10/11/05 1:12 AM ET
Mike Scioscia postgame interview
Manager talks about his pitching staff in Game 5 win
By / MLB.com
Ervin Santana: Well, I have to be ready because I'm in the bullpen. I have to be ready for if something happens.
Did you feel that maybe he was a little erratic at the beginning there?
Mike Scioscia: It's something we conserved for and Buddy Black went out to talk to Joe West and we said, hey, we want to make sure this guy, he's ready to warm up.
Santana: I just kept throwing and get ready, get loose.
Scioscia: I want to first of all congratulate the Yankees on an incredible series. We had our hands full with them and everything we tried to do. They shut down a lot of parts of our game that worked for us this year and we had a battle for every run and battled to hold every lead. That's an incredible club over there. Joe Torre is a guy that has those guys playing the game the right way and they are tough to beat. It's a terrific achievement for us right now and hopefully it's one rung up the ladder but I'd like to congratulate them on an incredible season because we had our hands full in every aspect of the game.
How does your pitching matchups look with the rest of this week now?
Scioscia: We have a three hour plane flight to Chicago now. We weren't going to hold back tonight with anything, to get to a point where we were going to make a compromise on what we need to do tonight to worry about tomorrow.
With Ervin, although it was earlier than anticipated to having to go to our bullpen, we needed him tonight and he pitched a terrific ballgame.
Can you talk about Ervin's season, I know he started out a little inconsistent and the way he progressed and then talk about after the inning where he gave up a couple of runs and he put up a lot of zeros.
Scioscia: Mixed in with that early inconsistency were flashes of brilliance that lit everybody's eyes up. We kept looking at him closely waiting for his stuff to tail off or him to get into a kind of dead arm stage because he threw 40 some innings last year and this is by far the heaviest workload he's had in his life and under the situation, the pressure.
And this kid responded to every situation as well as anybody who has ever put a Major League uniform on, whether it was a game down in the pennant stretch or going into New York or pitching a ballgame in the summer. And he maintains his stuff, he worked hard, and he wants to achieve. He wants to keep getting better and that's why we're excited about his future. What he did tonight, I think that just ties it all up in a neat little bow as far as what he's about. It's incredible.
Prior to the game, did you alert the bullpen to be ready to go in case Bartolo had trouble with his back before the start of the game?
Scioscia: There was no indication at all that Bartolo was going to have any trouble. He warmed up great. His stuff was terrific. That one fastball he threw by Matsui in the first inning was lightning and everything looked fine.
And so there was no indication. We would maybe have gone to our bullpen if Bart was erratic because of his back or his arm or what was happening maybe with the game situation. But there was no indication. These guys would be ready and they would have adjusted for whatever we needed to do and there was no indication.
That was obviously something we were not expecting and Ervin is the guy that needed to step in and he did.
First we heard about the back and now the report is Colon has a bad shoulder. Can he be
Scioscia: I wouldn't call it a bad shoulder. He's got some stiffness in there. We're going to evaluate and see how this thing moves along, hopefully it will move in the right direction and hopefully we'll be able to get them out there and pitch sometime in this series.
You're hoping he can be some kind of a factor in the Chicago series?
Scioscia: Well, it's too early to tell. That's our hope. But it's obvious that we need we're going to have to take this slowly with Bart and make sure that he's physically healthy enough to get out there and pitch and we'll see how it goes.
As tough as this series was, do you feel at a disadvantage playing against a team that's had three days to rest?
Scioscia: The only disadvantage is that we went through a lot of pitching to get to this point, a lot of our bullpen. That's going to happen if you have a tough series, or if you have an easy series. If we had wrapped this thing up one team had wrapped this thing up earlier and you started this series on time, you might have been able to equalize the ledger a little bit, but that's not what it's about. You take what's in front of and you keep plugging away and moving on.
We're a little thin right now. We'll probably adjust our roster a little bit to probably get a little more pitching depth. You know, we're fresh enough to be able to go out there and close the game out tomorrow, Shields is fine, Kelvim will be down tomorrow and we'll have enough good arms to finish out the game.
I know you probably envisioned pitching in a playoff game tonight and it happened tonight in a very unusual way and suddenly; were you nervous?
Santana: Same question, all season. I don't have to be nervous, because that's why I came. That's a baseball game, you don't have to put pressure, just pitching and if something happens, happens, so I don't have to be nervous.
Can you talk about what's inside this team that allows it to come back, not only a deficit, but losing your starting pitcher, your ace throughout the year and to win a deciding game?
Scioscia: Any time you're playing a team as talented as that club in the other locker room, you know, you have to play at a high level and we did in a lot of areas that were important to us. You know, it's a challenge getting to the playoffs, it's a challenge in getting through any level of the playoffs.
We have some depth in our club that I think came up and helped us from some of the bats like Juan Rivera and to the bullpen with Kelvim Escobar to some of the pitching depth you see with Ervin Santana stepping in and that's important to any championship caliber club, and we've picked up guys like any other club, guys that have been terrific that have stepped up and filled some voids. That's what it's about and that's why it feels good.
Could you have envisioned keeping Ervin just in case Bartolo's injuries cropped up?
Scioscia: No. We had a couple of options, a couple of ways to go in yesterday's ball game. We were very confident that Bart was strong and healthy and that's why we pitched John Lackey yesterday with Ervin obviously in the mold or in the mix to help out if need be. John had been throwing the ball as well as any pitcher in our league and we wanted to get him out there. So we were not if we needed to use Ervin yesterday, we would have done that. But right now, we had no indications that Bart was going to go down, and we knew we had him in the wings if it did happen. So our decision was based really on the confidence of Bart's health yesterday and to have Santana in a backup in either situation.
Was Santana an option yesterday?
Scioscia: Yesterday's ballgame we got to a point where we had Shields and Kelvim and Francisco, you're looking at we needed ten outs yesterday, and Santana's role would have been earlier yesterday or extra innings if it was tied.
Will Washburn be ready to go?
Scioscia: That's up in the air. I don't think he would be available for the first couple of games in Chicago but we'll see as we move on. Might not involve Washburn but there will probably be some slight adjustments.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.