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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to defend their three straight American League Central titles.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ALDS Tigers vs. A's Game 4 pregame comments

Here are some quotes from the pregame press conferences held before Game 4 of the ALDS for the Tigers and Athletics (courtesy of ASAPSports.com)

Jim Leyland
On Anibal Sanchez’ outing and how it helped the bullpen for Game 4
We came out of it pretty good. Sanchez pitched an outstanding game, gave us innings. I don't think anybody's bullpen this time of year is not ready. If you watched the Giants game they were in their bullpen the second inning, they've got (Tim) Lincecum pitching right now. You do what you have to do.
How comfortable is he knowing he has Verlander available tomorrow
Well, I'm not really thinking about that. I'm thinking about tonight's game, trying to figure out a way to win it. Hopefully we don't have to cross that bridge. We'll cross it when we come to it. I always feel comfortable with him. I feel comfortable with (Max) Scherzer tonight. We'll just wait to see how it plays out.
On how closely he has to watch Scherzer tonight coming off the injuries
Well, sure, you always have to watch. You just watch your pitcher, normally the hitters tell you what you have to do. He says he's a hundred percent without any restraints at all, ankle, shoulder, everything seems all systems go. Now what happens when the game starts? Can something happen?  Sure. We're prepared for that. We've got Smyly to go if something happens to Scherzer. We'll be prepared for anything. But right now, all systems are go.
On how much experience matters in a postseason series
Oh, I've never believed in that, I believe in talent. And somebody always has to win their first one. I've never believed in that. I've had teams that didn't have any experience and teams ‑ people ask me about that. I really don't believe in that, to be honest with you. I believe in talent. And this has been a real good series so far. I thought they played a terrific game last night. Impeccable, really. Didn't have any effect on them last night. I don't really believe in that stuff. A lot of people talk about it, it's good conversation, I guess, but I don't really ‑‑ I don't believe in that.
On the confidence of Phil Coke after not giving up a run his last two outings
Obviously he's our late ending left‑hander. That's huge for us to come in and get a few outs. They've got a couple of big bats sitting there, you have to watch how you play it. If you noticed last night I chose to go to Dotel to Smith rather than Smyly to possibly Gomes or Carter. You never know what Bob might do. But that certainly would have been an option for him. And I just felt that Dotel against Smith was a better option for me than Smyly against maybe Carter or Gomes. 

Bob Melvin
On a game plan for facing Justin Verlander in a potential Game 5
Well, we have to get there first. I think even more so the game we got him late in the season we got his pitch count up even higher, and got him out after five innings. I don't believe we won the game. But there's - there's more than one way to try to beat a good starting pitcher. You don't always have to beat him. If you can wear him down, again, run the pitch count up, try to get him out of the game sooner than later, stay with him, that has a little bit of effect, too. Trying to get a starter early in the game before they get in their rhythm, that's another way. You don't necessarily have to beat that particular starter to win a game. But I think there are a lot of teams that try to do that with him. The problem is that he'll throw 130 pitches in a game. Even if you get his pitch count up there, it doesn't mean he's going to come out of the game at 100 or 105 pitches, he's a tough customer.

Andy Dirks
On his tough catch early in Game 3
The ball was hit in the corner. Playing the corner outfield they hook and slice a little bit more. Left‑handed hitter when you're playing leftfield, it's going to slice a little bit more, you try to stay inside the ball as much as you can. I had a pretty good beat on it, and I knew if I could get to the spot before it beat me I was probably going to catch it. 
On the importance of manufacturing runs
Anytime you can get a run it's good; early, late, whenever. You've got to take them when you can get them. They've been at a premium this series so far. And we're doing whatever we can out there. Sometimes we might need a bunt to get a guy over, even advancing a runner, doing whatever you need to do to try to get as many runners in scoring position as possible. Whether you get on by walking or whatever it is. Every base runner that's on base has a potential to score a run. With the way it's been, every run is a good run.
What the Coliseum is like in the playoffs compared to the regular season
It's completely different. This stadium is built for baseball and football both. You got the loud speakers going and the place gets rowdy. They got good fans here. It's a fun atmosphere to play in I think for both sides. For me, personally, I enjoy it a lot. When the fans are into it the whole game, every pitch means something, it's exciting baseball.

Quintin Berry
On the importance of manufacturing runs
I think (Dirks) pretty much said it. The good thing about our lineup is we have a lot of guys that can play small ball, between (Omar) Infante, Dirks and me, and guys that can bunt in certain situations. Seems like it's getting to the point where that's going to be more and more important. We're not looking for the long ball as much right now with the way things are going.  We've got a lot of guys in this lineup that can do it. We've got (Ramon) Santiago on the bench who can come in and put a bunt down and (Austin) Jackson who can steal a bag. All those things are going to come into play and be important for us to get an advantage in this series and that's what we're looking to do.
On how consistently being in the lineup against right-handed pitching has improved his play
Yeah, the more you get out there the more confidence and more comfortable you become. So I definitely feel better about my situation now that I'm out there on a regular basis. And also I take pride in the fact that Skip has given me that opportunity, the opportunity to come in and try to help the team. No matter what it is, not really looking at trying to get hits as much as I am to do something to help the team win right now is my main focus. As long as I'm doing that, I've just got to try to do my job. 

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