10/19/2012 11:28 PM EST
Oct. 19 Mike Matheny postgame interview
Q. Seems almost the same as Game 1. Lance the first three innings really good, and the 4th inning kind of fell apart. Can you take us through what you thought of Lance and especially that 4th inning play where it looked like Kozma wasn't there or I don't know if Lance wasn't anticipating him not being there for the throw?
MIKE MATHENY: I thought he was as good as we've seen him all season those first three innings. He looked like he was untouchable. He was mixing his off‑speed pitches very well and executing his fastball instead of just trying to throw past people. He was pitching.
And the 4th, a couple of quick base hits, gets an out, strikeout and the ball back to him. He's got an opportunity, pretty good runner on first, he gets an out at first base, you're sitting with two outs, second and third. And gets a pop‑up on the next guy.
But I don't mind him being aggressive if he's got the play. Kozma was in the right place, he just made a low throw. And to do it over again, I'm sure he'd like to take the easy out at first base and then try his luck on Belt.
Didn't work that way, and we were stuck in a spot where it just kind of spiraled at that point in a hurry. And that was the game.
Q. What was Zito doing that was so effective tonight?
MIKE MATHENY: He was pitching. He was raising eye level. He was in the top of the zone, just above, on the edges, just off. He was moving in and out, back and forth. He was taking speeds off his breaking ball and change‑up. That's what pitching is. You don't have to have 99 on your fastball if you can locate and keep hitters off balance.
And we never, never did get into a good groove. We had a good opportunity in the second when we had second and third and nobody out, punch out, walk double play takes a lot of life out of a club. And another opportunity in the 4th. But those were really all we had. In these games you have to take advantage of those. And Zito didn't make many mistakes.
Q. Zito came in here and pitched a game against you later in the season where he won I think 6‑2. Was it the same ‑‑ I didn't see that game ‑‑ was it the same kind of game? Was there something that your batters have difficulty with against him or is it just knowledge?
MIKE MATHENY: Batters have a tough time with pitchers that make pitches. And guys that aren't giving too much of the plate and working ahead in the count, changing speeds and changing speeds off every pitch they have. If you're locating it's tough, even ‑‑ it doesn't matter what the velocity on your fastball is. But he kept our guys kind of off balance. And it looked like we started to guess a little bit, tried to anticipate a little bit what he was going to do and he was one step ahead.
Q. If I can follow‑up again on Lynn. What do you sort of see him going forward, as you talked about first three innings, kind of lights out, but both games not getting through the fourth. What do you see him moving forward?
MIKE MATHENY: Moving forward he's been a very, very good pitcher for us this season. And we don't look any further past right now, for right now. And he's done a nice job for us, came out and I knew we were going to see a different pitcher, and I just was hoping it would last a little longer than it did.
Q. I know also that you talked yesterday, too, about this is a Giants team that came back and won three straight against Cincinnati. Are you obviously keeping that in focus, and again, it is one game at a time, but Sunday is top priority, and that's what you're focused on at this point, I assume?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, we never ‑‑ thinking for a second that these guys are going to go away. They're a good team and they're going to keep fighting, we know that. It just comes down to execution. They executed today better than we did.
Q. You and your team are obviously careful to note that the series wasn't over last night. But our line of questioning to them was very much about going to two straight World Series and also looking past today. Did you have any concern that that would get into their heads, there would be a risk of looking past today?
MIKE MATHENY: There's distractions from you guys every day. That's part of the gig. These guys could be so distracted with what's going on that they can't control that they wouldn't be able to operate. But it's a matter of them having enough experience to realize that that's always going to happen, it's going to be elevated at this time of year. We've had discussions, they've talked amongst themselves. We go out and we play the game and the team that can take the distractions and put them aside and just go out and do your job is the team that's going to have a higher likelihood of winning. And this team has that ability.
Just today we had a guy come out and pitch us tough. And we didn't get the execution when we needed it. And that's what it all comes down to.
Q. This is a two‑part question: You had the bases loaded in a situation there in the second inning and in that at‑bat. How tough is it to manage in that situation? And also, I don't know, this is a tough loss for you, but is this a situation where maybe down the road baseball needs to think about going to the DH?
MIKE MATHENY: I missed the second part of that, but the first part is bases loaded, we're trying to do the situation like we have all season. Danny Descalso has done a good job for us and comes up in that situation, puts the ball in play and executes extremely well. Zito elevated a fastball to get him on strike three. They didn't make an intentional walk. We have a pitcher that hasn't given up a hit at that point. There's not much move to make at that point.
Hoping he'd either hit a fly ball deep or swing and miss. He strikes out right there we're still in a good spot. He took a curveball, got in front of it a little bit, hit it hard at the shortstop and we're out of the inning. There's nothing to do different there.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about your bullpen, five and a third except for the Sandoval home run, that's got to be on the positive to build on going forward that you got an outstanding performance from your bullpen this evening?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, they did a nice job. Trevor came in and Joe Kelly getting out of the inning and making a clean follow inning. But these guys have done a very consistent job for us. The one run given up by Mujica, but besides that they threw the ball well. We have a lot of positives. You take today as a game. It's one game. We've got too many things we've been doing well over a long stretch of time to forget about the positives that we have. And the bullpen is just one of those.
Q. You talk about moving ahead. You have a big game pitcher with Chris Carpenter. Can you talk about your thoughts on him and him getting the job done for you in Game 6?
MIKE MATHENY: We're excited to have Carp on the mound anytime we can get him. And we know in big situations he comes up big for us. We also know they've got a guy throwing the ball extremely well that's going to be on the mound for them. We have to put a better game plan together than the last time and execute it.
They're excited about going home and rightfully so. We've got our hands full. So hopefully we'll catch a flight tomorrow and have everybody get their heads right and show up Sunday for a tough game.
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