10/06/07 7:40 PM ET
Scioscia, Weaver off-day interview
Angels manager and Game 3 starter discuss being down 2-0
By / MLB.com
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Vlad had some X-rays taken and some tests done. Everything came back normal. It's just a contusion. And he was in this morning for treatment and definitely looks like he's going to be able to play tomorrow. We'll see if this thing keeps moving in the right direction. It still works. A little stiff. But knowing Vlad he'll come in tomorrow and he'll be ready to go.
Mike, what has been your experience being down 0-2 taught you or prepared you, if anything, for where you are now?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: At any time, I think if you're in baseball, from the time you're a kid when you're facing an elimination game, it teaches you lessons of leave everything out there on the field. There's not a lot that we can try to do differently.
We have an opportunity. We have a team that can do this. But we really have to get in our game early and try to get some leads to work with and let our pitchers relax and make pitches. Last night in Boston we just couldn't get the hits with guys in scoring position that could have made a difference in that game.
You have to play baseball. I don't think you can put too much on it to make yourself tight or make yourself do something you're not capable of. The focus that we need is to really break it down one pitch at a time, one at bat at a time and all of a sudden you find yourself with positive things happening, hopefully leads to a win and you're back in a series.
That's what it takes. It takes one win to get back into the series. That's all it takes. Unfortunate for us we have no margin for error. And that's what we're going to have to do tomorrow.
Maybe we could address this to Jered, too, about the margin of error being that much more minimized now for this lineup that you face. Classic example of what happened last night, one small mistake and it's out of the yard?
JERED WEAVER: I'm going to try not to treat it any different than any other game. I'm going to go about it the same way, try to keep my heart in my shirt and keep myself composed. And obviously they've got a great lineup up and down. Anybody can hurt you. But just try to stay composed and treat it as much as a regular season game as I can.
Jered, did watching your brother, Jeff, pitch last year for the Cardinals -- I guess what's your feeling for being in this environment right now for tomorrow's game? And, also, did that experience help you? And have you talked to your brother going into this start tomorrow?
JERED WEAVER: Yeah, going through that. I've gone through a couple of playoff times with Jeff and with last year going through with what he went through and being able to do what he did in the playoffs was something special. For me to be able to experience that and go through that I think kind of got my -- going into the season was kind of excited and kind of fed off of what happened out there.
And hopefully I can take that experience and kind of stay composed, like I said, and go out there and try to keep my team in the game.
Jered, last time you pitched against the Red Sox, a little bad blood with David Ortiz. Will you have to sort of fight to suppress those feelings tomorrow?
JERED WEAVER: No, I don't think so. It wasn't any big thing. The emotions just took the best of me. I'm not going to think about that or worry about that. I'm just going to go out there and try to make pitches. And there's more than David Ortiz to worry about in that lineup. So I'm just going to go out there and try to pitch my game.
Mike, last week of the regular season you talked about needing to get the offensive continuity and momentum back. And have you been able to at all? Do you feel it's bled over into these two games?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: We really struggled offensively for probably the last couple weeks of the season, and then obviously getting into the playoffs, trying to get our feet on the ground. Beckett had something to do with that. One, he was terrific.
I thought last night we did a lot of the things we need to do. The one glaring thing that hurt us last night in the ball game was runners in scoring position, we were 2-for-12. We're a team that has to feed off of that when we get guys on. We need to keep innings going, keep innings going and to get those hits with guys in scoring position. We weren't able to do that as much as we needed last night. And that's probably the one glaring thing we've seen in the last couple of weeks of the season.
So the continuity is not there yet. But there were definitely some positive signs in yesterday's ball game that we can carry into tomorrow. Early in the game we got on base with pressure as much as we could. We scored a run without a hit, with putting guys in motion early.
That's the type of offense we needed. If a long ball comes along the way, great. But that continuity is not there, but it can form quickly. We've seen it during the season. We've seen it go from extremes to where it's clicked in and it's there for a long time and that's what we need now.
Mike, what if any lineup changes are you contemplating for Game 3?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Might be some subtle changes in the batting order that we'll look at. But I think the group last night I thought in the batters box was fine early in the game. Their bullpen did a good job to where we didn't get a hit, we drew a couple of walks later. We still had some opportunities late in the game without getting hits.
I think the personnel is there. I don't know if there's going to be huge changes in personnel, but we'll certainly consider some batting order changes, just to maybe spark some things.
Mike, did you sense the team obviously had a very tough loss last night? How was the flight back? And you played so well at home here and it's been a big advantage. When you lose a game like that, the manner in which you did, could that maybe negate some of the advantages you might have in a normal home series?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Oh, it was a tough ball game. The flight home was long. That's something you deal with during a regular season. I don't think that's going to have any impact in tomorrow's ball game. This game has a way when you get into your routine -- and we'll get into our batting practice and we'll get into our pregame tomorrow -- this game has a way of bringing you right back into the here and now, and we'll be into tomorrow's game. There won't be any problem. Our guys know what we're up against. They know that it's a challenge.
But we're upbeat. We're ready to go. We're a good club not playing as well as we can right now in these first two games. But if it clicks in, and it needs to click in, we can get on a run and get back into this series and hopefully win this series.
Jered, pitching at home for you, taking the mound at home tomorrow, how special would that be?
JERED WEAVER: It's great being the hometown guy and growing up not too far away from here and going through my first full season with the Angels is going to be something special. That's why I came to play for this team. Obviously a championship contending team, and we had a great season. And my first time in the playoffs. For my friends and family to come out and watch and see my first playoff game, it's going to be special.
Mike, you touched on the Vladi situation. I just wanted to get a sense, do you think he would DH if he did play or do you think he could be back in the field?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: It's on his left side so it shouldn't affect his throwing. The only thing we would want to make sure and check tomorrow is his ability to have the range with his left arm in the outfield to make the plays you have to make as an outfielder. We have time. We don't have to make the decision now. Obviously we talked about if Vlad could play in the outfield, it gives us some options to make our lineup a little deeper. If he can't, we'll adjust and we'll get into some other things we can do offensively. We'll make that determination tomorrow, tomorrow morning.
Would the same cast of characters be, I guess, affected by the decision whether or not Vlad goes or doesn't go, Willits, possibly Figgins, Morales?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Yes, it's -- the lineup that we had last night is about as deep as we can get with bats right now, with the exception of maybe Juan Rivera and replacing Morales or something like that. But those bats, we have a lot of confidence in. It's a little deeper look. It's a lineup we didn't get a chance to look at because Vlad was really pinned down to a DH role for most of the month of September.
And Kendry is a young bat from left side that this guy could light it up when he gets hot. And had some good at bats left handed last night. So we'll look at that grouping and see if we need to shuffle the deck a little bit. If we can get those bats in the lineup, then we feel good about what we can do in the offensive side.
Jered, you got a chance to pitch for team U.S.A. and the NCAA tournament. Do you think that experience helps you with the pressure you're facing tomorrow?
JERED WEAVER: You can't put anything on this level being the MLB playoffs, pitching in the gold medal game with the USA team was pretty intense with 40,000 fans screaming and yelling and bands going. I think that experience will help me out a little bit to stay focused and feed off of the home crowd.
Was there ever any game in the regular season, the kind of approach, the type of pressure that will be placed upon you tomorrow night?
JERED WEAVER: You know, obviously you feel pressure every time you go out there. But once you get out on the mound, the jitters and bugs kind of go away. So just gotta get out there and, like I said, treat it as much as a regular season game as possible.
Jered, any thoughts about facing Curt Schilling, matching up against a guy that's known as a very good big game pitcher?
JERED WEAVER: Yeah, it's going to be a fun matchup. It's always fun going up against big named guys. The guy's obviously made a great name for himself. He's one of the best pitchers in the game right now. And it's going to be fun battling against a big named guy. And hopefully we can take him down.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.