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10/11/06 1:15 AM ET

Barry Zito postgame interview

A's southpaw says he needed better fastball command

You seemed to be cruising right at the beginning. Can you describe what was going on when you started to run into some trouble?

BARRY ZITO: The first thing that happened, Inge hit a homer on a fastball and he just hit a good swing on it, pretty good pitch. After that I started to nit pick a little bit instead of just coming right after him. This is the playoffs, so if you don't get ahead in the count, it becomes more exposed than in the regular season.

Ken Macha mentioned you had a lot of success against Inge in the past. What was it like today facing him in the bottom of the lineup?

BARRY ZITO: He had a couple good pitches. I've got to tip my hat. He had a good fastball in for a homer and then 2-0 change down kind of middle of the way down, he just went down and got it. I'm not aware of what I've done in the past, but today he got the best of me.

Your teammates certainly believed that you were the guy to get the ball in the big game. You've certainly taken that. What's your feeling now? Is it shock, disappointment in this huge game?

BARRY ZITO: You know, it's just a normal feeling after any game that doesn't go the way you want it to. You know, I got away from my game plan, which was just focusing on every pitch, and like I said, try to be too fine.

They have a reputation for swinging away and they seemed to be really patient with you tonight. Did that surprise you? Did it have anything to do with getting away from your game plan?

BARRY ZITO: I know they're an aggressive team. There's a couple guys on there -- most guys are pretty aggressive. You know, I need to take advantage of that aggression and come after them, make them swing at bad pitches early, and the pitches I think were just too far out of the zone for them to chase early on.

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It's a ball Magglio usually handles in his sleep. Were you surprised to see that one got away from him a little bit?

BARRY ZITO: Ordoñez? Yeah, I mean, he knocks it down. He's done the spin play basically for six, seven years. You know, it just didn't pop up in his throwing game. But I can't be frustrated with anything Chavie has done over there at third because he's gold over there. Most guys don't even give you a chance at that one.

You said that it was just that home run that untracked you from your game plan. Has that happened to you before? Do you know why maybe that one at bat sort of sent you in a different direction?

BARRY ZITO: No, I didn't think it was the homer that got me away from that. I think it was just, you know, for whatever reason, after that I just started to nit pick. But I just need better fastball command, and when I put the fastball where I want, it makes the off speed that much more effective. That's why some change ups got hit pretty well tonight, because the fastball didn't keep them honest.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.