MLB Playoffs: Joe Maddon Says Michael A. Taylor Grand Slam Had To Be \'absolutely Crushed\'

The Cubs lost 5-0 at home Wednesday to the Nationals in Game 4 of the NL Division Series.

Down 1-0 in the eighth inning, the Cubs watched as Nationals outfielder Michael A. Taylor blasted a grand slam just over the wall through a steady breeze. Cubs manager Joe Maddon didn't see that coming given the conditions.

"Taylor, that ball had to be absolutely crushed," Maddon said after the game. "That's into a gale, high, opposite field, all those factors are involved. Give him — that surprised all of us, obviously."

Maddon said Kyle Hendricks will start Thursday, but Jose Quintana will be available in relief, where Jon Lester came in Wednesday to toss 3 2/3 innings.

"Quintana will play the role of Jon Lester tomorrow if it's necessary," Maddon said. "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 (Quintana) is ready tomorrow to back up like Jon did tonight and the entire bullpen. We'll be fine tomorrow."

The Cubs won Game 7 of the World Series in Cleveland last year. Again faced with a must-win situation in hostile territory, Maddon doesn't have a special speech planned.

"Honestly, I don't say a whole lot. I actually don't say anything," Maddon said. "I just want them to go and prepare like we normally do. We just have to be offensively a little bit better tomorrow."

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  • Maddon said the players will partake in Game 5 planning, but he really just wants the game to start.

    "Players are definitely going to be mentally involved. I mean, like they always are, but maybe even a little bit more," Maddon said. "So coaches will go over their work a little bit more than they normally do. Although I'm really not an advocate of that. I just want us to go play."


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