When he's pitching at that velocity, there's a bigger disparity between that and his off
speed stuff and that's when he does really well. But primarily pitched with his fastball
again, which I really love, just like Garza did last night.
Two questions: Talk about your offense; and number two, talk about your
confidence going into Game 5.
JOE MADDON: Well, first of all, the offense. I know our bats have gotten
better. They've gotten a lot better, obviously. You get Carl back in the middle, Carl
had a spectacular day today and so did Willy.
You could talk about everybody up and down the lineup, J.B.'s triple to right center,
but Carl and Willy really set the tone for us today, also.
It's so nice having Carl in the middle of everything, and then of course, Willy is such
an unsung part of this group, very good in RBI situations for us, has had a lot of big
hits, and of course, the other guys just having good at bats. We all talk about good at
We are at the point now where we are swinging at strikes. We're not expanding our
strike zone, which is one of our hugest goals coming into this Spring Training, and I'm
loving that part of it. But right now it's kind of contagious. Just like the lack of
something is contagious, when you're actually doing something that well, then it
becomes contagious in a positive way, and the at bats have been good.
Going into the next game, we're going to take tomorrow off, we're going to come back
out, and I want to see us go after it the same way. It was one of our more complete
games tonight I thought in regard to all facets. I thought we made some really good
defensive plays. B.J. in center field really roamed well, and you got to see his arm
strength when he threw that ball to first base, J.B. on that slow chopper. A lot of
really good things, and I was obviously very pleased with tonight's game.
Like I've been saying all along, I don't want us to do anything differently.
I know you're the manager, you see this team every day, but when you have
games back to back like yesterday and tonight, over the defending World Series
champs in their ballpark, do you allow yourself to just be a little blown away by what
JOE MADDON: Well, you're watching the whole thing unfold, and it's very
unusual to be able to do that here. They are so good, and they are the defending
champs, and we have had so much trouble here in the past.
I'll tell you, before the game begins, I've really liked the way our guys have gone
about their business. I'm really into that. I'm really into watching how guys are
interacting in conversations, if they're relaxed or not.
I'm sure a lot of people are that way, but I've really been paying attention to that.
Outside of that very first game against the Red Sox our guys have been very good.
We're kind of healthy right now. That's another part of it. We played a lot of the last
two months of the season being not healthy, without Carl, without Longo and without
Percy, and we're still playing without Percy right now.
Guys have come together in regard to health, and the at bats have just gotten better,
and the pitching has maintained, and so has the defense.
It seems like throughout the postseason a lot of guys have had their special
nights, B.J. and Evan. What was it like for you to see Carl have his night?
JOE MADDON: I love it, and I did really latch onto that internally. I was
really thinking about that. I was really wanting him to get that last hit. I'm not into
stats all the time. I'm not a symbolic kind of a person, but I really liked what he did
tonight, for him and for us.
He has grinded through some pretty difficult moments, and right now he's playing as
well as he's played all year. I mean, at bat wise, great at bats, the hit against Lopez,
the softy to left field, great at bat, stealing bases, playing the outfield like he can. It's
great for him and it's great for us.
So I really believe, again, he's been well rested. A lot of our guys are coming off of
injuries, so right now he's playing at the top of his game about as good as I've seen all
Do you think you'll be inclined to mention to any of these guys the next two
days that the team you're playing was in the same kind of hole last year?
JOE MADDON: No, it's a whole different set of circumstances right now,
and I don't want to compare it to a past experience. I just want our guys to be
themselves and play our game. I know a lot of times in these moments you're always
going to draw the parallels and comparisons, et cetera, but every situation is unique
So for me I prefer us to continue playing our game and not worrying about what's
happened in the past.
Just to refer to what you were talking about, the way your team went out
prepared, in what way did you notice how Carl prepared that might have led to the
type of night he had? Did you notice anything in particular about him?
JOE MADDON: Well, Carl has been into this. Carl really expedited his
return to the lineup just for the playoffs with his hand, post surgery. This guy is
coming off surgery. You have to understand that. It's not just an injury that he was
on the DL rehab. He actually had surgery.
To come back as quickly -- he actually beat the doctors' timetable in a sense and
really wanted to participate. He played in a couple instruction league games prior to
the playoffs against the White Sox and wanted to show us that he was well and ready
to do it.
I was concerned. I didn't want this guy to be hurt long term, no way. So we really
were very cautious about it, but in watching him take batting practice, you could see
the bat speed was there; you could see there's no favoring of the hand, so I was okay.
Right now he's excited about being able to participate. Like I said, this is about for
this 2008, this is at the top of his game right now.
The one pitcher that has given your team problems is Daisuke. What challenge
does he give you guys? What did he do maybe the first game? And what is the
approach going at him tomorrow?
JOE MADDON: The last game out he changed his pattern. I thought he did
a nice job. Primarily I see him as a breaking ball pitcher, and last game he started
throwing his fastball for a strike. Primarily likes to pitch around the strike zone with
He's been very good. I read the notation regarding his pitching with the bases loaded
because he never gives in. He never gives in. He's always going to attempt to make
his pitch, to his credit, and for us, you just have to mentally match him pitch for pitch,
because he does not give anything at any time, and I really appreciate that about
He's very calm, he's very confident, and he's good. With him, he's going to try to
adjust to us, again, and we have to just really watch what's going on out there
primarily. And with him, you also have to take advantage of those situations. He's
very good at winning out of that. If we get him in those moments, we have to take
advantage of it.
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