Oct. 7 Davey Johnson pregame interview
Q. Did you tell the team anything? How are they feeling?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Yeah, I had a big meeting and said, we are just going to ban the clubhouse from all you guys from coming in (laughing).
No, just business as usual. I just walk around. Talk to them. No big deal.
If I had a meeting, they would think I'm panicking or something.
Q. Is this a time when you want to stress that it's really just another baseball game, even though there's all this hype surrounding it; you just play the game?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Yeah, I mean, it's not my first rodeo, and you know, I'm kind of a dinosaur. I don't change my stripes. My philosophy always has been, every game is a big game. From Game 1 to Game 162, we take them all serious.
And this is no different. We know who we are. We know what we do well. We just need to go out and continue doing that.
We pitch well. We usually hit well. We field well. If we continue that, we'll be fine.
Q. Your managerial, not style, but sort of decisions, do they have to become a little bit quicker in the post season; if Gio is struggling, do you give him a little less rope, things like that, because of the limited amount of time you have?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Well, Gio has struggled at times during the season. A couple times out, I think he's about 50 pitches after two innings, and Gio will usually come by me and say, "Relax, Skip, I got it, I got it."
And he probably would have had a heart attack if I had taken him out. Both those instances, I think there were a couple of times that he struggled early and ended up still pitching six or seven innings and giving up one or two runs.
So I'm not going to change the way I look at it. I don't know how I'm going to react until I see what's going on. I have all the confidence in the world that my starting pitchers are going to give me five, six, seven innings.
Q. When it comes to bullpen use over the course of a season, you're pacing guys out and maybe not throwing them every single day. Do you get to this point, and if you have a lead late, bring in Storen, or the guys are going to have to wait to get their chance?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I'm very fortunate, my bullpen is very durable. I try to not over work them during the long haul. But just about everybody I have out there, can go back to back to back.
They are all, you know, a lot of them are closer types, and a lot of them have closed. So they are used to working multiple days. Even my couple long men, Gorzelanny and Stammen, I've probably been miss using Stammen all year. The only time I used him back to back, I used him back to back to back, and the third time out, he struck out everybody he faced. So I was obviously miss using him all year long.
No, I'm not worried about overuse at this time. And we have two games and an off day. We have had two or three days before our first game. They are all chomping at the bit.
You know, I've had them come to me, even after they pitched, like Gorzelanny, he pitched, he said, I'm fine for the next day. They are all very resilient.
Q. If shadows are an issue, have you talked about that?
DAVEY JOHNSON: We are going to get a quick study today. Yesterday, there was no sun. Ball was carrying pretty good. But today, it's awfully clear. I don't even I don't know, I think we've played one day game here last time in no, they were all night games, weren't they.
I don't think this is a bad sun field, so I don't think there's going to be any issues.
Q. Over the course of a season, in what area has Harper made the most progress and development?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I'd say he came up and he had a really good idea of the strike zone. He expanded it, and then he made some adjustments back to make him throw the ball over.
I think of all the guys the last three weeks of the season, he was locked in as anybody I had on the ballclub. I got some big hits. I'd say hitting wise, he's in a real good place.
Defensively, he started getting better roots. He's awfully good when he came up, even playing a position he had not played a lot, center field, but he was a choppy at first. Now he glides a little bit more. Porter was worried about him wearing down because he was such a kind of a choppy hard runner, and he smoothed that out. I think in both areas he's shown improvement.
Q. Because the Cards have only one lefty in their pen, does that make Tracy and Bernadina maybe more valuable in the Series than they would be against a different opponent?
DAVEY JOHNSON: You know, they have always liked every time Harper and LaRoche come up, bring in left handers. If they have been following the ballclub, both those guys well, LaRoche has been pretty consistent all year long against left hand pitching. Doesn't do him a whole lot of good, and with Michael Morris and Desmond and the rest of our guys are good against left hand pitching. Doesn't really do them a whole lot of good to have multiple ones. They used to always have them there for Harper.
And imagine they will have the left hander ready when we come to pinch hit for the pitcher, late. And they will leave him in there through Harper.
So, you know, one is basically all they needed. He's got a good bullpen over there. Got a lot of hard throwers. And the other left hander seems to be a little young, because last time we were here, Freeman looked like he got a little nervous out there. So they got the arms. I don't think it's that big of an advantage.