Oct. 9 Davey Johnson pregame interview
Q. Tomorrow is a day game and last time you had some problems ‑‑ what do you do to prevent from having any problems?
DAVEY JOHNSON: The time before was around four o'clock, that was a bad time with sun. The other team had problems with it, too. I'm glad it's not a four o'clock start. I think we're at one o'clock.
Q. When Mike first asked your opinion about Edwin Jackson, what were your initial thoughts?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I saw him pitch two or three games on TV and late in the season, post‑season, and great competitor. He was going to help eat up some innings for us, and he did that. He's been outstanding all year long, pitched exceptionally well, so it's good to have him here and it's good to have his experience going into Game 3.
Q. I know all season long, you guys have said, play clean baseball, if we do the things we can, do we'll be fine. Is that what you've done so far or are there things that you can do better?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Our inexperience has shown up in a couple areas, and the pitching has been our strength all year, and really didn't get too good the first two games, and that's not our trademark. But I'm certainly looking forward to Jackson and also Det, they are certainly capable of pitching good ball games.
That's been our strength to me. We haven't showed that yet.
Q. Why are you confident that Edwin can put that St. Louis game last time out behind him pretty quickly?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Well, he also pitched a really good game against them here ‑‑ I think it was here. Maybe it was over there. I think it was here. He's just a quality pitcher. He's got good stuff. You know, great moving fastball. He keeps everything down like he usually does ‑‑ great breaking stuff. He's tough.
Q. For the young guys, is two games on the road enough, or is inexperience still a factor?
DAVEY JOHNSON: You know, I thought we played two good ballgames. The starting pitching, we showed a little inexperience there. I mean, not going right after hitters and also not pitching.
Zimm I think was more of a thrower. He didn't pitch like he's capable of pitching, and that's probably is some inexperience there. But I thought the ballclub as a whole played like a veteran ballclub. I thought we played great.
Defensively made a lot of good plays. Harper made a kind of ‑‑ well, he's made those kind of plays all year long trying to stretch a double into a triple or whatever.
Q. You've been here a little while now. Do you get a sense of what this game tomorrow will mean to the city, having gone so many decades without a post‑season game here?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Well, I think it's going to be great. I mean, our fan base all year long has been outstanding, and they have been into the games as good as any fans I've ever been around.
You know, we got rid of the Philly fans and started taking up more of the space ourselves. It's been great. The guys really enjoy playing here. We love the city and we love the ballpark and we love the fans.
Q. What did you see out of Sean Burnett yesterday? And how is everyone doing health‑wise?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Sean came out of it all right. His feelings were hurt. That's probably the hardest he's been hit this year. He just got the ball up, and I don't know if it was lack of not being out there. I thought his ball was pretty straight, usually has a nasty sinker. His command wasn't what it should be, but I got him out of there before he threw too many pitches so he'll be available tomorrow.
I like our bullpen. We match up pretty good against these guys.
Q. Knowing that you guys came home and essentially you have what is a regular three‑game series here, you have to win it; I guess how is your confidence level knowing how often you were able to win series during the season?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Well, I mean, just the attitude and the workout today, great attitude. Everybody's nice and relaxed and enjoying being home.
You know, we don't have to prove anything. We proved we're a damn good ballclub. Came out of the season with the best record in baseball, won our division. We played well on the road and we played exceptionally well here at home.
You know, I like where we're at and I like the attitude of the ballclub right now. It's nice and relaxed and happy to be here.
Q. Your thoughts on Bryce's approach? He's seen a lot of pitches. He's just not maybe executing at the end of those at‑bats?
DAVEY JOHNSON: He's going to be fine. I noticed today he's back to his natural hair color. That pleases me. (Laughter.)
He has just a great approach at home plate, and had good BP today. Our guys are happy to be here. The shadows in St. Louis were something that my guys, and especially in that environment, in a playoff situation, weren't used to. Obviously the Cardinals are more used to the shadows in their own ballpark, but we are more comfortable here and won't have to deal with that.
I think we are going to get better at‑bats all the way through the lineup.
Q. You often talk about your bench; what has made it so good this year in your opinion?
DAVEY JOHNSON: Well, normally you don't have a bench with a couple rookies on it, but Solano and Moore have been outstanding.
Actually my bench became my regular left fielder, and of course, Harp came up. Tracy has been outstanding, and Tyler Moore, these guys can play, can play every day. Lombardozzi did a heck of a job, never played any outfield. He was part of the platoon system in left field. They played great.
And Lombardozzi hit over .300 pinch hitting, and that's not easy to do, and Tyler Moore did a lot of pinch hitting, hit a lot of home runs pinch‑hitting, and of course, the big hit the other day to win the ballgame.
The bench is really important. That's really the only time I manage, is I manage my bench against their bullpen and vice‑versa. I like the bullpen all year long and the bench has been really great.
Q. In the years when you were not managing, did you like to watch the post‑season, and are you savoring this, especially to get back into this post‑season?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I always like to watch the post‑season, but I like watching it more when I'm in it. It's a lot more fun seeing it firsthand and seeing these guys go out there and perform, national audience, it's fun.
These guys are enjoying it, and it's a fun time; it's not a stressful time. It's right where we want to be.
Q. Are you enjoying it?
DAVEY JOHNSON: I'm enjoying it. I didn't enjoy the shellacking yesterday, but we battled back and we had a chance. I mean, we had ‑‑ they used all their top bullpen guys, and had their closer warming up, ready to go before they got those last four runs in the eighth. It's a fun time.
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