“I don’t want to sit here and talk about me or the umpires. This is not about me or the umpires. This is about the Washington Nationals and those guys in the clubhouse coming to Game 6 and playing lights out, knowing that this could be it. And I’m super proud of them.” — DAVE MARTINEZ.

October 29, 2019

Dave Martinez

Houston, Texas – postgame 6

Washington – 7, Houston – 2

Q. Strasburg revealed after the game that he had been tipping his pitches in the first inning and a coaching adjustment was made. What was the conversation like in the dugout?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We need to fix — you’re tipping your pitches, we need to fix it. And after that he was lights out. He was really good.

Big pitchers in big moments do what Strasburg did today. I told him after the game, I said, that was tremendous. You picked us all up, and we’re going to Game 7 because of your performance.

Q. Can you explain from your vantage point the Trea Turner play, what you saw. And secondly, what set you off in between innings?
DAVE MARTINEZ: You know, I really — look, I don’t want to sit here and talk about me or the umpires. This is not about me or the umpires. This is about the Washington Nationals and those guys in the clubhouse coming to Game 6 and playing lights out, knowing that this could be it. And I’m super proud of them.

I mean — and in the heat of the moment things get blown out of hand. I saw things differently. But I’m not going to — like I said, I’m never going to criticize any umpires or anything, because they’re a big part of the game.

I’m just really proud of the boys and the way they came out and played today. That’s all I want to say about that. We’ve got another game tomorrow. Let’s come back tomorrow and win again.

Q. I know you don’t want to make it about yourself, but it looked on the replay like maybe someone made contact with you and that was really what kind of escalated it.
DAVE MARTINEZ: Like I said, you know, I don’t really want to make this about me and take away what the boys did tonight. They played really well. I mean, Rendon stepped up big, Adam Eaton, all of them. The defense, the hustling, Strasburg, Doo coming in getting a couple big outs for us.

Let’s just come back tomorrow. We’re going to Game 7. It’s a lot of fun. Let’s come back tomorrow and do it again.

Q. Is Max starting tomorrow? Why was he in the bullpen? Was there ever a chance he was going to pitch tonight?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Max is starting tomorrow. We got him up knowing that if the game is tied or we were up a run we might have to use him. He wanted to go down there and just throw and get loose. We scored some more runs and I immediately shut him down. I felt very comfortable with Doo, Huddie, and Stras right there.

Q. Bregman carried the bat past first base on his home run, later Soto almost carried the bat down there. Certainly seems like there was something going on down there. Did he wake you guys up?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We didn’t like it. And the fact that Soto did it, I’ll be quite honest with you, I didn’t like it when he did it, as well. It’s a conversation I’ll have with Juan. That’s not who we are. I mean, if he feels like he wants to carry the bat all the way to first base, then that’s him.

But I don’t like when our guys do it. I don’t like the celebration outside the dugout. I’ve said that before. That’s just not who we are.

Q. What explanation did you get on the call at first base?
DAVE MARTINEZ: All the explanation was it was just a judgment call.

Q. And have you seen a replay of it?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I’ve seen a lot of replays of it.

Q. What is your opinion of it after —
DAVE MARTINEZ: Like I said, I just don’t — I don’t want to make this about one play. It was a big play. I just don’t want to make it about one play.

The boys, obviously Anthony came up big, hit a home run. And we were celebrating, cheering. The boys were happy. And that’s what this is all about.

Q. Home-field advantage can often be a deciding factor in the playoffs and World Series. You dropped three games in DC, won three games here. Is there any way to explain what’s going on in the other team’s ballparks?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Honestly, no. It’s weird, really. I mean, we can’t explain it. I know we were trying to win games at home and just couldn’t do it. We came here today and, like I say, behind Stephen Strasburg we played really well.

Q. You said you got Scherzer up during the game and then shut him down. Have you talked to Scherzer on how he felt, how his neck felt after him throwing in the bullpen?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He said he felt good. And he didn’t like warm up to get in the game, he was just throwing to get loose. And after the game he’s ready to go.

Q. Did you see anything different out of Anthony coming into this game? He had a really good game. He was struggling a little bit back at home but this game he seemed to explode.
DAVE MARTINEZ: He’s the same Anthony. He’s really good. He hits the ball where he’s pitched. And he utilizes the whole field. And today his last at-bat, he drove the ball to right center field. I’ve seen him do that all year. He was on time. He was good today.

Q. I apologize for belaboring, asking about this, our job is to try to explain it and be clear. Did you protest the game? If you did, what did you protest and what were you told?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Okay. So I know the rules. I know you can’t protest a judgment call. I wanted him to go look at — just look at the play, and like a rule check. We were told before the series started that we can ask for a rule check. But part of me just said, Hey, we’ll protest the game. I know we can. Just check the rules. And they did that.

Q. Could I just ask what specifically you were protesting?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Honestly nothing, because I knew that you couldn’t. I mean, I wanted them to go look at the replay. Go look and just give me a rules check, that’s all. They came back and honestly, that was it. I dropped it. Done. They went and checked. They spent a few minutes. I’ve done it before knowing that you can’t do anything about it. And then things escalated.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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