10/10/2004 12:41 AM ET
Jim Tracy, postgame quotes
Skipper discusses Lima's pitching performance
JIM TRACY: We had Gagné ready, but Lima was going to get the opportunity to finish the game.
Q. Lima had a five pitch inning in the third and a six pitch inning in the fourth. How significant was that for him to go the full nine?
JIM TRACY: I think simply put, that's the reason he was out there in the ninth inning. I've said many times when you have a pitcher that ends up with a 20 , 25 or close to 30 pitch inning, you never get those pitches back. Sooner or later, due to the stress with which you have to use other pitches, and pitching out of jams, you never get an opportunity to get those pitches back.
But when Jose Lima is on his game, which he obviously was tonight, you're going to see innings pitched where the count is very low. And he's had a number of those this year, especially in this ballpark. And when he does that, that's when you, more times than not, see him still standing out there in the seventh and eighth inning.
Q. The game and possibly the series seemed to turn on Finley's splintered bat hit and Green followed with two home runs. Would you comment?
JIM TRACY: I think right now with where the series is at, that's the key to the series. I talked about the first two games of the series and our inability to get a base hit with two outs. Tonight we got one. Then Shawn Green, who had a tremendous offensive game, hits two home runs for us.
You know, it's two to one right now. But I think what I would do in answering your questions, also like you're suggesting, is take you back to the fourth inning, the second game on Thursday night, and had we put a couple of extra at bats together in the fourth inning on Thursday night, would the shoe not be on the other foot as far as two vs. one?
Q. Would you give us your take on the execution of the little things tonight.
JIM TRACY: That's how we win. That's how we've won a lot of games here over the course of four years. You're going to hit some home runs. You're going to drive some balls to the gap, things like that. But when you get involved in situations where you have to execute the little things as you're suggesting, and move runners along, set situations up for the guys that follow in the order, it's what has helped to make us a good ballclub.
You know, tonight is indicative of what our club's all about when we're ahead. We love to do things like that. But, you know, when you're chasing and trying to come from behind, and you are somewhat limited with the number of outs that you have left in the game, it's very difficult to give up outs when you need a few runs to get back in, and yet there really hasn't until tonight been any situations where we could play the type of baseball that makes us very good.
I said it, you know, from a starting pitching standpoint, we get deep enough into the game, and I don't necessarily mean a nine inning complete game shut out, but once Lima got us to the sixth inning and we had a few runs on the board, we're set up pretty good as far as, you know, our bullpen and what we have to offer down there.
Q. Did you think the ball hit Lima on the bunt?
JIM TRACY: I don't think it did. I didn't think it did at all. As a matter of fact, when Mike jumped out there from behind home plate, I thought that he probably, the way he reacted to it, completely realized that it didn't hit him in the foot or any part of his body as he was leaving the box because of the way he reacted to it immediately.
He looked down, from my take from the dugout, waited really because it didn't get out there very far to make sure that the ball was fair. With Brent Mayne running from first base, his intent obviously was as soon as he realized it was fair, to pick it up and try to force the runner at second base.
Q. What makes Shawn Green such a difficult hitter to face and such an effective hitter?
JIM TRACY: The first thing is that he has a very definitive plan each and every time he goes to the plate. He recognizes situations. He knows what he's looking for in given situations. You know, he's a very intelligent hitter. With that being said and the ability that he possesses, obviously he's going to make you throw pitches or try to force you to throw pitches that he's at least going to have real good swings at. You know, he's pretty much done that the entire series thus far.
Q. With the way they hit Odalis Perez in the past, what do you expect them to do differently tomorrow? What kind of leash will he be on?
JIM TRACY: I'm not going to expound on that a whole lot here, I can tell you that. But I think Odalis is very capable of pitching against this club. I think that, you know, without saying a whole lot about it, if you're sitting there watching the performance that Jose Lima gave tonight and the way he went about it, one thing I think is very safe to say is that this obviously is a club that you don't want to be in too many situations where you're pitching from behind.
I think aggression is something that really comes to mind that you have to implement and use both sides of the plate and get them swinging the bat. You have to do that. But you have to make quality pitches. Like I said earlier with Lima, he threw balls tonight when he wanted to throw them to set up another pitch. And if you're going to beat this club, that's the way you have to go about doing it.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.