Postgame interview with Joe Maddon

Postgame interview with Joe Maddon

THE MODERATOR: Okay. We're going to start with Joe Maddon.

Q. You haven't seen an inning from Shields like that maybe all year. What was going on there?

JOE MADDON: He was going along really well. I thought he had some good stuff and nice tempo and rhythm about him, and all of a sudden a couple hit batters. That's really unusual. That's the part that was definitely out of character.

He was composed, he was fine, and he would just hit a couple of guys. And I think he was just trying to make an even better pitch and that's what got him in trouble right there. But stuff wise, he had his typical stuff, his typical composure. I think he just tried to do too much with those pitches.

Q. Joe, did you sense some frustration from Shields in that inning?

JOE MADDON: Of course.

Q. This is kind of imagining the Rangers scoring five runs in an inning a few years ago without hitting the ball out of the ballpark. It is a little different seeing them put that together.

JOE MADDON: They benefited from a couple hit batters, a couple balls in the dirt that got away. It was kind of a fortuitous inning for them. But that happens. They are aggressive team on the bases, they do those kind of things.

For us, Shop's really good at blocking pitches. He is excellent, actually. The one that got away to his left, I think he kind of bumped into the umpire as he was shifting to the left side. And that does happen as a catcher if an umpire gets on you a little bit too tightly. Because Shop is really good at blocking balls in the dirt.

So I can't fault him at all. There is no fault. It just happened. It's unusual for Shieldsy to hit batters and unusual for balls in the dirt to get by Kelly. It is just one of the things tonight.

Q. The Rangers worked your pitches night. The bat with Napoli, can you talk about how you kept that going.

JOE MADDON: Nap's really come on this year. I've known him a long time and he has made a lot of nice adjustments this year as a hitter. He's gotten shorter. He is choking up with two strikes now, and you see a different approach, more of a middle off field approach with two strikes. He's not just going for the downs when he gets keep into a count. That's to his credit.

He's a great guy. I have known him a long time. I worked with him a bit back in the days with the Angels. He has made nice adjustments. That's why you see the high batting average and the high productivity.

He always had that kind of power, but now he is able to drive in runs with singles, opposite field kind of hits that he did not do in the past.

Q. Joe, do you think that it's possible that during that tough inning there was a cumulative effect, the hit batter and then the other hit batter and then the two wild pitches? Do you think that there was a trend that was going on there?

JOE MADDON: And, again, I think it's just James trying to really, really bury some pitches, which he did. The one was nothing happened. The other one was a strikeout, the one that got to Kelly's left. He actually did do well by ball in the dirt, strike three, ball gets away, run, scores. The other one, he just overboogied a bit and I think it hit Kelly in the shin guard and went towards their dugout.

It did kind of snowball on us. I was looking at my guys out there, and I really saw great composure in the moment. I didn't see anybody out of the ordinary, out of sorts. It's just a matter of James trying to make good pitches against a very good lineup, got a couple balls in the dirt, like I said.

So I was really aware of checking out what the guys looked like. I thought they looked pretty good actually. It was just one of those moments that's unusual for him and for us.

Q. And what was the goal in the meeting at the mound right before Beltre gets hit by the pitch?

JOE MADDON: We're just talking about staying out of a big inning. That's the typical kind of trip to the mound right there. Normally, for me, I like when things are going badly I don't like when things are going badly, but if things were going badly to really remind the pitcher to stay out of the big inning right here. That's always the goal. If you give up one or maybe two, like Hellickson did a couple of days ago against the Yankees at home was huge, as an example, and I think Shieldsy did it the last start against the Yankees, too.

That's just a goal. Sometimes players get away from that thought. You just have to go out and remind them let's just stay out of the big inning right now.

Q. Two questions. What did you see and get on the --- from the umpire on the Murphy dribbler in front of the plate?

JOE MADDON: I talked to K.D. (Kerwin Danley) because I wasn't really sure. He said the ball hit the bat again and it just dribbled out in front of the plate. I had no argument at that point because I can't tell that. You'd have to ask him specifically. He may have called it a little bit quickly, I don't know. But the ball did hit. It appeared to be behind the plate but then rolled out in front of the plate, which means it is a fair ball if it is not touched.

So I went out there rather calmly and just asked him what was going on, and he told me that the ball had hit the bat again, which means it would have been a foul ball because he hit it behind the plate and pushed it fair. That's what I thought he meant, anyway.

I accepted the explanation because I couldn't tell with the naked eye what actually happened.

Q. And the other question is, maybe not the way you planned it, Moore winning, Shields losing, but to leave here with the split, what do you think of that?

JOE MADDON: Absolutely. And even beyond that, how about the battle back again. How about Longo's great at bat, and another three run homer against a very, very good bullpen and he get us back to within a run.

All throughout the game, I'll tell you right now, the vibe was outstanding. The guys never got down. We are at the point where we believe we can always come back, and that's a great feeling to have. It is hard to just sweep the Texas Rangers under these circumstances, but if you can come into this ballpark, how well they are playing and how well we are playing, and come away with the 1-1 going home.

Of course you would prefer 2-0. Of course. Everybody would. That's stupid. But to go back 1-1, we will take it right now. We'll have an off day tomorrow, try to catch our breath. This is probably our, what, 20th playoff game we've had already this year and counting.

I am really proud of the guys, the way they are handling this moment. Like I said, I thought our composure was outstanding and I thought our effort was outstanding. I thought we played well. We played really well again; we just ran into a very unusual circumstance.

Even Jake hitting Moreland was a big play there, also, as you can have potentially two outs hopefully, and here comes Kinsler with runners on second and third as opposed to the bases loaded, which is a better situation for Cruz having a base to deal with.

All these things happened tonight. We are going to go back home 1-1, and I am really pleased with our guys. I thought we were outstanding.

THE MODERATOR: Thank very much, Joe.

JOE MADDON: Pleasure, thanks.

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