10/27/2012 11:34 PM ET
Oct. 27 Jim Leyland postgame interview
Q. I wonder if it's at all reflective of how the series has gone, that you decided to play the infield in in the second inning.
JIM LEYLAND: Yeah, I will explain it: I played my infield in the first inning with a man on third and one out, and I'll explain that to you. If you hit a routine groundball to the shortstop and he's back, the guy trots home. If you hit a routine groundball to shortstop and he's in and the guy doesn't go, you got a chance to throw him out. So in that situation as long as you've got one out, you've still got a double play in order, no matter what happens. If you hit a ball way in the hole or something and they beat it out, the guy still trots home.
The ball that burns you in that situation is a little broken‑bat blooper over a draw‑in infield. That's the only ball that will beat you in that situation.
No outs you don't want to open up a big inning, but you've still got a double play. You've still got the double play in order with one out, even if the guy gets a hit. I do that from the first inning on with one out.
Q. Could you talk about the effort Sanchez gave you guys.
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I thought he was probably over‑competing a little bit early, and then he settled in and was absolutely terrific, and that's why I let him finish that inning. I thought he deserved to be out there. He was competing his fanny off. He was absolutely tremendous. We got tremendous pitching effort, but we've been shut out for 18 innings, so it's pretty hard to win a game.
Q. You just mentioned the two straight shutouts, what are your seeing from your offense right now?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, obviously I thought we had Ryan on the ropes a couple times tonight. We couldn't get the killer hit or the killer blow. I thought probably the biggest pitch of the night was the changeup to Berry, and he got the double play because I think it set up the next at‑bat for Berry, when he struck out on the fastball. I think the changeup was in the back of his mind a little bit.
Q. You're sort of in the reverse situation you were in the last series. What do you tell your team down 3‑0 with the offense struggling like this?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, you don't really have to tell them anything. They can count. We know they're down three games to zero, there's no secret formula or message for them. They're big guys, they know what the situation is, and they know we have to come out tomorrow and obviously win a game. I think it starts with that. You don't think about the four, you think about one, and that's basically what we were thinking about tonight.
Q. You talked about not getting the big hit, can you talk about Cabrera and Fielder up with some chances to drive in guys.
JIM LEYLAND: The Tigers talk about team, they don't talk about individuals. Obviously a lot of people struggle when you only get five hits and you don't score any runs. We don't point fingers at anybody in particular; we say as a team tonight we didn't get it done. That's the way we work here, that's the way we've operated since I've been here, and that's the way we'll always operate.
Q. You've always been very respectful of the team you're playing, how much of it is them and how much do you think it's you guys?
JIM LEYLAND: I think if you look at this, other than the first game ‑‑ we're down 0‑3 so it looks pretty bad. You can't argue that point. But if you look at it, we've done a pretty good job of pitching, too, other than the first game when Justin was a little bit frisky, but since that point I think we've shut them down pretty good, too. We just have not been able to get on the boards run‑wise.
Q. How big of a factor has it been for them to bring Lincecum in the game in the 6th inning, middle relief like that?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, obviously he pitched good. He's a good pitcher, and when he throws the split, you've got to look up a little bit more than we have because it's normally going to be down real low or in the dirt, like it was a couple times tonight.
But this guy has been a big‑time pitcher, and that's obviously a pretty nice weapon for them in the bullpen.
Q. Is there any frustration that an offense that you saw struggle during the regular season but had seemed to come out of it this past four weeks has reverted back to some earlier form?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, we've been pretty hot and cold all year, a little bit more cold than hot, and even in the playoffs we weren't really scoring that many runs other than the final game against the Yankees, when we finally put eight on the board. But we've been fighting all year long, in and out with our offense.
No, I don't think it's frustration. It is what it is. Like I said, we had a couple of shots at Ryan tonight. He made a couple of big pitches in big situations, and you tip your hat to that. He set Berry up for that next at‑bat really ‑‑ he wasn't trying to, but he set him up with that changeup and got the double‑play ball, and then the next at‑bat he threw the fastball with two strikes, and I think the changeup was probably in the back of Q's mind.
Q. When your offense was struggling going into September, going into some big games, you were able to seemingly get some things going by manufacturing some offense. At this point is there anything you can do as a manager to try to get things going?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, you always look to see if you miss a trick. We had Jackson run on Lincecum. We probably waited a little bit too long on that one. But you can try to manufacture a little bit. You don't really manufacture a lot with the big guys in the middle; you let them whack away at it.
Maybe I need to be a little more creative. Like I said, we talk about us, we don't talk about individuals. So basically as a team, as manager, coaches and a team, we've obviously got to do a little bit better.
Q. When you talk about a team and not individuals, but that Cabrera at‑bat with the bases loaded, how deflating is that?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, that wasn't deflating, that's just baseball. It looked like he climbed the ladder a little bit and sometimes that's the pitch that you do pop up, and he made a big pitch at a big time. Obviously we're not going to talk about one at‑bat, taking away from how great Miguel Cabrera is.
Like I said, we had other opportunities, we didn't get it done. We just didn't get the big hit. We had a chance. We had a couple chances, and we just didn't cash in on them.
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