10/07/2012 7:37 PM ET
Oct. 7 Davey Johnson postgame interview
Q. What did you feel like was behind Gio's control problems today?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Well, we talked about it early, and I said a couple of times he's tested me where he threw 50 pitches the first two innings and settled down. This was a real test on a big stage. I resisted the temptation, I was about one hitter away from getting Stammen ready, and he got out of it and pitched pretty good until he got a little wild there at the end.
But he kept us in there, and that's what your ace does.
Q. Can you talk about how pivotal the 7th inning is, or was, for you guys in terms of what it meant to get out of that inning with no runs and then come right back in the 8th and score the two?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Well, actually, I've been second‑guessing myself there, because I should have got to Matthews one hitter earlier, but I got him up after one hitter got on. And then he was ready for Holliday. I have a lot of confidence in Stammen. He's also my lucky horseshoe pitcher. If I leave him in there, we usually score two the next inning. But so is Matthews. But Holliday, I looked to him and I said, we need a couple groundballs here to get out of this, and he did it.
Q. This game played out a lot like some of the April games, especially opening day, coming down to the chess match, hitter/pitcher matchup except you went the extra leg with putting Tyler Moore in there. Take us through that whole setup.
DAVEY JOHNSON: I actually did not think that Mike was going to get Boggs. But I told Tracy when he went up there, if he takes him out and brings in Rzepczynski or whatever his name is, I'm hitting Moore. And he didn't, so I hit Moore. I'd rather have the veteran player in that situation than a rookie. But rookies have been having success all year. They have been doing a heck of a job, and Moore has got some big hits for us, as he did tonight.
Q. That's what I wanted to ask you. Can you speak to the job Moore has done, just as a part‑time player, as a kid putting up the numbers he has?
DAVEY JOHNSON: He's been fabulous. Him, Harper; Moore was always a first baseman. And when Morse went down I had to play him in the outfield, and actually, had a problem hitting right‑handed and made it easy for me to platoon, and Moore did a heck of a job. He launched some ballgames with his bat and played good defense, both of them did. And that was a strength with the injury to Morse and Werth and those guys, Harper. Those guys have been great. That's been their strength.
Q. You're not really a small ball guy, can you take us into the thinking behind bunting with Espinosa?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I think Danny, after he struck out three times in a row, put the go‑ahead run in scoring position. To go ahead was big. I don't like to bunt. I'm kind of from the Earl Weaver school; just keep swinging.
Don't like to steal that much, either. I don't like to give up outs. But that's a situation where I felt like if I get one runner in scoring position, and Danny did a terrific job, perfect bunt. Actually I thought about running Edwin Jackson to third, but I didn't want to put Edwin in that situation if there was a bang‑bang play at home and lose my third game starter. But he was ready.
Just something that once we got him over there, somebody get a hit and we go ahead.
Q. Was the safety squeeze on?
DAVEY JOHNSON: No, just get the guy over. But if I had a little better runner at third we could score on the play. Almost threw it away, anyway.
Q. If I can take you again back to the 8th, you said you were a little bit surprised that Mike brought in Rzepczynski in that situation.
DAVEY JOHNSON: You know, I track him, and he usually leaves it to Boggs. So I thought that he would probably leave Boggs in there. But I told Tracy if he makes a change, and I knew Rzepczynski was getting hot, I'm going to Moore.
Q. Were you contemplating that it might end up being Motte versus Werth in that scenario?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I didn't think Motte was warming up at that point.
Q. With two outs in the 8th inning he was at that point.
DAVEY JOHNSON: I don't know who was warming up, but I know the left‑hander was warming up and Boggs has usually been 8th inning guy, so I was not really concerned. I thought that I had the upper hand because I was going to control the matchup, no matter what it was. If he brings Motte in, he's going to face my best pinch‑hitter in Tracy. I'm comfortable with that.
Q. What do you like best about Moore's approach about the plate generally through the season?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I mean, he's got a great stroke. He's short through the ball. He's got a great future. He's done ‑‑ all of my young guys have done a great job, out of position and not in a regular role. For (phonetic‑indiscernible) who hit about .275 and this guy hit .260, Moore hit .260 with ten home runs. I mean, that's unbelievable, for young guys in different roles defensively, they have had great years.
Q. Is that a pretty tough job for a rookie?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Oh, my goodness. It's one thing if you're playing your normal position, because you're used to that. But it's another thing when you're worried about being a defensive liability and still having to be productive offensively. That's been our success this year. These guys have done a great job filling in.
Q. Talking about experience levels, what did you think of Ian Desmond's first post‑season game?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Ian Desmond is one heck of a player. For me, I mean, I would have to vote for Adam LaRoche to be the MVP, but it's a toss‑up with Ian Desmond, the things he's done. Got a lot of big hits, gifted defensively. I mean, he's been outstanding. I can't say enough about Ian. Kind of put him under my wing. He's been a fun project from two or three years ago when I was a consultant. He asked me one time, who in the heck is ‑‑ I forget who it was ‑‑ Kevin Mitchell.
I said, Kevin Mitchell was a third baseman that ended up playing short, the outfield, had 350 at‑bats ‑‑ I told him, you're a shortstop. Don't think like you're another player. You guys have probably heard that story.
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