Mike Scioscia pregame interview
Scioscia says team has got to line up and play baseball
Assuming it was more than a left-right thing, what went into your DH decision tonight?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: I think that from the left side, Kendry Morales is really swinging the bat well. And it's a lineup we want to take a look at. Probably through September we weren't able to because of Vlad really occupying the DH role for most of the month. So it gives us a chance to get a little deeper lineup. Nice left-handed bat in the middle of our lineup. Or, you know, should say down a little low in our lineup, but we'll see how Kendrick can do against Daisuke.
In yesterday's press conference, somebody asked you about Daisuke Matsuzaka, and within the question they used the phrase "as unique as he is." When you look at Daisuke, what exactly is unique?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, I said "as unique as he is"?
No, the question.
MIKE SCIOSCIA: The question was: I think anything that's -- I guess it depends on how you want to define "unique". He's certainly a talented pitcher with a variety of pitches that are probably unique because not a lot of guys can throw as many different looks with their breaking ball as he can. He varies his tempo, his delivery. There are things that he does that maybe some guys in our club or some guys playing here in the states haven't seen. But I think once you get in the batter's box, you make a quick study of him. I think all that novelty, hopefully his motion and his pitches you get on him and they'll wear off. You play baseball and try to square up the ball when it's in the zone, and that's what we'll try to do.
How do you see Daisuke's slide step in terms of how quick he is to hold the runner on base?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: He does have a little quicker turn to the plate, and he'll use one that's more deliberate. I know he tries to change his pace a little bit. They haven't shut down running games, but they control running games when he's pitched.
So, you know, it will be a challenge to try to get your jump and hopefully when he's in that longer kick, you'll have to try to make a read. But you know, he does what he can do to vary his tempo to try to control the jump of a base stealer.
The decision to go with Izzy (Izturis) at third, was that based in part similarly to the decision you made with Morales, to get a left-handed bat in your lineup?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, Izzy played third in the first game, also. So he's our, right now our primary third baseman. He brings a good defensive presence to our infield that we need. And he's been one of our top clutch hitters. So we definitely want to keep him in the lineup, and hopefully he'll contribute.
I think you spoke yesterday about Figgins maybe moving to third.
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Yes, we did have that option to move Figgie to third base and keep Reggie Willits in the lineup. But I think that Izzy's been not only a terrific defensive presence for us, he's been solid in the middle of our lineup. And he's hitting better than anybody in the club as far as scoring position. So we want to try to keep that continuity.
This sort of follows up on the last question: Daisuke has excellent numbers this year against left handers at Fenway Park. Did that play into your lineup at all?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: There's a lot of different numbers you're going to look at. I think his overall breakdown left and right is not leaning very heavily one way or the other. He's a good pitcher, and he's going to make good pitches and you have to try to get a ball in the zone that you can square up.
You know, we've got to line up and play baseball. We've got to try to see this guy in the batter's box, make a quick study. When he does get the ball into zones not miss it, and that's going to be important for us tonight. So with our decision to go with Kendry Morales was to get a good left-handed bat in there against a guy that's swinging the bat well against left handed pitching, and try to get that into our lineup.
With all this emphasis on Daisuke and you haven't seen him. Just in general, do you think too much emphasis is placed on the alien factor? I mean, back before interleague play in the World Series you saw pitchers you never saw before, and yet people won games. Is that a little bit overblown, that whole emphasis on that?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, he's a good pitcher, and I think there is a slight advantage when a hitter's never faced a pitcher, that goes to the pitcher. But I don't think it's going to be the overwhelming, shouldn't be the overwhelming story of the ballgame. And if you're going to beat a guy, you're going to have, like I said, make a quick study. Get in the box, see his delivery, see the break on his pitches and get a good pitch to hit and square it up. And that's what we're going to have to do tonight.
We're throwing a pretty good pitcher ourselves. So to beat good pitching, you need to pitch well. And I know Kelvim's going to give us the type game that we can get into our offense and do some of the things we need to do on the field to beat Daisuke.
Just your thoughts on Garret Anderson, how did he look to you today? How did the eye look?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, it looks puffier and puffier, but his vision's getting better and better. He had an exam today, his vision's fine. He'll be in the lineup. And barring anything happens pregame where something would sway our decision in a different direction, he's very comfortable of his vision and where he is, and he's ready to play.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.