“I went from not having a job on March 21st to this huge national conversation on family values going into the playoffs, like, hey, life comes at you fast, man, like I don’t know how that happened and how I became the face for whatever conversation was going on.” — Daniel Hudson.

October 12, 2019

Daniel Hudson

St. Louis, Missouri – pregame 2

Q. Congratulations. Can you just take us through what the last couple days have been like, how the time line kind of developed and if you want to share the baby’s name and everything.
DANIEL HUDSON: Yeah, baby’s name is Millie. M-I-L-L-I-E. She’s doing great, mom’s doing great. Thank you, everybody, for nice words and gestures the last 24, 36 hours, it’s been awesome.

Yeah, we, obviously her due date was originally the 14th. Once we kind of had an idea of a playoff schedule if we got past the Wild Card round who we were going to play, obviously Game 5 if we got to it in Los Angeles it was a little more convenient for me to get home. So we tried to schedule an induction for the 10th, which was yesterday. Just kind of made sense to go in between. If we were able to advance, obviously the 14th and my first two kids came a little bit later than their due date, so if you push it back a couple days you’re looking at maybe Game 6, Game 7 of a championship series. I figure Game 1 is a little bit better miss than an elimination game.

So that’s the way we tried to plan it. Obviously things changed. Thursday morning we were trying to see if we could get in early for the induction and the way it works, people that are doing natural birth come first, so we couldn’t get a bed until yesterday afternoon, yesterday evening. So that’s kind of the time line and that’s how it went. It’s just the way — you try to plan something and everything goes crazy, so.

Q. What was your conversation like with Davey and your wife, just the decision you made. It’s a big decision?
DANIEL HUDSON: Yeah, absolutely. My wife’s, she’s a rock star, she’s been around obviously the game just as long as I have. She knows kind of what’s going on. Obviously we didn’t exactly plan to have a baby in the middle of the playoffs, but like you said, you plan something and stuff goes crazy.

So everybody within the Nationals organization was completely 100 percent on board with our plan, and really thank Mike and Davey for being understanding, and all the guys as well. I got lots of outpours of love and great messages I got yesterday. It was really, really nice to get those and really appreciate all the support.

Q. How much did you follow along with the game, if at all, and how grateful were you that Anibal went out and did what he did?
DANIEL HUDSON: Yeah, it was awesome. It was really fun to watch. Obviously I got to watch from the postpartum room with mom and baby. So missed the beginning of the game, wasn’t exactly, didn’t know he had a no-hitter until midway through, so when they, one of the announcers said it. So it was really cool to see Anibal go out like that and dominate, man, it was a lot of fun to watch.

Q. What was your itinerary like today and what kind of state are you in physically and mentally to pitch tonight?
DANIEL HUDSON: Mentally there. Physically, I’m a little tired. But not a lot of sleep the last few nights. I had a 7 a.m. flight out of Los Angeles on Thursday morning, had a 6 a.m. flight out of Phoenix this morning, got in at 11. So a little bit tired, but we’ll get through it. Just go out there and try to get a win.

Q. You go through this couple days of something that’s mostly private, and in the meantime there’s this, what grows this national discussion about priorities and values and what you should be doing or whatever. Were you aware of this conversation?
DANIEL HUDSON: I’m not on social media anymore. I got rid of it a couple years ago. It’s just something, a decision I made to try to focus myself one more positive stuff in my life. Obviously it’s great tool. We were made aware of a lot of stuff that was going on, obviously, watching the game it was hard to ignore. I mean, I went, I was just telling somebody, I went from not having a job on March 21st to this huge national conversation on family values going into the playoffs, like, hey, life comes at you fast, man, like I don’t know how that happened and how I became the face for whatever conversation was going on.

Everybody’s got their opinions, man, and I really value my family and my family time. And like I said, the support I got from this organization, and most people, obviously, we were made aware of a lot of negative comments, but everybody’s got their opinions and everybody’s got their own priorities. And this organization was a hundred percent on board with what my priorities are and I’m really appreciative of that.

Q. Physically today how will you handle it preparing for a game and any different than normal?
DANIEL HUDSON: I’ll try to make it as normal as possible. Obviously, having a baby two days ago and a lot on my mind with that, obviously. Everybody’s doing great, physically with my family, and there’s no issues with mom or baby right now and we’re really lucky and fortunate to be in that situation and I’m just going to go out there and help the guys win. That’s really all I can do.

Q. Just curious, we had a little girl about a year ago and I’ve got a million pictures, how many pictures have you taken so far of your little girl?
DANIEL HUDSON: A lot man, yeah. We had a photographer come in yesterday. Obviously, I have two older girls as well, so this is my third girl. My oldest is 5, my middle one is 3. So needless to say my oldest was pretty excited to meet her new baby sister yesterday. So to be able to have that experience with my family and be there for the whole thing was everything I could have imagined. Obviously, it is my third kid. And top-3 things in my life 1A, 1B and 1C are — was being there fore the birth of all three of my daughters.

So like I said, organization was awesome for me, to let me be a part of that, it was great.

Q. Congratulations. You’ve been apart of a lot of teams. What is it about this team that maybe is different or special? And do you believe in karma? I mean, your manager goes down your center fielder goes down, people step up.
DANIEL HUDSON: Yeah, I mean, it’s a very resilient group. How many times everybody talks about the record that they started off with and all the wins that were accrued after that and best team in baseball for however long. And it just shows the amount of fight, like you said, and in all these guys and I think it goes to, it’s a testament of a lot of those guys. And they have been around the game for a long time, they know exactly what needs to be done, there’s no panic ever. Obviously, going down early against the Dodgers and then against the Brewers, you just see the fight in these guys and they, everybody wants to just kind of pass the baton and keep the ball rolling for everybody else.

Q. Having gone through it before as you did, I’m sure you know, like, what it would have been like to miss it. Could you imagine what it would have been like to miss it and how that, like, if you had come here out of a sense of duty, your mind would have been on back home. Did you think about the alternative?
DANIEL HUDSON: Not really. I don’t know, I knew I was going to go no matter what. It’s kind of — I didn’t realize that, I didn’t know that this was a new thing to have a playoff paternity leave list. I had no idea. I was, like, I can’t be the only person to have a baby in the middle of the postseason. And for it to blow up like it did, man, it’s kind of crazy. But I didn’t really give much thought about not going. My family is top priority for me. I heard somebody say one time baseball’s what I do, it’s not who I am. And kind of once you have kids or once I had kids it really resonated with me. So to be able to be a part of that was awesome. And like I said, I can’t thank the Nationals organization enough for being understanding.

Q. I know you went with Millie this time around, but Anibala Sean be in the mix should you have any more children?
DANIEL HUDSON: I don’t —

(Laughter.)

Yeah, that, Davey, that was a funny message he sent me last night. Yeah, we were actually undecided on a name at that point. We didn’t actually figure out a name until we went to bed last night. We kind of finally decided on Millie and, yeah, my wife got a good kick out of that, that was pretty funny.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

“We like our lineup and this lineup is capable and this is a similar lineup that beat Scherzer a couple weeks ago. So we’ll ride with it.” Mike Shildt.

October 12, 2019

Mike Shildt

St. Louis, Missouri – pregame 2

Q. Can you describe what you see from Paul DeJong here for maybe even the last several weeks or the last month and the challenge batting 8th might present for a guy who is searching for it a bit?
MIKE SHILDT: That’s a good question. You know me, I’m optimistic by nature. I love Paul’s at-bats in Game 5, very under control, really short. The ball he hit off Freed to right, that was a really good sign for Paul waste ways one to left. Staying in the zone. That’s who Paul is. So he’s chased a little bit more, but that’s, when Paul’s right that’s who he is.

As far as hitting 8th that’s a very fair question. I think he’s more than capable, he’s done it. It’s a tough spot to hit, but I think it’s a spot that he can do some damage in that spot as well. So I’m comfortable that Paul can contribute there. Obviously that’s a place we have him so we like the construction of it. But I do understand that. It’s just the good news about that is we have a lengthy lineup and so if Paul is hitting 8th or us that’s saying a lot, a guy that hit 30 home runs.

Q. How pleased were you with your base running attack yesterday with the stolen bases for Wong and for Arozarena and how much of an impact do you think it’s going to make on the rest of the series?
MIKE SHILDT: Yeah, we’re going to be intentional in taking what we see and being good about it. We’re not going to run for the sake of running. But I really applaud those guys, and of course the staff did their part to help prep them for what they were going to see. But credit the players. We had three base runners and got three total bases between a couple bags and a forced error. So felt really good about the guys understanding what they were looking at and not trying to force it, but being ready to go when the opportunity presented itself.

Q. There was a couple really hard hit balls last night, one by Ozuna, one by Rendon. I know they both went to the deepest part of the park and it’s a little colder last night, but did you think either one of those was out off the bat? And as sort of a follow-up, if you knew that the ball was carrying maybe a little bit less in the postseason than it was in the regular season would that impact your considerations of how might start defensively or offensively?
MIKE SHILDT: Good question. I thought Ozuna got his ball, based on the sound, based on the swing. But clearly it didn’t get out. And you kind of realized then we were dealing with an evening where the ball wasn’t going to carry as much. I guess — I don’t guess, our front office analytical group is saying the ball’s not traveling at about a four-and-a-half foot difference. So I don’t know how that impacts what you do as far as your matchups or more inclined to throw a fly ball guy, I mean four-and-a-half feet is not overly significant, maybe gives us an opportunity to rob someone of a homer a little bit more. But I don’t think it really impacts how you make decisions. I don’t think it’s that much of a disparity in that to determine if you’re going to throw a guy a certain way or play a guy a certain way.

Q. Dexter Fowler’s been a guy who is taken some good at-bats this postseason. He’s hitting the ball really hard a few times and doesn’t really have a whole lot to show for it. What’s been your message to him at the top just to keep him keeping on?
MIKE SHILDT: The message is keep going, also the ultimate message is you’re in a spot where we have confidence in you, you’re still our lead off guy. The one thing, and people that cover us year round know this about me, is I don’t know what the sample size looks like as far as what it is, but if you’re playing in a 5-game series, I mean first of all, Dex had a big walk and a big double in our Game 5 against Atlanta, and it was a big part of that victory, and has been a big part of what we’re doing. But if you look up and you realize 20 at-bats and you go, okay, and I do, I’m not blind to the fact that we’re in a sprint mode right now, it’s not more of a marathon type situation. But just look at it a little more holistically and you say, okay, is he taking good at-bats to your point, is he getting pitches to hit, he’s doing all these things. And that’s ultimately all you can ask hitters to do. If you felt like he was chasing a lot or his timing was off or he was searching or feeling, you would be more inclined to maybe do something differently, but don’t feel like that’s the case. That’s not the case. Not necessary to make a change for the sake of making a change because I think that can elicit a little bit of panic. But we’ll always evaluate all the guys and how they’re competing and evaluate from there.

Q. The analytics department says it’s traveling four-and-a-half feet like shorter than compared to the regular season? And did they offer any particular like any reasons why they think that’s happening, just weather or what?
MIKE SHILDT: Yeah, I mean there’s probably all kind of different theories behind that that I won’t really get into. Just the fact of the matter, it could be any number of things. And again, small sample size. What we do with it is, it’s more of a fact than it is a bit of a tidbit than it is anything we’re going to really ultimately act upon. I don’t know whether it’s just our games or in total in postseason baseball or what have you. It’s not a big enough number or sample size for me to do anything about.

Q. When you guys were in Mexico you got peppered with questions about Giovanny Gallegos. And there were some question marks about what his role could be or if he would even be on the team. What was the key for him to go from there to what he became for you guys this year?
MIKE SHILDT: Well, that was just Gio getting his feet wet. And we didn’t have a lot of history with Gio, he came over in the trade with Voit and came up into last September for us and didn’t get a lot of opportunity.

And went to spring training and one of my evaluations that could have been better in spring training was allowing him to stay in camp a little bit longer. We got to that point in spring training where the innings were starting to build up for our starters and we wanted to get some of the relievers a little bit more work that we knew about. So we sent him out to get him ready for his season.

And then we got him up and then in Mexico it was pretty much one of the first times we got an opportunity to really have Gio with us and evaluate him. And the first evaluation with him is the fact that this guys’s just going to pitch regardless of circumstance. After that, the evaluation is he’s got two-plus pitches with his fastball and his breaking ball, and he’s got what’s turned out to be two really good metrics on his side, high strike out and low walk.

I can’t say we’re not here without Gio, but he’s been a huge piece of the reason we’re in this postseason because he’s done a great job for us.

Q. Given the way Jose Martinez was swinging the bat, if this is the regular season, is this the kind of day you might be starting him? You’re looking for your best defense now and you got these guys that brought you here, but he’s one of your better players, he’s not getting much time.
MIKE SHILDT: Yeah, the thing is with Jose, we’ve have had this conversation, the good thing about our team is we have a good team, we have depth. So there’s a lot of great choices. It is important to have somebody like Jose be able to come up and take a good at-bat off the bench and be able to not always pick the ideal spot, but have a spot where we can get him in there that we feel good about.

We do need to always continue to look at things in a big picture. Obviously, offense is a big part of the game. We also, one of the reasons we have gotten here is our defense and what that looks like as well. So I don’t know that Jose would be in there today necessarily. This guy’s tougher on righties, but he’s always going to get consideration to play and he still will and has. And he just hasn’t been able to get in the field a whole lot since he had his shoulder injury into the wall. And so we feel like he’s in a good place to help us the best we can today.

Q. Last night and today we heard you point out what the lineup had done in those elimination games, whether in the last series or even in the regular season late. I’m just curious how those performances help you, help support your confidence in the lineup maybe in early in a series. Do you factor in, obviously you factor in body of work, but also to what the guys do when their backs are against the wall in an elimination game, does that factor into the lineup more so than, say, a game early in the series?
MIKE SHILDT: Yeah, I mean, listen, I don’t want to minimize any game that we play. Every game’s important, clearly now. The thing about the lineup though is that I think we need to be, or at least I’m mindful of, I can’t dictate how mindful you are, but we’re in playoff baseball, so do appreciate the fact that one of the reasons these teams are in the playoffs is pitching’s really good. Runs are going to be at a premium regardless of lineups. They have got a nice lineup too and we held them to two runs yesterday. It was a 2-0 game. So fact of the matter is you’re going to have some low scoring games.

Again, I’ll defend, rightfully, and if we make a change it will be because we think something needs to be changed. But I just don’t like to get overly knee-jerk to — and you know we looked at it, but we like our lineup and this lineup is capable and this is a similar lineup that beat Scherzer a couple weeks ago. So we’ll ride with it.

Q. I think that was maybe what you were saying at the end, is what the lineup has come through and done in those some of those big games, even more encouragement to —
MIKE SHILDT: Absolutely.

Q. — to let it ride.
MIKE SHILDT: Absolutely. Because we’re talking about we got here for a reason. A big part of the reason we got here is because of the lineup that we have been able to get out there. We have also been able to, and you know it, we, I, haven’t been concerned about making a change. We’ve made changes, we’ve made adjustments, there’s been tough conversations with guys that have accepted those changes like complete professionals with a team-first mentality. But this is a group that we feel good about that is more than capable, to your point, that’s really done a great job in big moments of taking great at-bats. We got a lot of experience in this lineup and a lot of talent in this lineup.

So the guy pitched a really good baseball game last night, we had a good plan, we got fastballs that we wanted and weren’t able to do a whole lot with them and they were able to squeak a couple runs across and that was the difference in the gauge.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

“I didn’t realize we were the oldest team in baseball, to be honest with you. But these guys are professionals, they’re veterans, they get it, they’re playing really well right now. But the days off makes it a lot easier to keep them in there.” — Dave Martinez.

October 12, 2019

Dave Martinez

St. Louis, Missouri – pregame 2

Q. With the youth movement in the game today how cool is it to lead the oldest team by average age in baseball and also how helpful is it to have these built-in off days for guys like Zim and Howie to play every day?
DAVE MARTINEZ: It’s huge. I didn’t realize we were the oldest team in baseball, to be honest with you. But these guys are professionals, they’re veterans, they get it, they’re playing really well right now. But the days off makes it a lot easier to keep them in there.

Q. You started Zim three days — or three times in a row now against right-handed pitchers above guys like Asdrubal, what sort of led to that decision?
DAVE MARTINEZ: He’s swinging the bat well, he’s playing good. I’ve always said this, for me, he’s one of our best, well he is our best defensive first baseman, as we saw yesterday by the play he made. And when he’s healthy, he’s swinging the bat, he’s playing really well, he’s running well, he’s a guy. So I like him in the lineup.

Q. You guys haven’t attempted a stolen base yet in the postseason. That was obviously a big part of your game during the regular season. Is that just a byproduct of maybe who you faced, you faced a lot of lefties with Los Angeles, or is there anything else going on that it hasn’t felt worth the risk?
DAVE MARTINEZ: We had those lefties that hold runners on well. Yesterday the starter held runners on well and you also have Yadier who throws the ball well. So we want to steal bases but we want to be smart about it. We just don’t want to run into outs.

Q. Zim kind of just keeps his emotions kind of even-keeled, in check for the most part. But have you gotten a sense of kind of what this run means to him to be healthy and contributing and playing as much as he has?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, for me, obviously he’s waited a long time to be in this position. And he’s been — people don’t see his emotions, I see his emotions a lot in the clubhouse. He’s fired up, he’s excited, he wants to play, he’s ready to play. I’ve asked him to do different a role when he came back and he accepted it. And he just wants to be a part of it. And like I said, he’s playing really well right now and hitting the ball really well.

Q. I don’t think anybody asked you yesterday, would you have let An�bal go nine? And how much were you sweating that whole debate, do I let this guy finish a postseason no-hitter?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Well, if you watched our bullpen we had Rainey up in the 7th, and then we got Doo up. So, but, yeah I was going to let him try to finish. I mean, if he gets Martinez out, he was going to go. So we were basically batter to batter at that point. I think maybe that was his fifth or sixth time all year that he went over a hundred pitches, so I definitely had some concern.

Q. A little hidden thing last night is that because he went so deep, you only had to use Doo. How does that set up your bullpen for tonight and really the rest of the series because you’ve got so much rest?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, it was huge. Today we get Huddie back. I haven’t talked to Doo yet, but I’m assuming, I think he only threw like 18 pitches yesterday, four outs, which was huge too. So I’m assuming he’s going to be good to go, especially with the day off tomorrow. But bullpen’s fresh and ready to go.

Q. Yesterday you mentioned when talking about Daniel that family comes first. How did your playing career and having a family while you played maybe inform that opinion?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I never missed any of my kids births. I think that’s important. I told them that. Because, hey, believe it or not, he was, he wanted to be with the team, and I told him I think that it’s important that you’re with your wife, it’s a big moment in your family, I know you have other kids, but it’s huge. You got to be supportive and we get it, I understand, and hopefully the baby cooperates and which she didn’t, little stubborn little thing. But he’s here today and I told him that his teammates will pick him up and we’ll be okay. I actually, I told him, I texted him last night and I said, hey, I got a name for your little girl, and in Anibala Sean Hudson.

(Laughter.)

Q. When Doolittle came off the IL he wasn’t really Doolittle for awhile. Do you remember when he kind of looked like that guy to you and do you kind of think of him and Hudson, I guess, as duo closers at this point?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Dual closers, yeah. Yeah, you know what, we tried — after he came off the IL we were building him up to get to this point. I said this all year that in a perfect world he’s our closer, he’s done it, he understands it, he knows the role, he’s good at it. But we wanted to build him up. And now he’s throwing the ball about as best as I’ve seen him throw the ball pretty much all year. His fastball is good, spin rate’s good, he’s a huge spin rate guy, and he’s using other pitches very well. So with him and Huddie in the 8th and 9th and maybe in the 7th, I feel like we got a nice stopgap there.

Q. Yesterday when Marcell Ozuna batted in the second inning he hit the heck out of the ball but it did not leave the ballpark. Can you describe your emotions watching that and did you think it was gone?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, I mean when he hit it, he hit it you awfully high and awfully hard. The thing I know about this time of year is the air gets a little heavy, so I was just hoping that the air was really, really heavy after he hit the ball and it stayed in the park.

I think Gomes hit a ball really hard too and it short-hopped the wall. So I knew that the balls weren’t going to carry.

Q. Can you describe the fear factor that it is facing a hot Marcell Ozuna who is doing really well in October so far?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, he’s awesome. He’s one of those guys where he’s dangerous, especially with guys on base, so we got to be awfully careful facing him.

Q. I asked the same question to Mike about half an hour ago, but if you knew that the ball was maybe not carrying like it was in the regular season, whether it’s weather, something different with the ball, would that affect at all your decision making when it comes to lineups or maybe defensive positioning things like that?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, we definitely, our outfielders played a little bit more shallow yesterday than they normally do, only because we figured the ball was not going to travel as far. The other thing, too, is that I talked to the guys about maybe, last night, if they get an opportunity to bunt for hits or whatnot, that go ahead and try it. By the way, I did not tell Juan Soto to try to bunt (smiling). He did that on his own. I scratched my head on that one, but you know what, he’s trying to play the game.

Q. You’ve talked about the value of Hudson this year. What is it like getting a reliever in the middle of a season, you also have a new pitching coach, just determining what his role is because he’s had various roles in the past?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, we, Riz traded for him, we got him, we knew he was having a pretty good year with Toronto, but we haven’t — I only saw videos of him at that point. So we had to make sure that — and he was really good, all year long he was really good with inherited runners, which we struggled at. So I think the first I put him in was with guys on base and he did really well in Arizona. So I kind of eased his way. And by having conversations with him, I asked him how much has he pitched in the 9th inning and without hesitation he says, hey, if you need me in the 7th, 8th, 9th, I’ll be ready to go. And he’s been that guy. Whenever he’s called upon, he’s ready to go and he’s a guy that throws strikes, attacks the strike zone, and he’s been very good for us.

Q. With a pitching staff that’s as competitive as yours is, internally and against the opponents, how high did Anibal set the bar last night and was there talk about reaching that level or matching it or beating it, if possible?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Well, we have Max Scherzer pitching today. As you know he’s very competitive. I just hope he comes out and pitches like Max Scherzer and doesn’t try to do too much. But I know he’s excited and I know he was excited yesterday watching Anibal, so I just want him to go out there and compete. But these guys get it. The big reason why we are here is because our four starters, they pitched well all year for us.

Q. Michael’s back in the lineup being, having a little bit of trouble, how do you balance not wanting to bring back Victor before he’s a hundred percent for sure and how do you balance wanting to give Michael a chance to step back maybe?
DAVE MARTINEZ: For me, it’s just about Victor’s health and getting him healthy. I don’t want him to come back and just play one game and get hurt. I want him to come back and play multiple games.

So Michael’s doing fine. For me, yesterday he had good at-bats, he did. He didn’t get a hit but he battled, put a ball in play with 3-2 and that’s all you can ask for. But his defense, as we all know, we don’t miss much on defense with him out there.

Q. The way you guys finished the season you certainly came in with plenty of confidence. But can you describe, I guess, the extra conviction that a team might pick up as it gets further along in a postseason run?
DAVE MARTINEZ: You know, hey, these guys, they’re playing well. I’ve said this before, for me and for those guys we have been playing playoff games since end of May. We really have. We put ourselves in a hole and we had to get out of it. These guys have been playing really well since then. So I don’t want them to change, I don’t want them to think of this as being something different. They’re having a lot of fun. The message is always the same, hey, let’s stay in the fight and go 1-0 every day.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

Raptors exercise Anunoby’s option

RAPTORS EXERCISE TEAM OPTION ON ANUNOBY

The Toronto Raptors announced that they have exercised the fourth-year team option on the rookie scale contract of forward OG Anunoby. He is now signed through the 2020-21 season. Per team policy, financial terms of the deals were not disclosed.

Anunoby, 6-foot-8, 232 pounds, was selected by the Raptors with the 23rd overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. He is averaging 6.4 points, 2.7 rebounds and 20.1 minutes while shooting .351 (140-for-399) from three-point range in 141 career regular-season games. He led the bench in scoring 12 times during the 2018-19 season and scored a career-high 22 points Feb. 13 vs. Washington. Anunoby was also selected to participate in the 2019 MTN DEW Rising Stars game during NBA All-Star Weekend in Charlotte. During the 2017-18 campaign Anunoby appeared in 74 games (62 starts), ranking seventh among rookies in field goal percentage (.471) and sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.371).

“We scored 13 in an elimination game and came right back and the guy threw a great game. But there’s no, nothing but optimism about all our players and our offense for sure.” — Mike Shildt.

October 11, 2019

Mike Shildt

St. Louis, Missouri – postgame 1

Nationals 2, Cardinals 0

Q. Just your thoughts on how Miles pitched tonight?
MIKE SHILDT: Miles was great. I thought he threw the ball very, very well. The one decision with Gomes, because he made such good pitches to Zimmerman and then to Taylor and then looked to make quality pitches to Gomes, made him pay for a ball up. We could have done something about it, taken it out of his hands. Of course it turns the lineup over a little bit. But outside of that he was tremendous. Scattered a few hits but that’s what he did is scattered hits.

But in command of his pitches, ball was going where he wanted to, pitched six innings gave up one run against a good offensive club, gave us more than a chance. I thought he was terrific.

Q. To follow-up on your comment about Gomes, can you describe in that situation why you do pitch to him and then later in the game you do decide to issue the intentional walk?
MIKE SHILDT: Yeah, so obviously we thought about doing the intentional walk in the 2nd, but like I said he was crisp against Zimmerman, really good pitches with Taylor. And then we felt good about him being able to execute. And he got behind in the count, which he did he got down 1-0, maybe doing something with Gomes at that point. Then having Sanchez lead off the next inning, which kind of keeps potentially Rendon and Soto out of the mix, he just didn’t, wasn’t able to make a pitch. Later in the game once Gomes got a couple hits it’s pretty clear that that matchup’s not favorable for Miles and we put him on.

Q. Right now obviously there’s a lot of frustration with the offense but does the recent roller coaster offensively for your team, both goods and bads, give some hope that this is still a series involving your offense?
MIKE SHILDT: Oh, yeah, I mean there’s complete hope. We had a really good offensive club. Sanchez was really good tonight. Not a lot out there that we saw, that I saw that was in the middle, really changed speeds, did a terrific job. It’s interesting, it’s baseball, it’s one of the reasons we love it. We scored 13 in an elimination game and came right back and the guy threw a great game. But there’s no, nothing but optimism about all our players and our offense for sure. We’ll be ready to go tomorrow.

Q. There’s been so much talk about the big three that the Nationals can put out there and their rotation but does what Anibal did tonight just remind us, hey, they have got more than just the big three?
MIKE SHILDT: Yeah, yeah, this guy’s an accomplished pitcher in this league and has done a nice job for their club. Did a nice job against the Dodgers. That’s why before the game when we had our little gathering here people were talking about the big three and I said hey, we’re going to respect them, we’re familiar with them but we got a guy tonight that we got to contend with, and not overlook him. And we didn’t. He was just really good, made a lot of quality pitches and didn’t give us a lot we could put good swings on.

Q. Kendrick is so good against left-handed pitching but also really good against right-handed pitching. What led to taking Miller out and bringing in Brebbia?
MIKE SHILDT: Just in that spot, Miller was great, he got his guy in Soto. It’s not a that we can’t go with Miller against righties, we just felt at that moment with the runners on base and the way the game was going that our, like you said, he’s really good against lefties, he’s a good hitter, so that’s the thing about it. You look at matchups we took our absolute best matchup we felt was on the table to be able to hold it at a one-run game. Nothing against Andrew, he threw the ball great, got his guy in Soto, we just went to Brebbia to clear the table.

Q. Miles pitched out of that jam with Soto, big pitch to get him to ground out to end the inning. Looked like they had a little maybe exchange on the way off the field. Did you happen to see that at all?
MIKE SHILDT: I didn’t notice that.

Q. When you get to this point in the season is there a lot you can do adjustment-wise with the offense or are you just sort of looking at the team that you have and trying to put them in the best position to win at this point?
MIKE SHILDT: I’m always going to put our team in the best position to win.

Q. I just mean in terms of is there a lot you can do adjustment-wise at this point in the season with the offense or do you know what you have and this is sort of game plan you’re sort of steering through at this point?
MIKE SHILDT: I think I understand the question. Are you saying should we did a lineup change.

Q. How much can you do directly to sort of —
MIKE SHILDT: I can do anything within reason with our roster to put our lineup out. I just, I find the question — I understand the question, but I find it interesting when essentially the same lineup just scored 13 runs. Essentially the same lineup because I got these questions, which again I don’t mind answering the question, but I’m going to give a good reason for it, because I got a similar question before an elimination game at the end of the season against Chicago and we scored nine runs. I’m not going to be knee-jerk with one game when we just got through winning a series. And we have gotten to this point with the group that we have, with guys that have taken good at-bats. So don’t know how else to further answer that one.

Q. The way your team has been resilient all year long, even if like Tommy gets a base hit there, great play by Zimmerman, but do you feel like you’re just kind of a hit —
MIKE SHILDT: I had full confidence that we were going to be all right and come back and figure out a way to win that game, I really did. Guys made good pitches, we took our at-bats. And Tommy, it was a great play by Zimmerman, just weren’t able to scratch through.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

“I don’t claim to be superstitious, but when you’ve got a no-hitter, I was freezing my butt off and didn’t want to put a jacket on and I stayed with this, just this sweat shirt the whole game.” — Dave Martinez.

Dave Martinez

October 11, 2019

Dave Martinez

St. Louis, Missouri – postgame 1

Nationals 2, Cardinals 0

Q. What most impressed you about the way An�bal was throwing tonight?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Oh, he had great tempo, good rhythm, but he pounded the zone. In, out, used all his pitches effectively.

Q. So much has been made about the big three, as it should, but given how Anibal threw against the Dodgers in the first round and obviously tonight, does he deserve his due now?
DAVE MARTINEZ: I’ve said it all year, when he came back off the IL, everybody talks about Stras, Scherzer, Corbin, I mean Anibal’s been, he’s a big part of why we are here too. He’s pitched unbelievable since coming off the IL, so he’s a big part of our success and man he goes out there and he gives us a chance to win every time he’s out there.

Q. How big was it to have him go seven and two third and have Doo get the four outs given that Hudson was not here and your bullpen is even more rested with the other guys?
DAVE MARTINEZ: It was huge. He picked us up today big time. I don’t claim to be superstitious, but when you’ve got a no-hitter, I was freezing my butt off and didn’t want to put a jacket on and I stayed with this, just this sweat shirt the whole game. And then all of a sudden we have a shut out, Doo comes in, still didn’t want to put a jacket on, so it worked out. But like I said, that was huge, just to go from him straight to Doolittle and Doolittle getting four outs was big.

Q. To follow-up on Hudson, have you heard anything further and do you know if he’ll be here tomorrow?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, he’s got a 6 o’clock flight, he’ll be here for the game.

Q. With Suzuki out tonight how big was Yan Gomes behind the plate and what did you think of his performance calling a good game?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Huge, it was huge. They had a great game plan together. He very seldom caught Sanchez this year but he was unbelievable today, really was, so I’m proud of him, he stepped up big, and it’s been like that, he’s been big. Suzuki went down and he for the last three weeks or something and he’s been huge. So I’m proud of him.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports