10/10/2012 12:09 AM ET
Oct. 9 Jim Leyland postgame interview
Q. A matter of Brett Anderson being too good or Tiger hitters, a lot of strikeouts there today?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, they pitched and played a perfect game. You have to tip your hat to them. Nothing you could do about it. He had a good curveball, had a very good breaking ball. I think Coco gave them a lot of momentum when he took the home run away from Fielder. Donaldson made a good play on a hard hit ball that turned into a double play. Their bullpen started out perfect for them. They played a perfect game. I think Coco's catch really got them into it.
And it was an excellent baseball game. Good pitching. Sanchez pitched well. Our bullpen did a good job. Their bullpen did a good job. It was a very good baseball game. Runs are at a premium so far in this series for both teams. So you tip your hat to them.
Q. Two great catches they made. Which seemed the more unlikely to you?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I don't want to say unlikely, because you don't want to take any credit away from them. I thought Cespedes made a great catch, as well. Coco's was the one that was out of the ballpark and came back. I think the key to that was they played deep. Had he been playing a normal centerfield or just a couple of steps back he probably wouldn't have got there to make the catch. But the outfield plays deep. He plays deep. It was a great catch. I mean, there's no question about it.
Like I said, they played a perfect game. They had the bullpen lined up good for them. Bob was excellent in using it. And Anderson had a good curveball.
Q. Did you notice anything about this atmosphere here or anything that helps explain why they're not only a good team but why their record is so good here?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I think you're seeing the atmosphere in Detroit, atmosphere in Oakland. If you look around, all the teams have great atmosphere at this time of the year. Cincinnati had the pom‑poms going or whatever it was. And they've got the yellow towels. And we had the white pom‑poms going. The atmosphere is going to be great no matter where you play this time of year. They played a perfect game. You tip your hat to them.
Q. Brett Anderson was a big question mark, no one knew how he would respond from the oblique injury. Were you surprised?
JIM LEYLAND: Not really because Bob Melvin is pretty smart. If he had not felt totally comfortable with him he would not have pitched him in this game. I expected him to be good. He's a very good pitcher. I thought he had an excellent curveball. They don't do foolish things here.
Somebody asked that question a little bit, what to expect from him, I wasn't really sure, but I knew Bob Melvin knew what to expect, he wouldn't have put him out there had he not had total confidence.
Q. On the play involving Gerald, did he not know that the ball had ‑‑ that the pitch had gotten past the catcher?
JIM LEYLAND: I think that he thought that he didn't swing, and he did. And I think he thought that he didn't. That's one of those where you take off and ask questions later. But that happens. I think he was totally confident that he checked the swing. But it was a swing. It was a proper call. That's just one of those things that happens.
Q. Can you talk some more about what made Sanchez so effective. He seemed shaky the first three, but then got in a groove.
JIM LEYLAND: He was a little hyped up to start with. He pitched an excellent game for us, there's no question about that. He gave us more than a chance to win. They pitched a little better than we did tonight. It's pretty simple. But I thought Sanchez was fantastic. He did a great job of keeping the game in hand, keeping it close, and giving us a chance. And like I said, we just didn't do much offensively and you credit their pitching. Their bullpen is really nasty. Cook, Doolittle, Balfour, they're really good. And their starter tonight gave them what they needed. It set up perfect for them tonight. They took advantage of that and they earned it. Pretty simple.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.