10/04/2003 7:18 PM ET
Notes: Guillen out, McMillon in
Macha also sits Dye, gives start to Long in right field
BOSTON -- After playing through the pain of a broken hamate bone in his left hand for the first two games of the American League Division Series, Jose Guillen was unavailable to start Saturday's Game 3.
By Kent Schacht / MLB.com
A's manager Ken Macha inserted Billy McMillon into left field in Guillen's place, but said the midseason pickup from Cincinnati could possibly make a pinch-hitting appearance.
Macha explained Guillen's injury through the eyes of a former player he had in the Red Sox system.
"Their bullpen catcher, Dana LaVangie, played for me in both Double-A and Triple-A, and he had the same injury," Macha said. "He flat told me that he had one swing per at-bat.
"So (Guillen's) trying to make due with that one swing -- and he's hit a couple of homers. But when it gets down to it, if perhaps they bring a lefty in there, I'm sure Jose's got one swing in him."
Macha also made a change in right field, subbing out Jermaine Dye for Terrence Long. Dye, who hit only .172 in an injury-plagued 2003, is 0-for-6 in the playoffs and has only reached base once, on a hit by pitch from Tim Wakefield in Game 2.
"I view Jermaine (Dye) as a high-ball hitter and Derek Lowe as a low-ball pitcher," Macha said. "So we're going to try Terrence out there and see how he does."
Dye is 3-for-18 (.167) in his career against Lowe. Long is 5-for-17 (.294).
Small ball: Despite hitting .194 in their first two games of the ALDS, the A's have scored 10 runs. Macha said it's all about taking advantages, and yes, playing a little small ball.
"It's probably been a little bit out of our character, but yeah, we've been running a little bit. It goes back to getting guys on base," he said. "You just generally have to play the game hard, that's what these guys have been doing."
Macha said before Saturday's game to look for more of the same.
"You may see some of that today. We haven't had much success against Lowe," he said.
The maturity factor: Macha noted that one difference between the 2003 A's and the club that dropped three straight after going up 2-0 in New York in 2001 is the maturity a couple of years can bring.
"After Game 2, everybody came in the clubhouse and it was a relatively subdued clubhouse. I can remember coming in after Game 2 a couple of years ago against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium. It was pretty nuts, everybody was going nuts.
"I think these guys have been there before. We've had a 2-0 lead," he said. "They all realize it's going to take three games. That's an obvious statement. But you're not there yet, you have to keep playing."
Macha said he's tried to feed the sense of calm all season.
"When we came back from Philadelphia (in early June) and we were eight games behind, it was killing me. Everybody (in the media) was so negative," he said. "It took a lot to maintain that positive attitude that there was a lot of the season left."
"I've been a firm believer in being in control of your emotions when you play this game," Macha added. "It's tough enough to play this game, and when you don't have your emotions under control, it makes it even harder."
Tim Hudson, who will start a potential Game 4, agreed.
"We know we've fallen short in the past of our goal, and that's to win a championship," Hudson said. "We know one bottle of champagne is nice, but there's some more bottles out there we want to get. I think the guys realize that. And we've got to take one step at a time"
Staying put: Barry Zito had mentioned after Game 2 that he may travel back to the Bay Area early in preparation for a possible start in Game 5. Before Saturday's game, however, Zito said he wasn't going anywhere.
Macha didn't want to discuss possible travel scenarios for the A's should they clinch the series.
"(Traveling secretary) Mickey (Morabito) was trying to explain all kinds of stuff to me. I don't want to hear it. Let's play ball," he said.
Grady's take: Macha repeated the mantra that playing mistake-free baseball would be the key to winning in the playoffs so many times before this series started that in conversations with the media, he even began to preface it with, "I know you're tired of hearing this," in the days before the ALDS started.
But according to Boston manager Grady Little, Oakland's defense -- which hasn't recorded an error heading into Saturday's game -- is exactly why the A's took a 2-0 series lead.
"A baseball game is a game of mistakes," Little said before Game 3. "To this point in this series they have made none. That's been the difference."
Kent Schacht is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.