NLCS Gm3: Mattingly on Game 3 win, beating Wainwright

Q. Could you talk about what you saw from Ryu in a really clutch game for him?

DON MATTINGLY: Yeah, that's what we kind of expected the first time out, really, because he's pitched big in a lost big games this year. He's pitched really well and seemed to handle it really well.

I think just the experience of the last series really helped him today. I think we've seen him aggressive with the fastball, and when you see that with him, then it sets everything else up, like most guys. But he was a guy that was aggressive with the fastball and he was able to get ahead in the count. He uses the offspeed.

Q. Could you talk about Hanley and how he was feeling through the game and how he's doing now?

DON MATTINGLY: I think he's okay. I didn't hear anything through the game. He really probably could have stayed there at the end. But once he got the at‑bats, it seemed like, I'm assuming that he's got to be limited in some way in his movement and everything else.

But watching him take BP today and throw, he seemed pretty good. I know he was taking it easy, so it sounded like it went pretty good for him. Obviously, he threw a couple of hits out there and it's good to have him in there just to have him in there too to put another guy in there.

Q. Just thoughts on what you saw in Andre Ethier from the plate to the field and how close he was to the Ethier that was so significant for the team this year?

DON MATTINGLY: Obviously didn't do a whole lot offensively, but we're still comfortable with him. We feel just talking to Davey as that game went on, I could have doubled him out there at the end.

But Davey feels really comfortable with him defensively. We don't know how he'll come back tomorrow though. We'll see how tomorrow goes. If he's a guy that's not going to be able to go, we don't know about Hanley tomorrow. So we're kind of day‑to‑day with these guys, how they kind of react after the games.

But we're happy, again, that Andre's in there, a guy that has hit Wainwright in the past, at least makes him think about pitching to Adrian a little bit. Adrian was able to get a big hit for us.

Q. In the earlier parts of the game, Ryu's fastball topped out at 95 miles. Is that the kind of velocity, he doesn't do that very often, but is that the kind of velocity that you'd expect to see more often?

DON MATTINGLY:  He doesn't do that a whole lot, but it seems like in the games that he gets a little amped for and he's had his really, really good games, we'll see him touch that. He doesn't really pitch there. It's more of the 92, 91. We see him get in trouble when he's 88, 89, when he doesn't have the same life on his fastball.

But the day that's he's feeling good and you start seeing that 95, just touch it 94 now and then, he's got enough velocity to get guys having to speed up a little bit and then it makes everything else better.

Q. Who is starting tomorrow?


Q. Can you talk about what goes into that decision?

DON MATTINGLY:  He's been set up the whole time for Game 4. As of right now, Ricky Nolasco will be pitching tomorrow.

Q. This might be sort of an obvious question, but what is the significance of beating Adam Wainwright?

DON MATTINGLY: Well, it gets us on the board. That is the main thing. Obviously, this guy is a big‑game pitcher that's got quality stuff and has a handful every time you face him. So the significance for us is being able to get on the board, grab a little momentum on our side of the field. They're still up 2‑1 on us, but it puts a win on our side of the board.

If we can go play well tomorrow night and continue to pitch the way we have, put some runs up, then it just keeps coming our way then. So once you get the momentum, you just like to hold on to it.

Q. James Mims upstairs in the press box was taking credit for turning Puig around?


Q. Yeah, I just wondered if you wanted to congratulate him. He said he thinks Puig has changed his batting approach. Bats in too tight and he's too stiff. Do you agree with him?

DON MATTINGLY: Mac does all the hitting stuff. I don't really think it's got anything to do with him mechanically. It's more about him getting himself pitches to hit. They did a nice job on him. I'm going to give those guys some credit. It hasn't changed from Atlanta. He swung the bat good in Atlanta, he swung the bat good tonight.

Q. So you're shooting Mims down?

DON MATTINGLY:  I'm shooting him down.

Q. Speaking of Puig, did you feel he was pressing the first couple games and did you feel it was just a matter of time before he busted out?

DON MATTINGLY:  I think they've got good pitching. Again, Yadier is tremendous back there calling the game, knows what he's doing with his guys out there. So I give a lot of credit to their pitching. Again, Yasiel is emotional. We see it tonight with the hit and everything that goes into that. It has a chance to be like that back and forth. He's going to continue to grow and get better, but there are going to be nights where they're going to have their way with him at times, and we've just got to continue to help him get better and better.

Q. Can you talk about beating Wainwright tonight? And the first two games they win against Greinke and Kershaw, does that strike you as strange at all?

DON MATTINGLY:  Well, they've all been like those games still that are a hit here or hit there that kind of change with. Not really. When you're in a close game, it seems like when you're in games that both teams are in it, anything happens. When you get Clayton or Zack, and you throw five or six runs up for them, then it seems like those games get out of hand.

But any game that you're in that both teams stay close, at that point it's a key hit away. They're going to make mistake like everybody else as you get deeper into the game.

It doesn't surprise me because both teams have stayed within reach all the time. So any one pitch or one bad bounce or one bad play, you're in harm's way all of a sudden.

Q. How much of an emotional lift do you think your team got from just having Hanley and Ethier in the lineup today?

DON MATTINGLY:  I think some. But the fact that they can play is the biggest thing because they have a chance to help you win games. I think it says a lot about Hanley and Dre. These guys want to be out there. This time of the year neither one of them are going to be 100%, but I think for all our guys, I think pretty much everybody we have we try to play. There is nobody, I don't think, that's going to back away at this time. I think emotionally it's good that they're in the lineup. When you've got to go through Hanley, if he's swinging 80%, he's still pretty damn good. And Dre's the same way; I think he's always dangerous.

Q. Mathematically this was not a must‑win. But realistically knowing the game, how big a win was this? And secondly, is the pitching announcement 100% for tomorrow?


Q. Yes.

DON MATTINGLY:  As of right now Ricky is our set pitcher.

Q. Go with the first one.

DON MATTINGLY: Say the first one again.

Q. I was asking you, obviously, mathematically this wasn't a must‑win, but realistically did you feel it was?

DON MATTINGLY: Yeah, I think realistically you feel like it's a must‑win. But, again, you feel like every one is like that. I've been in a being up 3‑0 series and knowing that that can change. This is one of those games that you come home, if can you get the game and get the momentum on your side, you feel like obviously they still have the upper hand because they're up 2‑1.

But you feel like you're back in the series, and it gives your guys a little bit of confidence. Again, I think the playoffs are a one‑day momentum swings. Every day changes with momentum. Right now I feel like we've kind of grabbed it.

Q. With most of your other big hitters either ailing or nicked up a little bit, how vital is Puig? Also you mentioned that he was excited. Was that good? Was that acceptable, or on either end of the flip or the dance into third base a little over the top for you?

DON MATTINGLY:  I think he's just excited. I think these guys get excited when they get hits, and that's just Yasiel. I'd like to see him run right away, honestly, because you don't know the ball's going to bounce away and ends up at three. But obviously, he thought it was gone. I've been dealing with this all year.

He's just emotional, and it's areas that we want to keep getting better at. I would like to see him run right away because I just don't think you can assume the ball's going out of the ballpark.

Oct. 14 Hyun-Jin Ryu postgame interview

NLCS Gm3: Ryu breaks down his stellar Game 3 start

Q. First of all, I want to congratulate you on your first postseason win. Yesterday you said that you made a self- promise that you didn't want to let any runs in early in the game. You obviously surpassed that and didn't allow any runs. On such a big stage like today's game, what did you focus on? Can you please share your thoughts?

HYUN‑JIN RYU: All I was thinking about was the fact that we were down 2‑0, and I told myself this could potentially be the last start I ever pitched here this year. So I focused from the very first pitch I just zoned in and fortunately I was able to get a good result out of the game?

Q. I realize it's still fresh, but where does this victory rank among the biggest of your career?

HYUN‑JIN RYU: Obviously, my biggest games going back are probably the Olympic Gold Medal games, WBC Finals. It's hard to say, but I'd probably rank this game up there with one of those three games.

Q. Having the previous postseason start and getting the start in Atlanta against Atlanta that didn't go well. How much did that help you today in terms of just trying to control your nerves?

HYUN‑JIN RYU: I think it's pretty obvious I lost control the first three innings against Atlanta, so I just turned around and I focused in and tried not to let any runs in the first couple innings.

Q. To follow up on that question, do you feel that that experience made you more effective in this game dealing with any nerves? You understood what the playoff atmosphere is like?

HYUN‑JIN RYU: Yes, absolutely, he was a great help. He taught me a big lesson that in big games the first couple of innings it's that crucial and that important. Obviously, I played that today, and I plan on playing that in future games as well.

Q. When did you realize you had your best fastball tonight? Is it something you sensed in the bullpen beforehand or when the game started?

HYUN‑JIN RYU: I realized it today warming up in the bullpen that my fastball was on point. But I was trying to focus in a little more today, and I think I added a little more to the game.

Q. Your warmup session before the game was longer than usual today. Did that help you? Or were you able to loosen up a little bit more because you had more time?

HYUN‑JIN RYU: No, I wouldn't say that. I warmed up the way I usually do. I just think I was just in good form today.

Q. Watching Hanley and Ethier run out there hurt today. How much of a lift did that give you both and your teammates?

HYUN‑JIN RYU: It's definitely a big motivation when you see your star players go out there hurt and bringing in the line for the team. It really inspires you and motivates you to go out there and do the best you can.

Q. Statistically you've had trouble in the first inning this season, and tonight you walked Beltran and had a couple of tough hitters coming up, but you got Holliday and Molina. Was that a big lift to you at that point to get out of that situation?

HYUN‑JIN RYU: No, I wasn't really concerned about the walk. I was just able to focus in and focus in on every pitch I could. Because, I guess you could say, I was overthrowing a little bit today, that's probably why that walk happened.

Q. When Donnie went out there in the seventh inning your pitch count was already 103. What was your condition and your body condition at that point? Second part of the question is after Donnie let you tie the last batter, how did that make you feel?

HYUN‑JIN RYU: When he came up, I felt completely fine. My body was in good condition. Obviously, when he walked away and gave me the green light to go after the last batter, whenever you feel that kind of a trust from your manager, actually it motivates you to make sure you commit and get that out.

Q. We talked about yesterday how Donnie mentioned that if your outing wasn't that sharp he would be quick to pull you because you are more of a second half pitcher than a first half pitcher. Now seeing that you actually did well in the first half and not so much the second half, did what Donnie said yesterday inspire you at all today?

HYUN‑JIN RYU: No, absolutely no influence at all. He's right, and I just do what he tells me to do.

Oct. 14 Gonzalez, Puig postgame interview

NCLS Gm3: Adrian, Puig on channeling Mickey Mouse

Q. Adrian, just how big is it to beat Wainwright and get the series at 2‑1?

ADRIAN GONZALEZ: It's huge. They beat Kershaw and Greinke. So for us to do the same to their guy, it's huge. Today was pretty much a must‑win game for us, and we were able to get it done, which sets us up in a better position going forward in the series.

Q. To add on to that, Skip told me yesterday that it was a factor that, hey, that mentality was with you guys. They beat our best, we need to beat theirs and we can beat their best. Is that something you used today to motivate you?

ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  Absolutely. We know he's an incredible pitcher, steps up in big games. He threw a great, great game today. We were able to get some balls to fall in and take advantage of those jam shots and things like that. But it was definitely our mentality to have to come out and beat him.

Q. Does it seem strange that the three games started by Greinke, Kershaw and Wainwright would be the losses for the teams?

ADRIAN GONZALEZ: Yeah, definitely. I mean, it's the great thing about the game of baseball that you can talk about this is what should happen, but it never does play out that way. That's why to me predictions are just opinions. You've got to play it out on the field. It's a step in the right direction for us.

Q. Talk about your emotions on your triple. First, apparently thinking it was out, and then you get to third base and you kind of danced into third and really pumped your fist. When Don was here the one thing he said is he'd prefer you run out of the box. What are your thoughts on that?

YASIEL PUIG: It was a hard‑hit ball. It was a good pitch that Wainwright had thrown. I had faced Wainwright in St. Louis, and I remembered how he had pitched me. What was most important to me was that Gonzalez had scored.

After that, I realized that I had a chance to get to third, and it was pretty easy for me to get to third in that way. I wouldn't have scored either way regardless of what happened on the play. So it was important that we scored a run on that.

Q. Just a follow‑up: What were you thinking when you realized that ball was actually not going to go out?

YASIEL PUIG:  Just to get as many bases as I could on my hit.

Q. You seemed pretty excited too when you drove in Mark for that first run. Could you talk about what an emotional release it was to drive in a run after all those scoreless innings?

ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  Yeah, both pitchers were throwing the ball great and putting up zeros. For to us get the lead there was huge. He continued to make pitches, and I was just able to fight one over the first baseman there.

So driving him in was a big boost for us. With the struggles we've had with runners in scoring position, it kind of gave us a little bit of a release there to just kind of relax and keep going. For me, that was a big situation, and it was just a great feeling to come through.

Q. There have been now five League Championship Series games so far, and starting pitchers on the losing teams have given up a total of six earned runs. What can you say about the pitching that you've seen in this series? And I don't know if you've been able to watch any of the other series, but just the pitching on both sides, because the starting pitchers on the losing team have been amazing.

ADRIAN GONZALEZ: Yeah, the four teams that are left have gotten to this position because of pitching. And we all know that pitching and defense wins. Every pitcher that's been out there is a top, elite, top‑of‑the‑line pitcher. We all know that in the playoffs, pitching dominates. Getting some key runs is always big. That's what the pitchers have been able to do is dominate like they always will in the playoffs.

Q. For both of you, regarding Hanley Ramirez, what effect does he have on your lineup?

YASIEL PUIG:  I'm happy that Hanley was able to find the strength to play after getting hit so hard over there in St. Louis. Really everybody rallied around him and tried to do the best that we can. Other teammates were hurt as well. Ethier also needs to get some credit as well for playing hurt. Everybody's trying to do the best they can to get to the World Series.

ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  I was saying he's a great presence in the lineup, as is Dre. Not having them changes the dynamic of our lineup and the way that they approach us and the way that they come after us. It showed today.

Q. After the struggles that you had in St. Louis, how much of a relief was it when you did get that triple right there?

YASIEL PUIG:  I noticed in St. Louis I was trying too hard. Something my teammates and I talked about. Coming here I focused on staying calm and doing the best I could especially against such a great pitcher that they have. Thanks to God; everything went well.

Q. I wasn't there for Adam Wainwright, but I guess he was asked about Yasiel's reaction. He said, I didn't see Puig's reaction. I saw Adrian doing some Mickey Mouse stuff at second. But I didn't see Puig. I didn't see what you did.

ADRIAN GONZALEZ:  I did what I always do. We are in LA, so Mickey Mouse stuff does go. So if that's, you know, Mickey Mouse is only an hour away. So, you know, it fits us. I did what I always do.

YASIEL PUIG: We're in the playoffs, playoffs, playoffs.

Q. How inspiring was it for Hanley Ramirez to go out there with cracked ribs? Is that something that can inspire the rest of the team?

ADRIAN GONZALEZ: I mean, just anybody that goes out there and plays hurt and gives it their best effort, makes us all step up as well. He's definitely the guy in our lineup that has shown time and time again that changes everything for us. So having him was big.

Q. When David Freese got that single and you trapped it there in the fifth inning, I noticed you were frustrated when you didn't come up with the catch. Were you conscious that Ryu was working on a no‑hitter? And was it particularly important to you that you helped him preserve that?

YASIEL PUIG: I always give it my best on defense, and the frustration you saw is because I wasn't able to make the play. I always try to give my pitchers an easier chance and easier time on the mound to make as many outs as I can. So that was my focus.

Also, for Ryu that was the first hit, and he had a no‑hitter going, something else I wish I could have helped him with.

Q. Can you describe this thing that's inside you that brings out the enthusiasm, the joy? What is it about baseball that makes you play the way you do and the way you seem to love the game?

YASIEL PUIG: I always give it my best. I'm always having fun on the field. In St. Louis, it was obvious that I wasn't quite having as much fun as I was really focused on trying to get a hit. But coming back to Los Angeles, and with the help of my teammates, I was able to get back to really having fun. That's all it really is for me is having fun playing the game.

Q. If you were able to see you play in Serie Nacional would we see excitement from everybody like you, or would you be one of the most excitable guys there too?

YASIEL PUIG:  In Cuba you always see a lot of emotion on the field. Everyone is really giving it their best. It's their job to go out there and do the best they can just like it's here in the big leagues. The people in Cuba are born to play baseball, and that's what you sigh on the field mostly.