10/08/05 3:40 PM ET
Scioscia's Saturday news conference
Angels manager reacts to Game 4 postponement
By / MLB.com
MIKE SCIOSCIA: We're going to stay with Jarrod Washburn in Game 4 and have Bartolo [Colon] if Game 5 is necessary, for a couple of reasons. Our confidence in Jarrod is high. Bart can use an extra day -- it's been a long season for a lot of guys. We're going to have Bart and back him up with John Lackey if we need him in Game 5. We'll have enough depth if we have to get to a Game 5, but we're very confident with Jarrod.
Will you send Bart home before?
SCIOSCIA: Yes, Bart's going to leave today and go back west.
What did you hear from the trainers this morning and Bengie about his elbow?
SCIOSCIA: Bengie could have played today if we were playing. It's sore; it's stiff. The day off obviously will help and give him more ability, but we'll be in the lineup tomorrow.
There's so much talk about your small-ball ability, and you guys proved yesterday that you can play any type of ball.
SCIOSCIA: Well, I think that we're not really built around the home run. If we're going to try to sit back and outslug the Yankees, we're playing their type of game.
I thought we ran the bases well. We had a little bit of small ball and some big home runs that were important. We're going to take them. We did what we had to do yesterday, but it is certainly not the game you want to match up with against the Yankees.
Obviously, you're planning on finishing this thing tomorrow, but the quick turnaround potentially for Game 5, is that something that Major League Baseball should look at in the future, maybe an off-day between Game 4 and 5, especially when there's two coasts involved?
SCIOSCIA: Well, you know, things are dictated so much by people whether it's television or whatever is happening in the broadcast world. It's out of our control. We'll play at midnight if they tell us to play at midnight. We'll be ready.
Bengie has been getting a lot of press for the way he's been hitting in the playoffs, really all season. Can you talk about what he does for you guys, he's an all around player?
SCIOSCIA: Bengie's biggest contribution to our club, and even the games like he's had the last couple of games driving the ball, is the 140 or 150 pitches he'll call on a nightly basis. That's the biggest input any catcher has on a championship-caliber club, and he's no exception. The job he does behind the plate, calling our game, if you look at our team ERA when he catches, it's incredible.
No matter what he does with the bat, he can go 4-for-4 and hit four home runs, the biggest input he's going to have that night is the pitch-calling that he brings. It's true for any catcher -- you're going to influence a game much more with the 140 pitches or whatever you're going to call than you are with four times at the plate and smoking the ball four times.
So he has that perspective. He does a great job behind the plate.
You had to go to your bullpen a lot last night. What does this day off do for them, and who would have or would not have been available tonight?
SCIOSCIA: Well, we'll cut right to the chase. It's big for us. This day off is big for us. We would have played, I think we would have had guys that could have gone out there and given us some innings we needed.
We have to be able to shorten a game against the Yankees, and the only way to do that is to have Scot Shields and [Brendan] Donnelly, and Kelvim Escobar and [Francisco] Rodriguez where they need to be. They were yesterday, and you saw we needed every bit of it, and we got it done.
Today, we probably would not have had as much of that, and it could have influenced some things. But I think the same could be said for the Yankees as they are going to kind of reset a little bit and bring in maybe [Tom] Gordon a little earlier if they have to and have Mariano [Rivera] for one-plus [innings]. It will work for both clubs. I know in house it's big for us.
A five game series is about so much momentum, is it tough now that you have them on the ropes to have this rainout?
SCIOSCIA: I don't think you ever have a club on the ropes. You have the club on the ropes when you're squeezing the last out and you're clinching the division. That's when you have a team on the ropes. This series, the momentum will switch pitch-to-pitch and inning-to-inning and game-to-game.
There's no advantage until you get that last out squeezed in your glove and you've clinched the series. That's the way we've been looking at it, because we've been on the other side of things at times and come back and won, and now we've experienced two from our side.
What you want to do is focus on that first pitch tomorrow, and the momentum is going to swing. You know it's going to swing at some point, and you can't get caught up in the momentum swings. You have to keep playing baseball, and just like last night's game, you can count the number of times the momentum switched and irregardless of what's happening, you need to keep playing, and that's why we were able to come back and win that ballgame.
There were so many things that switched around last night, so many things that happened, if you had to isolate one, the biggest moment for you in determining that game, what would it have been?
SCIOSCIA: I think there were a number. It's tough to say one. Although at the time it held the lead, which we eventually did surrender for a little while, the play that Chone [Figgins] made in center field probably equalled the play he made back in southern California at third base off of Matsui. But that's huge, to cut the inning off right there, hold the lead, get us a chance to score some more which they took the lead next inning but it could have been much worse. So that's one play.
I think from the Yankees side, the play that Cano made at second base off Figgins that turned the double play was a play where we could have gone up probably and had a six- or seven-run lead by the end of that inning, and that was a huge momentum swing. They came back and scored right in the next inning.
I think Figgy's two-out hit that got us the lead was important because now we had our bullpen guys in there trying to hold the lead instead of just trying to bring a game close.
I don't know if I can narrow it down any more than that. I have to pick one out of those three or what? (LAUGHTER)
Just pick any one of those and make something up, we're OK.
I already made it up.
SCIOSCIA: All right. Good.
I'm not sure if you've seen any of the other series, but can you give me your assessment of the White Sox and their ease in the first round?
SCIOSCIA: Well, there's no ease involved. Those games were, I think outside of Game 1, those games were nip and tuck the whole way.
I haven't analyzed those series very thoroughly because of the work that we have in front of us. But we'll look at them and we'll break it down if we're fortunate enough to get past these guys and get to Chicago, we'll look at those games and see what is happening.
But right now, there's not a lot that we're looking at past tomorrow's ballgame.
You had a lot of guys on track offensively last night, how important is that knowing that you can relax now and it's not a situation where you have 0-for-8s and 0-for-12?
SCIOSCIA: It's big. I don't think we're going to get this done without a guy like Garret Anderson, has been swinging well the whole series, Darin Erstad, [Vladimir Guerrero]. We're not going to get it done without these guys swinging the bat and doing what they can. And it was good, too. It was good to see.
We're going to do what we have to do. If they weren't swinging the bats, it's going to put more pressure on our pitching staff, which has been the case most of the season. We're here because of the way our guys pitched, and it's good to see some continuity coming off the offensive end which we started last two weeks of the season. It's good to see it materialize here in a big game, and it needs to keep going. We did a lot of things last night that reminded us of what happened in 2002, and that's encouraging.
You were just talking about how important Bengie is, and now he'll be a free agent and there will be some competition from the New York teams, can you emphasize how important he is for you guys?
SCIOSCIA: Bengie is a priority. I know that we know what he brings to our club and what he means to our club; whether that translates into a deal getting done you never know in baseball. There are a lot of guys that are very, very important to clubs that for whatever reasons move on to a better deal, a different situation, whatever happens. We hope that's not the case with Bengie, but at times the business side of this and that lore of free agency will make guys change teams.
So we're not focusing on that right now. I know Bengie is not. He's one of the best catchers in baseball, and he's had an incredible career with us and we hope it continues. But you never know what that horizon brings.
The plays that Figgins has made the last two games, game saving type of plays, how unique is it to have a guy who plays so many different positions, not just like a utility guy, but exceptional plays like that?
SCIOSCIA: He's a versatile player along the lines of a Mark McLemore, with 500 or 600 plate appearances with Seattle a couple of years ago and whenever they put him defensively he was terrific.
I don't know if I've ever seen a guy that has this ability to move around at positions and play them at such a high level defensively, and have it really just roll off his shoulders and not affect his offense at all. He just plays his game and keeps plugging away. That's a unique talent and he's our most valuable player, there's no doubt about it. We're not sitting here without what Chone Figgins has done this year for us, starting as our Opening Day second baseman when Adam Kennedy was rehabbing from knee surgery to at times being our every day center fielder, our third baseman. He started at six different positions and played positions, and that let's us make moves because of his versatility during games and has influenced games in our favor.
He's incredible. I've never seen anybody play at such a high level defensively and be able to move around as much as he can.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.