Los Angeles Dodgers’ skipper Dave Roberts was asked after last night’s 3-1 win what it was like to manage his team to a World Series win for the first time, and how, if at all, it was any different than winning postseason games as a player.
“You know what I think?” Roberts said. “Speaking for me, personally, it's more -- and I think to the group as well, to the team, it's more, yeah, it's the World Series. But I think we had our goal and our mindset of winning 11 games in October. So right now we've won eight. And that's the only thing that we've been thinking of.
“So, yeah, it's special. It's hard to compare it to being a player. But I know right now that this is a laser-focus group and we have a lot of work to do.”
Astros’ skipper A.J. Hinch, after dropping the series opener last night, talked about his confidence in his Game 2 starter, veteran right-hander Justin Verlander, who is (4-0) in four starts with a 1.46 ERA and a .200/.258/.294 line against in 24 2⁄3 IP thus far in the postseason.
“We think he can win every single game he pitches,” Hinch said. “I don't know there's any better compliment for a starting pitcher.
“When we wake up tomorrow morning, we'll have breakfast and get here early, and we have a very good chance to win because Justin Verlander is on the mound.
“What do I expect from him? I'm not going to put limitations on him. I've run him up to 130 pitches or 125 pitches. National League rules may be a little different but I expect his best, and that's what he's delivered since the day he became an Astro.”
Rich Hill, 37, makes his first World Series start tonight in his 13th major league season, after having put up a 3.00 ERA and a .188/.278/.375 line against in two starts and nine innings pitched so far this October. He talked yesterday about the long road that got him to where he is, from the Long Island Ducks in 2015, to the mound for the Dodgers in the Fall Classic.
“I think one of the things when I think back to that is just the passion,” Hill said of his time with the Ducks.
“When I say that, it's just the love that the guys have for the game. And also the pleasant surprise of talent that was in the independent leagues.
“I think it's something that people will think of and say, wow, it's just a bunch of guys that are washed up or a guys that didn't get an opportunity to make it. But that's not true. If you actually go to a game and take it in and see, there's a lot of good talent here. It just happens that there wasn't any room for these players in affiliated baseball.”
Hill found his spot. Now he’s starting in the World Series.