10/03/06 5:25 PM ET
Ken Macha pregame interview
Oakland manager discusses lineup and pitching choices
By / MLB.com
Have you guys settled on Game 3 and 4 yet?
KEN MACHA: We have, this morning. Dan Haren will pitch the third game and Rich Harden will pitch Game 4.
What went into that decision?
KEN MACHA: Well, discussed it with the pitching coach. We felt like we would like to have Rich get two sides, he is going to throw in a side today, he is going to throw in a side he will throw on the side Thursday.
After coming off the performance in Anaheim, I thought he struggled with his release point. It was more of a mechanical thing than anything. He feels fine physically, so we thought with two sides that we would be able to get that straightened out.
We got no problem with Dan pitching in Game 3. After all, the last game he pitched against the Twins he did very well, so we decided that's what we are going to do.
Ken, was that would that change when you are down two or up two? Could that change?
KEN MACHA: That's not going to change. Dan is pitching Game 3, and Rich Game 4.
Just for the record, Ken, you want to read your lineup for the day.
KEN MACHA: It's been posted: Kendall is leading off and Kotsay second, Bradley, Thomas, Chavez, Payton, Swisher, Scutaro, Ellis. That's the lineup.
When Loaiza starts off starting like that in April, what was going through your mind when you were watching it?
KEN MACHA: I got to think, right at the end of April we played the Angels. His first pitch was 79 miles an hour on our radar gun. I said to the pitching coach, "What was that?" He said "That was a fastball." I said "Oh, my goodness." Don't worry, he will get through three, I think, because he is throwing below hitting speed and he wound up pitching, I think, three and a third, or something like that.
He had physical problems. Probably his trap muscle on the left side. His spring training was limited due to the WBC, so we had to get him out of the rotation, put him on the DL, and get him straightened out, and that's exactly what happened.
I think he was on the DL at least a month and wound up getting back in shape, got rid of the physical problems that he had and had a lights out August.
So it would be tough to judge him from his April or May, whenever, when he was hurt.
We knew that he is a very competitive pitcher. One of the things, as he was going through his rehab, we went to Chicago and talked to Don Cooper, the pitching coach in Chicago, and one of the things that he said, one thing that E Lo likes to do is compete, and that's exactly what he did for us, and in August he was one of the guys that stepped up and propelled us through August, and had a great August and got us the lead that we needed getting into September.
So it's good to have him back full strength. He will be out there competing tomorrow.
How is the personality of this team different from preceding Oakland playoff teams, both when you are manager and coach?
KEN MACHA: You know what, I got here this morning I brought a cab over this morning and I met Brad Fischer for coffee and we got here around 8 o'clock, and music was playing and guys were eating and playing cards, and I don't think there has been a dramatic personality change at all.
So I like to have a loose clubhouse and everybody enjoying themselves and go out and play hard, and that's, basically, what we have done over the time I have been here.
With how Frank Thomas was playing in Chicago, when he arrived with you guys, what have you seen from him, how accurate, inaccurate, was that painting that he had in Chicago?
KEN MACHA: Well, first of all, I am not aware of what they painted him in Chicago. I know what he has done coming to our club. He has had some huge at bats where I think the young guys that we have on our team should look at that and see how he grounds those bats out and how he goes up there with confidence every time and what he has meant to the team going down the stretch. So he has set a pretty good example of what winning players are like.
So he has been great with us. He tries to work with the young kids. He has given us great at bats every time up, carried our team for a month. I don't say anything bad about him, he is nothing but a positive here.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.