10/24/2012 11:45 PM EST
Oct. 24 Jim Leyland postgame interview
Q. Do you have any feel why Justin struggled so badly with his fastball command?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I think first of all, you give the Giant hitters credit. I think that's where you start. Then second of all, I think probably a little bit of a layoff, it's been quite a while since he's pitched. His command was not good; I think he just got out of pitching, started throwing a little bit too much.
But I think you start with giving the Giant hitters credit. They did a good job. They're very pesky, and obviously the big guy had one of those unbelievable nights that happens once in a while in a World Series. What a night for him.
Q. What did you see from Valverde, please?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, the one split down and in, Pagan hit pretty good. You know, he wasn't terrible, he just wasn't good. For whatever reason it's just ‑‑ doesn't seem to be coming out quite right, although he did have a few 93s, a couple 93s, 92, 93.
You know, it's a little bit puzzling, to be honest with you. It looks like it's just not quite exploding. But that's pretty much all I can say about that.
Q. Are you worried about this Giant momentum? They come back against St. Louis, come back against the Reds; then they beat Verlander in Game 1? Got a lot going on. Are you worried about that?
JIM LEYLAND: I'm a guy that doesn't believe in momentum in baseball. I think momentum is your next day's pitcher. We did not pitch good tonight, obviously. I think you can pretty much sum it up, when you use five pitchers in a game that Justin Verlander starts, that's not good tonic. That usually doesn't work too good. I think momentum is your next day's pitcher.
Probably whichever starter ‑‑ for the most part whichever starter pitches best tomorrow will probably win the game.
Q. On Sandoval's first home run, was that a case of mislocation or did you want to try to challenge him up high in the zone like that with a fastball?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, he hit one down, he hit a couple up. He just had one of those big nights. He's an outstanding hitter, obviously, and he just had one of those nights where anything we threw, he hit.
I think you certainly tip your hat to what Sandoval did tonight. You can't sit up here and say what he did tonight was a fluke. I mean, it was unbelievable. The guy had one of those unbelievable World Series nights that they'll be talking about for years. So I tip my hat to him.
Q. What changes do you anticipate in your lineup tomorrow besides Laird?
JIM LEYLAND: Oh, I don't know. I don't want to get too excited right after the game. I mean, where he got beat up tonight. They beat us in every way, plus we only had one run there until the last inning. Zito did a good job, Lincecum did a good job.
I'm not going to get too excited. When I go back to my office when I'm through speaking with you folks, I'll take some time to think about tomorrow.
But we just got beat. I mean, there was nothing flukey about this. Like I said, when you use five guys in a game that Justin starts, you're going to get beat.
Q. You've seen a lot over your time in baseball, but the way Verlander had been pitching in these playoffs, he was kind of as close to a sure thing as there was. How shocked were you to see him struggle like he did?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, you know, I'm one that's been around long enough to know that a lot of things happen in this game. This was a big hyped game with Justin, probably a lot of pressure on him. But I don't think it had anything to do with the pressure. His fastball command was not good, he got out of sync, he got on fast forward. He just did not pitch well tonight, it's that simple.
But I go back, I want to start by giving the Giant hitters credit. I would not take anything away from them. That's just not the way you go about your business.
Q. How much do you credit Zito and how much do you think that was a product of your hitters' layoff?
JIM LEYLAND: Zito did a good job. I mean, there's no secrets, really, about Zito. You know what he does; he does it very well, he stays out of the middle very well, he changes speeds. He throws this when you're looking for that and vice versa. He's a tough competitor.
I think sometimes you can always tell when a pitcher is really a tough competitor with the at‑bat that he had. I know that sounds a little strange, but he was grinding out that at‑bat and ended up getting a base hit. That tells you something about Barry Zito.
Q. How much of a weapon is it for them to have Lincecum coming out of the bullpen throwing the way he was throwing?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I mean, they have an excellent bullpen. They have an excellent pitching staff. If you look at the number of games their starters won, it's pretty impressive. This is a very, very good team. They know how to play; they play the game right, they grind out their at‑bats.
Seeing them firsthand, I'm really impressed. They're really good. And so are we. And tomorrow is another day.
Q. You got your team on the field at Comerica Park a couple times, but what can you do for pitchers and were you a little bit worried about that coming in?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, he actually threw the other day when we were playing our game against the Minor League kids. He actually pitched. Justin got out there for an inning and threw some pitches. There's really nothing you can do about that, and I don't really want to put too much of the blame on that.
Like I said, I keep saying, first you give the Giant hitters credit. He was definitely rusty; there's no question about it, and he got on fast forward, he got out of sync. He really didn't pitch, obviously, the way he's capable of pitching. So there's no excuses; he just didn't have a good game, and the Giant hitters did, as well as the Giant pitchers.
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