Oct. 11 Bob Melvin pregame interview
Q. You guys saw Verlander in Game 1. What, if anything, will your approach be like tonight against him?
BOB MELVIN: We've actually seen him a couple of times recently. We got him toward the end of the year, too. One of the things you try to do is drive the pitch count up. Sometimes it's tough to do. And a lot of times he's out there for 130 pitches. So even if you do it, it's difficult to get him out of the game. Try to get him a little bit early on where he's not in his rhythm yet. There's certain ways you try to go about it over the course of the game. But he's a tough customer and don't miss a mistake when you get it.
Q. You've had a little time to reflect on last night's game. What are your thoughts on it now with a little bit of time, and how would you say your team's demeanor is today?
BOB MELVIN: I think the same as we've been. It's been the same thing here the last three games. We know we have to win. So you don't go any farther than today's game, and that's the way we'll remain as far as philosophy goes. It was a very exciting game. And we've to an extent seen that movie before, as far as the walk off goes, but maybe not under the same circumstances as last night. But when Reddick gets a hit to lead it off and Donaldson doubles, and now the fans are in it big time. We had a good feeling once we got in that position. Our approach will be the same every day.
Q. You talked a little bit about the evolution of your offense. The first two months you were not very good at offense. Maybe since early June, maybe since you got Brandon Moss, your production is different.
BOB MELVIN: Significantly different. We're a different team since then offensively. The pitching has been consistent for the entire season. It's the offense that's taken significant strides since June. We feel like up and down the lineup we have guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark, and that's certainly been a key factor for us. In the postseason you're facing seems like an ace every day, and the runs are more at a premium. And bigger hits in a timely fashion in the postseason come into play more so. We haven't hit the ball out of the ballpark like you've seen us do in the second half. The intense at bats late in the games for the better part of the season still remain. And I think that's how we snuck one out yesterday.
Q. The fact that you've recently played a do or die game for the division title, do you think that kind of benefits you at all, having been through that experience tonight?
BOB MELVIN: Yeah, maybe so. Maybe not with the ramifications of the last couple nights. But it wasn't just last night. It was the night before, too. So we're playing under the same circumstance every game. I probably you think that maybe it lends a little bit toward the end of the season, but we were in the postseason, what was it, two games before the end and we had to win out to win the division. But a little bit different in the postseason.
Q. You've had a little bit of a lineup tweak today?
BOB MELVIN: Yeah, just a minor tweak. We'll go with a hot hand, Smitty probably swinging a little bit better, but that doesn't mean Moss's spot doesn't come up in a bigger situation. We still have a lot of confidence in him. It was Smitty last night in the 7 hole where that situation comes up. So you never know how it's going to play out. But you might want to get an at bat, one more bat in the game or a guy up earlier in the game, and Smitty is swinging the bat pretty well.
Q. Any reflections on the Giants' win this morning, a nice example for your players to watch a team come from 2 down to win it?
BOB MELVIN: Yeah, maybe so. Congratulations to them. Having to go on the road to do three games in a row is doubly tough. So, yeah, I think everybody was watching it. We're pretty focused on what we're doing here, but it was quite the run to go into Cincinnati the way they were beat the first two games and then win three in a row, and I think gives any team a little more hope that's down.
Q. Reddick obviously had a big hit to start the rally last night. He and Moss have both struggled in the series. Anything you notice as to maybe why they're not as productive as during the season?
BOB MELVIN: Again, pitch pretty tough. Scherzer didn't throw much in the middle of the plate at all last night. That was a struggle. You try to have a game plan and be ready for mistakes, and the ball is over the middle of the plate. We just weren't getting any. I think a lot of it has to do with the way these guys have been pitched to this point. I know each and every game is magnified here in the postseason, but I think a lot of it has to do the way they're being pitched and they're not getting many mistakes to hit at this point.
Q. I know you don't like to look too far ahead, especially in these circumstances, but your team has been so grateful about the fan support and really excited about it, and the team's just announced that the third deck will be open up for the ALCS, what do you think about adding 11,000 more people?
BOB MELVIN: To me it's going to be louder. We certainly need to get there first, we don't get ahead of ourselves. Boy, it's loud to begin with. I was having a tough time communicating with my coaches in the 9th inning it was so loud. And you put another 12,000 people, it will be deafening.
Q. Is overthrowing the biggest obstacle for any pitcher coming into tonight's team? And are you monitoring your guys initially right out of the gate, anybody that comes into the game more so closely than you normally would?
BOB MELVIN: I don't know if it's overthrowing as much as it is trying to stay in your rhythm. You can get out of your rhythm based on more adrenaline. As a pitcher you have to take a step back and concentrate on that particular pitch. Guys will just get ahead of themselves a little bit and that's what appears to be overthrowing. But I think it's more just the adrenaline that you have to monitor and the adrenaline you have to deal with, once you're in your normal routine during the season not so much. We're in the postseason, that's something else you have to deal with.
Q. As a Bay area native who played for the Giants in the season before they went to the World Series, what are your recollections of that time, not just the series itself and the earthquake, but the A's and Giants playing each other in such a big event?
BOB MELVIN: I left the year before that. But it was boy, the spotlight of the baseball world was here in the Bay Area, and that's kind of cool. We feel it some during the Bay Bridge series, but to do that in the postseason is unbelievable. I remember how emotional it seemed like every game was. And now it gets broken up by the earthquake. And I don't think that's ever been done in a series before. So there were some other things that were added on that. And on top of that I believe it was a sweep. So it just seemed like it was kind of a long time it was the longest series ever, based on the fact that it was shut down for a while and there were a lot of things that happened in that series that haven't happened in other series. But once it started it was good to feel that the spotlight was really on the Bay Area.
Q. Were you pulling for the Giants at the time?
BOB MELVIN: You know what, they just traded me the year before (laughter). To be honest, I don't know that I could say I was pulling for them at that point.
Q. Could you envision one or another of the pitchers who we're used to seeing as a starter, being used in this game for some situation?
BOB MELVIN: I don't see that for us. I'm not sure with them. But we have an 8 man bullpen. There's nobody that's not available today, I think less than unless you're looking at a 15 inning game or something like that, maybe that happens. But I don't think that's a factor for us today.
Q. Did you hear Balfour in the dugout in the 9th inning, apparently he was pretty vocal?
BOB MELVIN: I couldn't hear anything in the dugout than the fans. It doesn't surprise me that he was vocal, that's the way he gets himself going. But I personally didn't hear him, no.
Q. What's the situation with Reddick's eye injury, is there any concern about it?
BOB MELVIN: Eye injury?
Q. He was talking about it on the radio on the way in.
BOB MELVIN: Maybe he contracted something on the way here. I don't know, it hasn't come across my desk. He's in the lineup and it's not something I've heard anything about it.
Q. After Girardi pinch hit for Alex Rodriguez last night and it paid off and Bruce Bochy moved Lincecum to the bullpen, what do you see as far as creative management?
BOB MELVIN: Those were tough moves to make. Pinch hitting for a game that's going to be a Hall of Famer. We firsthand saw that when we were there, Ibanez hit dramatic late game home runs. He's trying to go with the best matchup he can. It's difficult to do with a guy like that. But it certainly turned out to be the right thing to do. If there's ever a time to do things like that it's in the postseason when everything means so much more.