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NL DIVISION SERIES: GIANTS VS DODGERS


October 12, 2021


Walker Buehler

Mookie Betts


Los Angeles, California, USA

Dodger Stadium

Los Angeles Dodgers

Postgame 4 Press Conference


Los Angeles Dodgers - 7, San Francisco Giants - 2.

Q. Walker, what was working so well for you tonight? And Dave said you wanted the ball out there, so just give us your assessment of tonight.

WALKER BUEHLER: Yeah, first time I've ever done the short rest thing. I physically felt really good. We'll see how that holds tomorrow.

But elimination game and having been here a little bit, I wanted the ball and I feel good about what I did. I wish I could have gotten a little bit deeper, but that's part of it and we have the talent and the guys in the back end of the bullpen to cover it. So, yeah, really good team win for us and fun to watch those guys close it out at the end.

Q. Walker, with just today Dave Roberts mentioned that the focus was how you were feeling this morning to make sure you were prepared for today. From your body standpoint, what were you kind of looking for that allowed you to know that you were able to pitch on short rest and still be incredibly effective?

WALKER BUEHLER: To be completely honest, there probably wasn't anything that could have been going on that I would have told him that I didn't want the ball. So as long as I could walk into the clubhouse, I think I was going to pitch. So it kind of is what it is, but it worked out. I felt really good and we'll get in there with our medical staff and take care of it and get ready for the next one, hopefully.

Q. Mookie, your homer made this place erupt. When you give Dodger Stadium that feeling, those fans that feeling, what goes through your mind when you're going across the bases just knowing the feeling you've given all 50,000-plus people?

MOOKIE BETTS: Obviously super excited to just put some runs on the board. But I think it was just the 26 guys. Those are the most important guys that the feeling was for, and I think it gave us a lot of energy and we were able to continue to keep pressure on them and obviously win in the end.

Q. Walker, how impressed were you with the offense tonight lifting the team up?

WALKER BUEHLER: Yeah, to score kind of early and often, even if it's one, is huge for us as starters. Just gives you a little bit of security and you can be aggressive and do the things that you want to do without fear, and it's a hats off to them.

And then to pile on late and get their starter out of there early is huge for us in terms of what we got next, and that's a big game in San Francisco. And the playoffs are all about momentum and I've talked about that kind of almost too much, but I think it's huge, and a win like this for us, especially the fashion we did it, is huge for us going in two days.

Q. Mookie, Chris Taylor was in here pregame. He said we play our best when our backs are against the wall. When you think back to Atlanta last year and now again tonight, on the brink of elimination, what is it about this team that does what it does?

MOOKIE BETTS: I don't really know. I don't have the answer. I just know when our backs are against the wall we got a guy named Walker Buehler that ends up getting us out of it. So he did it again today. But we got one more game. Julio has to bring us home.

Q. Walker, who did you, I think Dave told us before the game that it was after Game 2 that you said that you wanted the ball on short rest in Game 4. Who did you speak with, and I guess what made you want to do that, what made you think that that would be necessary?

WALKER BUEHLER: I didn't really speak to anyone before I said that, and then I spoke to kind of everyone after I said it to make sure I wasn't being an idiot.

So luckily we had the players in that room, Scherzer, Kersh, guys that have been asked to and have performed doing that, that I was able to kind of, hey, like, am I doing anything wrong, should I do anything different, blah, blah, blah, and it worked out for us. And not something we want to do all the time, but I felt that things didn't go our way yesterday, that I would feel really weird not pitching a game that we could lose a series, and very happy that it worked out and kind of fortunate in a lot of ways. Our offense took care of a lot of it. Bullpen took care of a lot of it. But just kind of another thing in terms of trying to become the baseball player that I am, that I want wanted to do, and glad it worked out for us.

Q. What was the best advice that you got from Kershaw or Scherzer about how to make that work?

WALKER BUEHLER: Nothing super specifically, honestly, and nothing I really want to talk about. I think that's something from pitcher to pitcher, guy to guy, man-to-man, that you talk about and talk through and I'll just leave it at that.

Q. Mookie, Gavin and Cody in the starting lineup tonight. What spark did they give to you guys offensively?

MOOKIE BETTS: They turned the lineup over and that's huge, just turning it over and getting it to the top guys, getting some guys on base. Walker obviously got a big hit there and I was able to hit a homer after that.

But those guys at the bottom, we have to be able to score runs 1 through 9, and it can't just come from one section of the lineup. So those guys getting hits down and just creating havoc, and they run the bases, they do everything that we need them to do and that's going to be huge going forward for us.

Q. Walker, Urķas is going Game 5. I know you guys, your personalities are different, but on the field, maybe the way you guys compete, the way you guys handle big moments, do you see anything in common between you guys?

WALKER BUEHLER: Yeah, you know, Julio and I, he got up well before me and then when I came up he was on a shoulder rehab. And the past year or two I think he and I have gotten really close and it's been fun to watch him go from last year, hey, we're going to use you all the time and throw two or three innings to this year getting a full year of you're going to make 30 starts and see what you can do and wins 20 games for the first time in this franchise's, you know, in a long time here. So it's been cool to watch him kind of grow and evolve into that role and I don't think we could have any more confidence in someone going than we do in Julio on whatever day it is.

Q. Mookie, last year when you saw Julio going through the playoffs, just what did you learn about him in terms of his ability to kind of handle that big moment?

MOOKIE BETTS: Just seems like Julio has this weird but like old soul about him. He just gets on the mound like he's been there, he's done it, and you just, he's got so much confidence in himself that it just kind of oozes out on everyone else.

He may not say a whole lot, but you can just kind of see it. And so he goes, like you said, what ever day it is, I'm sure he'll have that confidence oozing out and we'll, just got to win one game.

Q. Mookie and Walker, first of all, congratulations on the win. Did anything feel different coming into the game today? I know you said earlier you guys have been in these situations before, but did anything feel different, was there a different energy, different vibe beyond the weather being much better?

MOOKIE BETTS: To me, no. I think we, like I said, we had Walker pitching. So we're all kind of used to that in an elimination game and I think everybody was kind of chill, relaxed and wanted to play -- it's not like we're all of a sudden going to start hitting it harder or throwing it further or throwing it faster or whatever. So it's the same game we have been playing. It's just a win-or-go-home situation.

WALKER BUEHLER: I think that's spot on. I don't really have a whole lot more to add. I think for us, these elimination things, we learned it about ourselves I think a lot in, against Atlanta last year, that we can do things like that. And we've had a lot of success here and in the past four, five, six, whatever years, and I think one of the biggest things is there's teams that operate out of, we want to get here, and there's teams that it's disappointing if we don't get there, and I think we're one of those teams that it's disappointing if we don't get there and I think you sense that in there and you find a way to do little things that you might not do in the regular season. You find a way to impact a game.

And I think 1 through 9, 1 through 26, we've been able to do that on the right days at the right times recently and that's a huge thing for us. And also we would like not to have to do those things, right, to just go and win. But tonight's a great example of kind of 26 guys coming together and figuring out a way to survive and that's all we could ask tonight.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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