“That’s been fun for me because this is a true team and these guys are all in it together. They’re not ashamed if they’re nervous because it’s their first World Series, and they’re not overconfident just because they’ve been there, done that before. And that blend that we’ve been able to put together has gotten us to this point.” –AJ HINCH.

October 29, 2019

AJ Hinch

Houston, Texas – pregame 6

Q. When Stephen Strasburg is on, he’s really locating low in the zone. When you guys are approaching him, what’s your game plan to try to get him out of his rhythm?
AJ HINCH: You know, we have to stay inside the strike zone against Strasburg. We did a really good job of that in Game 2, and made him work almost every inning to get through his innings. You can get these 15-, 18-, 20-, 25-pitch innings and then all of a sudden he can’t vacate the strike zone, he’s got to stay inside the strike. That’s easier said than done.

We have to make him work to get his outs. You can’t go up there swinging at everything because he will feast on that. But you also have to be ready to hit in case that strike is a little bit higher in the strike zone.

He’s tough. He’s really good. But I think a disciplined approach is the best approach against him, with the idea that if he’s demonstrating that he’s going to go to the big part of the plate be ready to hit.

Q. What in general when your guys see a pitcher for the second time in a week, how good are they at adjusting and what benefit is it to you guys?
AJ HINCH: It’s usually not as big a benefit when the guys are elite as it is when the guy may not be as elite. But you try to discern whether or not you’re going to be the first to adjust or is he going to be the first to adjust. And we have the same dilemma on the other side of the ball as well with JV as what comes first, their adjustment or your adjustment.

I think the idea is not to get too caught up with what was done last week and try to just stay in the moment and stay in the at-bat and try to win that at-bat. You can overflood yourself with information and he might do this, he might do that.

You do that against elite pitching and you’re already behind a little bit just given the stuff that he can throw up there, and all of a sudden you complicate it with too much guesswork based on limited information. Just go up and compete.

It’s a little bit of an advantage to the hitter in terms of having seen him before, but it doesn’t make it that much easier, as seen by Gerrit Cole, reverse the other day when he went out and pitched great the second time.

Q. You shared a moment with Joe Smith in Game 5 when he came out pitching another scoreless inning. Can you talk about the confidence you have in him and the journey he’s had coming back from his Achilles injury?
AJ HINCH: Joe has been tremendous for us. He goes from not playing half the year to let’s see what he’s going to look like coming off an Achilles injury to he could be a useful part of a bullpen to he’s now a viable weapon late in his career and coming off injury.

Super proud for him and of him and how he goes about it and we have great banter. He and I have a great relationship. He was joking with me earlier in the series that I took him out against Turner. And then I reminded him that he just gave up a bullet to Turner, so that’s maybe why I took him out earlier in the series. We laughed about it.

He’s having the time of his life because of how long it took for him to get this opportunity and how many teams he played on, the disappointment of not being in the 2016 World Series. And then now he’s getting huge outs with the game on the line.

Proud of a lot of our guys but Joe certainly stands out as someone who deserves this.

Q. This is the first inning with Justin, do guys you even address that as a staff or do you just trust one of the greatest of the series?
AJ HINCH: I just address it. The only place I address it is here. I get asked about it every day. It’s not a career trend. It’s been a little bit of an October issue. One of which I’ll take the bullet for him and say I started him on three days’ rest and he had a hard time in the first inning, so that one’s on me.

I think the more you have to talk about it the more you start to look at it a little bit. But these are really good teams that have really good top of the orders. There’s no free pass in the first inning and it doesn’t get easier as the game goes on. It’s part of what his October has been this October so far. But just because it’s happened before, it doesn’t mean it has to define what’s going to happen tonight.

I look for him to be really good in the first.

Q. After Yordan didn’t have such a great ALCS, how did you get him dialed back into the World Series?
AJ HINCH: Just belief in him. I think belief goes a long way. I had a really tough decision at the end of the ALCS and I pinch-hit for him. That was ultimately rock bottom for him because the game was close. The bases were loaded. He’s facing an opportunity to face a left-handed pitcher in Zack Britton and I hit for him.

I think trying to reinstill confidence in him after that was really important. I think his teammates rallied around him. I think he’s got a great support system at home. I just kept giving him opportunity because of the impact that he can have.

National League rules took him out of the lineup for a couple of games. But I think the consistency in how you treat people and how you believe in people and how much opportunity you give them is ultimately how they find their comfort zone.

So it was just a matter of time, and that time was perfectly timed up the other day when he impacted the game the way he did. It’s a no-brainer for him to be in the middle of things.

Q. You’ve been through a lot with this team, obviously you won a World Series. But are there still things that you can learn about this group? And if so, what did you learn from the way they just had such a great road trip?
AJ HINCH: It’s interesting, because I think you loop together an organization. We have done some things around here the last few years, and we’re very proud of that. But every team is different. So I have two sections to answer in this. One section is the group that has been to the World Series and has won the World Series. That’s when you look at Springer, you look at Correa, you look at Altuve, you look at Bregman, JV. These guys were on our team.

But there’s a section of this team that’s not the same in ’17. Gerrit Cole wasn’t here, Michael Brantley wasn’t here, Joe Smith wasn’t here, Osuna. There’s a lot of guys — so I have two sections that you can kind of answer that question with.

What have I learned about the older group that’s been here is their calmness in the World Series has doubled and tripled and multiplied having been there before. What I’ve learned from the younger group or the guys that haven’t been here before — and they’re not necessarily young — is how much fun it is to do this for the first time.

And so I see it as sort of a dual group of guys that have all come together and they’re sharing their experiences, whether it’s enthusiasm, Gerrit Cole’s intensity being in the first World Series of his career to a World Series MVP in George Springer that just stays the course and then hits a huge home run to separate us in Game 5.

That’s been fun for me because this is a true team and these guys are all in it together. They’re not ashamed if they’re nervous because it’s their first World Series, and they’re not overconfident just because they’ve been there, done that before. And that blend that we’ve been able to put together has gotten us to this point.

Q. Two of the trends in baseball have been bullpenning and obviously the eruptions of runs this year with home runs. And yet the two teams that have gotten the furthest here have gotten here with starting pitching. Is that a reinforcement of what it takes to win in October or something more to be said about a correction afoot with starting pitching?
AJ HINCH: I think when you have the type of pitchers, not just having starting pitchers — we can all field starting pitchers, we’re fielding elite ones and so are they. That lends itself to sort of an older school brand of baseball where you hand the ball to a star, to an ace, to someone that you expect to go deep into the game and then you let them pitch.

The bullpenning idea for any one game, it’s really good. It’s an effective way to frustrate a really good lineup. And we saw that a couple of different times through the postseason for us. Where our guys didn’t love facing the Tampa bullpen or the Yankees bullpen or seeing guys any one given game.

Where that hurts you from this-is-the-way-it-should-always-be mentality is a longer series. You get into a five- and seven-game series, it’s tough for those guys to keep doing that. When you ask a bullpen to continually get 18 to 27 outs, you’re going to need a lot of guys to be really good in order for you to get to that finish line.

To win in October I think you need a lot of things. You do need starting pitching, you do need a good bullpen. You need an unknown star to step up and start hitting some home runs or making great defensive plays. You need a real team. And you can’t do that just one way otherwise we would just blueprint, copy and paste and do it the next postseason.

Managing your club is based on managing your personnel. In this particular instance, Davey and I have to manage elite starting pitching and we get to talk about old school ways of getting out of their way and just letting them pitch. It may be different next year if we don’t have these guys.

Q. For the group that was here two years ago and for the franchise itself, would a second title three years define the Astros in a way —
AJ HINCH: That’s really deep before Game 6 of the World Series.

I don’t know. I don’t know. Obviously it would be very special. But I don’t know. That’s too much for me. I’m just trying to get Turner out in the first inning for JV.

Q. Washington I assume empties its pitching staff tonight. Is there any way your approach is any different from any other game in this series?
AJ HINCH: No, we’re trying to win today’s game. I’ll empty my own tank. There’s certainly a couple of guys that I’m not going to use; Greinke and Cole. But we’re trying to win today’s game.

I think it’s important for our team to play today exactly how we played the previous 16 postseason games that we’ve played, and that’s try to win today’s game. And kind of all hands on deck, the right mentality, the approach.

There’s no soft landing into a Game 7. We’d be foolish to think that we have some sort of longer leash just because we’re not in an elimination game for us. Anything can happen. And I think if you change your mentality, you might change your results.

Q. Back to Alvarez. Do you remember the first time you saw him hit back in Spring Training? What kind of impact do you think he could have made this year?
AJ HINCH: First time I saw him hit was a couple of years ago he came over as a Minor League fill-in to come over and get a couple of at-bats in Big League Camp. This is a guy we traded for from the Dodgers, the big trade, we tried to sign him internationally, and he signed with the Dodgers, and then traded him for Josh Fields.

We knew who he was. Our Minor League people had continued to tell me his presence was mature, his approach was mature. And he hit the ball harder than any human they’d seen in a long time. All that turned out to be true.

This spring when he started to get more playing time, we played him in left, we DH’d him a lot. It’s great when you have a prospect that comes to Big League Camp because you can really give them a lot of attention and a lot of exposure. He’s going to play the back half of every single game pretty much.

Once he started hitting in the spring we felt he was very, very impactful, to the point of where Major League managers and coaches started begging their front offices to, like, Can this guy break with us? Can he come to the big leagues? We’re ready for him. He’s a left-handed presence. And he still had some unfinished business, and they got to the middle part of the year, and we felt like he was going to come up and make an impact.

When he got to the big leagues it was immediate. He’s handled success with grace. He’s fit into our clubhouse like a mature veteran even though he’s young. And he’s been nothing short of exceptional even in his struggles in the postseason.

Q. You talk about the players who have been here before. You’ve been here before but we know how you tend to grind. Describe last night and this morning for you.
AJ HINCH: Yeah, last night was good because I was tired from getting in at 5:30 in the morning the day before. It was easy. I watched the Rockets, hometown team here, on TV and just got to today’s game.

I think the longest wait is from like right now until game time. That’s where you’re just anxious to get to the game, I want these players to get ready, we’re ready to compete.

And I’ve been here before. I don’t have any nerves. I don’t have any tension. I don’t have any even a lot of stress. We know virtually everything that we need to know going into today’s game. We’ve had five games against these guys, there’s not going to be a ton of secrets. I don’t know exactly when they’re going to start runners or when he’s going to make a move on his pitching.

But we know their players. We’ve worked really hard to be prepared. We’ll talk a little bit about positioning between now and the beginning of the game, and then the real fun begins.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

ASAP sports

“(Scherzer is) good. He threw, he felt good. We’ll see what transpires between now and tonight. But he says he feels good. So, yeah, as of right now he’ll definitely start Game 7.” — DAVE MARTINEZ.

October 29, 2019

Dave Martinez

Houston, Texas – pregame 6

Q. If there’s a Game 7 tomorrow will Max Scherzer be your starter?
DAVE MARTINEZ: As of right now, yes. I think he talked to some of you guys already. He gave you thumbs up, didn’t he?

Q. He said he’s good.
DAVE MARTINEZ: He’s good. He threw, he felt good. We’ll see what transpires between now and tonight. But he says he feels good. So, yeah, as of right now he’ll definitely start Game 7.

Q. How much does that change how you may deploy starters like Anibal and Patrick out of the bullpen tonight?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I’ve talked to them all and they’re all ready to pitch tonight if need be.

Q. You say Max is available to start the game. Do you have a sense of how far you could push him? Is this a full Max start or potentially something less than that?
DAVE MARTINEZ: If Max tells me tonight that he’s good then Max will pitch until his neck decides he can’t pitch anymore. I can’t see myself telling Max, you’re only going to go 75 pitches. He’s going to want to go out there and go as long as he can.

Q. Any scenario in which you could use him tonight?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No, that’s — I feel that will be pushing it. Like I said, he threw flat ground today after not being able to move his neck or trap for two days. I just wanted him to get through these next couple of hours and see how he feels.

Q. What’s been the process for Max since Sunday, since he had the injection? What other things has he done to feel better? Did he feel better immediately? What did he do yesterday? Did he fly with you guys? And what has he done today prior to throwing?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He couldn’t do anything for 24 hours. He definitely flew with us. We put him in a neck brace. We sat him up in first class, so he had a lot of room (laughter). So he woke up today, wanted to throw. Came out and threw flat ground. He let it air out and he said he felt good. Right now, like I said, we’re at the point now where let’s see how he feels in the next couple of hours. I just left him. I think he was doing a crossword puzzle right now and getting ready to do some treatment.

Q. Sunday he mentioned the possibility of long-term damage, which was a consideration when you’re going through the whole thing, and he couldn’t raise his arm. Where is the organization and him with that concept as it relates to throwing until his neck tells him he can’t?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Like I said, we’ll — if you know Max like I know Max, everything is — he’s got to look at the whole big picture. He feels good today. And that’s all I know. So we’ll see, and we’ll determine how he feels come tomorrow.

Q. You saw him throwing off of flat ground and airing it out. How do you know or do you know if you get the same Max Scherzer that you normally do coming off of this injury in Game 7?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Today he looked normal. Just like any other day he throws flat ground. He looked really good. Hoping, like I said, hoping he progresses from here to tomorrow. My guess is he comes out tomorrow and he’s going to get prepared like he prepares any other game and he’s ready to go and you’re going to see Max be Max.

Q. With these two teams has been scoring first been more important than even it is normally? And if so, why?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, absolutely. We preach scoring first all year long. But when you’re playing in these types of games I think it’s important that you get off to a good start and you want to score early. You want to put the pressure on the other team right from the first inning. Our focus today again is to get on base, create havoc and try to score right away.

You see these pitchers as the game gets going these pitchers are really good. As the game gets going they seem to get better and better. And they start getting in that rhythm. We want to kind of disrupt that early.

Q. With the situation that your team is in tonight and as well as he’s pitched all season long, how comforting is it for you to have Stephen start Game 6?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He’s been one of the best all year long. It feels good knowing that he’s going out there to start Game 6 for us and he’s going to give us whatever he can and keep us in the ball game.

Q. How is Kurt doing? Is he available at all tonight? Would you expect him to possibly be available tomorrow if you guys are going to play to start?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, Kurt is doing better. He came in yesterday, got treatment, worked out, did some running. And he felt better than he did the day before. If we are need him today, pinch-hit-wise or even to catch he’s available. Barring nothing happens come tomorrow, you know, I’m going to talk to him in the morning and see how he’s feeling and if he’s up to it, yeah, he’ll catch Game 7, catch Max.

Q. With the experience that you’ve had here last week winning a couple of games here, does that help at all with nerves going into tonight?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I think it helps our players knowing that they got a chance to play here for a couple of days. They know the environment. They know the field. And I think that definitely helps them out a lot.

Q. Is there anything about the Astros that has surprised you the first five games that maybe you didn’t see in the scouting report or didn’t expect?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No, they’re really good. We knew that coming in. You don’t win over a hundred games and not be as good as they are. But they’re a good team. Run by a good manager. Have a lot of respect for them.

And up to this point it’s been a fun season. I told the boys, we’re down 1-0 in a two out of three series. We’ve been here before. So let’s just focus on today. Win today. And then win the series.

Q. How crucial has your team’s defense been to your success this season?
DAVE MARTINEZ: They’ve been unbelievable, especially when we got healthier early in the year. I don’t remember if you guys remember, we had no Anthony and no Trea for quite a bit. And when they came back those guys solidify that side of our infield. But our defense, we’ve been playing well.

Look, we’ve been playing well. We’ve just got to score. I tell them, it’s not about scoring a whole lot of runs, it’s about scoring one more than the other guy, and that’s what we’ve got to focus on.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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Seattle removes three players from 40-man roster, Ryon Healy elects free agency. 

SEATTLE, Wash. – Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today the following roster moves:

  • Anthony Bass, RHP, claimed off waivers by Toronto.
  • Keon Broxton, OF, declined outright to Triple-A Tacoma and elected free agency.
  • Matt Wisler, RHP, claimed off waivers by Minnesota.
  • Ryon Healy, INF, elected free agency after declining yesterday’s outright to Triple-A Tacoma.

Seattle’s 40-man roster is now at 37 players.

Bass, 31 (turns 32 on Friday), finished the season 2-4 with 5 saves (10 opportunities) and 6 holds, posting a 3.56 ERA (19 ER, 48.0 IP) with a 2.53 SO/BB rate (43/17) over 44 relief appearances with the Mariners. Among Seattle relievers with at least 45.0 innings pitched, Bass’ 3.56 ERA ranked third behind Cory Gearrin (3.20) and Erik Swanson (3.28), while his opponents’ batting average of .179 (30×168) led the bullpen.

Bass has appeared in parts of 8 Major League seasons with the Padres (2011-13), Astros (2014), Rangers (2015, ‘17), Cubs (2018) and Mariners (2019). He was signed by the Mariners on May 21 after being released by Cincinnati the day before. Made his Mariners debut on May 22 at Texas, throwing 0.2 scoreless innings.

Broxton, 29, hit .115 (6×52) with 5 runs, 2 home runs, 5 RBI, 8 walks, and 2 stolen bases in 29 games with the Mariners last season. He was claimed off waivers from Baltimore on July 27 after he was designated for assignment by the Orioles on July 21. He started the season with New York-NL, and was acquired by Baltimore in exchange for international bonus pool money on May 22. Overall, he hit .167 (34×204) with 24 runs, 4 doubles, 6 home runs, 16 RBI, 10 stolen bases, and 20 walks in 100 games with New York-NL (34 G), Baltimore (37 G), and Seattle (29 G).

Broxton was selected by the Diamondbacks in the 3rd round of the 2009 MLB First-Year Player Draft out of Santa Fe Community College. He has appeared in parts of 5 Major League seasons with Pittsburgh (2015), Milwaukee (2016-18), New York-NL (2019), Baltimore (2019) and Seattle (2019).

Wisler, 27, went 1-2 with 4 holds over 23 games (8 starts) with Seattle, posting a 6.04 ERA (15 ER, 22.1 IP) with 29 strikeouts to just six walks. He began the season with San Diego, making 21 relief appearances and going 2-2 with a 5.28 ERA (17 ER, 29.0 IP) with four holds and 34 strikeouts.

Wisler has appeared in parts of 5 Major League seasons with the Braves (2015-18), Reds (2018), Padres (2019) and Mariners (2019). He was acquired by the Mariners on July 4 from the Padres for cash considerations after being designated for assignment on June 29.

Healy, 27 (turns 28 on January 10), was outrighted to Triple-A Tacoma yesterday. Today he declined the outright and has elected free agency.

“Jake Muzzin is averaging 30.3 shifts per game, which is the highest average among all NHL skaters. He has been on the ice for the most 5-on-5 shot attempts-for (244) and the most 5-on-5 unblocked shot attempts-for (174) among all NHL skaters.”

WASHINGTON CAPITALS (8-2-3 – 19 Points) vs. TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (6-5-2 – 14 Points)




ALL-TIME RECORD: 63-71-10-4 (148 Games)

ALL-TIME AT HOME: 38-27-6-1 (72 Games) 2019-20: 0-1-0

LAST FIVE: 2-3-0 LAST 10: 4-5-1


GAMES PLAYED: Jason Spezza (40), John Tavares (38), Morgan Rielly (19)

GOALS: John Tavares (17), Jason Spezza (14), Mitch Marner (3), Auston Matthews (3) ASSISTS: Jason Spezza (24), John Tavares (16), Morgan Rielly (10)

POINTS: Jason Spezza (38), John Tavares (33), Morgan Rielly (11)

PENALTY MINUTES: Jason Spezza (16), Morgan Rielly (8), John Tavares (8)


TORONTO WASHINGTON GOALS FOR (Rank): 46 (2nd) 49 (1st)

GOALS AGAINST (Rank): 44 (28th) 43 (t-26th)

POWER PLAY [%] (Rank): 8/38 [21.1%] (16th) 11/44 [25.0%] (t-8th)

PENALTY KILL [%] (Rank): 32/41 [78.0%] (22nd) 39/46 [84.8%] (8th)

SHOTS (Rank): 425 (3rd) 394 (7th)

5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPTS FOR (Rank): 574 (1st) 494 (5th) 5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % (Rank): 52.7% (7th) 50.5% (13th)

FACEOFF % (Rank): 52.8% (4th) 50.1% (t-14th)


FIRST MATCHUP BETWEEN CLUBS: Oct. 10, 1974 at WSH (Toronto 4, Washington 3)

ALL-TIME RECORD: 63-71-10-4 (148 Games)

ALL-TIME RECORD AT HOME: 38-27-6-1 (72 Games)

ALL-TIME RECORD ON THE ROAD: 25-43-4-3 (76 Games)

LAST WIN VS. OPPONENT AT HOME: Jan. 23, 2019 (Toronto 6, Washington 3)

MAPLE LEAFS MILESTONES vs. CAPITALS Frederik Andersen 300th career NHL game (Feb. 21, 2019 vs. WSH) William Nylander 100th career NHL game (April 4, 2017 vs. WSH) John Tavares 100th career NHL goal (March 9, 2013 (NYI) vs. WSH) 600th career NHL game (Nov. 2, 2017 (NYI) at WSH)


POWER PLAY POINTS 6 (Marner) SHORTHANDED POINTS 2 (Kapanen) PIMs 12 (Johnsson, Kerfoot) SHOTS 52 (Matthews) FACEOFF WIN% 60.8% (Shore) 5-on-5 SHOT ATTEMPT % 62.5% (Petan) BLOCKED SHOTS 27 (Ceci) TAKEAWAYS 16 (Marner) HITS 30 (Moore) TOI PER GAME 24:46 (Rielly) PP TOI PER GAME 2:58 (Rielly) SH TOI PER GAME 3:21 (Ceci)


– Frederik Andersen has made eight career appearances against Washington and has posted a 5-2-1 record with a 2.82 goals-against average and a .913 save percentage. – Tyson Barrie has recorded all four of his assists and 22 of his 34 shots on goal at home this season. He is tied for fifth among NHL defencemen in shots on goal (34).

Cody Ceci is tied for eighth in the NHL in blocked shots (27). He is seventh among NHL skaters in total shorthanded time on ice (43:32).

– Frederik Gauthier is tied for 10th among all NHL skaters in defensive zone faceoff wins (48), winning 59.3 percent of his defensive zone draws (48 won, 33 lost).

– Michael Hutchinson has made 138 saves at this season, which is the sixth-most among goaltenders who have appeared in five or fewer games.

– Andreas Johnsson has registered seven (2 goals, 5 assists) of his eight points on home ice this season. He has a goal and an assist in three career games against the Capitals.

Kasperi Kapanen has five career points against Washington (2 goals, 3 assists), which is his secondhighest point total against a single opponent (Detroit – 5-2-7).

– Alex Kerfoot is one of two Maple Leafs (Auston Matthews) to have taken at least 100 faceoffs (128) while registered at least 20 shots on goal (20). His 1.24 goals per 60-minute average is the secondhighest average among Toronto skaters (Matthews).

Mitch Marner is tied for eighth among NHLers in points (3-12-15) and is tied for fifth among NHL skaters in assists (12). His nine primary assists are tied for the fith-most in the NHL. He ranks second in the NHL in takeaways (16)

Auston Matthews is tied for third in the NHL in goals (9) and is tied for second in the NHL in even-strength goals (7) through 13 games in 2019-20. He is tied for third among NHL skaters in shots on goal (52). He is one of 10 NHLers to average at least four shots on goal per game (4.0).

Ilya Mikheyev is tied for the lead in points among rookie skaters (4-6-10). He leads all rookie forwards in shorthanded ice time (30:47), shifts per game (23.3) and shots on goal (32). – Trevor Moore is one of two NHL rookies to have registered at least 20 hits (26) and 20 shots on goal (23). He is the only NHL rookie to average at least 1:00 per game in power play ice time (1:25) and 1:00 per game in shorthanded ice time (1:48).

Jake Muzzin is averaging 30.3 shifts per game, which is the highest average among all NHL skaters. He has been on the ice for the most 5-on-5 shot attempts-for (244) and the most 5-on-5 unblocked shot attempts-for (174) among all NHL skaters.

William Nylander has taken his shots from an average distance of 23.1 feet from goal, which is the 10th-closest mark among NHL skaters who have recorded at least 25 shots on goal (28). He has drawn four penalties, which is tied for the most among Toronto skaters.

– Morgan Rielly is tied for second among NHL defencemen in points (3-10-13). His 24:46 TOI per game average is the 10th-highest mark in the NHL He is fifth in the NHL in shifts per game (29.9). He has started 73 shifts in the defensive zone, which is tied for the eighth-most defensive zone starts in the NHL.

Nick Shore has the second highest even-strength faceoff win percentage (66.1% – 39 won, 20 lost) among NHL skaters who have won 30 even-strength draws. He has started the fifth-most shifts in the defensive zone in the NHL (75).


Mitch Marner Has assists (3) in two consecutive games.

Auston Matthews Has points (1-1-2) in two consecutive games.

Ilya Mikheyev Has assists (2) and points (1-2-3) in two consecutive games

. Jake Muzzin Has goals (2) in two consecutive games. Morgan Rielly Has points (1-1-2) in two consecutive games.


Kevin Gravel First game as a Maple Leaf (Oct. 22 at BOS)


Tyson Barrie Three games from 500 NHL games played.

Michael Hutchinson Four wins from 50 career NHL wins

. Andreas Johnsson Five games from 100 career NHL games played.

Auston Matthews Three assists from 100 career NHL assists


Travis Dermott (Shoulder) On injured reserve.

Zach Hyman (Knee) On injured reserve

. John Tavares (Finger) Sustained broken finger on Oct. 16 at WSH. Man Games Lost: 31



“OG was great tonight. He did a really good job again with his on-ball … how many steals did he have? He had five steals, two blocks. That’s a line right there. Again he was doing everything right, communicating the switches, helping on the weak side, made a couple of great rotations when we blitzed (Terrence) Ross and he has the basket. He went down there and plugged the basket a few times.” –NICK NURSE.



NICK NURSE (HEAD COACH): Did you see any longer stretches of good play from your guys tonight? Yea, a little bit. Again I think the defence was really solid almost all night long. That is about three games in a row now really, that is has been pretty tough so that is good. I’d probably put us at the 30 minute mark right about now, played pretty good basketball for about 30 minutes and we need to extend that out.

On OG Anunoby … OG was great tonight. He did a really good job again with his on-ball … how many steals did he have? He had five steals, two blocks. That’s a line right there. Again he was doing everything right, communicating the switches, helping on the weak side, made a couple of great rotations when we blitzed (Terrence) Ross and he has the basket. He went down there and plugged the basket a few times. He did a nice job.

On Pascal Siakam’s matchup with Jonathan Isaac… Well, a lot better that he did in the regular season. I think again, he is a good defender and he is long and he gives Pascal some problems. The biggest thing is I thought that Pascal made a couple of huge moves when we needed them and after he was bottled up a couple of times he still kind of kept taking it at him, got his body at him and was able to score. It was a pretty solid game for Pascal. Are you surprised at how could Kyle Lowry has looked to start the season considering he missed time due to surgery? Nothing really surprises me about him to be honest with you. He is just such an experienced guy and he is such a gamer man, you know. I like it, his shot volume is up and we say keep shooting them. He only took 11 threes tonight, so ten is the number that we are going for, so he is getting there.

On the team’s response after Orlando took the lead late in the fourth quarter: Good team, we knew that it was going to be a good test. I thought it would be an interesting psychological battle considering we just played them. Then they took the lead there and our guys did a great job. It was a fairly calm timeout right, we had just handed back and eight or nine point deficit and fell behind. We just kind of said that the ball wasn’t bouncing our way and other things weren’t going our way for a stretch and we just had to keep playing. We came right out I think and got an and-one right out of that and took the lead right back. So that’s a sign of us hanging in there real strong.

PASCAL SIAKAM (24 points, nine rebounds) On what you’ve seen from OG Anunoby the first four games... I think he is really engaged on defence. He really wants to learn, he takes pride in playing defence, having fun out there and playing the game the right way. It’s definitely good to see him (after) the tough year last year and coming in this year and getting some minutes and playing the way he’s playing, with confidence and it’s really good to see. We just hope he continues that and anyway that we can help him, we are going to do that.

Are the foul calls you are getting a product of the role you are playing? I don’t know. I think something had to be done, either I gotta be better or, I don’t know, something has to be done. Like I said, a lot games where I’ve got to be careful, can’t be in foul trouble and it’s been four games in a row. I just have to do a better job, there is no excuse

. KYLE LOWRY (26 points, six assists, five rebounds) What has stood out about the defensive play of OG Anunoby? He’s just being solid. He reaches a few too many times that I’d like, but he’s a really good defender when he locks in on the ball and he can be one of the best. Why was the pick and roll with Pascal Siakam so successful? You have two good basketball players that have great spacing and getting help off of Marc (Gasol), OG and Fred (VanVleet), so you have to pick your poison with that one. Pascal made a jump shot and made another one, I got a three, couple free throws and we kind of pick and chose our spots where we needed to get on the floor. Kept it simple.

RAPTORS 104, MAGIC 95: postgame notes.


DATE: October 28, 2019 ATTENDANCE: 19,800 (Sellout)

Tonight marked Toronto’s 239th consecutive sellout (including playoffs) dating to Nov. 11, 2014 – the longest streak in franchise history.


Orlando 95 1-2 Isaac – 24 Vucevic – 12 Gordon/Fultz – 5

Toronto 104 3-1 Lowry – 26 Gasol/Ibaka – 10 Lowry/VanVleet – 6

KEY RUN Trailing 91-90 with 3:45 remaining, Toronto scored seven straight points to lead by six with 1:57 left … The Raptors outscored Orlando 14-4 over the final 3:45 of play to clinch the victory.

KEY STAT The Raptors shot .933 (28-for-30) from the free throw line, including a perfect 13-for-13 in the fourth quarter … Toronto preserved the win at the foul line converting nine free throws in the final 2:35 of play.


• With the victory, Toronto improved to 3-1 this season and 2-0 at home.

• The Raptors have won seven of their last nine regular season meetings with Orlando. • Toronto has held its opponent to fewer than 100 points in consecutive games – something that happened three times last season (Last: Dec. 16-19, 2018).

Kyle Lowry led all scorers with 26 points (7-18 FG, 3-11 3PT, 9-10), including 10 in the fourth quarter … He added a game high tying six assists and five rebounds in 38 minutes … Lowry has scored 20 or more in three of the first four games; averaging 22.0 points.

Fred VanVleet finished with 14 points and a game high-tying six assists in 38 minutes … VanVleet has recorded at least six assists in each of the first four games; averaging 6.3 assists.

• The Raptors had all five starters score in double figures – Lowry (26), Pascal Siakam (24), VanVleet (14), OG Anunoby (12) and Marc Gasol (10) … The starting unit combined for 86 points … Anunoby set a career high with five steals … Gasol added 10 rebounds in 26 minutes for his first double-double of the season.


• With the loss, Orlando falls to 1-2 on the season and 0-2 on the road. • The Magic’s reserves outscored Toronto’s bench 36-18.

• Orlando trailed by as many as 14 points early in the fourth before taking the lead with 4:18 remaining

– its first lead since early in the first quarter. • Jonathan Isaac scored a career-high 24 points (7-10 FG, 5-7 3PT, 5-5 FT) in 33 minutes of action … His five three-point field goals were a career best … Isaac totaled 11 points in the Magic’s first two games of the regular season.

• The Magic had five players score in double digits – Isaac (24), Evan Fournier (18), Markelle Fultz (13), Terrence Ross (11) and D.J. Augustin (10).