10/04/2002 9:32 pm ET
A's post-game quotes
Art Howe, A's manager
Can you talk about what went through your mind when (Scott) Hatteberg lost the pop fly in the first inning by Jacque Jones?
Well, I guess I can't say it in public. It was like an "Oh, you know what." Exactly what we were afraid might happen took place, because he said he didn't see it originally off the bat, and then he found it for a split instant, and he took his eyes off it, and that's all she wrote, and that's what we try to tell everybody, you have to keep your eyes on it and try to read as much as you can off the bat because it is going to reappear sometime, but we got a break on it, it just hit right in front of the the bag and kicked foul and Barry got the strikeout, so it didn't hurt us.
I hate to ask you this with (Barry Zito) sitting there, but as far as feel for pitching, is this amazing to see a kid this young with the feel for pitching that he has?
Yeah, we are very lucky. I am very lucky. I have three of them that do this on a regular basis, so Barry really pitched a heck of a game today. Like I said, we made a couple mistakes, made him have to work out of some tough jams and he did it.
I don't want to take anything away from today's win for you, but tomorrow you are going to see a lefty. Will we see any lineup changes?
You might see just one. We are going to ride the horse that got us here.
There was a general whackiness to the first few innings, and just kind of comment on that a little bit.
We were just hoping that some sanity would start to prevail and some normalcy would take place. These guys are tough here, they play great baseball and they never give up, so we just have to play solid ball all the way. And we did make a couple mistakes, and normally they are going to really make you pay, but Barry did a great job of minimizing the damage.
Did you ever see somebody so far away from an infield popup as Scott was when it came down? It had to be 30 feet.
Actually, I played in Candlestick a few times, but that's about the only place I can recall balls coming down where someone was not too close.
Getting out of that second inning, the drop popup, did you see that as maybe the most crucial inning for you, to get over that hump?
Yeah, I knew I had to battle a little bit. I was getting behind on some guys, and when that popup was dropped, I mean, I don't take things like that to heart because you
know inside yourself whether you are going to get guys out or not, and if you let that affect you, you are not going to last very long. But, I mean, I was confident that I could still get guys out, I walked a couple guys and then got Rivas on a 2-2 change and then, you know.
The fastball you throw to lefties, do you throw your cutter to lefties or is that just a fastball away?
It's actually just a fastball away. Sometimes it will cut. It usually won't tail back over the plate, I don't have much of that, with the four-seamer, so, you know, sometimes if it's really on the blackaway, it will cut maybe a couple inches.
Now that you have been through the dome in the playoffs, what was your reaction to the atmosphere and, also, your feelings on the Durham home run right off the start?
The crowd was amazing. You know, these fans in Minnesota, they are great, you know, they came out and they supported us. I was trying to picture how it would be without the curtain out there in right, and just to see every seat full, it was great. It would be great to have that -- you know, have those fans here in Minnesota because they were very cool.
And then as far as Durham's home run, that was huge. He hit that ball pretty hard, and I think it just got by Torii (Hunter) and, you know, it was a really big out, first hitter of the game, and then Hatteberg follows up with the home run and kind of took the pressure off me a little bit.
The wild pitch that was for the highlight reel. What happened on that one?
It's just a -- what it is, I grip my fastball really loosely, and it's happened so many times, you know, in BP when I am playing catch, and it happened two times this year in warmups on the mound, never in the game. I knew it was inevitable one day it would happen and, of course, it happened in the playoffs on national TV, so I am glad everyone knows that that's something I do now.
Howe adds: I am glad we were on turf or it wouldn't have gotten across the foul line. Actually, the pitching coach and I looked at each other and we just had to laugh on that one. I am sure Barry wasn't laughing, but we were.
Zito: No. That wasn't good.
Could you tell us your reaction to the game-winning home runs, and all the home runs, and all the whacky plays.
It was a wacky day today, but fortunately, we came out on top. You know, lead off the game, Durham with the home run and then Hatteberg follow up, we gained some momentum, kind of took the crowd out of it a little bit, the crowd was awesome today, it was loud in there, and, you know, with the wacky plays at first base, I mean, we hung in there, but it was tough. We knew it was going to be tough coming in, and I am just glad we went out there and battled, fought hard, and came up with the win today.
No, I don't think so. It was a tough atmosphere out there today. The crowd was loud. I mean, and the roof was as tough as it always is, and, you know, fortunately for us, those plays didn't hurt us. And we were able to go out and score some runs and come up with some key hits, Twins battled back, and then with me leading off the inning, I mean, all I knew is I just had to get on anyway, and I stayed with my game plan of hoping that he would make a mistake, and I was able to drop the head of the bat on it and hit it out of the park.
Want to say anything about Barry's performance today?
Barry did a heck of a job. He gave up some hits, battled back with the bases loaded, got out of the inning, and, you know, even when they tied the game up, he still hung in there and did his job. He hung in there for one more inning, I think, and we were fortunate enough to take that go-ahead, that lead, and he got out of the inning and then our bullpen came in, Rincon did a heck of a job and then Koch to follow up, and then also Randy Velarde up with a big hit for us to give us a little cushion.
Do you feel you were are in control of the series?
No, not at all. I mean, you know, tomorrow is going to be a big day for us, for both teams. We are not used to playing a 12 o'clock game early. I don't know if the Twins had games like that before, but we don't have time to think about what we did today, we got to put it behind us and get a good night's rest and then come out early in the ballpark and try and do the same thing we did, score some runs early and try and make the Twins battle back and, hopefully, we can do that, and Hud even come out tomorrow and give us a great performance.
Are you in a position that you would rather end it tomorrow instead of going to a fifth game?
Of course. I mean, we want to be able to come out tomorrow and win, but we know it's going to be tough. I mean, the Twins are a great team. I mean, they are not here for no good reason. They played well, they played hard. This is their home turf. I mean, we just are fortunate enough we got great pitching from Barry and our bullpen came in and did their job, and tomorrow is not going to be easy at all. We got to still continue to go out tomorrow and work hard and try and manufacture some runs and get a great performance out of our pitchers.