or anything?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Nothing. He said he woke up like that yesterday. And like I said, he spent all day getting treatment. And today he just locked up. Just spasm, neck's jacked up. He was just -- he was in a bad place.

Like I said, he's really upset about it. I've never seen -- believe me, I've never seen Max this quiet. He's very quiet.

Q. Is the president coming to the game tonight an additional distraction for your team? Does your team want him here?
DAVE MARTINEZ: You know what, he's coming to the game. He's a fan. Hopefully he cheers for the Washington Nationals, and I hope he enjoys the game.

Q. Does your team want him here?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We haven't really talked about it. We're focused in on playing baseball.

Q. What is your message to your team now that Max can't go? Obviously they felt a lot of comfort having him on the mound in what is a crucial game today.
DAVE MARTINEZ: I went around and talked to a bunch of the boys and explained what was going on. They were all upbeat. They said, Hey, every one of them said, we got this. We'll pick him up. We've got Joe on the mound and we'll get them. And hopefully he comes back and helps us Game 6 or 7.

Q. This seems more relevant now, you guys all postseason, your bullpen has held its own despite all the questions about it. How do you think you've been able to navigate this postseason without the bullpen really presenting any problems for you guys?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I mean, the bullpen has actually been good. Look, I went home last night and kind of, like I do every night, assess every game what's going on. We're tied in a series 2-2. Both teams have scored 19 runs. I said, We're pretty even, you know?

So we've just got to go out there today and play good, clean baseball. In hopes that Joe could go out there and give us four, five, six innings, and we go from there.

Q. What is a realistic hope for you for Joe?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We're going to let him go as much as he can. I'm assuming he can get up to that 75-, 80-pitch mark.

Q. Obviously like you're saying, it has to be really severe for Max Scherzer to miss a World Series start. Did he try to throw? Is he going to be in uniform? Is he going to be able to travel with you? How severe is this?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, he's in the clubhouse now. He's going to get treatment. He's going to do everything he can to try to get ready.

For Max to miss a game, especially a significant game like this, he's got to be really hurting. So hopefully, like I said, within the next 24 hours, as he starts getting better, we start seeing signs of him getting better and then we'll go from there.

Q. Obviously it's decorum to call the other manager and tell him this. What time did you call AJ and what did you say and what did he say?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I had other meetings to do before this. I had Chip just relay the message that it's going to be somebody else starting, and he did that. So he knew about a half hour ago.

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