“(Suzuki) felt something when he went to block that ball in his hip flexor. We don’t know the severity of it yet. We’ll know more tomorrow. But it is his right hip flexor. His strength was good but we’ll see. I don’t know if he’s going to get an MRI, I haven’t talked to Paul yet or not about it. But we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.” –DAVE MARTINEZ.

October 25, 2019

Dave Martinez

Washington, D.C. – postgame 3

Houston 4, Washington 1

Q. You guys are so good with runners in scoring position, tonight 0-10. Did you see anything common in those at-bats?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Tonight we were a little bit aggressive outside the strike zone. We took balls I thought we should hit, uncharacteristic of what we’ve been doing. Greinke got out of some jams, got opportunities early. We couldn’t capitalize.

So let’s get some rest and come back tomorrow and do it again.

Q. Can you take us through your thinking in the fourth inning, you had a chance to hit for Sanchez with Robles on third. Did you think seriously that early in the game?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I seriously thought about it, yeah. But you know what, I like the way Sanchez was pitching, he’s only had 60 pitches. I thought the way things were going, like I said, we put the ball in play, just couldn’t put the ball in play with runners in scoring position.

I thought 2-1 the game was still fairly close. Like I say, I liked the way Sanchez was pitching at that point.

Q. Rendon and Soto both made some outs on the first pitch, guys in scoring position. Was that to be aggressive against Greinke or did something just present itself?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Like I said, we want to be aggressive in the strike zone. That’s our goal. Get ready to hit, especially guys in scoring position. It just didn’t happen tonight.

Q. When you were thinking about the bullpen coming into today, was there actually a realistic chance you might have gone to Max Scherzer and how close would it have to be for you to go with Hudson and Doolittle?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We got Hudson up a couple of times. We may get within two, I’d probably keep the game right there with Huddie or Doo or something.

But I’m really proud of the way the bullpen came out today and pitched. Joe was outstanding, Suero was really good. These guys came in and got some — Rodney came in and got out of a jam for us. They pitched well.

Q. There’s been a lot of happiness and hoopla around town surrounding this game. Sometimes on opening day teams don’t play quite like they usually do. Did you have a sense that your team was caught up in the day today?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I truly believe — we had opportunities today. We’ve been doing really well, driving in runs with men in scoring position; it just didn’t happen today. So we’ll come back tomorrow.

I will say this, though, the fans were awesome. I mean, it was electric. The boys in the dugout, they were fired up, they were. I’ll relay a message to the fans: Bring it again tomorrow. It was great. I loved it.

Q. The Astros stole four bases tonight, they weren’t just relying on the home run to score, they were hitting doubles. They were a little more aggressive compared to Game 2. Did you see a slightly different team, maybe the team you expected to see in the series tonight?
DAVE MARTINEZ: If I had to pick one weakness from Anibal, it’s hold the runners on. And we knew that. We tried different things. But he gets so focused on getting hitters out that sometimes he gets a little long.

So we knew that coming in and we knew they were going to try to steal some bases; they did that tonight. We just have to be aware.

Q. Obviously you won the first two games. How much easier would this series be if you didn’t have to get through Jose Altuve?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He’s pretty good. He’s one of the best. I love the way he plays the game, I really do. He goes in there, he’s going to battle. I thought we made pretty good pitches against him today, and he just hits. But that’s why he’s one of the best hitters in the game.

Q. How is Kurt and what’s your concern level with him?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He felt something when he went to block that ball in his hip flexor. We don’t know the severity of it yet. We’ll know more tomorrow. But it is his right hip flexor.

His strength was good but we’ll see. I don’t know if he’s going to get an MRI, I haven’t talked to Paul yet or not about it. But we’ll see how he feels tomorrow.

Q. Juan Soto has had a pretty incredible postseason so far. What have you seen from him just this postseason and what have you seen from him today?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He’s been really good. I just hope he hits at the age of 21. (Laughter.)

Q. They used a lot of relievers tonight that they’re probably going to have to use again tomorrow. Were you surprised at all how aggressive AJ was with the bullpen given how important this game was to them?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, this game, they’re trying to win a game. Those guys, hey, look, I’ve said this before, every game, you play to win every game. So they did that tonight. That bullpen knows what they’re playing for. Those guys will be rested and they’ll be ready to go tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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