Nats manager Davey Martinez on Game 7 win
Q. If you could, I asked you a few minutes ago, if you can answer in English and Spanish, what it means to you to be the second Puerto Rican manager in a row to win a World Series.
DAVE MARTINEZ: Just overall just to be a manager who gets an opportunity to even play in the World Series, and now to win it, what an unbelievable feeling. Honestly, it still hasn’t hit me yet, but I can tell you I’ll wake up tomorrow feeling a whole lot different.
(Answer in Spanish.)
MODERATOR: Congratulations on bringing home the first World Series title to Washington since 1924. Amazing.
DAVE MARTINEZ: Thank you.
Q. For both Rendon and Kendrick, what has enabled them to time after time come through this month in the key situations?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Yeah, you know, there’s guys in a big moment you want up there. And those are two guys that when a big moment arises, you want them up there. And they’ve come through all year long for us in big ways. They have the knack to just stay calm and do what they need to do. And you saw that tonight.
Q. How close was Max to being his usual stuff? It looks like he was moving sort of uncomfortably out there, missing a little going inside-outside?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Hey, Max is a bulldog. We saw him earlier. His location wasn’t as crisp as he wanted it to be. He fought through some unbelievable innings and he kept us in the ball game. That’s all we can ask from Max.
He had 102 pitches. He said, Hey, I’ll give you another inning if you need me. I said, Max, you did a great job, you kept us in the ball game. We’ll get this, we’ll figure it out. We’re going to win this game.
But what a fantastic job he did.
Q. Just to follow up on what makes Soto and Rendon so great under pressure. What is it about them personally that sort of keeps the ice water in the veins? Is that at all times or is it in clutch moments?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No, there’s two different sides of the spectrum. You look at Rendon who has no heartbeat. He’s just the same guy every day, every play, every second. And then you look at Soto, who’s a 20-year-old — well, a 21-year-old now, he had his first beer tonight, which is kind of nice (laughter). But you look at a 21-year-old kid that’s just out there having fun like he’s playing stick ball in the backyard. That’s who he is. He loves the moments. He loves going up there and picking up his teammates.
Like I said, you add Howie in there, you add — even Zimm, you know, who missed all this year and all of a sudden he comes back and we’re playing for something and he’s just part of it. He just stepped up and wanted to be a part of it and came up with some big hits of his own.
I’m so proud of all these guys and what they’ve done. I’ve asked them to do things that they, I’m sure, are not comfortable, and they did them, no questions asked. Corbin being one of them. Corbin pitched out of the bullpen. Today we were thinking he would get one inning. He went out for one inning, we asked him if he could go out another inning, he said, yeah. Asked him again if he could go out for a third inning, he says, Whatever you need. After the third inning I said, I think we got you covered. Great job.
That’s what I get with that bunch of guys.
Q. Soto’s walk was really a pivotal point in that seventh inning. Can you talk about how Greinke looked to you up to that point and were you glad to get him out of the game?
DAVE MARTINEZ: Greinke is an unbelievable pitcher. I’ve seen him, I’ve been on other teams where we had to face him. It’s not an easy at-bat. He throws strikes, he throws strikes with all his pitches.
When I played and faced guys like that, I would always call them a comfortable 0-4. Because you think you’re going to be on him, and you hit a ball and you don’t really get any good wood. And Soto getting the walk, but then Anthony hitting a big home run, I think that was, to me, that was the key. I mean, he really opened it up right there. I saw the guys, they felt like they had life, we’re down 1. We still got a lot of game to play, and then you saw their bats getting better.
But Greinke, man, he was incredible. Not only this time but the outing before he was really good.
Q. 19-31 start, 5-0 in elimination games, winning every game on the road in the World Series. Has this got to be the craziest route to the World Series title? And how do you feel about that?
DAVE MARTINEZ: This year, I can honestly say nothing would have surprised me. I mean, from where we started, traveling “boos,” you name it, we’ve been through a lot.
But like I said before, these guys, we stuck together. They believed in each other. I believed in them. And I told them before the game, I said, Hey, I want you guys to just treat this as just another game, it’s Game 184, which is hard to do. I said, But we made it this far, just play one more game. One more 1-0, and they did that tonight.
Q. On Howie, when he gets hurt last year, at his age a lot of people wouldn’t come back anywhere nearly what they were. But he always had the sunny disposition, worked hard. Did you have any doubts that he’d be even better than he was before?
DAVE MARTINEZ: No, I saw him last year, he came in last year, he knew he was out for the year. This guy worked unbelievably last year to get back and then come to Spring Training. When he showed up at Spring Training we thought he wasn’t going to be able to do much. He played. He was ready to play from day one. He was ready to go and I had to kind of ease his way, to say, Hey, look, one, you’re not a spring chicken anymore. And two, We’ve got to ease your way back. We want you for the duration of the year.
A testament to how hard he worked. Howie is a true professional. You see him on the field what he does, but what he does in that clubhouse with those guys is unbelievable. And you can’t replace that. You really can’t. He’s been one of the heart and souls of this team.