Mike Scioscia postgame interview
Manager discusses differences in pitching performances
How have the White Sox been able to neutralize the 3, 4 and 5 hitters?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: It's something they've been doing all year that got them to this point. That's incredible starting pitching. I think if you look at Jon Garland's chart tonight, I'd be surprised if he missed with a dozen pitches in spots. It might have been one of the top couple games we've had pitched against us all year.
Coming off the heels of what Buehrle did the other night and Contreras earlier in Game 1, those horses they have up front, you know, they can pitch. Especially if you give them a lead, they can pitch deep into a game.
It's really important for us to start to pressure them early in games and do some of the things we need to do, and after the, his first ball strike ratio was incredible, Garland's. We get Figgy at first base trying to get him to do something, it's quick through the first two pitches, Orlando Cabrera right there, 0-2 count, it stops some of the things we'd like to do.
Jon just did a terrific job out there for those guys, and it was a heck of an effort.
You talked about setting the tone early. How important was the top of the first for them in setting the tone for this game tonight?
SCIOSCIA: Well, neither team obviously , early runs are important. Neither team is going to sit back and pound the ball. But what our formula for winning, much like theirs, is really let our pitchers relax a little bit and make pitches and pitch deep enough into a game and both teams have outstanding bullpens. You're able to do that when one team jumps out front. They were able to do that, and they relaxed Jon relaxed and pitched a good game for them.
Obviously John Lackey did a lot of hard work during the Yankees series. Can you talk about his performance tonight?
SCIOSCIA: John wasn't as crisp from the get go tonight or as crisp as he's been. He's pitched a lot of baseball. It's one of those you chalk up to I don't think the ball is coming out of his hand as crisply as it has. He still battles and keeps us in ballgames. He was out of the zone a little bit and they got into some hitting counts. A couple pitches I know he'd like to have back was the 3-2 curveball to Paul Konerko that hung middle in. And Jermaine Dye, when he hit the ball to right center, didn't hit too bad of a pitch.
You know, John wasn't out there and wasn't awful, but he obviously wasn't as crisp as we had seen him and as crisp as he was against the Yankees.
Particularly them, they're just not using their bullpen, not getting into their bullpen, you're using a lot of yours but a lot of your horses seem to be a bit fresher than they were two days ago. Is that something that can help you down the road?
SCIOSCIA: I think the worst thing that could happen for us is what happened in Game 2, where we use a lot of innings from some of our guys and you don't end up coming away with anything to show for it. We got four plus innings from Scot Shields and Kelvim Escobar and Brendan (Donnelly) in Game 2, didn't have anything to show for it. They didn't go to the pen at all. There's going to be a cumulative effect if you're using your pen too much. Right now we're fine. Kevin Gregg kept us in the game, it was important what he did tonight and Brendan, but we're okay. We're fine. We have obviously two more games here, then a day off and we'll be able to reset. So we need to get the pitching that's going to match those guys because they are pitching well.
On the offensive side, we've got to start getting some things going, get a little continuity. It's not the end of the world; it's our second loss. But there's a lot of baseball to be played, and if we get into our game, we're going to be right in this series.
The play where Erstad was thrown out at third for the triple, you can never falter the hustle but can you be too aggressive?
SCIOSCIA: No, when Erstie made the turn at second we thought he had it, very good relay, they got him at third base. You're going to go there if you feel you have a great chance of making it. I know Erstie and it didn't work out, but those in this room that have seen us play all year know how important it is for us to keep that edge, to keep that aggressiveness, and Erstie obviously, it didn't work out and you never want to kill an inning at third base, but it's the play, and if it happens again, I hope he goes to third base again, because that's the way we need to play.
It didn't work out this time, but I can't say enough for how Erstie plays the game, and I think it didn't turn out this time, but we're going to stay aggressive.
Vlad doesn't have an extra base hit yet this postseason. How do you feel he's swinging?
SCIOSCIA: Well, in Chicago I thought he hit a couple balls really hard, the shortstop (Juan) Uribe made nice plays on. Tonight he hit that hard ball to right field. His batting practice looks good, the ball looks good coming off his bat, he just hasn't squared them up like he can. These guys are going, they're going to hit. We just need to obviously have it starting out.
Sometimes when a team is pitching really well it can make a team look flat. Does it make it tougher to get a rally going?
SCIOSCIA: I think you hit the nail on the head. When you're not swinging the bats well, you look flat. Jon Garland, like I said, pitched one of the best ballgames we've had pitched against us all year. If we were going to beat Jon Garland we needed to match him pitch or pitch, and unfortunately we didn't get that done. You know, our club was ready to go, there was a lot of energy on the offensive side, we didn't get it done, and that does make you look flat.
What are your memories of Konerko coming up in the Dodger organization?
SCIOSCIA: Well, we worked very closely with Paul. He was signed as a catcher, and I was doing the catching instruction at the Dodger organization at that time, and you could see from a very young age what kind of hitter he was going to be. You could also see from a very young age what kind of catcher he wasn't going to be (laughter), and I think that once that decision was made to move him out from behind the plate to first base, he relaxed, and you could see that offensive talent take hold.
You know, he really didn't get a great look with the Dodgers, but once he settled in or even the Reds for a while, but once he settled in with the White Sox, you know, he's obviously established himself as one of the top run producers in our game.
Your road doesn't get any easier with Freddy Garcia, who has a tremendous road record. Would you talk about the matchup tomorrow?
SCIOSCIA: You can throw records out the window right now. I don't think there's anything statistically that's going to play. He's a tough pitcher whatever ballpark he's pitching in. He's always been tough on us, and we have a challenge. You knew you were going to have a challenge playing the White Sox with anybody that they're going to give the ball to on any given day. We need to do some things to get into our game, and he's tough. It's a challenge.
We feel we have a good young arm going against those guys, and the only way you're going to beat pitching is to match them pitch for pitch. We didn't get it done tonight, but we'll be back tomorrow.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.