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Oct. 10 Bob Melvin postgame interview

MLB.com

Q. Bob, how early did you realize how good Justin Verlander was tonight?

BOB MELVIN: Well, you know, he was on it early. We weren't getting very good swings on him. I thought maybe when it started to get darker, we would get better swings, but he kept throwing fastballs. I haven't seen the video to see if he was on the corners all night.

Q. Bob, how early did you realize how good Justin Verlander was tonight?

BOB MELVIN: Well, you know, he was on it early. We weren't getting very good swings on him. I thought maybe when it started to get darker, we would get better swings, but he kept throwing fastballs. I haven't seen the video to see if he was on the corners all night.

Surprising how many fastballs he threw that we swung through, because we're a very good fastball‑hitting team.

Q. Could you compare the quality of Sonny's pitches and his performance tonight to his first game?

BOB MELVIN: He pitched fine tonight. His ball/strike ratio was a little off for him. Therefore, he couldn't get deeper in the game. At the end of the day, he basically just gives up a home run to Miguel Cabrera. When he did get in jams, he ended up making pitches to get himself out of it. He pitched fine tonight.

When you don't score a run and only get a couple of hits or whatever it was, you know, you have to be perfect.

Q. How surprised were you when Justin Verlander didn't come back out for the ninth inning?

BOB MELVIN: Hey, I don't make those calls. Who knows what transpired. They don't want him throwing 130 pitches. Benoit has been doing a great job for him. You feel relieved when he doesn't come out, but Benoit's had a great year, too.

We put ourselves into a position to potentially hit one and keep us in the game.

I'm sure he had his reasons. It's not my job to evaluate that.

Q. Miguel Cabrera has not been able to pull for power, I think, Bob, since that last series that you were in Detroit. How surprised were you by that tonight?

BOB MELVIN: Was it on the inside corner? I don't know where the pitch was, but he has the ability to hit the ball on the outer third and still pull it when he's looking to pull a ball.

It looked like his approach the whole series was to hit the ball up the middle and didn't have the leg drive that he normally does. So a little surprised he pulled it for a home run, yet, I don't know how surprised you can be when Miguel Cabrera hits a home run.

Q. How agonizing was this game for you knowing there was very little you could do to get Justin Verlander off his game?

BOB MELVIN: We're just trying to get him in the stretch. Our fans are just waiting for a reason to get into a frenzy, two balls in a row and you could hear them plenty.

So we just needed base runners and our fans would get into it and pull us like they did last year. We just weren't able to get any consistency going, except the last inning where if we ran into one, we could potentially tie the game.

Our guys are frustrated with the way the game went and some of the at‑bats, but, again, we still have a lot to be proud of. We expected to go a little farther than this, this year, but at the end of the day, we did have a great season. A little more disappointing this year certainly than it was last year.

Q. How dangerous of a team are the Tigers now as they move forward?

BOB MELVIN: Well, they're not even swinging the bats the way they're capable of doing it and beat us 3‑2. Once they get hot again like when we saw them earlier in the season, there are points in the season they're as dangerous of an offensive team as there is. They have a quality starter and a couple of guys that can finish it off in the bullpen. Anytime they take the field, they're one of the better teams in baseball.

Q. Their third run, Donaldson had to go to his knees. Did he make the right call going to second? Thought maybe he had a shot at home.

BOB MELVIN: When you hit the ball that hard you have a chance for a double play. Callaspo had to pick it. But, no, I don't fault him for that. I think where he was positioned, he expected to turn a double play.

Q. Could you comment on Dan Otero's performance coming into a difficult situation like that?

BOB MELVIN: Yeah, he's done it since he came up for us.

You look at his numbers over the course of the season since he came up, they have been fantastic. He's been used in any number of roles and put himself into a position to be a guy that we really leaned on hard in late games and the first guy I call out of the bullpen to try to shutdown a rally. So he accomplished a lot this year at the big league level and has a lot to be proud of.

Oakland Athletics