10/8/2013 9:03 P.M. ET
Oct. 8 Jim Leyland postgame interview
By / MLB.com
Q. Jim, with the bases loaded in the eighth inning and nobody out and you stayed with Max, how much of that was the match ups and the right handed hitters for Oakland and how much was it a credit to Max?
JIM LEYLAND: Max is a strikeout guy and that's what you're look for obviously early in the situation. If you can get the first two guys on strikes, that's huge, which is what he did. That's what you're looking for. I thought he had the best chance to get a strikeout. I hated to load him up, but Smith has been so hot and Max is a strikeout guy, so you take your shot.
Q. Jim, can you talk about Austin Jackson's at bat.
JIM LEYLAND: Hopefully that gets him going. As you know he's struggled in this series a little bit, but sometimes that's the magic that gets a guy going. So hopefully that's the thing that gets him going. He's a big catalyst for us, led off with a double. We scored a run right off the bat. So hopefully this gets him going. A huge at bat off a guy that actually gets righties out more than lefties, Doolittle. He fought it off and got a base hit.
Q. Oakland's bullpen has been great all series. What was your guys' ability to get to the bullpen?
JIM LEYLAND: I don't know the answer to that. We kept battling away and Omar Infante got a huge hit. Alex got a huge walk. They walked Alex, which was the kiss of death. They had a left hander on a left hander and that set up the rest of the inning. This is a good series. I mean, I'm sure the Commissioner is happy it's going five, so we'll see what happens. We're going back to Oakland and find out what happens.
Q. Talk about the contributions you have received from Jhonny Peralta these last two games offensively.
JIM LEYLAND: Well, you know, I was thrilled because today I think when I was in here earlier in the day, I said we need another over the fence bat in the lineup. I don't want to sound like I'm smart, but that's what happened for us and it was huge.
Q. How concerned are you about Benoit's struggles in the ninth inning?
JIM LEYLAND: Not at all, he's our guy. Outs are tough to get at any time, particularly when you're playing a playoff team and you've got their lead off hitter. Leading off, outs are tough to get. But he's our guy. He's our closer. He's been terrific for us and, you know, hopefully he will be our closer when we get back out to Oakland. Hopefully we will be in a situation to use him. Obviously Justin is going to start, everybody knows that now. We were fortunate we had Max Scherzer out there tonight and we took our best shot and fortunately we won it.
Q. Coco Crisp has been disruptive in this series. What makes him go and how difficult is he to deal with?
JIM LEYLAND: He's in a good groove. You couldn't blame Benoit. We had a four run lead, and when he gets a pitch, he doesn't miss a chance. He's a terrific player and he's a catalyst for him. We're fortunate we're 2 2 because we haven't shut him down. I said in this series that was one of our missions, to try to shut him down, slow him down.
Q. Was there a sense when you set up the playoff rotation that you would have that option of using Scherzer in a game such as this with Justin Verlander coming back in five?
JIM LEYLAND: We knew it was an option. I don't want to sit here and tell you we planned on doing it, but it was an option. It worked out good for us. We took our best shot and we had to because we were behind the 8 ball a little bit. We took that shot and, hey, both teams are going to have a good pitcher going two days from now.
Q. Talk about Victor Martinez's year that he has had to come all the way back here and the leadership that he provides in the clubhouse and by home run like he gave tonight.
JIM LEYLAND: He's a tough guy. He's been hitting right handed because we have been seeing the right handed pitching and we turned him around and he ends up hitting it out of the ballpark. He's a tough out. He can grind it with the best of them. He gets hits off good pitchers with two strikes in RBI situations. I think he is one of the better hitters in the league. A couple of years ago he was one of the better hitters in the league and best RBI guys.
Q. How relieved were you to see it was not interference and a home run ball?
JIM LEYLAND: I usually wait for the guys to come out of the video room and let me know, but in this case, I went down there to look at it. I was actually pretty relaxed because I saw the first replay they showed and I knew it was definitely a home run.
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