10/13/07 6:40 PM ET
Eric Byrnes workout day interview
D-backs' outfielder says team has confidence
By / MLB.com
ERIC BYRNES:Yeah, we're fine. I think everyone's still confident. This is a team that's scratched and clawed for everything that we've gotten all year. This is a team that's pretty much defied baseball logic and nothing's come easy, and we don't expect this to come easy. We never expected it to come easy. And I think it's kind of fitting that we're in this position right now.
What's it like to play with Livan on the mound and how do you feel about having him go in a game like this?
ERIC BYRNES:Livan is great. I love Livan. I mean, there's very few guys in baseball that I'd rather have take the ball for this next game. That's how much I believe in him. He's a competitor. I think he's a good example of kind of what our team is. And you know his stuff is nowhere near overwhelming. It's not even close. Yet he goes out there and figures out a way to get it done. And that kind of exemplifies who we are as a team. I'm sure you guys are all probably writing us off; I don't blame you. We haven't done a whole lot to make you guys think we're going to win this series. I think we're a good team. I also don't think the Rockies have outplayed us, because they haven't. Not even close. They've had a little luck go their way. Definitely the ball has bounced in their direction. They've been the beneficiary of some calls. So when we look at that as a group, we look back on those first two games, we have not been outplayed. If anything, I think it's the other way around. So that gives us confidence knowing that we can play with them. That and the fact that we faced them about 9,000 times this year. We are not really fazed by what's going on right now.
In those 9,000 times you've played them, Taveras has probably made an impression. What complications does he present when he's on the base paths and doing what he does?
ERIC BYRNES:Willy is good. He's really good. He's one of the better center fielders in the game. More than what he presented in the base paths, you looked in the series what killed us was the ball that he caught that Tony Clark hit. That ties the game I believe right there. We assume, we scratch for that one run late and that could have been the ballgame. Defensively he brings a lot to that team. But the Rockies have a deep team between Spilborghs and even Cory Sullivan. They have good players out there. Willy he's a good -- he's a good player.
Just was curious what the plane ride was like here? Was it upbeat? Was it more quiet. What can you tell us what it was?
ERIC BYRNES:Our plane ride was like lots of plane rides. Lots of trash talking. A lot of recounting of personal fun stories. (Laughter) the guys were great. Look, we've been in this position. We kind of haven't because we haven't been in the playoffs in this position. But we've played every one of our games this year with people looking at it like, wow, you guys aren't going to come back or there's no way you're going to hold onto this lead. Then we start talking about in the division context of it, it's like, wow, the Diamondbacks still hanging around, they're still there. And then we ended up winning 90 games winning the West. And everyone said, how did you do it? We did it because we have a good group of guys that believe in themselves and have a lot of fun playing together and a bunch of guys that like each other. That and I think this is a lot more talented team than people give it credit for. People talk a lot about the Rockies' defense and how great the Rockies' defense is, there's no doubt in my mind we match them defensively. Without a doubt. So this is a very good team, and we rely on our veteran starting pitching staff. Doug Davis went out there and pitched his butt off yesterday. Livan is going to do the exact same thing tomorrow. Brandon Lyon got dinked around the field and somehow took the loss. I think offensively we'll have to get some hits in key situations, myself included. I think that's kind of definitely hindered us a little bit in this series, is we need to start getting some hits with guys in scoring position and taking advantage of opportunities that we have.
The Rockies bullpen has been solid earlier in the year, but it's been lights out for about a month now. Is there anything that you see that explains that? Is it Fuentes at the eighth inning or anything that would explain it?
ERIC BYRNES:They've got a good combination with Fuentes and Corpas going into eight and nine. Fuentes is tough, especially when you're not facing him a whole lot. I don't think we've seen him since -- at least I know I haven't seen him since the beginning of the year. He's got a real funky arm angle, then you've got Corpas coming in. They've got good arms. They're starters. You got Ubaldo Jimenez throwing yesterday. Throwing 110 miles an hour. He's breaking off nasty sliders that are starting in our home dugout and ended in the visitors dugout. They're tough but at the same time I thought we put some good at-bats on them. I thought we hit balls hard. As a whole if you want to go look at the at-bats that were put together last night, even the night before, advantage Diamondbacks. I'm sitting here and I'm talking to you guys and we're down two games. So doesn't mean a whole lot. But we'll get -- hopefully we get that rabbit's foot in our back pocket.
You mentioned earlier that in many ways you've outplayed them. Yet seemingly every close call so far in this series has gone Colorado's way. Talking as a player and amongst your teammates, do you feel any of those calls have been bad calls and are you wondering when are you going to catch a break on this?
ERIC BYRNES:Well, the call the first game with Justin Upton, I have just never seen that call before. I've been playing this game for a while. And, you know, I didn't know even know if that was a rule, that if you went in there with intent that they would call you and the runner out. And the guy that hit the ball. Now, I don't think I've ever in my life in playing this game have gone into second base without intent. Therefore, I think I should probably be called out every time I slide into second base trying to break up a double play, because I have intent every time. And there's 30 Major League baseball teams that teach the exact same way of going into second base, and that is with intent. So the rule doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me. Especially in October. And this is when I think you want to see that type of baseball more than any other time. You know, baseball, oftentimes, can get labeled as an apathetic sport for people that don't really know the game. And you're telling me that you want to take out one of the few and exciting times that this game brings to you? I think that's wrong. So not necessarily blaming the exact call, okay, and I'm not saying the call was wrong, because Justin had intent. I know he did. And I'm just saying that I think he should go in there with intent, and I know the Rockies guys go in there with intent. And I'm on first base tomorrow night, there's a ground ball to second base, I promise you I'll be coming into second base with intent. So hopefully that intent doesn't get both of us called out.
Would you consider tomorrow's game a must-win game?
ERIC BYRNES:Oh, tomorrow's game would be pretty darn close to a must-win game. (Laughter). But the must-win game would actually probably be if we're down to our last game, then we could officially call it a must-win game. But you great writers at the Arizona Republic like to call must-win games back in May. So we're getting close. We're only a game away, Nick. (Laughter).
With the hit down the right field line that hit the line the little dribbler that rolled into third base, it almost seems like there's -- I hate to say the word destiny or karma thing going for them, but do you think that's true and how hard is it to combat?
ERIC BYRNES:Yeah, there's a lot of things going their way right now. The ball's definitely been bouncing their way. But as we've seen before in this game, luck can change real quick. And I'm Irish, so you never know. Got a few Irish guys on our team. So hopefully it helps us out.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.