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October 14, 2013

Adrian Gonzalez

Yasiel Puig


Dodgers – 3
Cardinals – 0

Q.  Adrian, just how big is it to beat Wainwright and get the series at 2‑1?
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  It's huge.  They beat Kershaw and Greinke.  So for us to do the same to their guy, it's huge.  Today was pretty much a must‑win game for us, and we were able to get it done, which sets us up in a better position going forward in the series.

Q.  To add on to that, Skip told me yesterday that it was a factor that, hey, that mentality was with you guys.  They beat our best, we need to beat theirs and we can beat their best.  Is that something you used today to motivate you?
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  Absolutely.  We know he's an incredible pitcher, steps up in big games.  He threw a great, great game today.  We were able to get some balls to fall in and take advantage of those jam shots and things like that.  But it was definitely our mentality to have to come out and beat him.

Q.  Does it seem strange that the three games started by Greinke, Kershaw and Wainwright would be the losses for the teams?
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  Yeah, definitely.  I mean, it's the great thing about the game of baseball that you can talk about this is what should happen, but it never does play out that way.  That's why to me predictions are just opinions.  You've got to play it out on the field.  It's a step in the right direction for us.

Q.  Talk about your emotions on your triple.  First, apparently thinking it was out, and then you get to third base and you kind of danced into third and really pumped your fist.  When Don was here the one thing he said is he'd prefer you run out of the box.  What are your thoughts on that?
YASIEL PUIG:  It was a hard‑hit ball.  It was a good pitch that Wainwright had thrown.  I had faced Wainwright in St. Louis, and I remembered how he had pitched me.  What was most important to me was that Gonzalez had scored.
After that, I realized that I had a chance to get to third, and it was pretty easy for me to get to third in that way.  I wouldn't have scored either way regardless of what happened on the play.  So it was important that we scored a run on that.

Q.  Just a follow‑up:  What were you thinking when you realized that ball was actually not going to go out?
YASIEL PUIG:  Just to get as many bases as I could on my hit.

Q.  You seemed pretty excited too when you drove in Mark for that first run.  Could you talk about what an emotional release it was to drive in a run after all those scoreless innings?
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  Yeah, both pitchers were throwing the ball great and putting up zeros.  For to us get the lead there was huge.  He continued to make pitches, and I was just able to fight one over the first baseman there.
So driving him in was a big boost for us.  With the struggles we've had with runners in scoring position, it kind of gave us a little bit of a release there to just kind of relax and keep going.  For me, that was a big situation, and it was just a great feeling to come through.

Q.  There have been now five League Championship Series games so far, and starting pitchers on the losing teams have given up a total of six earned runs.  What can you say about the pitching that you've seen in this series?  And I don't know if you've been able to watch any of the other series, but just the pitching on both sides, because the starting pitchers on the losing team have been amazing.
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  Yeah, the four teams that are left have gotten to this position because of pitching.  And we all know that pitching and defense wins.  Every pitcher that's been out there is a top, elite, top‑of‑the‑line pitcher.  We all know that in the playoffs, pitching dominates.  Getting some key runs is always big.  That's what the pitchers have been able to do is dominate like they always will in the playoffs.

Q.  For both of you, regarding Hanley Ramirez, what effect does he have on your lineup?
YASIEL PUIG:  I'm happy that Hanley was able to find the strength to play after getting hit so hard over there in St. Louis.  Really everybody rallied around him and tried to do the best that we can.  Other teammates were hurt as well.  Ethier also needs to get some credit as well for playing hurt.  Everybody's trying to do the best they can to get to the World Series.
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  I was saying he's a great presence in the lineup, as is Dre.  Not having them changes the dynamic of our lineup and the way that they approach us and the way that they come after us.  It showed today.

Q.  After the struggles that you had in St. Louis, how much of a relief was it when you did get that triple right there?
YASIEL PUIG:  I noticed in St. Louis I was trying too hard.  Something my teammates and I talked about.  Coming here I focused on staying calm and doing the best I could especially against such a great pitcher that they have.  Thanks to God; everything went well.

Q.  I wasn't there for Adam Wainwright, but I guess he was asked about Yasiel's reaction.  He said, I didn't see Puig's reaction.  I saw Adrian doing some Mickey Mouse stuff at second.  But I didn't see Puig.  I didn't see what you did.
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  I did what I always do.  We are in LA, so Mickey Mouse stuff does go.  So if that's, you know, Mickey Mouse is only an hour away.  So, you know, it fits us.  I did what I always do.
YASIEL PUIG:  We're in the playoffs, playoffs, playoffs.

Q.  How inspiring was it for Hanley Ramirez to go out there with cracked ribs?  Is that something that can inspire the rest of the team?
ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  I mean, just anybody that goes out there and plays hurt and gives it their best effort, makes us all step up as well.  He's definitely the guy in our lineup that has shown time and time again that changes everything for us.  So having him was big.

Q.  When David Freese got that single and you trapped it there in the fifth inning, I noticed you were frustrated when you didn't come up with the catch.  Were you conscious that Ryu was working on a no‑hitter?  And was it particularly important to you that you helped him preserve that?
YASIEL PUIG:  I always give it my best on defense, and the frustration you saw is because I wasn't able to make the play.  I always try to give my pitchers an easier chance and easier time on the mound to make as many outs as I can.  So that was my focus.
Also, for Ryu that was the first hit, and he had a no‑hitter going, something else I wish I could have helped him with.

Q.  Can you describe this thing that's inside you that brings out the enthusiasm, the joy?  What is it about baseball that makes you play the way you do and the way you seem to love the game?
YASIEL PUIG:  I always give it my best.  I'm always having fun on the field.  In St. Louis, it was obvious that I wasn't quite having as much fun as I was really focused on trying to get a hit.  But coming back to Los Angeles, and with the help of my teammates, I was able to get back to really having fun.  That's all it really is for me is having fun playing the game.

Q.  If you were able to see you play in Serie Nacional would we see excitement from everybody like you, or would you be one of the most excitable guys there too?
YASIEL PUIG:  In Cuba you always see a lot of emotion on the field.  Everyone is really giving it their best.  It's their job to go out there and do the best they can just like it's here in the big leagues.  The people in Cuba are born to play baseball, and that's what you sigh on the field mostly.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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