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10/08/05 4:11 AM ET

Mike Scioscia postgame interview

Angels manager talks about going up 2-1 on the Yankees

You talked about some lineup changes before the game and joked about them, but couldn't have worked out better, it seemed like everybody made a turnaround.

MIKE SCIOSCIA: We had some guys swinging the bat tonight so it being looked like they were good moves.

Bengie has been swinging the bat as well as we've seen him for last couple of weeks. I felt against Randy it was really important to get him up and behind Vlad. Wasn't going to count on him driving the ball out of the park and doing things like that, but he has that capability.

And Garret got going. We had some guys in the lineup tonight that we needed to get going, and they did. You know, we needed every one of those runs.

Did you have a strategy of going right after Randy because in that first inning, even the first two outs, before you started getting the hits were really hard hit balls and can you talk about Bengie's condition?

SCIOSCIA: Well, our guys all season, if they get into hitting counts and they get a good ball to hit they usually take a good cut at it and that's what this group of guys does. They run the bases extremely well, we hit in the clutch with guys in scoring position very well this year. In the first inning, we hit a couple of balls hard off of Randy and really didn't get it going until Vlad and Bengie had the base hits and Garret followed with the home run.

You're not going to get a lot to hits from Randy if he has a good pitcher's count going, so you don't let too many go by that you can square up and fortunately we got to him early. I thought our left handed hitters hung in there very well against him which was a good sign for him.

Benji's right now, his elbow is very sore. Our preliminary X rays were negative but we'll see how he feels tomorrow.

Could he be a DH and not catch, if the elbow is in bad shape?

SCIOSCIA: If he can't move enough behind the plate and catch and squeeze a glove, it's doubtful he can swing a bat but we'll play it by ear.

Talk about your bullpen, going to Donnelly and shields early in the game?

SCIOSCIA: We looked to Brendan to get out of that one inning in the fourth and he was able to he was able to get out of that, although Figgy made a great play off of Sheff and he came up the next inning and didn't have quite the same stuff. They jumped on him and Cano hit that big ball to left center.

I felt at that time, I talked with Buddy that we could bring in Shields in a little earlier and see how the game progressed. Could have gone the other way where we are out of the game and that's it. But at that point in the game if we can keep it where it is, we're hoping to give our offense a chance to come back. With Scot coming in much earlier than he's used to, the only reason we can do that is because of Kelvim Escobar and what he means to our bullpen and be able to come in and pitch two innings, let us even consider bringing Scotty in that early in the game.

We'll see. There might not even be a baseball game tomorrow depending on the weather. Maybe we don't play tomorrow, we can rest our bullpen, I think we wanted to burn the bullets tonight to win this game and I know Joe felt the same way.

You talked a lot this year about how the team has struggled to find it's offensive identity. Has it come at the right time now?

SCIOSCIA: We hope so. We've done a lot of things the last couple of games the way we have to. I thought tonight we ran the bases very well. We went to first and third where we needed to create some situations for us. Steve got a nice squeeze down for us and in between we drove the ball with Bengie and Garret. Those guys had terrific nights.

Some things came together, you need it, and the one thing is when you're facing a club like the Yankees, you know they are going to swing the bats. You know they are going to score and you have to match them.

So the first couple of games, I think we pitched well, and we got enough runs in Game 2, and tonight we needed every run we could muster and we were able to close them down as the game went on. But they're a tough offensive group and not only do we have to pitch well but we have to start to do some things offensively if we are going to win the series.

When you lose the lead and lose the momentum the way you did in the middle of the game, it can be tough to get it back; how does your team go about that?

SCIOSCIA: You know, our guys, I think of one thing that playoff experience does for you is that you realize that momentum switches pitch to pitch, inning to inning, and that's not even before you start talking game to game, it swings back and forth, this game, the momentum swung back and forth and that play Cano made on Figgy that really we had a chance to really add to our lead, it would have been big at that time was incredible.

Those guys came right back and scored. You have to have confidence that you're going to be able to contain an offense like the Yankees, especially if they are coming back and we did to some point even though they grabbed the lead, we were able to get out of it, Shields, he made some good pitches and offensively we just kept playing the game. We were fortunate to get the lead, and at that point, you know, with the nine outs we needed, Scot did a great job and Kelvim Escobar got six big outs for us and closed it up. That part of our bullpen fell into place.

Momentum is going to switch pitch to pitch and Game 4, it will be no different.

You're up 2-1, possible rain tomorrow; do you have contingency plans for your rotation?

SCIOSCIA: We're going to look at a couple of things. Right now, you know, we're going to see how Bartolo is feeling. He's been having some back issues and he feels good, but nothing to say that an extra day isn't going to help him. Obviously we have the option of bringing Bartolo back if we're rained out tomorrow on normal rest and John Lackey.

But we are going to look and see how he plays out, how things play out. We have a lot of confidence in Jarrod Washburn and he matches up well with these guys. Right now, we'll see what tomorrow brings, but we feel good with Jarrod going out there, especially if Bartolo is not bouncing back and could use the extra day.

Can you talk a little bit about Chon's performance, the first three times, he hit the ball real hard and got out but finally got some hits and also defensively how well he did?

SCIOSCIA: Well, Figgy made, really what was at the time a big catch, even though the next inning they did take the lead, the play he made on Sheff was incredible in centerfield, the jump he got. That's a soggy outfield, and one thing, that whole field was becoming tough to play defense on just with the amount of water that was there. I think the skin was in good shape but the amount of water that was in the grass and running in the outfield, it's almost like you're running in a marsh or a swamp. He got a great jump on the ball, and I couldn't see a better play by a centerfielder.

The first couple of games, he had a little problem getting some hits to fall in. Tonight he had great at bats the whole way out and got some big hits for us. You know, he made a big play defensively, also.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.