10/11/06 12:16 AM ET
Ken Macha postgame interview
Manager frustrated that A's did not get big hit
By / MLB.com
KEN MACHA:Well, we had 14 base runners tonight, particularly the fourth inning, second and third, nobody out, and the pitcher reached back, got a little extra and struck out the side. That's pretty frustrating. But you have the other side of the coin. We got a lot of guys on; we swung the bats okay; just couldn't get the big hit. We've gone through some periods like that this year. Let's just keep getting the base runners with that. I'm okay with that. We'll wind up getting a big hit sooner or later.
Barry Zito looked so sharp for the first eight batters, and then all of a sudden just seemed to come apart on him. Any explanation for exactly what happened?
KEN MACHA:Well, you got to give Brandon Inge some credit coming into the game. He hadn't had many hits off Barry. We tried to get a fastball, locate it on him, and we didn't do it. He was behind in the count and hit a home run. You fall behind, they're good fastball hitters, and that's basically what happened. Really, I mean, you give up five runs in one inning if you turn a double play. The ground ball hit to Chavez, we didn't turn a double play and it wound up costing us two runs there. As far as him giving up the five runs, sure, they hit a couple homers off him and he gave up some hits, but the game could have been reasonable had we turned that double play. Them, on the other hand, I think they had four double plays, and that helped them out a lot, seeing how many base runners we had. Really, as I looked at the series, because both teams have a solid bullpen, it's going to be who scores on the starters. Then having that lead turning over the bullpen, that's basically what happened tonight. Our bullpen did great work, a bunch of shutout innings there. So did theirs. It's just that they wound up scoring on our starter and we didn't.
Can you take us through the at-bats in the fourth with Chavez starting? Do you think they were maybe trying to do too much because you guys were down five at that point?
KEN MACHA:I don't think so. Testing my total recall right now, I think this particular year Chavie hasn't really hit left-handers that well. As of late, he has, a lot better. You know, the guy made some pitches with a slider, struck them out on a slider. Swisher, next at bat, got ahead in the count: Two balls, no strikes, and one of the things Swish wants to do is swing hard and hit a homer. The 2-0 pitch was a change up and the 2-1 pitch was a slider, and Swish was looking for him to throw him a fastball. So he winds up 2-2, and then he chased one out of the strike zone. Scute was the next guy. Don't have total recall over that. I think I did pretty good, though.
He struck out looking on a 3-2 pitch.
KEN MACHA:Yeah, he worked the count. I think he threw him an inside fastball and he spotted the ball pretty well there. Sometimes you've got to give the pitcher credit on that. You know, command of his off-speed to both Chavez and Swisher was a plus for him.
The Tigers, even when Barry was pitching well, were being pretty patient, especially given their history. Were you surprised by that?
KEN MACHA:Coming into the game and their preparation, they've got a lot of guys that are above 15 percent as far as putting the first ball in play. We're well aware of that. So some things happened tonight that don't normally happen. That was one of them. The other one, as I mentioned earlier Inge I think, coming into the game was 3 for 24 off of Barry, and misplaced fastball, and then you give him credit on the next one. I think it was a change up down, and he went down and got it. Regardless of what the match ups are or your preparation or anything like that, anything can happen when you come to a game. It normally does when it's a playoff game. It's just like Santana not winning the first game in Minnesota. The Twins had won 20 straight games with him pitching up there. That kind of stuff happens. You still have to make your pitches. For me, the encouraging thing is the work we had out of the bullpen, saying that we'll look at the tape, we don't know where all the pitches were that Barry made. Hopefully, because our bullpen made some pretty good pitches out there, we're looking forward to E Lo out there if he makes his pitches, he'll give us a quality outing.
You mentioned the bullpen, but you did something tonight you didn't have to do in the ALDS: Go to them early. Will that be a factor at all, that you had to go to them early?
KEN MACHA:Actually, the guys that pitched tonight for the most part, I think all of them didn't even pitch in the Division Series. That's another -- if you're going to take some plusses out of a loss in a seven game series, Kennedy needed some work; Dan needed some work; I wanted to make sure we got Blanton in there, pitched two innings, very effectively. In case we have a situation where we're going to need some innings. But not only did the guys that didn't pitch in the Division Series, not only did they get to pitch tonight, but they pitched effectively.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.