Scioscia pregame interview
Manager talks about his starting lineup and rotation
At this time of year where every little thing is so scrutinized, how difficult is it on you as a manager, people ask about Guerrero running in the sixth or anything like that?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, I love talking baseball, and I think the scrutiny is something that happens every day with our coaching staff after a game. Happens all the time whether I'm talking with Bill (Stoneman); you're always analyzing moves, analyzing the game and trying to keep moving the right direction.
I love talking baseball, whether there's a decision that was made or wasn't made, I'm fine with that. So it makes it interesting, and, you know, it comes with the territory, whether you're in post season or whether you're playing in a regular season game.
Our writers are very, very good and they don't miss too much. Right, TJ?
Who are you going to start in left field?
SCIOSCIA: Garret is going to start in left field.
Is this a product of being stubborn on your part or what's the thinking?
SCIOSCIA: I think we're very confident in Garret's ability defensively, especially when he's feeling good and his legs are feeling good. His back is fine. And I think that Garret is a good defensive left fielder.
I think some guys are maybe forgetting some of the things he's done during the season and last year and the year before, how well he played centerfield for us last year before he was banged up a little bit at the end of the year. Our confidence is very, very high on Garret playing left field. He goes to the line and can stop a double with the best of them. He's experienced out there and he does a good job.
I think that he is more comfortable in left field than a guy; Juan Rivera is a natural right fielder. I think there's a lot of things you look at when you're making the decision. Garret's healthy. We feel he's a good defensive left fielder, and he is more productive when he plays out there. So you determine if that's stubborn or not, TJ, I don't know. (Laughter.)
Your decision to go Byrd 3 and then Washburn 4; why those two in that order?
Paul, he's rested and he's ready to go. We need good starts from both of those guys, so we could flip it if we had to, but right now we feel good with Byrd going 3 and Washburn going 4. I think for some of the reasons, probably the biggest reason is make sure that Wash's elbow gets an extra day; if he needed to work on things in between, he has that opportunity. And he'll pitch well in Yankee Stadium and we'll see what this next day or so brings.
When you just said right there that you could flip it if you wanted to, does that mean you're thinking about it, if you're down 0-2?
SCIOSCIA: Everything is pencilled in from this point on. I think that we're very, very confident with lining up the way we have. But in a short series, this is very fluid. You know, momentum changes in a heartbeat. Things you're looking at can change. There might be some things that might adjust it, but right now, as we're speaking here, we're comfortable and very, very confident with Paul pitching in Game 3 and Jarrod in Game 4. Our goal is to focus on today to make sure we get to a Game 4, and if we need be, another one.
Can you talk about what Santana and Escobar add to your bullpen?
SCIOSCIA: Ervin it's a little bit of an unknown because he has not pitched out of the bullpen yet for us. With Kelvim, the impact was immediate. I think it was huge for us when he came back right after the turn in September. The dynamics of our bullpen changed from some guys maybe getting a little fuzzy or having their workload getting to a point where you were concerned about some of it, to some guys who were becoming not as productive as they had been in the beginning of the year. And when Kelvim stepped in, I think that it was that extra arm we needed and everything else fell into place, and the whole bullpen was terrific from the time he got down there to the end of the year. I think it was an important piece of the puzzle.
Ervin right now is probably going to be more of a longer role to a middle role, and we'll see how games go to have to use him. He is available short term in the bullpen today. He did just pitch on Sunday, but he would be available tonight.
How much do you feel you have to create offense to win this series, and have you tailored your style to your personnel?
SCIOSCIA: Well, you know, I think manager's style is neither here nor there. You have to look at the personnel you have. If we had guys that were six or seven deep with guys that have potential to hit 20 home runs, we would probably have a different style of baseball in place on the field. We don't have that. So the only way for us really to balance the books a little bit on scoring enough runs as a part of our team is to get aggressive on the base paths and maybe push the envelope a little bit.
We have to play that style. I think that to play that style, some things have to happen. You certainly have to get the first couple of runners, one of the first two runners on every inning if you can to pressure other clubs. When we've done that, we've done very well.
But you do need a foundation of some guys swinging the bat well through the middle, which has eluded us at times this season and created some inconsistency. You know, our style has to remain the same. That's why early runs are important. You know, at times, we're going to run into some outs when we're behind but really that's just a by product of the type offense we have to play.
Case in point last night, Vlad gets thrown out. Although obviously it was a misread, if we take that base, we get a guy in scoring position or we can shift away, we're going to score a run and that's the way we have to play. It didn't work out last night but we need to set that tone.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.