10/06/06 9:41 PM ET
Ken Macha postgame interview
A's manager discusses sweeping the Twins
By / MLB.com
KEN MACHA: You know, I think two guys you should go talk to are Chavez and Zito. I am real happy for those guys. I am happy for the coaching staff. For the most part, we have been here through all of those, and some of them have been kind of bitter disappointments, going down to Game 5 and having one play decide it.
So I am happy for those guys, and they should enjoy -- especially Chavez. Sometimes people kind of downplay his role. As you are going into September, he has not really had a good September, and today he hits a homerun, starts scoring, gets a double, on base four times. Good for Eric. Hope it has some carryover going into the next series.
KEN MACHA: This is special for me. I mean, not many guys get in this position. Fortunate to get my first job managing with a club that's going to contend, has contended every year, and get over the hump here and move into the second round. Definitely special for me, so we will see how it goes.
Does anything Marco Scutaro does anymore surprise you?
KEN MACHA: That's about the 700th question about Marco now, so -- I mean, he -- just a fabulous job the whole time he has been here. I like that when he hits the ball the other way, drives in a lot of runs. So two big hits today, solid at shortstop filling in, he was solid a second base a couple years, relatively unknown, unheralded, and a couple years ago, I think at second base he had three errors for the whole year, didn't get a mention for Gold Glove, and that was the year he filled in for Ellis, so tremendous asset to have somebody like that on your team who comes in with clutch hits and plays solid defense.
And after Game 2 nobody asked me about him, all they wanted to know about was the inside the park home run, so he played a huge role in Game 2, the last two games he was tremendous.
Couple minutes ago on TV Eric was saying that in the past, you had the big three aces and two MVPs. He thought this team wins with more of a team effort.
KEN MACHA: I agree with that 100 percent. One thing that we do well is play defense, and I look at the play Mauer hit the ball over to Eric for the third out in one inning in Game 2, and in order to play solid defense like that, your intensity has to be very high all the time, and these guys go out there and do that.
And I will mention this: I mean, when I got the job here the first year, we got Mulder, Hudson and Zito, that whole period was kind of dominated by those guys and having those MVPs.
Billy, you got to give Billy credit. He rebuilt the team, he went out on a limb and traded two of those pitchers, and you got to give our coaching staff, pitching coach, give him a lot of credit. They brought three pitchers over here, Dan Haren. Look at the young guys we have on our pitching staff, and they have been a main part of what we do here, pitch and play defense.
Ron Washington did a great job with those I know fielders, Brad Fischer with the outfielders, those guys do a great job, and the players listen to them, and they go out there and play with intensity, so we basically rebuilt that team from a couple years ago and, you know, these parts all fit. But they go out there, and you are exactly right, they play as a team and play with a high level of intensity.
What are you going to do tonight? Are you going to watch the game?
KEN MACHA: What am I going to do tonight? I am going to take a shower. I am not going to watch a baseball game, no. I think I am going to go to the Cal game tomorrow.
From your vantage point, what did Radke look like, velocity way down or --
KEN MACHA: I don't think so. I thought he threw the ball well. Every once in a while you make a mistake. Chavez got a changeup that was up, a homerun on the changeup. And actually, coming into the game, some of our hitters had pretty good numbers against him. And Milton was one of them. What a ball Milton hit, really jumped out of here.
Normally on an overcast day like today it doesn't fly that well, but still, he kept the team in the game. It was 4 2, you know, so I think he pitched well enough to keep his team in the game.
Tell me about the 7th inning, four unearned runs. Pretty crazy inning?
KEN MACHA: Pretty crazy inning, tough play on the ball Payton hit, we got some walks, another one out there and said "Don't throw anything to Frank, he may hit a homerun," so they walked him, and Chav had a good at bat, he just didn't get a homerun, pulled the ball down the line, he gets a walk and we get that error, and I had spoken to the people from ESPN about Swisher's progress, and to me that was just a huge at bat there.
Early in the year it probably would have gone out of the zone, swung at some balls out of the zone, but he was patient enough to work a walk, and then Scutaro breaks the game open. So we had some patient at bats, and I am particularly proud of Swisher's at bat.
Have you begun to look ahead to the next series yet with regard to Ellis's spot on the roster an in the rotation?
KEN MACHA: Billy looked at that already. They have got some guys working down in. We will probably add a player. They will figure that out.
Who is going to go for you in Game 1?
KEN MACHA: I don't know that yet. We just got done with Game 3 here. So I will let you know maybe on Sunday. How is that?
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.