10/12/11 9:44 PM ET
A postgame interview with Jim Leyland
By / MLB.com
THE MODERATOR: We're going to get started in the interview room. Jim Leyland is here.
Q. Jim, was Austin going on his own there on the stolen base attempt?
JIM LEYLAND: Absolutely. I agreed with it 100%.
Q. Jim, obviously a big play was the Delmon Young fly out. I want to know about the decision to send Cabrera, and also did you consider pinch hitting Delmon with maybe a Don Kelly a left hander in that situation?
JIM LEYLAND: No, I'm not going to hit for Delmon Young. He's our third hitter. He's a professional hitter. He's one of the better hitters. No, I wouldn't even think about that. And I thought it was a great decision to send him. If the throw is off line, he makes it. If it's not, he's out. Other than Austin Jackson, it might have been closer, obviously, but other than that, I don't know that anybody would have made it if he threw it on the money. That's the second out. You make him throw him out at the plate. It was the right call. Cruz threw it on the money.
Q. Just talk about using Valverde for that second inning, and also is he available tomorrow with all that he's pitched so far?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, we were down two games to one. You have to give it your best shot. That was our best shot. Tomorrow, you know, he and Benoit are both running on fumes and heart right now, to be honest with you. So hopefully the big guy can do it tomorrow for us. It's one of the best baseball games I've ever been involved in. Great plays by both teams. We made some great plays. Santiago, Inge, Delmon Young made a great play, Cruz made a great play. One of the best games I've ever been involved with. Just didn't come out the right way.
Q. I know with this lineup it is kind of pick your poison, but what went into your decision to walk Beltre there in the 11th?
JIM LEYLAND: Obviously, Napoli is a power hitter. If you can get him on the ground as a double play, you're trying to set up the double play. He didn't want both of those guys it seems, so he blooped one in and Cruz was the big blow. You're just trying to set up a double play. I didn't want Beltre and Napoli both to hit against him. As it turned out, he got a base hit. But to get a double play, you're out of the inning. He's not a fast runner, obviously. He's definitely a double play guy. We just didn't get the ball on the ground. He blooped it into center field for a hit.
Q. 0 2, nobody on base, two out with Ogando. Talk a little about that, please.
JIM LEYLAND: It was a dramatic home run, obviously. To tie the game up like it did. Like I said, this was a great baseball game. I'm certainly sorry we didn't win it, but they did a little bit better than we did. We had our shot. Delmon had a great at bat, I thought. In fact, he just missed one that he fouled back that he had centered pretty good. He just fouled it back. There's not much you can say. Like I say, they did a little bit more than we did.
Q. Jim, you've talked a lot about great players rising to the occasion throughout this postseason. I guess with what's happened in the series, you have to add Cruz to that list.
JIM LEYLAND: Yeah, well. It's been a weird series. They had a couple of home runs late in two of the games to kind of open it up. But it'sbeen an absolutely tremendous series. I can't credit Benoit and Valverde enough for what they've done. They're pitching like I said on fumes and heart. You saw Albuquerque come in a little wild. We got a little nervous about that obviously. And that's shortened up our bullpen a little bit, because we weren't real sure about him because he hasn't got much work. He has struggled since he came back. That shortened up our bullpen a little bit. But that's the way it goes. That's just the way it goes. We actually had our shots. We just didn't come up with a big hit.
Q. Jim, you showed a lot of trust in Porcello going into this game. Can you talk about what you saw from him, especially the first five innings and how much maybe maybe the Rangers' base running put pressure on him.
JIM LEYLAND: I thought he pitched a tremendous game for us. I really did. This is an excellent lineup. To do what he did to hold them down like he did, I thought he did a tremendous job. I think he threw the ball exceptionally well. I don't think there's any question about that. He gave us what we wanted and probably a little bit more, to be honest with you. I thought he was tremendous.
Q. You spoke before the game playoffs are truly one game at a time. Can you talk about the hill you have now having to win three to advance to the World Series?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, you know, hopefully we got Verlander, Scherzer and Fister. So obviously we got to win tomorrow. We're sending the guy out there that is obviously pretty good. You win tomorrow and all of a sudden it's 3 2. We can count I know what the situation is. You wouldn't rather have anybody out there other than Justin Verlander. If you win that game, all of a sudden it gets a little hairy again with Scherzer and Fister ready to go. So that's the way it is. Playoff baseball. Real good team. Defending champions. And so far they've gotten the best of them.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Jim.
JIM LEYLAND: Sure.
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