10/13/06 5:40 PM ET
Ken Macha pregame interview
Macha talks about injuries to the team and playing in the cold
By / MLB.com
KEN MACHA: MRI said there's nothing wrong, nothing wrong with his neck. Still having a little problem getting his arm up, so they're working on him. We'll see.
Trainers weren't real optimistic, but we'll have Duch go out there and see what he does, play catch or whatever. We'll see.
Duchscherer had pitched so well against Minnesota. Do you know how this problem arose?
KEN MACHA: I do not. I couldn't answer that question. That's something for our training staff.
As a matter of fact, he pitched two innings and then two innings, and the pitch count was incredibly low. I mean, it was like 21 pitches, 23 pitches, something like that. He pitched extremely effectively in both of those outings.
How would you evaluate Nick Swisher's performance offensively so far? Is he pressing or what would you say?
KEN MACHA: Maybe he's trying to do too much. He's just a young guy, second year in the league. The other thing is their pitchers are pretty good. You can't totally put your finger on one thing exactly. I was going out to eat last night and he was standing on the corner on the cell phone, and I said, Nick singles are okay, Nick, singles (laughter).
The closer role is generally one that goes to a pitcher who's been around a while, maybe he's had some ups and downs in baseball. What told all of you that Huston Street would be good in that role?
KEN MACHA: Well, I know Billy has been a big fan of him the entire time. Early in the season last year when we had Dotel here and he situations, Billy was pretty adamant about his evaluation of Street and his ability to be able to go out there and get the last three outs.
I think most of the baseball people realize that that's not an easy job, and it takes a certain amount of makeup for this individual to go do that.
Huston has done very well. I mean, this year he's got a bunch of saves, some of them are tough saves. If you've followed our team, we really play a lot of tight games. We don't get many opportunities to save a game when we've got a tight lead.
That being said, he's pitched two years, and I believe he's still learning how to do his job. I think there's going to be a lot of upside with him. Hopefully we'll get an entire Spring Training to work with him next year to tune up his game for various hitters that he has problems with.
But the makeup that he does have, he's got no fear, he comes in, and he's never rattled. He's gotten a lot of big outs and made a lot of saves for us. A second-year player pitching for a team that competed for the Pennant two years in a row is pretty darn impressive.
How do you think the extra rest will affect Haren going into tomorrow's start?
KEN MACHA: I don't see that being a problem. You know, he's got plenty of work on the side. He came out here yesterday, chipped off the ice and made some pitches in the bullpen. I think he'll be fine.
Speaking of ice, how do you think the weather will impact the game tonight?
KEN MACHA: Sometimes you've got to be mentally strong to put everything aside, go out there and play. I don't think there's going to be a problem with anybody's adrenaline flow. Somebody asked me about Game One, us having a layoff, how that would affect you.
So playoffs, this is an opportunity of a lifetime and nothing should affect you, so go out there and focus on what you need to do and forget about the elements.
How would you describe Haren's year overall?
KEN MACHA: He's had an up-and-down kind of year. He came into a meeting one day -- we were going over a club, and I forgot which one it was and just looking at the match-ups that he had.
So we'd look at that past history and see where the pitches were and who hit what and whatever and try and make an adjustment. And I said to him that day, I said, These match-ups aren't very good. But the thing with you is if you are making your pitches, it doesn't matter what your match-ups are. So if he's in his delivery and he's putting the ball where he wants to, he's got good enough stuff that he's going to get them out.
That night he went out and pitched a very good game against a team that normally hits them. Probably, here again, youth. This is the second year he's started in the major leagues and he's still learning his delivery and how to stay in it and how to make his pitches. This is another young guy learning how to pitch in the Major Leagues.
He also has a bunch of upsides. Generally speaking, when you talk about young pitchers, you always talk about the ups and downs that they have, and he's not any different than any of the other ones.
Do you have any stories about playing in the snow maybe from when you were in Toronto?
KEN MACHA: I was thinking about that. In Toronto we started a game, it was zero Celsius up there one day. That stadium, exhibition stadium, is right on the lake, so the wind was blowing off the lake. I was in the bullpen so I froze that day. Playing in the Minor Leagues a little closer here to Detroit was Toledo, and we were playing at their stadium there. We had a 55-gallon drum that they had cut open and put a bunch of vents in them and they had stuck firewood in there. We had that burning in the dugout. That was a game in April in Toledo, so I'm well aware of how cold it gets in this area.
There were about 20 people in the stands that day and there was no adrenaline flow. So yeah, the concern about the weather was there. Don't hit one on the end of the bat; that's the worst. You can get jammed and your hands will hurt. But if you hit one on the end, it's worse.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.