Oct. 8 Davey Johnson pregame interview
Q. How is Espinosa doing? Is he fully healthy with the shoulder after watching him play yesterday?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Yeah, he's healthy. I think he's just a little amped up. He finished the season kind of being a little overly aggressive, and I think the situation's kind of pushing him to be a little overly aggressive.
But he's tough and he's smart. He'll be all right.
Q. How do you feel about post season games starting at different times? How does that affect the game as we perhaps saw yesterday?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Well, we've played in shadows all the time, so it's no big deal. I hope that the only point I'm concerned about is the one at home; I hope it's not four o'clock. Outfielders, we have a terrible sun field, and I hate for games to be decided because somebody happens to hit one in the sun. That's a four o'clock about four, five o'clock, that's when the sun is really terrible at our place. But used to having shadows; that's part of it.
Q. You talked all spring about wanting to improve your bench and that that was an area that you were focused on. Is yesterday an example of what can play out for you when you have a bench as talented as you do?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I mean, you know, the only time you really manage is after about the fifth or sixth inning when it's your bench against his bullpen, and vice versa. And it has to be flexible; you need guys that can get on, that can run, but you have to have run producers.
Obviously last year, you know, we were more table setting kind of bench, and with speed and defense on the bench. But that's the only time, really, you control the matchups; and having the bench I have this year with, some guys that can drive in runs, makes it easy for me.
Q. I know how much you hate this playoff format, but now that you guys have the first game, I guess does it change your view at all knowing that you're going to go home in a good position no matter what happens today?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Well, I don't hate this part of the format. I hated all the hoopla about being the wild card. 161 games and you get a wild card, and you don't get a five game series; you get a one game series. That's the only thing the pressure was on, to me, to win the division.
But the five games series, away or at home, we are pretty good on the road, just about the same as we are at home, so I don't mind that at all.
Q. Were you anticipating Mike (Matheny) going to Rzepczynski in the eighth?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I knew that I was going to be able to control the matchup. And both of them have been very good in that situation. Tracy has been good against left hand pitching. I think he hit .300 against left hand pitching and drove in some big runs.
But magnitude of this game, I was definitely going to have a right on left, or if they had Boggs in, I would have brought in he was going to face Tracy.
Q. Matheny and the job he's done as a rookie manager, what do you think of the job he's done over here?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I think he's done a great job. He's shown patience. That's the toughest thing. It's not easy replacing a Hall of Fame manager like Tony La Russa. But I thought it was a great pick. He's done a great job, being an ex catcher. I think he's handled the pitching staff great, and that's the biggest job you have sitting in this chair, handling that staff.
Q. I don't know if you felt like early in the game yesterday any of the guys were showing nerves or not, but do you think just getting the first one done and winning it, they might come out a little calmer and looser today.
DAVEY JOHNSON: No, I didn't see any the only jitters I saw was from Gio. I thought he was a little jittery. But I thought, you know, we played a heck of a ballgame. I thought guys were even keel. That eighth inning where Desi threw out the guy at home, turned the double play, we had a couple good double plays on tough balls. I thought we played outstanding for being fairly new to this format. I was proud of them.
Q. Jordan doesn't really go too much high or low emotionally; does he strike you as the kind of guy that won't get rattled at all by a stage like this?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Jordan is kind of quiet, but the more you get to know him, he puts in the digs into guys. He's very aware of what's going on. He's had great presence on the mound. He knows he's got good stuff and he attacks hitters. He's pitched arguably as good as any guy has all year. Sometimes when he's had too much rest, he's shown a tendency to kind of jump at the hitters, but I think he's overcome that tendency. I like where he's at.
Q. Ian has told us every now and then that he wants to manage some day when he's done playing. How do you evaluate him as a potential managerial candidate in the future?
DAVEY JOHNSON: (Laughing). Well, he's been telling pitchers what to throw all year long, so (Laughter.) I have to ask him how many things that I do that he doesn't like, so maybe I can correct some things I've been doing. He's a smart young player, very talented. He'd be a good candidate.
Q. Can you share your lineup for today, please?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Same as yesterday. Just a different pitcher.