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Angels post-game quotes
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League Championship Series
10/10/2002 03:45 am ET 
Angels post-game quotes

Mike Scioscia, Angels manager

Can you talk about the decision to bring (Troy) Percival in in the eighth and the job he did once you brought him in?

Well, Percy's a guy that we do have available for four outs, if necessary. The way the matchups were going today, I thought was -- it was gonna be better to get Percy in there in the eighth. Especially since Francisco (Rodriguez), he's throwing close to 30 pitches there and getting his five outs.

Percy came in against a, you know, he's a very, very dangerous hitter, especially from the left side. He's been swinging the bat specially well. Percy did a great job of making some pitches and broke out a nice off-speed pitch to get him looking on strike three.

Back to

(Darin) Erstad and (Brad) Fullmer, both hitting over .400 against Rick Reed. The rest of the lineup was kind of around .200. Can you talk about their performances?

Maybe we should hit them one and two in the lineup against Reed. Rick is tough on us. Erstad and Brad just seemed to, you know, sometimes you're seeing the ball better out of a guy's hand than some other guys.

He got a changeup up a little bit to Brad. I think he tried to run a fastball into Erstad in the first inning. Those, you know, two big hits, obviously, for us. Those two guys, you know, they stepped up and gave us a lift tonight because Rick Reed is a tough pitcher. If he gets on a roll, you can see after the second inning, how he really settled in, put up a lot of zeroes there until Brad's home run, which was a big play for us.

Mike, talk about Darin's home run and how it got you guys off to a good start?

We'll go with the flow of the game. If we obviously got behind, we weren't going to fold the tent. But it's nice to get a lead. It's nice to, you know, jump out, especially with Ramon, letting him relax and just worry about executing pitches. It was a big start for him and he really stepped up and did a good job.

Those early runs, obviously, they're important any time. But I think where we are, especially in the series, it gave us a big lift.

How important is it to win on the road, especially in the Metrodome?

Well, you got to win four ball games. You know, whether you're home or on the road, you're going to have to bring your game. This is obviously a, you know, the Twins have a great record at home. It's an advantage. You know, they, going into the series, having home-field advantage, it's a challenge, no doubt about that.

But I think we have the confidence if we can bring our game into a stadium, we feel very, very confident. And, you know, tonight we were able to do some things, I thought we ran the bases well early in the game. You know, they opened the door a little for us, we took advantage of it.

That's the type baseball we have to play. We've been playing it all year. Whether it's home or on the road, we're going to have to bring the same -- we play back in Anaheim, we have to bring the same style of play in, or this team -- and this team is tough to beat. But, you know, we're going to have to earn it.

What happened to (Tim) Salmon? What's his prognosis?

Scioscia: Do you want to give...?

Tim Mead, Angels vice president of communications: Tim received a cortisone shot from Dr. Louis Yocum and should be able to play on Friday.

Scioscia: He's day-to-day, we'll evaluate it. He has a slight strain in his hamstring. We thought it was better at that point to just get him out. He felt it tighten up a little. It grabbed a little bit. Better to get him out there than to risk something further happening where he wouldn't be available at all.

... Actually, on the play, the inning before, when he made the nice catch in right-center, trying to think who hit the ball...


Scioscia: Hunter. Hit the ball to right center field. Tim made a nice running catch. First felt a little tight. Then when he came up to the plate, he was running out after he hit the fly ball, grabbed a little and we didn't want to take a chance at that point.

We're working on an off-day piece about the quiet success of your bullpen. Can you identify some of the specific characteristics of those pitchers?

I don't know if you'd call it "quiet success." They've been, you know -- we could see them coming for a long time. They've done a great job. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for our bullpen stepping up, I'm not just talking about Troy Percival. He's a -- given the way he's performed over the years and he's been on the money this year.

But if you look at guys like Brendan Donnelly and Ben Weber and Scott Schoeneweis and now Francisco Rodriguez, Scot Shields, Al Levine who's not on our playoff roster, Dennis Cook, these guys have all just the pieces have just fit. They've done a terrific job. You saw Francisco tonight. That was a big part of the game. Brendan coming in and, you know, kind of putting that fire out in the sixth inning was a big part of the game, too. These guys have been doing it all year. We're not going to get to our goal unless these guys continue to throw the ball well and do the job. They've been doing it and it's great to see.

Brad Fullmer and Troy Percival

This is for Troy. Troy, so many teams are built on getting seven or so innings from their starting pitcher. With your bullpen, you know, five seems to be enough and you seem to be able to cover the last four innings of the ball game. Can you just talk about that, and then the guys who set you up.

Percival: Yeah. Our bullpen has been outstanding all year. They've set me up better than any time in my past career. I've been in the eighth inning four times this year coming in because those guys have been so good. You know, you get into a situation like these playoffs where you give us a lead, all we got to ask out of our starters is get five good innings, hand it over to the boys and let them get their work done. It's a lot of fun for me to sit and watch.

You've had particularly great success against the Twins, Troy. Is there a reason for that? Are they free swingers? Any particular reason?

Percival: No, there are a lot of good hitters. They're tough to get, especially right now. A lot of those numbers were from 1995 to 1999. This team, right now, they're throwing at you, if you don't make quality pitches, they're going to get you. There's a lot of thought as to what I'm trying to do out there, sometimes climb the ladder. They're tough to face. I go out there, throw my pitches and you take what you get.

Brad, with the way this team hits against the Yankees, did you sort of figure it was only a matter of time before you got rolling offensively?

Fullmer: Our lineup's deep, top to bottom. Everybody's had good years. We've been swinging the bat well as a team for a while. You know, last night, we got to tip our hat to Joe Mays, he pitched a heck of a game. You know, we hadn't played for a few days. Maybe that had something -- you got to get acclimated to the Dome. He pitched well. Tonight, we got it going a little bit, the way we've done it all year, put together some hits then get a couple long balls.

Brad, you're hitting over .400 against Rick Reed. Can you talk about your home run in the sixth and maybe what your secret is?

Fullmer: You know what, somebody brought that to my attention today. I knew I had gotten some hits. I don't know why, I can't explain it. He's been one of the best pitchers in the league the last few years, and it's just one of those weird things where you happen to see the ball good from a certain guy. And, you know, maybe I'm on the same page as he is for a lot of the time.

So, you know, I was just, in that situation, man on third, less than two outs, I was just trying to stay, you know -- use the middle of the field, stay back, use my hands and see the ball. I chased a bad pitch 2-0, I was just trying to stay back and trust my hands there. I got a pitch up in the zone a little bit out over the plate and went and hooked it.

Troy, what was your approach against (Bobby) Kielty? What was the strikeout pitch?

Percival: My approach was go out there and throw a good pitch to get ahead of him. I was trying to climb the ladder against him, and he kept fouling off. He was right on it. I knew that he was right on it. I knew I had to brush him back off the plate or come up with something off speed. So I went ahead and went with Bengie, Bengie made the call to throw -- I don't know if you want to call it a splitter or change -- depends on what you look at my grip -- I make it up every time.

It was changeup, I said, 'I'm going to try to throw it in.' If he does see it out of my hand, the only thing he's going to do is pull it foul. It came back nice over the inside corner.

Troy, you're now a four-out pitcher.

Percival: Check me out.

How did that evolve? Do you prefer to come out in the ninth inning or going for the last out in the eighth inning?

Percival: In the playoffs, it doesn't matter. I'll come out in the seventh. I don't know if I'll make it to the ninth, but I'll come out whenever you ask me to. I don't know if I've become a four-out pitcher after the whole debate in New York. I come out when Scioscia asks me to come out.

Brad, can you just talk about what this does for your momentum now, heading into Game 3 back in Anaheim.

Fullmer: Well,you know what, certainly we don't come into any games, you know, expecting to lose. But really our job was to come here and win one out of two on the road. So we've done that. We bounced back. We're a resilient team. Nobody panics. We lost last night, but, you know, nobody's mood changes, we have a good time. We joke around.

So we're going to be going back home, and our fans have been unbelievable for the last couple months. So I'm looking forward to it.

Troy, can you identify any specific characteristics of Schoeneweis, Donnelly or Weber that speak to their success this year.

Percival: I think our whole pen has taken on the attitude of attacking hitters. I've tried to talk to guys about, 'Don't go out there and try to nibble first pitch, you know, try and throw stuff two, three inches off the plate.' I'm saying, 'Go out there, throw good quality strikes early in the count and move it off.'

The guys have been so good at that.

Schoeny, once he came into the bullpen, started attacking hitters. A 92-mile-per-hour sink from a lefty is tough.

Donnelly gets ahead of hitters. You can see that from his stats, he's the best in the league for coming in with people on base. He attacks hitters, stays aggressive, doesn't try to do too much.

We avoid the walk when possible and really try and bear down aggressively on all the hitters.

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