10/07/10 6:38 PM ET
ALDS Game 2 postgame interview: Maddon
By / MLB.com
Q. I know that two hits isn't going to help you out, but how big was that play with Michael Young in the check swing?
JOE MADDON: Well, I mean, first of all, the Rangers have out played us for two consecutive nights, so I've got to give them all the credit. You can't win games by just getting two hits, but I had to make my point for two nights in a row. That's all that was about.
For those of you that have been around us the last couple months, we've had several of those moments occur. So this was a pretty big moment right there. I really thought he had been struck out, and obviously we could go to Choate on the next hitter if that were the case but it didn't happen to turn out that way. So it's really hard to yell from the dugout. Nobody can hear you, so I had to go out to the mound and make my point.
Q. Can you talk about the decision to pull James Shields there at the top of the fifth? He had 68 pitches.
JOE MADDON: Yeah, it was a good situation for Chad. He's a ground ball pitcher. Young has hit into a lot of double plays this year. If you remember a couple days ago in Kansas City, we did kind of the same thing and he got a ground ball versus Josh Fields for a double play that led to a victory kind of in the same point in the game. So I felt good about that with Chad because Chad was on a shorter leash today compared to what he had been on yesterday. If he gets him out, like I said, even if it's not a double play just getting out Young and then moving it to Choate, then we can move it to possibly Niemann at that point.
Q. Can you just talk about the short at bats in big spots, guys swinging at the first pitch, and like defense sort of defensive lapses? These are things you're not really used to.
JOE MADDON: No, we normally play a higher brand of defense, there's no question about that. Regarding the first swing I'm really not upset with that if it's a good pitch to swing at. The thing that they've done, they've thrown a lot of first pitch strikes in this Series. They've done a nice job. Even Wilson has even sharper, I thought, earlier in the count. With Lee you know that's going to happen; you know he's not going to walk you. With Wilson there's a better chance of that. But he was pretty sharp tonight. I've got to give him a lot of credit, too, down in the zone, in on the zone to the right handers and also some really good change ups, so I thought he was very sharp.
We didn't play well. Listen, I'm not going to defend it. We did not play well yesterday or today. It's not our game. We definitely have not put our best foot forward yet.
Q. Can you talk about the offense? You guys obviously have struggled all year long with a .247 average but it's rarely looked worse than tonight.
JOE MADDON: Yeah, again, they've pitched really well against us. I thought yesterday we actually swung the bats a lot better, hit a lot of balls more on the nose for outs. Today it wasn't the case. We did not really drive the ball at all. We had a couple minor chances, but we just have to do better than that.
They've taken a part or a component of our game away with the walk. We have not walked that often because of their command issues or how well they've commanded the baseball. So it's not too late. We've just got to get back to the Trop next Tuesday. They've got some righties throwing the next couple days, we'll pop a different lineup out there and see how that works.
Q. With Shields being gone as quickly as he was, any thoughts on the Niemann Shields thing looking back, and second, what did you think for the applause for CC there late in the game?
JOE MADDON: Well, I didn't hear the CC applause. I was upstairs so I missed that, but I think that's very cool. The replay with Shields, Shields didn't throw the ball that badly. He gave up a 2 0 homer to Kinsler, otherwise the other runs scored on a hit batter, hit and run, he goes to second, eventually ends up on third and then scores on a wild pickoff attempt after an infield hit. Shields actually threw the ball pretty good today, I thought, overall. There's really nothing to denigrate when you look at his overall line, those numbers came up on a three run homer by Young. That's where a lot of the bad numbers popped right there. I thought actually James was pretty sharp today.
The really difficult part with his performance is hitting Treanor twice, which that I think they were both change ups, also, he just came off two change ups and hit the guy. He rarely does that.
Q. What do you tell your team as you now head to Texas here for Game 3 and then hopefully beyond?
JOE MADDON: We'll work the crowd when we get down there in the workout tomorrow and in the pregame the next day, a lot of what we always do. Again, we've been in difficult situations before, and a lot of times we've come back from that. I think up until we've had 16 three game winning streaks this year we're going to have to do this one game at a time starting on, what would that be, Saturday.
So again, I'll just work it a little bit tomorrow among the group as we're working out in Arlington and then again prior to the game on the next day. So I really anticipate us to come out and play well on Saturday.
ALDS Game 2 postgame interview: Garza
Q. Obviously the situation your team is in, can you describe the size of the game tomorrow?
MATT GARZA: It's not bigger than any other, just got to go out there and do my job. Just go out there and try to win. There's no tomorrow, there's no day after, it's just go out there and win, do what we do best, and that's play hard, pitching and defense. Just go out there and keep these guys at bay for a while.
Q. With a lineup as potent as Texas, what's the key for you to win the game on Friday?
MATT GARZA: Take the potency out of that lineup. That's really what you can do. You can't pitch around guys because the guy behind him can hurt you just as much so you've just got to go at him. Got to go at him with my stuff. I've done it before, let's see if I can do it again.
Q. Back in 2008, you were the underdog pitcher several times and seemed to take great satisfaction in winning when people didn't expect you to win. Is this kind of a similar feeling for you?
MATT GARZA: Yeah, you know, we as a club, we've had our backs against the wall in the post season before. If you guys don't remember, 2008, we went to Boston with a 3 0 lead and they came storming back, winning three straight, and we had to go out there in Game 7. Even though we were the home team, we were the underdog, we were the club everybody counted out.
So I think we're right where we need to be right now, kind of a wake up call. Nothing else you can do, your back is against the wall, so you've got to fight, got to fight your way out of it, and that's all we can do.
Q. I believe you pitched Game 7 against the Red Sox. Will you draw upon that experience as you prepare for the next game?
MATT GARZA: Not really draw upon it, just remember that feeling, just remember the type of confidence, the type of stuff I took in there. For me, I'm a big emotion guy, so I have a lot, a lot of adrenaline, a lot of excitement, a lot of anticipation just flowing through my body right now, so I can't wait. I'm seriously sitting at the edge of my seat ready to go.
Q. Coming down the stretch you had some starts that weren't quite as sharp as some other starts you've had. Was that a physical problem, a mechanics problem, and do you think you're out of that after a pretty good start the other day?
MATT GARZA: No, I didn't have it was three rough starts against three really good teams in the AL East, three teams that we had to fight off to win a playoff spot, also to win the division, and that didn't come down to the last day. So that's, you know, where those guys stand. And the other team is winning 1 0 in Minnesota right now. So it's a with the September we faced and the September we had, we're more than ready, more than willing to get this thing done, get it let's go. Those starts meant nothing to me. My last two were really sharp and on point, so I think I'm exactly where I need to be going into Texas.
Q. I wonder what the mood is in the clubhouse right now and if there's any player or players that are working extra hard to keep the spirits up.
MATT GARZA: You know, our club is a little different than every other club. We don't take losses as hard. We kind of feed off our manager, and you guys all know who our manager is. He's one of the loosest, most carefree guys there is. He has a master plan behind everything. Just with his aura and his mantra, the way he goes about things is real easy going and relaxed. If he's not stressing, then why are we, is the way we look at it.
Right now our club is loose and ready to get to Texas. We know what we have to do, so there's no reason to stress about it. We know exactly what we have to do, so why think about it? We just have to go out there and perform.
Q. What's the biggest comeback you've been a part of as a player on any level, and do you think this comeback is possible?
MATT GARZA: In '06, I played with the Twins when we were 12 games out in mid August, and we ended up winning the division on the last day. That's a pretty big comeback. I've seen comebacks. I haven't been part of many, but that's the biggest comeback I can think of.
This club is relentless. We don't quit. A lot of our runs are scored in the 7th, 8th and 9th. So we just keep going, keep fighting until the last out. That's how we've got to play. We know what we have ahead of us. Like I said before, there's plenty to put out there. There's no more secrets, there's no more hidden you know, people, let's go.
We've lost two straight, so it's time to turn it around and right this ship. We won three straight before 16 times, that's 48 games we won with three straight wins, and we've won a total of 96 games this year, so that's half of our games that we won three straight. So I like our chances.
Q. You talk about taking the potency out of the Rangers' lineup. Does that mean like creating separation between Hamilton and Guerrero and Guerrero and Young from inning to inning?
MATT GARZA: Oh, no. It's just going right after those guys, going right after them. Make them uncomfortable. Make them think about what they're doing, what they're going to swing at. Right now they're comfortable up there swinging and hitting the cover off the ball, so I've got to make them uncomfortable, make them do what I want them to do, and it's a hard job, definitely a hard job, but somebody has got to do it. And I feel I'm the right man for the job right now, so why not go out there and do it, get the ball on Sunday, so why not go out there and do it.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.