October 12, 2019
St. Louis, Missouri – postgame 2
Nationals 3, Cardinals 1
Q. Wanted to ask, it’s homecoming weekend at Mizzou. What’s this win mean to be back in St. Louis area on homecoming weekend?
MAX SCHERZER: I don’t know. I’m playing for the other 24 guys in the clubhouse. We really want to win here. So that’s what’s going to happen, we’re going to compete and win.
Q. Is there any thought to the potential history you’re making or is it just all about winning that game?
MAX SCHERZER: Just throwing up zeros. It’s a 1-0 game, mistakes are, it’s razor thin out there, you can’t give — I’m really thinking don’t give up a solo shot. Just trying to work with Zuk and just navigate through this lineup. Just stay in the moment, stay with Zuk and just keep your mind what we need to do. And he did a great job of sequencing them and we did a good job of just executing pitches.
Q. Max, first, just how did you feel, the whole kinetic chain or whatever you want to call it? And also you and Anibal six years ago took back-to-back no-hitters into the 6th in the postseason, never been done before. Now you both took them into the 6th and 8th. Can you talk about how unusual that is, if you talked about it, anything?
MAX SCHERZER: I know when Sanchie gets locked in, he’s nasty. He can just absolutely do anything with the baseball. He’s such a treat to watch. The way he can change speeds and execute pitches, it’s a treat to really watch and get to pitch with him. For me, I’m just in the moment. I’m not trying to do anything great, I’m just trying to stick within my game and just work with Zuk.
Q. What’s your vantage point on that single and in that spot, are you kind of okay with him not taking the risk there and diving for it given what the alternative could have been?
MAX SCHERZER: It’s 1-0. We can’t afford to get a runner in scoring position. That’s just the way the game is being played at that point. Just keep him at first and go to work.
Q. Adam, in your at-bat there with the double did you expect them to go to Miller? Were you surprised to see Wainwright stay in? And can you just walk us through what you were trying to do there and how the at-bat played out?
ADAM EATON: You know, you’re going to have to keep locked in on who is on the mound at the time. I didn’t even try to look out into the bullpen to see who is warming up because now you’re trying to think managerial when you should be just focused on hitting. So I walked to the plate facing Wainwright and him and Yadi were kind of confusing me all day in that at-bat and keeping me really, really off balance. And in that sense 3-2, kind of knew he was going to go to the breaking ball, more so than any other pitch — or any other at-bat that I’ve had. And I knew he had to throw it for a strike so it kind of gave me an opportunity to sit on it and got it and hit it where they weren’t.
Q. You also mentioned what they were doing to you in earlier at-bats at the game. What did you take from those into that final at-bat?
ADAM EATON: Yeah, everything I was thinking, they did the opposite. So I was thinking 3-2 should be a heater here and I’m like, well, that’s the opposite, so I should George Costaza it and just go ahead and said breaking ball and that’s what happened and George was right and I happened to be right.
Q. We have heard a few guys talk about how the shadows affected hitting in this game and pitching. Was that last at-bat, the one that you had the big hit on, was it easier because of the light?
ADAM EATON: Yeah, my last at-bat was the first time I actually saw the ball the whole way. The shadows were extremely difficult. You saw Kolten Wong have two check swings and barrelled both of them up. You just saw some really bad swings and bad counts. But that’s what you have to deal with when you have a 3 o’clock game. It’s kind of unfortunate, you have a playoff game, a really big important game, and you have to deal with that. When you easily could have another time slot and not have to deal with it. But going into the game we had an understanding that that was going to be a huge affect and Mike hit that big homer and we had all the confidence, one run could win this game with the shadows. But like you said, as the game went on you were able to see much better.
Q. Max, you mentioned that you’re so locked into the postseason, Dave said before the game with the start we had to the season we have been in playoff mode for two, three months now. What’s this ride for both of you, what’s this ride been like when you’re just on this in this zone and on this run?
MAX SCHERZER: It’s fun. This team’s got a lot of personality and a lot of grit to it. And we got really 25 guys, no matter who it is, when their number gets called they’re going to lay it all on the line for each other. It’s such a treat to be in the clubhouse like this and have, to know that that’s the type of baseball we’re playing and right now it just seems like anybody who gets their number called is going to do something big. Somebody might make a mistake and then come back and do something big for the team. This is really, it’s not just one guy carrying this team or two guys, it’s really just a collective of everybody out there doing their job.
Q. How enjoyable was the dugout dance after you came out?
ADAM EATON: You look forward to that, come on.
MAX SCHERZER: They always dance for solo shots and this and that, but what happens when there’s a two-run shot? You guys don’t dance. So, you know, there’s a that — I think two runs is worth more than a solo shot, so they never dance for a two-run, so I’m always the guy —
ADAM EATON: Not a two-run shot, a two-run double. We dance for solo shots and he’s always like, oh, a solo shot’s not a big deal and then we hit a two-run double and we don’t dance because no one hit a home run that — I’m sorry, I kind of cut you off, but that’s clarification.
MAX SCHERZER: No, that’s what’s going on there.
Q. Will you monitor your arm on a daily basis leading up to if you have another start in this series to see if you can come out of the pen?
MAX SCHERZER: I doubt it. My arm was kind of gassed coming into today, I knew I didn’t have like 120 pitches, knew I only had really a hundred. My arm actually felt better around the 4th inning once it kind of loosened up and freed up. And once I got to that hundred pitch count, the only thing that was going to keep me in the game was that I found my arm slot, but with the lefties coming up, we had Doolittle, my spot in the order was coming up and a chance to get out of there with a hundred pitches and kind of recover at this point in time, that’s why it all made sense to go to Doolittle in that situation.
Q. Can you speak to what it’s like to play behind Anibal last night, Max today and then know you’re going home have Stephen and Patrick, just what kind of confidence that breeds in a clubhouse dugout?
ADAM EATON: We have done it all year. Nothing’s really changed. Stay on your toes because you might not get a ball for seven innings and then all of a sudden you might get one. I’ve been blessed to play behind some really, really good pitchers and you just enjoy the masterpiece that they’re painting, realistically. You admire it and it’s just, it’s fun to play behind really good pitchers, guys that want to go out there and compete like the four guys that we have. So just enjoy the ride, be ready when that one ball might be hit to you, it might make the difference, and score a run for them.
Q. You had a ball in the outfield that looked like it was hard to track, Michael had one he didn’t track. In addition to not seeing the ball hitting was it a tough day to play the outfield?
ADAM EATON: Yeah, no, it definitely was. Oddly enough, when the sun went down it got super dark and when you can’t hear the bat, the ball hit the bat, with the noise, it make it’s extremely difficult. I froze on mine big time and was able to have a little bit of make up speed and catch it. Mikey did the exact same thing. When the ball’s hit you kind of freeze and if you can’t quite see it as well, the depth perception is a little funky, it makes for an interesting play. But we both have to make those plays, but like I said just difficult, really all day the lighting was just constantly changing and really challenged us.
Q. I wanted to ask both guys, I know you play them one at a time, but can you say anything about going home to Nationals Park and to your home crowd up 2-0 and what that will be like?
ADAM EATON: I’m excited. Our park has been absolutely legit when it comes to the fan base and them coming out and supporting us. And helping start the wave type deal, with the emotion and just getting it on our side right away. So I think we’re both really excited to go home, play in a familiar park where people are cheering for you instead of against you. So I’m excited.
MAX SCHERZER: Yeah, I mean the atmosphere in the playoffs at Nationals Park has been incredible. They come out and they go nuts from the first pitch. So I have a feeling it’s even going to be more crazy given what we have done and really our first postseason win as an organization, I think that means a lot to everybody in DC, so it should be a fun time.
Q. Curious, from a pitcher’s perspective what did you see from Wainwright today, because you guys had a pretty memorable battle today.
MAX SCHERZER: Yeah, I mean he goes out there and competes as well as anybody in this league. He knows how to execute pitches and he works with Yadi so well and he’s got just the curve ball that just never gets there and it breaks so much. And they really know how to move the ball around together and be in sync. I mean that, you knew he was going to go out there and throw up zeros. We got lucky in the first pitch of an inning and Mikey was able to get a homer, but I mean he bore down and continued to throw up zeros and execute pitches and the margin for error was just, there wasn’t any margin for error.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports