“I’ve always said this: Strikeouts are not okay, regardless of what people say. I don’t believe in it. There’s nothing comes from it when you strike out, you’re just going to walk back to the dugout. I believe in just putting the ball in play. Things happen when you put the ball in play, regardless. Regardless of whether you get a hit or not. But good things happen when you constantly put the ball in play. And we’ve got better at that. And tonight was a perfect example.” — DAVE MARTINEZ.

October 23, 2019

Dave Martinez

Houston, Texas – postgame 2

Washington 12, Houston 3

Q. On May 24th you had a 0.1 percent chance of winning the pennant, and here you are leading 2-0 in the World Series. I’m curious given that, what’s your philosophy on odds?
DAVE MARTINEZ: You know what, I wish I was a betting man, but I’m not. I don’t really believe in that stuff.

What I believe in is hard work, being consistent in what we do, and sticking to our process, and we did that. I said it all along, when this team was down, I felt like we had starting pitching that could keep us in the ball games. And once we got healthy that things would change. We’re here because the boys never gave up.

Q. You talked all year about Stras’s development and his influence in the clubhouse. But specifically how has he improved at finishing outings like he did tonight?
DAVE MARTINEZ: One, he has the confidence to do it. And two, I said this before, he’s become a premier pitcher, a big game pitcher. We’ve seen that. He doesn’t get rattled. He knows what he needs to do. He stays in the moment, which is huge for him. He doesn’t get overly excited when things happen. And he loves the big game. He really does.

Again, you saw it tonight. He battled through some innings and got some huge outs for us.

Q. If you go into the 7th either tied or up one, is that a situation for Patrick Corbin? So I guess that rally, how did that change your approach to the pitching?
DAVE MARTINEZ: You know what, I’m glad I don’t have to think about that, honestly. It worked out perfectly. So we were going to try to stay away from Corbin, though. And it worked out great.

Q. What has it been about your pitching that’s kept the Astros from scoring? They’ve left a lot of runners on base the last two games.
DAVE MARTINEZ: Just making pitches. Making pitches. We talked about coming into this series knowing that these guys don’t chase. They see a lot of pitches. But we have to continue to pound the strike zone and they’re doing that.

Q. Were you surprised to see that intentional walk to Juan Soto?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No. No, he’s seeing the ball really well right now, he’s swinging the bat really well. I had a feeling once first base was open that they’d walk him. But again, that’s okay. We have Howie behind him who’s been unbelievable.

Q. You guys have been good two-out hitters all year. How would you explain today, it seemed like that was on another level?
DAVE MARTINEZ: For me, we’ve talked about this a lot when we were struggling, and the strikeouts. I’ve always said this: Strikeouts are not okay, regardless of what people say. I don’t believe in it. There’s nothing comes from it when you strike out, you’re just going to walk back to the dugout. I believe in just putting the ball in play. Things happen when you put the ball in play, regardless. Regardless of whether you get a hit or not. But good things happen when you constantly put the ball in play. And we’ve got better at that. And tonight was a perfect example.

Q. Going with Michael A. Taylor there, how is Vic?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We wanted to give him a break. He came back from that hamstring injury, I thought it would be a good opportunity to take him out and let Michael get in there.

Q. Could you talk to us about Suzuki’s home run? Because it was tied 2-2 going into that inning and all of a sudden a hitter who hadn’t been having that much success in the postseason could get a hit like that off of Verlander.
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, that was huge. And I’m glad he hit the home run. And I’m actually glad that — Stras pitched unbelievable, and he was able to get that win from that.

But Suzuki gives us good at-bats, he’s given us good at-bats all year. He got a good pitch to hit and he put a good swing on it.

Q. Following up on Kurt, clearly you said he had good at-bats, but defensively and what he’s done, he came back from an injury there at the end of the DS.
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, he’s been — both him and Yan has done an unbelievable job with the pitching staff. And we knew that when we got these two guys what they can do. I seen Suzuki from afar playing against him when he was in Atlanta, just handled that pitching staff. And Yan I’ve known for a lot of years, and what he does behind the plate.

But he’s been incredible. He has a game plan, he sticks to the game plan. He’s very adamant about what he wants to do to hitters and he communicates really well with our pitching staff.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

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