Tonight’s game marks the 676th meeting between the Maple Leafs and Bruins. – The first matchup between the franchises took place on December 3, 1924 when the Toronto St. Patricks defeated the Bruins by a 5-3 score in Toronto. – The Maple Leafs have a record of 278-289-98-10 in the previous 675 matchups between the clubs.

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (5-3-2 – 12 Points) vs. BOSTON BRUINS (5-1-2 – 12 Points) OCTOBER 22, 2019 ▪ 7:00 PM EST TD GARDEN (BOSTON, MA)

▪ TV: TSN4 ▪ RADIO: TSN 1050

MAPLE LEAFS HISTORY versus BOSTON

ALL-TIME RECORD: 27-298-98-10 ALL-TIME on the ROAD: 104-179-47-7 2019-20: 1-0-0 LAST 5: 2-3-0 LAST 10: 6-4-0

MAPLE LEAFS CAREER LEADERS versus BOSTON

GAMES: Jason Spezza (61), John Tavares (34), Morgan Rielly (24) POINTS: Jason Spezza (51), John Tavares (27), Mitch Marner (20) GOALS: Jason Spezza (18), John Tavares (14), Mitch Marner (5) ASSISTS: Jason Spezza (33), Mitch Marner (15), John Tavares (13) PENALTY MINUTES: Jason Spezza (33), Martin Marincin (14), John Tavares (10)

MAPLE LEAFS – BRUINS TEAM STATS TORONTO BOSTON GOALS FOR (Rank): 38 (1st) 22 (21st) GOALS AGAINST (Rank): 34 (31st) 17 (t-3rd) POWER PLAY %: 7/28 25.0% 9/24 37.5% PENALTY KILL %: 27/34 79.4% 18/21 85.7% SHOTS (Rank): 343 (2nd) 263 (t-17th) 5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank): 456 (1st) 305 (19th) 5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank): 54.9% (4th) 50.6% (13th) FACEOFF % (Rank): 54.4% (3rd) 49.5% (18th)

MAPLE LEAFS – BRUINS NOTES

  • Tonight’s game marks the 676th meeting between the Maple Leafs and Bruins. – The first matchup between the franchises took place on December 3, 1924 when the Toronto St. Patricks defeated the Bruins by a 5-3 score in Toronto. – The Maple Leafs have a record of 278-289-98-10 in the previous 675 matchups between the clubs. – The Maple Leafs have a record of 174-110-51-3 in 338 games played in Toronto and a record of 104-179-47-7 in 337 games played in Boston. – Toronto’s last win over the Bruins in Boston came on November 11, 2017 (Toronto 4, Boston 1). – Frederik Andersen earned his first win as a Maple Leaf against Boston on October 15, 2016. – Kevin Gravel scored his first career NHL goal on February 23, 2017 vs. Boston as a member of the Los Angeles Kings. – Michael Hutchinson was originally selected by the Bruins in the third round (77th overall) of the 2008 NHL Draft. He later earned his first career win on April 10, 2014 against the Bruins as a member of the Winnipeg Jets. – Alex Kerfoot scored his first career goal on October 11, 2017 vs. the Bruins as a member of the Colorado Avalanche. – Mitch Marner recorded his first career NHL point with a goal on October 15, 2016 vs. Boston. – Nic Petan made his NHL debut on October 8, 2015 at Boston as a member of the Winnipeg Jets and recorded his first career NHL point with a goal in the same game. – Jason Spezza made his NHL debut on October 24, 2002 at Boston as a member of the Ottawa Senators and registered his first career point with an assist in the same game. – John Tavares scored his 200th career NHL goal on March 12, 2016 at Boston as a member of the New York Islanders. – Dmytro Timashov scored his first career NHL goal on October 19, 2019 vs. the Bruins.
  • MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS

CATEGORY LEADER
GOALS 8 (Matthews)
ASSISTS 9 (Rielly, Marner)
POINTS 12 (Marner)
POWER PLAY POINTS 6 (Marner)
SHORTHANDED POINTS 2 (Kapanen)
PIMs 10 (Kerfoot)
SHOTS 41 (Matthews)
FACEOFF WIN% 64.5% (Gauthier)
5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % 60.3% (Spezza)
BLOCKED SHOTS 25 (Ceci)
TAKEAWAYS 13 (Marner)
HITS 24 (Moore)
TOI PER GAME 25:00 (Rielly)
PP TOI PER GAME 2:43 (Tavares)
SH TOI PER GAME 3:39 (Ceci)

MAPLE LEAFS NOTABLES

  • Frederik Andersen is 12-2-0 with a 2.45 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage in 14 career regular season appearances against Boston. – Tyson Barrie has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 64.5 percent on the road this season, which is the highest shot attempt percentage on the road among Maple Leafs defencemen and ranks fifth among NHL defencemen. – Cody Ceci is tied for third in the NHL in blocked shots (21). He is 5th among NHL skaters in shorthanded time on ice (36:28). – Michael Hutchinson is 2-2-1 with a 2.25 goals-against average and a .934 save percentage in six career games against the Bruins. – Andreas Johnsson has four points (2-2-4) in five career games against Boston. He has registered 21 (9-12-21) of his 53 career points against Atlantic Division opponents. – Kasperi Kapanen registered 25 (12 goals, 13 assists) of his 44 points on the road last season. Four (1-3-4) of his six points in 2019-20 have come on the road. – Alex Kerfoot has won 68.8 percent (11 won, 5 lost) of his faceoffs when the Maple Leafs are leading on the road this season. All of his points have come against Atlantic Division opponents this season. – Mitch Marner is tied for third among all NHL skaters in power play points with six (2-4-6). He is second in the NHL in takeaways (13). Marner is one of 30 skaters to have registered at least 30 shots on goal. – Auston Matthews is tied for second in the NHL in goals (8) and is tied for the NHL lead in evenstrength goals (6) through nine games in 2019-20. He is third among NHL skaters in shots on goal (42). He ranks 12th among skaters who have taken at least 80 faceoffs in faceoff win percentage (59.6% – 56 won, 38 lost). – Ilya Mikheyev is tied for second in points among rookie skaters (3-4-7). He leads all rookies who have appeared in multiple games in shorthanded ice time per game (2:42). – Trevor Moore leads all NHL rookies in hits (24) and is tied for third among NHL rookies in takeaways (6). – Jake Muzzin leads all NHL skaters in average shifts per game with 30.2 shifts. – William Nylander has a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 66.7 percent on the road this season, which is the highest mark among Toronto skaters who have appeared in multiple road games. – Morgan Rielly has averaged 31.3 shifts per game on the road in 2019-20, which is the road highest average in the NHL. He is tied for fifth among NHL skaters in assists (9). CURRENT POINT STREAKS
  • Jake Muzzin has assists (4) in three consecutive games. – Mitch Marner has assists (3) in two consecutive games. – Andreas Johnsson has assists (3) in two consecutive games. – Auston Matthews has points (1-2-3) in two consecutive games.
    RECENT MILESTONES
  • October 21: Frederik Andersen appeared in his 200th game as a Maple Leaf. – October 19: Dmytro Timashov scored his first career NHL goal. – October 15: Morgan Rielly recorded his 200th career NHL assist.
  • UPCOMING MILESTONES
  • Michael Hutchinson is four wins from 50 career NHL wins. – Auston Matthews is five assists from 100 career NHL assists. INJURY REPORT
  • Travis Dermott (shoulder) is on injured reserve. – Zach Hyman (knee) is on injured reserve. – John Tavares (finger) sustained a broken finger on October 16 at Washington. RECENT

“We dealt with some injuries. We weren’t playing good baseball in the beginning, it’s obvious. And so we were what our record said. Obviously we just didn’t do anything — we got some key guys back from injury, especially with Trea Turner and Soto, when they got healthy again and our lineup started firing.” — MAX SCHERZER.

October 21, 2019

Max Scherzer

Houston, Texas – Workout Day

Q. The old clich� is you’re facing the other team’s lineup not their opposing pitcher. Do you even get jacked up over you versus Cole, and what’s coming in Game 2, as well?
MAX SCHERZER: Of course. I mean, I’ve been in the situation, faced really good pitchers here in the National League over the years; Kershaw, deGrom, those guys. You just know you’ve got to come out there, you’re going to be throwing up zeros. And you’ve got to try to match the intensity from your opponent.

And Cole’s had a terrific year. So obviously it’s going to one heck of a challenge.

Q. When you were teammates with Justin Verlander what did you learn about him?
MAX SCHERZER: The pitching aspect or off the field? Just everything? That was a time in my career when I really kind of developed and settled into kind of the pitcher who I am.

In Detroit I learned so much from everybody, and especially from Ver, of just how to go about it, attack the lineup, how you take a ball every fifth day. Just all the little things that go into being a Major League pitcher. He was at the forefront of that, and we all developed together and it was a fun time.

Q. How difficult was it the long path from going as a kid where with the eye condition, you were taunted about it, to where it’s become individuality and you embrace it and the team celebrates it? Was it difficult at all going that path to the point where it’s celebrated?
MAX SCHERZER: I’ve always celebrated it, whether you liked it or not, that’s who I am. I am one blue and one brown. There’s nothing I can do about it. So you embrace it.

Q. I read you have several dogs with that condition over the years. How many?
MAX SCHERZER: Yeah, we’ve got — really, it’s two. One for sure and then Bo, she’s got — half the eye is blue and brown.

But, yeah, it seems — everybody kind of outside the baseball world will always text me photos of, Hey, you should get this dog, it’s got two different color eyes. It makes it easy, there’s a lot of dogs out there that have that.

Q. What are your two dogs’ names and the breeds?
MAX SCHERZER: Rocco and Bo both have it.

Q. How happy are you for Ryan Zimmerman to be here, given the length of his career, all with this franchise?
MAX SCHERZER: Yeah, what he’s done and meant for this team and this organization, he’s really kind of the — when you think of the Washington Nationals, he’s the face of the franchise, he’s the player you think of.

For him to be here this whole time, seen it from the good to the bad and now here we are in the World Series, that’s a testament of what he’s done and meant for this organization.

As players we’re so happy for him, as well. He’s such a great guy, great clubhouse guy. And we couldn’t be happier for him, and especially the way he’s producing in the postseason, as well.

Q. When you don’t have to pinch-hitter or I guess think about that at all, does it change how you map out your start or change anything about how you’re going through a lineup?
MAX SCHERZER: Yeah, I mean, obviously it’s tougher to pitch with a DH, things happen. The couple of times I have pitched with it, it’s just a different feel to the game of not grabbing a bat. I’ve definitely grown accustomed to doing that, it kind of keeps you in the game flow even more. It feels weird when you get to the DH and you’re not in that flow of the game offensively.

It’s different, but at the same time my job is to go out there and stay on the hill and throw pitches.

Q. Seven postseason appearances, one World Series appearance seven years ago in 2012. How is this team different and how in general is this going into this World Series rather than in ’12?
MAX SCHERZER: I mean, I guess there are some similarities between the two teams. You can dissect it any which way you want to. But for me looking at this team, I loved the team that we had in ’12 and obviously I love this team we have here in ’19. I speak to our group the most of how much clubhouse chemistry we have, we’re just playing good baseball together. We’re really firing on all cylinders. And there’s just — we’ve got some mojo going, that’s the easiest way to describe it. That we just seem to be playing great baseball together, and anybody who gets their number called just continues to step up and perform for the team.

So not just one guy that’s going out there and carrying the load, it’s not two; it’s really the whole team. I know Howie was very deserving of the NLCS MVP, and he’s rightfully MVP, but it could have been anybody. We had so many contributions from everywhere across the team that it all allowed for us to be in this position.

Q. Have modern analytics made it easier at all when you have runners on base and you need a strikeout to know where the batter’s weaknesses are and what to do to get out of it without the ball getting hit?
MAX SCHERZER: Yes and no. So yes, you do know because now the hitters know exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are and the chess game continues. It’s not just a one-sided equation. The hitters also have the same type of information as well and they’re obviously using it to their advantage when they see fit.

So it’s still baseball.

Q. What stands out to you about the Astros lineup?
MAX SCHERZER: Just a lot of different ways they can beat you. Predominantly right-handed but they’ve got a couple of left-hand bats in there that are definitely big-time threats. And just what they do up and down the order. It’s a complete lineup 1 through 9.

You’ve got to be executing every single pitch you go out there and throw.

Q. Given what Howie has done and Michael Brantley has done for the Astros in a time of the game where they say, Let the kids play, what are your thoughts on the value of having veterans and some of the “older guys” in this Championship Series?
MAX SCHERZER: I just know our clubhouse, it’s hard for me to speculate across every team’s clubhouse and what veterans mean and what young guys mean. In our clubhouse, I don’t know, it’s just a fun atmosphere that we have. We have youthful players and we have guys in their primes. But we also do have a good contingent of guys who are way past their prime, past 33 years old, that continue to perform at a high level, that continue to go out there and grind and know what it takes to win.

I think that’s the biggest thing is we’ve got some guys that really know what it takes to win and what that looks like in the clubhouse and the type of atmosphere you have to create. And I feel like we’ve created that atmosphere. Everybody is on board and sees what it takes for us to go out there and compete at the highest level.

Q. Starting the season out 19-31, what has the turnaround been like this season, and of course getting a sweep in the NLCS over the Cardinals and how proud are you of this team?
MAX SCHERZER: We dealt with some injuries. We weren’t playing good baseball in the beginning, it’s obvious. And so we were what our record said. Obviously we just didn’t do anything — we got some key guys back from injury, especially with Trea Turner and Soto, when they got healthy again and our lineup started firing.

And our pitchers started pitching better and we started running the bases better, and we just started doing all the little things better, everything we set out in Spring Training to do. We just happen to get out of the gates the first 50 games pretty slow.

After that, we’ve been playing to our potential. This whole time, even from the moment we got to Spring Training, we knew we could compete with anybody. Obviously we’ve proven that, that we can compete with anybody in this League, and we’re good enough for that.

Nothing has changed my mind whether that slump we hit in the beginning or how we played in the end, it’s just a matter of going out there and playing high-quality baseball, and making the other team beat us and not beat ourselves.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

“I personally am a big fan of starting pitching. I grew up wanting to become a starting pitcher and I’m a starting pitcher now. And there are a lot of really good starting pitchers on the other side of the field, guys that kind of emulate the role in terms of longevity, durability, creativeness, tenacity, grit. And so just a pleasure to share the field with them on the greatest stage at this point. And best of luck to them.” — GERRIT COLE.

October 21, 2019

Gerrit Cole

Houston, Texas – Workout Day

Q. What are the challenges for you coming into an organization where you don’t know the players and integrating to an established young group with Correa, Altuve, Bregman, Springer?
GERRIT COLE: It’s not a lot of challenges because we’ve got a lot of good guys and they made it real easy for me.

Q. (No microphone.)
GERRIT COLE: They were very welcoming. They were very gracious with their time. They were hospitable. We had some team events that obviously everybody is included but it’s a great way to break the ice.

Every year you come into Spring Training you have guys that are new. So whether it’s me or whether it’s somebody else you have to extend an open hand and try to make them a part of your family, try to make them a part of your team.

Q. How excited are you to start Game 1 of the World Series? Growing up, what are some of your great World Series memories?
GERRIT COLE: I’m really excited to start Game 1. I’m really excited just to be here.

Some of my favorite World Series moments was I got to — I remember I was sitting on the third base side of Angels Stadium down towards the front row and I had a nice perspective of Bonds versus Percival, he throws him this hundred-mile-an-hour fastball up at his neck and Bonds just cranks it out to right field. And I think the stadium just dropped dead for a minute.

I was at all those games at Angel Stadium. We brought out, the rally monkey was big that year and the boom sticks, like the noise-making things that we did. And we always — whenever David Eckstein would hit we would make an X with the sticks.

And I went to the World Series Yankees-Arizona, and I think that was just a really special World Series I think for the whole country. It was probably the only time most people felt some empathy for the Yankees. And then Gonzo just ripped it right out. So that was an unbelievable series getting to watch Randy and Curt Schilling work. And those are two of my favorite as a kid.

And then I’ve been fortunate to be able to watch the Giants clinch in Detroit and to follow them along their ride, not actually going to the first — going to the second — I can’t remember which one it was. I only made one of the World Series, but I made both NLCSs. I’ve been to three World Series, four now.

Q. You touched on this after Game 6, what are the challenges of the Nationals lineup?
GERRIT COLE: Yeah, I think they’re incredibly talented. I think they’ve had their backs up against the wall early in the year and it just kind of goes to show you the character of the players that they have. I think in this the center of the lineup it starts with Anthony Rendon being the tone setter, a really special talent, probably a generational talent. We’ll have to see how it all plays out.

But if it goes as expected he’ll probably end up in the Hall of Fame. He’s so cool and calm and collected. And I think a lot of his players feed off that. And he takes care of the baseball on both sides of the ball, both defensively and offensively. His approach is really deliberate.

And they have a lot of really great supporting characters that surround him, their catching core is as strong as ever. Their outfield play is excellent. And on the mound they’re nasty.

Q. Can you approach this like any other game or is that easier said than done?
GERRIT COLE: No, I think you can. I’ve been doing it for like six months now, so I’ll probably just keep doing the same thing.

Q. You and Stephen Strasburg, you share an agent, both from Southern California. Did you know guys know each other growing up, compete in high school or anywhere along the line?
GERRIT COLE: No, not really. I think I maybe played catch with him once or twice and caught up with him either here or there on the field or offseason in training, occasionally. Obviously Scott speaks very highly of him, so do his teammates. In the short chance that I’ve got to know him I thought he was really an enjoyable person to be around.

Obviously he’s really perfecting his craft at this point, his career. It’s been good to see. He’s had some ups and downs that he’s had to endure, especially from the injury standpoint. Well, specifically the injury standpoint. And so to kind of see him really becoming a true master of his craft I think all pitchers can appreciate that and we’re happy for him.

Q. Coming off two series where bullpens were heavily used on the other side, do you guys as a rotation like this better going in knowing that it’s going to be mano a mano rotation for four straight days?
GERRIT COLE: You can kind of phrase it however you want to phrase it. You can phrase it like one-on-one, like you said. I think last series sometimes we changed it like five-on-one. So you can kind of draw motivation from either side.

I personally am a big fan of starting pitching. I grew up wanting to become a starting pitcher and I’m a starting pitcher now. And there are a lot of really good starting pitchers on the other side of the field, guys that kind of emulate the role in terms of longevity, durability, creativeness, tenacity, grit. And so just a pleasure to share the field with them on the greatest stage at this point. And best of luck to them.

Q. Kind of jumping off of that fellow pitcher to fellow pitcher, what do you admire most about Scherzer?
GERRIT COLE: There’s a lot of things. So most — I think probably most his determination because I feel like that — I feel like that word kind of covers how he competes, how he prepares. You have to be determined to be durable. My gosh, he’s as durable as they come. You have to be determined to be prepared. And he’s as prepared as they come. And then his presence on the mound is determined. He’s got a job to do and he wants to go out and do it and just put the blinders on and get after the ball.

Q. You just kind of lit up when you were talking about Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling and watching these dominant pitchers in World Series. Have you had a chance to think of the run you’ve been on, your being mentioned with these guys. And what does it mean to you to not only be mentioned with them, and have this great run and start Game 1 of the World Series?
GERRIT COLE: I’ve been asked the question a few times so I don’t really have a choice to think about it. I’d rather not think about it. But now that I’m thinking about it (laughter) obviously it’s very special.

Like you touched on, when you dream as a little kid you dream about storybook endings and storybook players and scenarios like that. I feel tremendously humbled to be in this position and to be asked that question now several times is a little bit surreal. I try to answer the question as best I can but I don’t really know what to say. I’m just trying to stay focused and trying to finish the job because the people that you keep — the people you keep referring to in asking the question got the job done. So I’m trying to deliver on that front.

Q. There’s been a lot of changes just in terms of League trends and the tools that pitchers use in terms of pitch selection. And four seamers are becoming more in vogue, and sinkers more out of vogue. What have you observed during your career? A lot of these changes started in Houston before you got here. What have you seen and how has this helped or caused you to adapt in your career?
GERRIT COLE: Well, the four seamer has been — I think Bob Gibson invented the four seamer, and John Seaver and Don Drysdale. I think there are ebbs and flows in the game, like you said. I think you just are forced to adjust. If you’re trying to be a professional, you’re trying to be forward thinking. You have to use your eyes and you have to use the other tools that are provided for you like what the Astros have provided to their players. But that playing field is pretty much about leveled at this point. But if you’re constantly trying to adjust, like there’s not a league that you get called up to, although I’m trying to make the argument to Mike Trout to go up to the next League. But there’s not one that you can go to the next level to. So at this point it’s all about adjusting and counter adjusting. Right now it’s the four seam.

For me personally in that perspective it’s just a pitch set just suited my repertoire and made all of my other pitches better. So it’s probably something I’ll never abandon. But at the same time you do have to be vigilant and you do have to try to be staying ahead of the curve, not necessarily tearing down what’s got you to the position but maybe a small tweak that can kind of keep you at the top of the Bell curve for a little bit longer.

Q. You mentioned World Series you went to. Game, didn’t you go to the game in 2017?
GERRIT COLE: Oh, I did, I did, Game 2. Shoot.

Q. Did you ever think, obviously watching the Astros play, did —
GERRIT COLE: Absolutely not. That’s surreal. I went there because Tony, David, Charlie, I just wanted to support them, it was right up the street. And I got treated to a wonderful, wonderful game. And so I remember meeting Charlie Bracamonte before the game, they were playing catch and he introduced me to him and I got to see Jeremiah, too.

And I remember that was the first time I met Bracamonte, and if you meet him the first time you don’t forget that. But he’s so bubbly, and of course he’s in the World Series, so it’s like volume up to level 10. So that was really cool. I got treated to a great game. And while ironically I’m here now, so that’s something pretty unique.

Q. I remember after the Game 5 loss last year, and I remember seeing you at your locker and you were pretty down, of course, understandably. I’m just kind of curious how long did it take you to kind of get past that? I know the Pirates you’d gotten to the postseason but not very far, and then you got pretty far last year, you guys clinched the other night. Did you think about how you felt the year before and did it make it any sweeter to have gotten this far?
GERRIT COLE: It’s something I’ll never forget, that’s for sure. It’s definitely something that I use to motivate myself. I think it’s always kind of in the back of our minds still, just kind of an awareness or a perspective of what it feels like to be on the other side and how much we hated it. I think we all use it to a certain level.

However, it may be for each individual person. For me, it’s just — you can’t control everything but if you can control your preparation and you can go out there saying, Look, I did everything I needed to do to prepare this game and I’m just going to go get after the ball and what happens, happens.

It just reinforces for me that mindset to just — days like this, when I’m going to leave this press room and go warm up and play catch and then go sit in the video room, like I’m going to hit all those spots and I’m going to pour a lot of time and effort. And when I leave, like, I’m going to be tired. And I’m going to get a good night’s sleep and I’m going to roll into it tomorrow.

But that’s in the back of your head saying, like, Hey, go hit your routine, make sure you focus when you play catch, no careless throws, every little counts, and then get after your preparation on the computer.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

“I think this particular series, you’ve got to beat their starters. If you want to do well against the Nats, you’ve got to beat their starters, and then make them make decisions as the game goes on. If you sit back and kind of wait for the bullpen or wait for them to make a decision, you’ll look at Strasburg and Scherzer throwing 120, 130 pitches and you’ll be too deep in the game to make up a difference. Those guys getting 21, 24, 27 outs is a real possibility for them. And that makes it tough either way.” — AJ HINCH.

October 21, 2019

AJ Hinch

Houston, Texas – Workout Day

AJ HINCH: This is the first chance that we’ve had to sit here after the passing of Eric Cooper. And as a baseball family, players, coaches, managers, umpires, I’d like to offer our sincere condolences to his family.

Coop was an incredible man that everybody looked forward to seeing on the field. And unfortunately, when you go to Google a picture about Coop, it’s like me and him yelling at each other, because that’s the nature of the interaction that you guys get to see on the field. But the brotherhood that we have in our game is important and extends to the umpires and to his family.

So a tragic loss for baseball, and I wanted to make sure and offer some condolences.

Q. Have you guys finalized your roster yet?
AJ HINCH: You know, I just came out of a meeting, just like last time, and we’ve talked a little bit about if we’re going to make any changes or how many changes. Quite honestly, the health of Ryan Pressly is going to be key in those decisions. He’s going to do some things on the field today. Hopefully get off the mound. He’s feeling better. We anticipate him being available and ready to go.

But until we clear him as active we’re going to have to hold off on our roster. We won’t announce anything until tomorrow, anyway. There could be a change or two either based on health or based on matchup.

Q. Yordan obviously struggled pretty mightily in the ALCS. How do you envision deploying him in the World Series? Do you expect him to play every game?
AJ HINCH: He’s going to DH and bat 7th tomorrow. I believe in Yordan. I know I hit for him at the end of Game 6 in the ALCS with the bases loaded against Britton. That’s not an indictment of my belief in him or the fact we don’t think he could have done well, we had a terrific matchup with D�az.

But we get to wipe the slate clean. He gets to start all over again in the World Series, and he’s going to be facing some elite pitching. We need him to be good, to be at our best. And I look forward to him DH’ing both Game 1 and 2. We’ll see what happens when we get to Washington.

Q. The Nationals are a little bit more traditional in the way they use their pitchers than the other teams you’ve faced this postseason, particularly I guess the Rays and then that Game 6.
AJ HINCH: I’ll believe it when I see it. I think they should take their starter out after the third inning, to be honest.

Q. Which is easier for you, I’m sure there’s differences in how you set up your lineup, but is there a way you prefer to play?
AJ HINCH: I’m the last person that’s going to tell you it’s easier to face Scherzer and Strasburg in the first couple games just because they’re traditional pitchers.

We’re at the point of the season where these are elite teams. We went through Tampa, incredible team, the Yankees, incredible team, now we have the Nats, incredible team. So these pitchers are all really good.

How they deploy their guys, it is what it is. I think when — we’ll see how much easier, quote, unquote, “easier” it is to face a guy a second and third time, but with the type of pitching that we’re going to face out of the rotation with the Nats, I’m not sure you can use the word “easier.”

It was different on the front end going through different bullpens and never getting to see the same guy twice in a game. But we saw them three and four and five times during series.

But I think this particular series, you’ve got to beat their starters. If you want to do well against the Nats, you’ve got to beat their starters, and then make them make decisions as the game goes on. If you sit back and kind of wait for the bullpen or wait for them to make a decision, you’ll look at Strasburg and Scherzer throwing 120, 130 pitches and you’ll be too deep in the game to make up a difference. Those guys getting 21, 24, 27 outs is a real possibility for them. And that makes it tough either way.

Q. What are the differences between this team in 2019 and the 2017 team?
AJ HINCH: They’re different years, different teams. There’s a few different players. We’re a little bit more mature, the guys that are here. But I haven’t given a lot of thought to try to historically compare them. They’re both really good teams. We both have gotten to the World Series; one’s got a ring, one doesn’t.

Q. In the time that Josh James has been up here with you, how have you seen him grow and develop and get used to his role with your team?
AJ HINCH: It’s pretty incredible to see James evolve as a pitcher. When he got here in September of ’18, it was to get a spot start and we were going to see what his velocity and change-up was all about. And he burst on to the scene at Fenway and ended up making our playoff roster after having very little Major League experience.

Coming back this season, it’s been a little bit of an up-and-down season for him. Was he going to be a starter, was he going to be a reliever? When he got to be in the bullpen was he going to throw enough strikes? But the one constant has been punching guys out. He’s been able to miss bats his entire Major League career. And that’s very, very attractive this time of year and it’s why I’ve put him in some situations where punch-outs are huge with guys on base or in a certain area of the lineup where we think we can seek a punch-out.

He’s grown, he’s matured, he’s become a father. He has an identity on this team. Everybody knows that he’s going to be prepared. And I love how he’s been able to handle the uncertainty of being a young rookie last season into this year, bouncing around a little bit in roles of leverage and then coming out of it in October as a very viable weapon.

Q. Joe Smith has made 782 career appearances, no World Series appearances. So assuming he gets into the series, nobody has ever gone that many games without appearing in a World Series. What does it say about just his career and how happy are you for him?
AJ HINCH: I’m very proud of him. And he would be the one guy on this team, maybe Marisnick, too, that I would bring in my office and pretend like he’s not going to make the roster, just to get the reaction from him, and he wouldn’t buy it.

He was on the World Series team with the Cubs in ’16 and didn’t make the roster. So this will mean a lot for him. For him to come back from the injury that he did, very likable guy in the clubhouse, super positive type guy. Has been on a lot of different teams, if a guy sticks around this long and evolves as a pitcher, it means he’s a weapon and he’s also got some veteran savvy to him that teams buy in on.

I’m proud for him. I’m anxious to get him in the name. It will probably be one of the first games he’s nervous. He’s hardly ever nervous, but I bet he’ll be a tick nervous just because of the stage and the World Series and the excitement of having to endure all that before he gets to throw his first pitch in the World Series.

He’s a viable weapon for us. He pitched a huge eighth inning the other day. It’s funny, I told him before the game, You’re going to probably pitch in the 2nd against S�nchez or Urshela. And then I didn’t, I passed on him and I went to James. I know he got his family here, You better hurry and get to the game. It might be in the second inning when I pitch. And then after the game he yelled at me, and he said, You told me you were going to pitch me second. I’m like, No, I meant second-to-last. So I was happy to get him in the game and he helped us win.

Q. Two years ago you had gotten Verlander midseason, you got Greinke midseason this year. What’s your learning curve learning what those guys can do in a couple months and how much more comfortable are you with each of them?
AJ HINCH: That is a big change. And one of the reasons we traded for Maldonado in the middle of the season this year is to get some familiarity back behind the plate as well, both with Greinke, having caught him in Milwaukee, but also the rest of our staff. And that’s really hard to add somebody.

We added JV at the very end of the season in the second deadline, it was old school back in the day when you could have two.

Getting to know them up and getting them up and running, those guys are elite so you kind of adapt to them and figure out what’s made them be successful. The last thing you’re going to do is all of a sudden not have them prepare the same way. You might sprinkle in a few ideas, and we’ve done that. Just getting them into our program and into our communication line, it’s been huge for us.

Because they’re so elite, it’s a seamless transition when they come to a new team. They take over. They know how to prepare. We add a little bit. We get the familiarity with the catchers. That’s one of the most important ingredients in this, to get the elite pitchers on the same page as the catchers so that when they go out in the game they just be themselves.

Q. Have you decided on your starting rotation?
AJ HINCH: Yes, we’ll have Cole on Game 1, Verlander in Game 2, Greinke in Game 3, and Greinke gets to hit. That’s going to be fun for him. In Game 4, as in typical fashion, we’ll read and react based on how we want to do it; could be Peacock, could be Urquidy, could be somebody different based on how the first three games go.

Q. The value of winning over the Yankees in 6, to start Gerrit.
AJ HINCH: I would have had to settle for a Greinke start in Game 1, that wouldn’t have been horrific; he’s elite.

Certainly getting to start the series with Gerrit and JV and Greinke lined up is nice. We did have a pretty good backup plan if we were pushed to a Game 7. But it’s hard to think of many guys better than that trio to kick off a World Series.

Q. Last week you said you’ll officially be old when two players retire. Would you offer any words of encouragement to Fernando Rodney to keep this thing going?
AJ HINCH: For next year, yeah, I want him to enjoy this and I’m proud of him, too. I got to catch him. And he’s one of the rare guys still going.

Fernando, if you’re listening, keep playing.

Q. How has he been able to stay this long in the game?
AJ HINCH: I don’t know how he continues to throw this hard. He’s just got a gift and he’s able to deploy it in the games.

He’s bounced around, played for a lot of teams in some huge roles, too, some high-leverage situations. He’s pretty unflappable. I’ve talked to him different stops along the way, said hello to him, and it’s the same guy that I had back in ’03 with Detroit. And yet this isn’t just like a couple of years ago, this is 15, 16 years ago when we’re talking about he and I overlapping, and he’s still throwing 96 to a hundred and pitching late in games.

Q. What did Josh Reddick bring to you guys when he came here three years ago? And how do you explain sort of the connection he has with the fans?
AJ HINCH: How about that catch? First off, it was a huge play for us.

He brings an edge that he often doesn’t get credit for. The fans have really embraced him. He’s got the wrestling thing going, he’s got a great personality, they’ve done a few bobbleheads with him. He’s just got that engaging vibe around him that I think people appreciate because he plays hard.

I think when people watch him play, success, failure, struggle, dominate, whatever he’s done, he’s always played with some consistency. And fans around here appreciate that as much as they appreciate anything.

And then on our team he’s an edge. He doesn’t make it comfortable, in a good way. He’s all about the competing. He’s all about the reaction. There’s never been a good call made on him from the umpire, he’ll make sure people know that. He likes holding guys accountable, making comments. And that to me is a part of a team dynamic that you guys don’t often get to see, but us behind the scenes know how important he is.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

“I truly believe that these guys are fired up to be here. We played a lot of unbelievable games this year. We’ve come a long way.” — Dave Martinez.

October 21, 2019

Dave Martinez

Houston, Texas – Workout Day

Q. Can you list your rotation as it stands right now.
DAVE MARTINEZ: It’s going to be Max Scherzer tomorrow, Stras will pitch Game 2, and not decided on Game 3 yet.

Q. You’ve had a few days off to really formulate your game plan. What did you guys do in the break? Did you work out? Did you give your players time off?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We worked out. We had a day off in between but we worked out. Yesterday the weather was miserable in Washington, and we had a scheduled workout. I didn’t think we were going to be able to do anything. The boys came out. We practiced in the rain. We had a sim game in the rain. The weather was cold. They were all into it. Sanchez threw, a couple of our bullpen guys threw the hitters, we had a good time.

They’re all in. They’re ready. These guys are excited to be here, and let’s go have some fun.

Q. Who is going to DH here, do you think? And any roster tweaks do you expect?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I don’t expect much, no. We’re going to meet here again. We met once, we’re going to meet again after the workout tonight and finalize stuff.

I think at this point either Howie — Howie will probably DH, yeah.

Q. When you have a DH, so there’s no pinch-hitting for the pitcher’s spot, how much harder does it make your job of potentially taking Max out of the game? And how hard is it to map out his start?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, I mean, as you know throughout the year my conversation with Max goes beyond saying. I have a pretty good indication when he’s done. We talk a lot during games.

But knowing that we don’t have to pinch-hit for him, we can keep him in the game longer. But that all depends on how Max is doing, always. Like I said, come the 6th, 7th, 8th inning, we’re in constant communication with him and see how he’s doing.

Q. You mentioned no starter yet for Game 3. Is that in any way because you want to see if you need Corbin out of the bullpen before then?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We shall see.

Q. More broadly based, what’s sort of your philosophy about using starters in relief for this series?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We’re going to play every game to go 1-0, as I talked about all year long.

With that being said, if there’s a situation that we feel like a starter could benefit on us capitalizing and winning a game, then so be it. But there’s seven games, so we’ve got to be very careful of how we do things.

Q. After that workout yesterday in the rain, do you have a sense that you guys still have an emotional momentum going off of the NLCS?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I truly believe that these guys are fired up to be here. We played a lot of unbelievable games this year. We’ve come a long way.

So I think they’re excited. Like I said, excited to be here and ready to play. They looked good yesterday, and this whole week. I joked around after we clinched, I told them, I said, Hey, I’m going to give you guys a day off. And they all laughed, especially Anthony. He said, Just one? And I said, Yeah. I said, Our work is not over. We’ve got to come back, and we schedule workouts the next four days and these guys were all in. They got their work in. We did a lot of stuff in the training room. They did a lot of stuff in the weight room, strength conditioning, a lot of running activities, and they hit. They hit a bunch. So we’re ready to go.

Q. What are the challenges in facing Gerrit Cole and how much were you able to see of him so far this postseason?
DAVE MARTINEZ: What I’ve seen of him, he’s really good. But we’ve known that, even in his Pittsburgh days, faced him a lot. He’s really good. If you look at this whole series, both sides got unbelievable starting pitching.

So it’s going it to be — like I said, it’s going to be a lot of fun. I just want our club to go out there and have fun and play the game like we’re capable of playing, and kind of focus on the little things.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Kasperi Kapanen put the Maple Leafs on the board with a short-handed goal at 11:25 of the first period. Both of Kapanen’s goals have been scored while short-handed this season. He has scored multiple shorthanded goals in consecutive seasons after recording two shorthanded goals in 2018-19.

COLUMBUS BLUE JACKETS 4 (4-3-2 – 10 Points) vs. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (5-3-2 – 12 Points) 3.

MONDAY, OCT. 21, 2019

1 2 3 OT FINAL

COLUMBUS 2 0 1 1 4

TORONTO 2 1 0 0 3

ON THE SCORESHEET

  • Kasperi Kapanen put the Maple Leafs on the board with a shorthanded goal at 11:25 of the first period. Both of Kapanen’s goals have been scored while shorthanded this season. He has scored multiple shorthanded goals in consecutive seasons after recording two shorthanded goals in 2018-19.
  • Auston Matthews scored Toronto’s second goal of the night at 19:22 of the first period and later collected the secondary assist on William Nylander’s second period goal. Matthews has assists (2) and points (1-2-3) in two consecutive games. He has recorded seven of his eight goals on home ice this season.
  • William Nylander scored the third Maple Leafs goal of the night at 19:45 of the second period. Nylander has five points (3-2-5) in seven games on home ice this season. He has two points (1-1-2) in two games against Columbus in 2019-20.
  • Mitch Marner registered the primary assist on Kapanen’s first period goal. The assist is Marner’s first shorthanded point of the season. He had a shorthanded goal and two shorthanded assists in 201819.
  • Jake Muzzin collected the secondary assist on Kapanen’s first period goal and later had the secondary assist on Matthews’ first period goal. Muzzin has assists (4) in three consecutive games. He had one shorthanded assist last season in 30 games with the Maple Leafs. Tonight’s game is his first multi-assist and multi-point game of the season.
  • Andreas Johnsson registered the primary assist on Matthews’ first period goal and later recorded the primary assist on Nylander’s second period goal. Johnsson has two multi-point performances in his last four games. He has assists (3) in two consecutive games. All seven (2-4-7) of his points have come on home ice.
  • – Frederik Andersen stopped 34 shots in the overtime loss. Tonight’s game is his 200th game as a Maple Leaf. He is the 13th goaltender to reach the milestone.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)
1st 2nd 3rd OT TOTAL

COLUMBUS 9 (4) 15 (12) 10 (8) 4 (0) 38 (24)

TORONTO 13 (5) 12 (11) 6 (6) 0 (0) 31 (22)

SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)

1st 2nd 3rd OT TOTAL

COLUMBUS 15 (9) 21 (17) 16 (13) 5 (0) 57 (39)

TORONTO 23 (12) 23 (21) 12 (12) 2 (0) 60 (45)

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

  • The Maple Leafs are 3-2-2 at home this season.
  • – Toronto’s all-time record is 14-11-1-4 in 30 games against the Blue Jackets and 6-6-1-3 in 16 games played in Toronto.
  • – Toronto is 4-2-2 against the Eastern Conference this season and 1-1-1 against the Metropolitan Division.
  • – Tonight’s attendance was 18,898.
    MAPLE LEAFS LEADERS
    Shots 6 (Matthews)
    Shot Attempts 8 (Barrie, Matthews)
    Faceoff Wins 10 (Spezza)
    Faceoff Win Percentage 78% (Gauthier, Shore – 7 won, 2 lost)
    Hits 4 (Moore)
    Blocked Shots 3 (Ceci)
    Takeaways 2 (Matthews)
    TOI 27:06 (Rielly)
    Power Play TOI 2:37 (Rielly)
    Shorthanded TOI 5:22 (Ceci, Muzzin)
    Shifts 30 (Muzzin, Rielly)
    5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage 76.7% (Johnsson – 23 for, 7 against)

RECORD WHEN…

  • The Maple Leafs were 4-for-5 on the penalty kill and 0-for-2 on the power play tonight. Toronto is 2-12 when allowing one power play goal this season and 2-2-1 when not scoring a power play goal.
  • – Toronto is 3-2-2 when their opponent scores the first goal of the game.
  • – The Maple Leafs are 1-1-1 when tied after one period and 5-0-2 when leading after two periods.
  • – Toronto is 1-1-2 when outshot by their opponent.
  • – The Maple Leafs are 0-1-1 in Monday games.
    OF NOTE…
  • Toronto forwards Frederik Gauthier and Nick Shore were the lone Maple Leafs to not start a 5-on-5 shift in the offensive zone. – Frederik Gauthier was 5-for-6 (83%) in the faceoff circle when taking defensive zone draws.
  • – Auston Matthews was on the ice for a team-high 28 Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5. Matthews finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 66.7 percent (28 for, 14 against).
  • – Nick Shore won 100 percent (5 won, 0 lost) of his faceoffs when matched up with Columbus centre Alexander Wennberg.
  • – Jason Spezza won 60 percent (6 won, 4 lost) of his offensive zone faceoffs.
    UPCOMING GAMES:
  • Tuesday, October 22, 7:00 p.m. at Boston Bruins (TSN4, TSN 1050)
  • – Friday, October 25, 7:00 p.m. vs. San Jose Sharks (Sportsnet Ontario, FAN 590)
  • – Saturday, October 26, 7:00 p.m. at Montreal Canadiens (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)
  • – Tuesday, October 29, 7:00 p.m. vs. Washington Capitals (TSN4, TSN 1050)
  • – Saturday, November 2, 7:00 p.m. at Philadelphia Flyers (Sportsnet, FAN 590)

“It was hooking (on the penalty shot). He had his stick on the guy. So, if you put your stick on a guy’s hands, you go to the box. So, when you go to the box that many times – if you remember the previous game, we went to a box too many times. The game before we went to the box too many times. So, after a while it’s nobody else. Own it, you can get on with it.” –Mike Babcock.

HEAD COACH MIKE BABCOCK

On tonight’s game:

Obviously, we lost two battles there right at the start of the game and they scored two goals right away. I thought we really got our game going, I thought we were playing good, but, I mean, we were in the box it was five, I think. If you count the one in overtime that’s six times. The penalties are hooking and slashing… Let me look right here – slashing, tripping, hooking, tripping, tripping.

On if he got an explanation on the penalty shot:

I didn’t, it was hooking. He had his stick on the guy. So, if you put your stick on a guy’s hands, you go to the box. So, when you go to the box that many times – if you remember the previous game, we went to a box too many times. The game before we went to the box too many times. So, after a while it’s nobody else. Own it, you can get on with it.

On the penalties the team has taken:

Well, just put your stick on people — put stick on puck, not stick not on hands. And let’s have a quick look: tripping, tripping, interference, again slashing. And that’s two games ago. Holding, tripping, hooking.

On Muzzin saying the team needs to improve its defensive play:

I agree with the him. The issues for us: shift length – discipline and shift length – and, then, sort it out defensively. You know, we do lots of good things. The ability to maintain it and do it for 60 hasn’t been something that we’ve done, game-in and game-out, and that’s what good teams do. You’ve got to mature and grow up as a group for that to happen. You just have to. The level of focus that you bring to your job each day, no matter what job you do, has to be at a high.

FREDERIK ANDERSEN (34 SAVES)

On the decision to award the penalty shot:

I thought he said it was hooking. I just want to see because [Marner] was close to the puck there, I felt like I had covered it, but I think it was the hook.

On Columbus getting out to a 2-0 lead early:

Yeah, I mean, they had a good forecheck on their PK and obviously capitalized there and got one off the skate, an unfortunate bounce. I thought we were able to keep at it and come back and tie things up. I think we had good parts of the game, but sometimes it’s tough to dig yourself out of a hole like that.

MITCH MARNER (1 ASSIST)

On the play that resulted in a Columbus penalty shot:

It’s unfortunate. We got sticks in their feet, their hands and they called it. You want to have those ones back but stuff happens.

On Columbus getting a lead early:

Yeah, I mean, a slow start again, tough turnovers. They made it count. So, just got to make sure that we forget this one, put it behind us and get ready for Boston.

On if they should have played more conservatively in the offensive zone in overtime:

No, I thought, you know, I was playing high and then I felt like at the end of the shift, probably should have changed. I had a second to do it. Probably should have got off but stayed out there, saw the puck go the other way, tried to get back. Stuff happens.

AUSTON MATTHEWS (1 GOAL, 1 ASSIST)

On the overtime sequence that resulted in a penalty shot for Columbus:

We had a couple good looks there at the end and then I didn’t have a great eye on what happened at our end.

On going down 0-2 early in the first period:

It was a couple mental mistakes, one on the power play and then that’s my fault there on that second one. I should have had my guy, can’t let him get to the net like that. I thought we battled back, obviously tied the game up there in the first period with two big goals, got the lead there and then, obviously, they forced overtime. We’ve got to find a way to get those extra points.

On the play of Frederik Andersen:

Obviously, that breakaway at the end there was a big save. He made a number of really good saves for us to keep us ahead, keep us tied. I thought in the third they kind of came at us and had momentum there for a bit. I thought he did a really good job of keeping us in it.

JAKE MUZZIN (2 ASSISTS)

On the overtime penalty shot call:

I don’t know exactly what the ruling is but I felt we maybe should have gone on a penalty kill, I don’t know about the penalty shot, but that’s what happened and they capitalized. We had some chances before that and in overtime it’s going to be exciting both ways. We shouldn’t have let it get to that point but we took a point so we’ll take it and move on here.

On if the team made it hard on Andersen:

You come out with a slow start like that and give them two – you know [Andersen] has been a rock for us all year. We’d like to come out with a better start but we battled back and took the lead and we let up again. We’ve got to find a way to come out and put together a full 60 of hard work and playing the right way. We do it in spurts but we need to do it a consistent effort through the full 60 minutes.