10/08/09 6:46 PM EST
An Interview With Mike Scioscia
By / MLB.com
Q. If you have to use Santana in consecutive days, would you comfortable in doing that?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: I think it depends on how much he would throw in one game. I think he has the ability to throw one inning and come back, and maybe be available the next day.
We'll see. Obviously, with Ervin, we're a little bit of uncharted waters. I think if he throws two or three innings in a game, then, obviously, it's doubtful.
But I don't think he's been bouncing back well from his starts. So it's something we would consider. I don't think we can give an answer right now.
Q. You faced the Red Sox and Terry Francona so many times in the regular season, and in the postseason. From your vantage point, what makes him distinctive as a manager, and in game as opposed to sort of preparation? But when you're across the bough lines from each other, what makes him distinctive to compete against?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: There are a lot of things that Terry brings, you'll notice. And it's not just limited to in game management, which he's as good as there is at. He does a great job as a bullpen. I think a great job with lineups. Has guys running in high high percentage success rate situations but I think the environment and the tone he sets goes beyond what might happen in a ballgame just shows what he brings to that organization.
He's had to deal with a lot of things. Those guys just keep bouncing back, and bouncing back from injuries and everything that goes on with their club to be perennial contenders. He's certainly he's certainly leading that charge.
Q. Did you sigh anything different Jeff Weaver first half of the season, and after the All Star break?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: I haven't seen Jeff too much. He got the win last night for the Dodgers. But for Jered, I'll just assume you're talking about Jered. You know other, we've, I get them confused all the time, too. If Jered had a nickel for every time I call him Jeff, he'd be richer than he is now (laughing). But anyway.
You know, Jered has been really so consistent from day one of spring training to where he came all the way through being really our only healthy starter that we've had for probably the first eight weeks of the season, throwing the ball to his capabilities. And just was one guy that we knew every time he went out there was going to give us a chance to win in some very unsettling waters that we had earlier in the season.
I think his biggest couple things that are probably his biggest factors of why I think he's maintained his stuff is it's the best shape, the healthiest he's been.
And he's just had the ability to go out there and keep the focus to go pitch after pitch. I think that controlling some of his emotions, controlling some of the things that maybe became distractions to him when he was younger I'm going back two or three years now, not in the early season he's been as consistent as any pitcher that's taken the mound this year in the American League. It's been very, very important to us.
Q. You guys saw David Ortiz twice earlier in the season and when he was really struggling, and then again in mid September, did you notice a difference? Because he obviously made a big turn around.
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Oh, absolutely. I think David when he first came in here earlier in the season you could see he was really searching for some things. I think he was putting a lot of pressure on himself just from looking outside looking in. You never really know until you're in there, and you can see a guy, what maybe that your expectations are or what's bothering him.
When we went back in there in the last month of the season, you just saw a different presence. You saw a guy, I think, more confident, more comfortable. And, you know, I think probably the numbers reflect really two different guys from, I don't know what the cutoff is, maybe the first two months of the season until where he is now. He's every bit as dangerous as he's ever been.
I think you can throw numbers out at this point. There's probably not a guy that's been a better clutch hitter in postseason ever than David Ortiz. He's going to be something to deal with, for sure.
Q. The numbers you guys stopping other people's running games are kind of what they are. Has that been a concern of yours, and why do you think it's been so mediocre this year?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, there's a number of reasons. You know, at times some of our pitchers have gotten away from maybe the focus of trying to balance it. I think the running game wins.
If you pay so much attention to the running game, you take too much attention away from the hitter. By the same token, if you're giving so much attention to the hitter and not quite enough to the running game, that running game will exploit every exploit your weakness every opportunity it can.
So I'm not as concerned with the percentage. Certainly the number of attempts on stolen bases would be a concern if a team's running Carte Blanche.
If you can control the number of attempts that will keep you in decent situations for double plays and things like that. That might not let an inning progress the way the other team wants it to. But I think both teams are going to be aggressive this series, and we have to be smart when the opportunities there. I know Boston will be the same way.
I think both our guys have the potential to control the running game with our pitchers doing the job that they need to do.
So we'll go out there and play and see how well we do with it. It's certainly something we've put some focus on leading up to the series when we're doing our scouting, because we know Boston is running more than they ever have in recent years.
Q. With Jered, his home road splits are skewed a little favoring home. You see an explanation for that, and how much of a factor was that when you set the rotation to have him pitch here?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: I think most pitchers are going to be a little more comfortable at home. They get used to the mound. You know, there might be some oddities where a guy's stuff just doesn't match up to his home ballpark. But, yeah, we looked at a lot of those, and I think it did have an influence on what game we wanted Jered to start. As with Scott Kazmir and Joe Saunders, I think are two guys that can go into Boston and give us a chance to win.
So some of that did come into play in what we were looking at. I think that any one of those four guys could have been number one. We really feel good about John Lackey and Jered pitching here. And we'll take it and see where we are over the weekend.
Q. Some of the challenges of facing a hard throwing lefty like Lester following with a hard throwing right hander like Beckett?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: I don't know if that plays out as much as with any game if you're mixing and matching some. Maybe like you had Wakefield starting at some point, and you bring in a real power arm. I think that has probably a little more play than during as what the starter will do from day to day. So you're going to face good pitching the whole way.
I think during the season there's probably more of a lefty righty balance that will come into play as the long season plays out. But as far as facing Lester or Beckett, they're both terrific pitchers, and I don't think it's going to make that much of a difference because one is left handed and one is right handed and what we have to do this series.
Q. Follow up on the base running. Did the guys that have green lights during the season still have it, or do you control it now during the playoffs that you have all that extra scouting?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Would I tell you, Bill, what guys are on green lights and what?
Q. No, the guys that do. Do they still have green lights or do you control that now?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: I don't want to give you our system. I don't want to let you know what we do. But we will, obviously, look as much as we did during the regular season to if there's opportunities to run and push it on the bases, we have to take advantage of that.
So, you know, it's always something you're looking at. I think we have some decent team speed, and, you know, we're going to have to push the envelopes in more than one way. Not just the stolen base, absolutely the first and thirds and taking the extra bases that we can. That has to be part of what we do. It's the only way you're really going to beat some of the better pitching that you face in playoffs, and we'll continue to do what we did during the regular season, hopefully, in the playoffs. So we'll stay as aggressive as we have been.
Q. Did you notice what Jered was doing at Long Beach State in '04, and did you think you'd have a chance to get him in the draft that year?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, you know, Jered was, I think, on just about every team's radar. Absolutely we noticed it. We ended up drafting him. As far as the particulars about his stuff, grading it out, I think our scouts did a terrific job of evaluating him. You never know if you're going to get a chance to draft a kid. You just never know how the draft's going to fall in place.
I think we were all pleased that we had an opportunity to draft Jered. It took a while to sign him, but there's a lot of guys, lot of talent, lot of talent here in southern California and all across the country that you look at. You never really know if you're going to have a chance to get them or not. Are you alluding to that?
Q. He had such a big junior year at Long Beach. I didn't know if you thought picking 12th you thought this guy might be long gone by the time he gets to us? Or did you think you had a shot at it?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: I wasn't that connected on a personal level to know exactly where he was slotted or what they thought. But in talking to
Eddie Bane afterwards, I think everyone was a little surprised he's still around. And we're fortunate we were able to get him, get him signed. And he's been very productive for us.
Q. You were talking earlier about pushing the envelope, first and third, that type of thing. You guys stole a lot of bases this year, you also were caught stealing considerably more than you had in the past. Can you lend any insight as to why that took place and what you can do to not squander those outs in these games?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: We were probably caught more times on like 3 2 counts this year than we had in the past. I think we were pushing the envelope a little bit in some situations earlier when our offense was a little hadn't quite gelled. And I think there are going to be those eight or ten maybe more than there were last year. I didn't notice us taking anymore undue risk this year. I think in dead counts where we were going to run, it didn't go into our favor as much as maybe we didn't put the ball in play as much, or we swung through some pitches, whatever. There's a lot that went into it.
So, I think we were a little bit higher caught stealing this year than we had been in previous years. But I think if you follow the team, guys that saw us every day, I don't think where we were just the Wild Wild West just running crazy. Some of them are explainable.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.