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October 6, 2021

Paul Goldsmith

Harrison Bader

Tyler O'Neill

Los Angeles, California, USA

Dodger Stadium

St. Louis Cardinals

Pregame Press Conference

Q. Goldy, having played in these games, what's your feeling about the one-game Wild Card, and if you had a choice as you're collectively bargaining, would you want to expand the playoffs? Would you want to expand the series? What would you like to do?

PAUL GOLDSMITH: Honestly, I haven't thought about it. I just focus on tonight's game and just try and go win it. It's exciting, and I think the winner likes it more than the loser, of course.

But these games are usually pretty entertaining, and you never know what's going to happen with one game. There's no buildup like a normal five or seven-game series, so it's different, but it's fun, and hopefully we'll go out there and play well.

Q. How did you like the two out of three last year when the played against the Dodgers?

PAUL GOLDSMITH: It's kind of the same thing. It was a little different. You weren't really sure. Last year was such an anomaly with how the whole season went. You know, whatever they decide to do, we just go out there and try to play and hopefully win.

Q. Paul, you've been going through what Nolan is going through today. What's that feeling like in that first postseason game with a new club, and how excited are you all to see Nolan be part of that team?

PAUL GOLDSMITH: Yeah, it's exciting. That's what you want to do, whether it's with a new team or a team you've been with. That's why you play. That's why you train in the offseason. It's where your focus is the whole year is trying to give yourself a chance in the playoffs, and to get that opportunity is great, and hopefully we can take advantage of it and play well and get a win.

Q. How transformative was he all year in terms of setting up that defense the way that you guys wanted it and the way it's been all season?

PAUL GOLDSMITH: He was huge. He can do it on both sides of the ball which is why he's been such a great player. He made so many great plays on defense and drove in a lot of runs, had some big hits for us, and just was great for us all overall.

Q. When Mike Shildt was in here earlier he talked about the lineup construction and how he really liked the length of this lineup. Harrison, with you and Tyler's September surges that were really symbolic in that 17-game winning streak, how do you feel like going through the lineup will benefit you guys tonight?

HARRISON BADER: I mean, Shildty has had a -- run of good lineup out there. We had a lot of success in September like you mentioned. I think the lineup is very versatile and we have the ability to do a lot of things, whether it's play for a run or hit a home run, whatever it might be. I think the length, like you mentioned, will be beneficial for us tonight.

Q. Paul, what are you seeing from the lineup, how the lineup complements each other throughout the batting order?

PAUL GOLDSMITH: Yeah, I mean, we've talked a lot about it throughout the year, but I think one of the strengths is the depth of our team in all parts, our starting pitching, the bullpen and then of course the lineup, as well.

If we're going to win, it's going to take an effort, a good effort from all of us, and that's what it was all year. There wasn't one or two guys carrying us. There was big hits 1 through 9 throughout the lineup all trying to do our job, and that's what it'll take tonight, as well.

Q. Tyler, we talked to shortstop and the second baseman about the chemistry that they have and that they get by playing a lot. How do you play left field off of how Harrison plays center, and Harrison, how do you see those three guys working together?

TYLER O'NEILL: That's a good question. I think this is really the first year that we've been able to play together collectively, consistently, and, I mean, we're only going to get more comfortable out there, too.

We all trust our abilities. We're great outfielders out there and we're a great unit. We communicate well, hit the right bases, hit the cutoff man, do all the right things, so we're just going to keep doing that, keep training hard.

HARRISON BADER: Yeah, Tyler said it best. The unit, the word unit stands out. The most important thing is being each other's eyes, especially as an off outfielder, working together pre-pitch, understanding what our pitcher is giving to the batter, Yadi and everything.

Being a collective unit out there is really important. We have each other's backs to prevent extra-base hits when balls are hit in the gap. A unit like that working together, it's a pretty good force.

Q. Tyler, does that allow you to be a little bit more aggressive?

TYLER O'NEILL: For sure. Harry has got some of the best range I've ever seen off of center. I know I can shade a little more towards the line if I have to, especially in certain scenarios. It all depends on the hitter. We do our research and we've got good defense analytics to make sure we're in the right spot and stuff.

Just playing the game, reading swings, and trusting our instincts.

Q. Tyler, could you describe your approach and how you look at a matchup against Max Scherzer? Do you look at him as just a pitcher? Do you hold him in awe?

TYLER O'NEILL: Yeah, I mean, we're competitors, obviously, so we obviously know that Max is a good arm. We've got to bring our A game today. To stay on the plate is going to be key. Obviously getting a good pitch to hit is step one, so being able to execute a good swing off that is what's going to -- that's how we're going to try and do it today.

Q. Paul, you know very well Adam. How is he in this type of pressure extra games?


Q. Yes.

PAUL GOLDSMITH: Hopefully he'll be great. He's got a lot of experience doing it. Closed out the World Series, NCLS. He's been in every situation possible, so we'll definitely lean on him. He's carried us this year. He's been great.

We had a lot of times where we lost a few games in a row and he had stepped up and competed out there. You feel that as an offense, that he's out there, and you want to go out there and play well for him, play good D. He's great out there, and we're happy to have him on the mound.

Q. Paul, as someone who played in the NL West for as long as you did and played here as much as you did and had as much success here as you did, is that present in your mind for a game like this? Is that something you've talked about with Nolan?

PAUL GOLDSMITH: I mean, I think I have a lot of memories playing here. Some of them are good and some are bad. You don't know what's going to happen. Today is such a unique day, one-game playoff, Wild Card game. We're on different teams now, but I know the atmosphere here is going to be great.

There's going to be a ton of fans. It's going to be really loud. You even saw that with Boston and New York last night. It's really cool, and I think that's what we're excited for. That's what you want, to play those mundane games where there's maybe not many fans out there. This is a little easier to get ready for and something we enjoy, and the crowd is going to be loud. They're going to be part of the game and try to use that to our advantage.

Q. Paul, you've been taking some grounders with DeJong at first base. He said he's tried to soak up a little bit from you. How do you bridge a guy into his first regular call in a game like this?

PAUL GOLDSMITH: I don't know, I couldn't imagine being in that spot. I'm sure he's been playing well this year and preparing. I just remember getting called up. We were in the playoff race when I was in Arizona we were a couple games back of San Fran who was the defending champs and we actually got to play in the playoffs that year.

For me it was trying to do the same things I did in the Minor Leagues and not make the moment bigger than it is. I think those still hold true now even going from the regular season to the postseason, but it's even bigger as a rookie or a guy who hasn't even played in the Big Leagues, so I think that was a key and something I was just trying to work on every day was to just kind of continue what I had done in the Minor Leagues and not try to do something different and was able to have some success.

There's going to be struggles, too, because the guys are really good, the pitchers are good and stuff like that. I know he'll be prepared and be ready to go.

Q. Harrison, you mentioned the September that Paul had. Yesterday Nolan was in here and said it was like an MVP champ run for Paul. Can you describe what he's brought, especially when you guys were kind of looking for the identity of the team?

HARRISON BADER: Yeah, I know Goldy doesn't like stuff like this, so bear with me, Goldy. We've been fortunate to have with Goldy for a couple years now. The biggest thing that was told to us before he walked into the clubhouse in Spring Training was the notion of leadership.

It's easy to talk about leaders. It's easy to imagine what a leader might be in the clubhouse. But to work with one every single day on the field, away from the field, to just truly experience what that is, I mean, that's what Goldy is through and through.

Even if he didn't have his best September or as good of a September as he did, the guy is still a leader top to bottom every single day. Just someone you rely on, you lean on, especially when you're kind of grabbing your bat and you're leading an inning off and it's a pitch you might not necessarily know too much about.

He's just prepared so well. He's been there, and even if he sometimes doesn't really know what he's talking about, he definitely sounds like he does, so it gives me confidence (laughter).

But no, I have a running joke and it's like Goldy, our savior. It's true because the guy is just rocks and just nails. You can't ask for anything more out of a teammate, out of a person that you work with every day.

So yeah, the September that Goldy had was definitely something fun to be a part of.

Q. Paul, do you agree with that?

PAUL GOLDSMITH: I don't know. Yeah, I just want to try to do my job. I think that's where the focus is. We've got a bunch of good leaders in this clubhouse. I think of Yadi and Wain-o, but they give guys the freedom to be who they are and all of us are different, and it's taking a collective group, I definitely try to do my job and help where I can and learn from these guys and learn from everyone, too, so it doesn't really change too much, and like I say, hopefully we go out there and play well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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