October 12, 2019
St. Louis, Missouri – postgame 2
Nationals 3, Cardinals 1
Q. Acknowledging that the other team in the past two games has had really amazing starts, what are some things your offense must do better to generate more offense?
MIKE SHILDT: Yeah, can’t ignore the fact we have been shut down pretty much for two games in a row. We won’t make excuses for it. There’s a lot of variables to it. But the reality is we haven’t been able to get it done.
As far as adjustments go, you have guys that have been getting pretty good some pitches to hit, not a lot of them, there’s not been a lot of pitches to feast on. Feel like the competition’s there, the approach is there, we just got to be able to continue to — when guys are pitching at that level, and again I don’t want to minimize that we’re not competing or we’re not focusing right, but we got to figure out a way to be that much better, and that’s a challenge right now for us. We got the guys in the clubhouse that will figure out what that looks like.
But it gets back to getting good pitches to hit and then just putting a good swing on it, not trying to do too much. I really don’t feel — you feel like guys are pressing a little bit, I don’t feel like that’s the case. Guys are in a pretty good spot but clearly a little frustrated about what’s been going on the last couple days.
Q. In the Eaton/Wainwright at-bat what was the thinking on letting Wainwright stay in and not going to left-hander there?
MIKE SHILDT: No, I understand that. What goes into it, a guy’s got 11 strikeouts, is still hitting his spots. I think he probably made two mistakes, the one to Taylor, cutter, got the ball up the patch, put a swing on it. But then you looked at the Turner at-bat and he bloops one in. Then you look to the Eaton at-bat, I thought he was going to be able to execute. And just watching he was executing everything he was doing. So you take your chances with a guy that’s in the moment, in the competition, that’s pitched as well as he has, that is still executing his pitches, and he more than deserved that opportunity, and he snuck one down the line on him.
Q. Coming into an off day tomorrow, workout day tomorrow, what do you, what’s your approach with them coming off of two games like these two, as opposed to if you would have split or been up 2-0?
MIKE SHILDT: Yeah, clearly we’re going to fight for every game regardless of where we are. You got to get to four somehow. Right now we got to get to one. Obviously being in a 2-0 spot is not ideal, but I’m still very, I feel very strongly about our chances in this series for a lot of reasons I don’t really need to get into.
As far as what we can do different, we have done everything we had wanted to do in this series but a big one and that’s to be able to put some at-bats together and score. Our pitching’s been outstanding, our defense has been as good as always, our base runners have been very opportunistic, we just haven’t had many opportunities. We just need to continue to do what we’re doing, our preparation’s good, our feel for what’s going on in the competition’s really good, we just need to be able to string together more consistent at-bats and be able to pitch with, or play with the lead and go from there. But we’ll show up on Monday ready to go, I can tell you that.
Q. What you’ve seen from Jose, do you see him as maybe a catalyst in this series moving forward to try to — you’ve talked a lot about not one to have a knee-jerk reaction with the lineup, but his results on a lineup that’s struggling are pretty impressive so far.
MIKE SHILDT: No, they are. You can’t ignore the fact he’s taken good at-bats. I obviously haven’t had time to — but there would be some contemplation about how we move forward and how we look to compete. And again I’ll look at it from the lens that we always look at it, who is taking the kind of at-bats, who is on time, the matchups, all those different things that we always factor into it. It’s good to know that Jose is in a good place and taking good at-bats and it can’t be ignored.
Q. In your opinion, what did you think Scherzer was doing to you guys today combined with you guys struggling a little bit at the plate, what was it about Scherzer today that made you guys struggle so much?
MIKE SHILDT: He’s a quality guy for a reason. He was commanding his pitches. And I hesitate to say that I talked to Ollie about it on the bench a little bit because we will not make excuses for ourselves. I won’t ever make excuses for our guys. But you also have to be realistic about what we were dealing with today. We were dealing with a guy that had really good command of his pitches, throwing mid-90s with late movement, really dirty sliders, we know, and not the most ideal conditions to go up there and swing the bat. Again, that’s just realistic. We had to figure a way, to Ben’s question earlier, we got to figure out a way to be better, that’s the bottom line. But I can’t sit there and ignore the fact that their guy’s pretty darn elite, and you saw some elite pitching today. You saw playoff baseball. We haven’t been able to figure out a way to get some runs, but you’re seeing playoff baseball and how it looks. That’s usually tough pitching, timely hitting, good defense, and some other things. And we’re doing everything, just not being able to scratch those runs across.
Q. Can you describe your level of appreciation as you watch Wainwright put up zero after zero and especially on the heels of his last start for you guys?
MIKE SHILDT: Yeah, you know, wow, what an effort. I saw where he talked about the matchup and it was like Christmas for him. We just didn’t put any runs under the tree for him. But he did his part to wake up bright-eyed and ready to go and enjoy the opportunity and the moment, which you knew he would. But he was stellar. That’s not a word I use a lot, but he was absolutely steller, in control of everything he was doing, and just weren’t able to support him. I can’t say enough about the job that Adam did today.
Q. A lot of us hate baseball in the shadows. Today was the bright sun and maybe even the high sky making it particularly difficult, even by the standards that we have grown used to.
MIKE SHILDT: I don’t think there’s any question about that. You’re talking about a lot of different variables that were pro pitching today with two guys that were on their A games. So there’s a reason it was a crisp game and there’s a reason there was the two starters both had 11 strikeouts. They’re very, very talented, they were able to execute their pitches, and they were in an environment today that lent itself to pitching.
Q. Is this just a situation where, on one hand you got Jack Flaherty going Game 3 and that’s something to be very optimistic about, but on the other hand you got Jack, like, starts the last two games and you unfortunately weren’t able to win either of them? Is that kind of a fair way to look at it?
MIKE SHILDT: I don’t know, you know, we’re happy to have Jack going, we’re happy to go compete. The fact of the matter is this is a team that the word resilient has been used internally, but it’s really also been a monicker used externally, rightfully so. And you’re going to see it in full force. This series is far from over. And we have a guy going that’s one of the best guys and really the best guy in baseball second half undisputed going for us on Monday. I’m very optimistic still about this series.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports