10/11/05 11:56 PM ET
Scioscia, Byrd postgame interview
Manager, winning pitcher discuss Game 1 victory
By / MLB.com
PAUL BYRD: I'm a control pitcher so I don't rely on great velocity anyway. It wasn't a big deal for me. I was able to move the ball around a little bit and got away with a few pitches. They hit some balls hard that went to people, and I can't say enough about our bullpen coming in and picking me up.
They did a great job.
This question is for Mike: You've won four in a row here in this park and have pretty much dominated the season here. What is it about this park that your team likes?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Domination is not even a word that's in anybody's vocabulary. That's a tough club. We played well the last series. This game with its twists and turns could have gone either way for the whole nine innings, but fortunately we got an early lead and held on. But they do so many things offensively that we were able to just take care of tonight, it was a lot closer obviously a close game, but it could have turned on a dime.
Those guys are tough. We've been fortunate. We played well the last series here in the summer. We got tonight's ballgame but that's neither here nor there because they're going to be a challenge.
Paul, you knew (Bartolo) Colon was down, you knew (Jarrod) Washburn is still sick. You had to feel a little extra responsibility on your shoulders going into this.
BYRD: I did. I wanted to give our team at least seven, eight innings. I didn't know that Scot Shields was going to come in throwing 94 on the corners. He looked great. We've had a couple red eye flights into tonight. Guys haven't really complained. I don't know if we're delirious or what. Everybody has had a great attitude and said, "Hey, tell us when to play, and I'll do that."
One of the reasons I like this team is the way they go about their business, their character. I wanted to take the game into the seventh or eighth; I got us through six. I wanted to do more, but the bottom line is our bullpen came in and picked me up when there was reasonable belief I could have been tired. They looked great tonight, and it was a team effort.
SCIOSCIA: No, the White Sox execute small ball probably better than anybody in our league. They didn't get a couple bunts down. Figgy, I can't say enough about the play Figgy made in the 9th I think after the ball Carl Everett hit that had all the spin that he couldn't handle. That was a tough play. For him to come in and get that bunt and get a quick runner at second base was tremendous. That's Figgy's makeup.
We ran the bases well. We got a sac bunt down early with Figgy that led to some things that really helped us, because against a guy like Contreras, you're not going to get a bunch of looks at it at the plate. We were fortunate to hold on, but I think both guys, we both got it right with the pitch out, A. J. looked like he double clutched. That's the luck of the draw. You have to execute out there. We were fortunate we were able to. This is the way the series is going to be the whole as far as it goes, and those guys will execute, we know that, so we'd better be playing at a high level.
For Paul: You hit the batter at the start of the seventh, I think, Shields wasn't quite ready, you threw over to first a couple times, was that to bide Shields some time?
BYRD: I would assume so.
SCIOSCIA: That's probably a question for me, huh?
That was to bide Shieldsie a little time.
BYRD: He gives me the signal from the dugout through the catcher. There's times when you throw over on your own and there's times when you don't have a choice. It's a situation where it could have gone either way. I felt strong, could have stayed, but the reality is Shieldsie came in and did a great job. I can't argue with that. I had no idea he was going to throw that strong, throw that well, so Mike made a decision to bring me out, which was the right one.
Paul, in light of the surgery a couple years ago and some of your own struggles in the post season in the past, can you put into words how gratifying this game is for you?
BYRD: It's very gratifying for me just for the fact that being able to come back. My career hasn't gone exactly like I would like it to with the surgery so it's gratifying to be on this team. The fact that Mike gave me the ball, trusted me with the ball after I had a shaky outing with New York, has done loads for my confidence, and hopefully if given the chance, if I get the ball, I can give our team a good performance.
Question for Mike: I know you're going to downplay the whole commute through the middle of the night aspect of it, but what does it say about your guys and this team that you did have to go through that and you came and won a 3-2 ballgame?
SCIOSCIA: These last 48 hours have been a blur, from a tough game in Yankee Stadium, which we lost a one run game lead to getting on a flight, getting in early in Anaheim and playing a terrific ball club last night and getting right on a plane and coming to Chicago, it's been a blur.
As I said earlier, I think the playoffs, just an experience I've found here since 2002, sometimes they're painfully slow with things developing, with the off days, with every game, every pitch being with the intensity it brings. This one was a breath of fresh air to play this many games and play baseball because that's where the fun is. We held on, and we'll come back out here tomorrow and hopefully play another good game.
Mike, you had (Francisco) Rodriguez up in the eighth, briefly sat him down and you brought him in in the ninth, but Donnelly, I think, warmed up behind him, were you worried?
SCIOSCIA: No, Brendan was just getting a little extra work. We were going to match him up with Jermaine Dye, if he was in good position. We felt good about Shieldsie going against (Paul) Konerko. We liked that match up. If there wasn't a guy in scoring position we would keep Shieldsie in there and go after Paul, and if the game went the other way, we probably would have flipped to Brendan to save some of Shieldsie's bullets.
Brendan was just getting a little extra work in to finish up his bullpen because he hasn't been out in a while. But no, Francisco was fine.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.