The Chicago Cubs had a seven-out save by Wade Davis to preserve a shrinking lead and a “Did that really happen?” four-run inning against Washington’s Max Scherzer in a thriller of a Game 5 on Thursday night. After the game Cubbies Manager Joe Maddon discussed the crazy game.
Q. Now that the offense really woke up Thursday night, how much can that help?
JOE MADDON: Hopefully a little bit. We scored a lot of runs on outs and awkward kind of plays. It’s one of those will-to-win kind of situations. Our guys are not going to be denied. They get the big homer, it’s 4-1 immediately. Kyle struggles to get through four and turn it over to the bullpen, try to utilize everybody.
I was prepared to use Wade for six, but what’s the difference between six and seven outs, right? So come out for the seventh — one, two. Give our guys credit, man. Give our guys credit. Every last one, there’s a total buy-in among the group. Nobody cries or complains about playing or not playing.
Zo is ready to come off the bench to talk to me. All that stuff matters. That’s what’s the most exhilarating part about the whole vibe for me right now is that everybody’s bought in.
Q. 4-1, you fall behind, what was the mind-set in you’ve been there before, but maybe not under these circumstances?
JOE MADDON: Well, you know, just watching the game progress, we needed to chip away, and we did. And then once we got in the bullpen, I thought anything was possible. We just had to hold them. That was the big thing; how do you hold them? I did not want to use Q early. I thought, like I said before the game, the normal means, the regular bullpen guys, are rested so give them the first crack.
I felt really actually very strongly about that. Duensing got through it. I was really counting on more outs out of Montgomery quite frankly. Didn’t happen, so you just have to move along the conga line at that point. I thought six not seven out of Wade, but like I said, what’s the difference between six and seven?
Give the boys credit. That’s one of the most incredible victories I’ve every been part of. I know a lot of people are probably saying the same thing, but under the circumstances, in the other team’s ballpark, after a tough loss at home, to come back and do that, give our guys all the credit in the world.
Q. How bizarre was that game for you, especially getting four off Scherzer in that inning?
JOE MADDON: It was bizarro world, there’s no question about it. But it happens; it happens this time of the year. You have to be, again, all hands on deck. You have to be prepared to do things you normally don’t do. You have to have guys that are ready — how about Schwarber’s pinch-hit as an example? I mean, left-on-left right there. Schwarb’s not done that pretty much, and he was ready to do that.
Tommy La Stella, another big pinch hit at-bat. Zobrist, huge at-bat. That base hit to left field versus Scherzer. That’s what I’m talking about, before the game, Zo is not starting. That’s the MVP of the World Series last year. He got it. He understood exactly why.
That’s the beauty of this group; that they really support one another. It’s something that we grew throughout the course of the year, and listen, any manager would love this group.
Q. Do you go to Lackey Saturday?
JOE MADDON: Right now we just — champagne after this, a long flight to L.A., which I’m really pleased about. We haven’t even talked about that yet. He’s definitely in the mix, no question.
Q. And then just briefly, I know you want to celebrate tonight, but you had a great series against the Dodgers last year. How do you think you match up?
JOE MADDON: It’s very interesting once again. They are different because they really overcame the inability to really work against lefties; they are better. They made some nice moves. They are more balanced in that regard. They have lefties that hit lefties, too, which make them more difficult. They always have a good bullpen. They have a specific plan regarding how they like to pitch.
They have Mr. Kershaw, obviously and now they have Darvish, etc. Listen, we just went through Strasburg and Scherzer. I mean, that’s no day at the beach, either. When you get to this time of the year, you really have to be prepared to beat good pitching, which they have.
Q. What did you see or what do the guys in the back tell you that made you want to review the Lobaton play?
JOE MADDON: You’ve just got to. You’ve got to. I looked for Anthony all the time. You have to trust your guys on the field but there’s no reason to not. We have two challenges. It’s that part of the game. There’s no reason to not challenge right there.