- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 12, 2017

CHICAGO — Let’s round up the thoughts about some of the biggest moments and decisions around Game 4 of the National League Division Series between the Washington Nationals and Chicago Cubs:

Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg on if he had anything to prove by starting Game 4:

“Not to you guys, no. No, you guys create the drama. But I know, like I said earlier, I have faith in every other guy in this clubhouse and I know the coaching staff feels the same. So we’re in it together, and when one guy goes down, you have to trust that the other guy is going to pick up the slack.”

Joe Maddon on removing Carl Edwards Jr. after a 1-0 count and bringing in Wade Davis to face Michael A. Taylor:

“I wasn’t thinking about it in the first place. I thought C.J. was going to — should be able to get that one out. At that point, I’m looking at there’s potentially, tie the game and you might need Wade for two innings. Once it got to the point where it looked like C.J. was missing the plate a lot, we got him ready. We would not have put him in the game if he had not said he was ready. The phone rang, he said he was ready, we put him in the game.”

Taylor on what he was thinking before he hit the eighth-inning grand slam and just afterward:

“Leading up to it, I felt pretty good on the ball I fouled off. The at-bat before, I kind of got caught thinking with the pitcher, guessing a little bit. So I tried to stick with my approach right there and just get another pitch out over. And then afterwards, I was kind of numb, just running around the bases. Honestly, I didn’t think it was going to get out the way the wind was blowing in.”

Ryan Zimmerman on what Strasburg showed him by pitching Wednesday night:

“I don’t think it told us anything we didn’t already know. When he’s healthy and he’s on the mound, he’s one the best, if not the best, pitchers in the game. To have him come out and do that in a spot like that was obviously huge is an understatement for us. “

Nationals closer Sean Doolittle on what was happening in the bullpen when Taylor hit the grand slam:

“When Michael hit it, I was in the corner doing some stretching kind of locking in mentally. I wasn’t watching any TV. I had my eyes closed. And, I heard the guys going nuts and they were yelling at the ball, ‘Get up! Get up!’ Then, they were telling me — cause it happened right in front of the bullpen. The [right fielder Ian Happ] jumped. Obviously they can’t see where the ball was. And, again, we were waiting to see if he came down with it. He lands and the crowd’s going nuts, and then they looked up at the TV and guys just were going berserk, man. It was really crazy.”

Nationals manager Dusty Baker on the conditions at Wrigley Field:

“The elements are on our side tonight. You know, I’ve played many games here, managed many games here, and everybody talks about, you know, how the ball flies here. But I think the time that I was here, I think the stadium takes away more homers than it gives. And tonight, it gave us one.”

Maddon on his Game 5 pitching plan:

“Well, you’ve got obviously starting, Kyle [Hendricks], and then [Jose] Quintana will play the role of Jon Lester tomorrow if it’s necessary. We talked about that pregame; if, in fact, it was really close which it was. That was a good spot for Lester tonight and then tomorrow, just everybody’s available tomorrow. So it will start with Kyle, and Q is ready tomorrow to back up like Jon did tonight and the entire bullpen. We’ll be fine tomorrow.”

Jayson Werth on the weight of Game 5:

“Well I want to win for [the team]. It’s been a great seven years in Washington. I love it here. I love these guys. I want nothing more than to win, but I want to win for them. It’s great that they say [they want to win for me], it makes me feel good, but there’s only a couple of us on this team that have been to the top. I want us to experience it. I want to get to the top. I want Dusty to get his championship. But [Thursday’s] a big day. We’ve got to win [Thursday].”

 

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