Q. Jim, with everybody talking about Max Scherzer from last night, I guess I better ask, is there any possibility he could pitch tomorrow night?
JIM LEYLAND: No, there would not be any possibility.
Q. And how about Sanchez?
JIM LEYLAND: I would say no. The answer to that is probably no.
Q. You know, it's such an unusual situation to be in the same situation as the year before with the same pitcher, Justin Verlander, going. Does that provide a comfort level to the team, that you might not otherwise have, having not only been through that situation, but also succeeded in it?
JIM LEYLAND: That's kinda why we pitched him Game 2, so we would have an option, depending on what Max Scherzer did, Max Scherzer would have pitched a Game 5. But we run a tougher zone with Justin Verlander and we had to use him last night.
We feel comfortable anytime Justin Verlander goes out there.
Q. Just wondering, now that you guys have seen Sonny Gray once, and fairly recently, how much can hitters go off what they saw from him in that one outing and how much is there a limit to what you can draw from, even a rookie pitcher, in one meeting?
JIM LEYLAND: I'm not really sure we liked what we saw. It was pretty good. But at least we have seen him now. It does make some difference.
With the stuff he was featuring, it certainly does not mean we're going to be in a comfort zone, but it makes you a little more comfortable, now that you know the action on the ball, the great breaking ball that he has.
This kid is a great‑looking young pitcher, so it will be better for us than it was the other night, hopefully. Now that we have seen him, it does make some difference.
Q. Could you tell us, do you expect to use the same lineup as in the two games in Detroit?
JIM LEYLAND: I'm really not sure what my lineup is going to be just yet. Originally we weren't sure who was going to pitch. We were a little suspicious that we might get Gray, so I was fooling around with it in my room just before the call, but I don't have a lineup just yet.
Q. Could you say is Jhonny Peralta somebody you will have to decide on or do you expect he will play?
JIM LEYLAND: I would say that Jhonny Peralta will play.
Q. Jim, just real quick, I know Miguel Cabrera seems to be favoring the one leg, a little more so near the end of that game the other night. So far as you know, is his status the same and will he be back at third base?
JIM LEYLAND: He will play Game 5 at third base, yes.
Q. I know this is a hard time of the year for managers with players who have played all year and then maybe something happens. But we know that Austin had a tough time against Sonny Gray in Game 2. Is that something you have to take into account or is this a case of where you say, We are who we are and we're going to play the people that got us here?
JIM LEYLAND: I think a lot of guys had a tough time with Sonny Gray in Game 2, so I wouldn't single out anybody in particular. A lot of guys had a tough time with him.
Like I said, I don't have a lineup, but I'll think about it tonight as I'm watching the Cardinals/Pirates game and as I'm off to dinner. I'll come up with something.
But a lot of guys had a tough time with him.
Q. If you don't play people that had a tough time you're going to have a hard time putting nine guys at field.
JIM LEYLAND: It will be the King and his Court.
Q. We will be interested in the lineup then.
JIM LEYLAND: Okay.
Q. Can you talk about any difference there might be or if there is a difference at all in playing left field at Comerica Park as opposed to the Coliseum?
JIM LEYLAND: Every ballpark is different, so it will be a little bit different tomorrow. But that's okay. That's just the way it is.
You go out there during batting practice, take balls off the bat during BP and things of that nature. Left field is left field, but there is a big difference in a lot of ballparks. There is a lot of foul ground here in the Oakland stadium. It does shorten up as you get into the outfield, but Andy Dirks ran over and almost made a heck of a play the other night, went a long way for that ball.
So it's different, but during BP guys will get acclimated to it. It shouldn't be a problem.
Q. Jim, I don't know if you had a chance to watch the Rays/Red Sox game or highlights of it, but the Rays were in a situation where their guy got knocked out in the second inning and Joe Maddon had to use almost everybody from the bullpen. Did you see that? And what do you think about the way he managed the bullpen? I'm wondering if all managers have that elimination game plan in case everything goes haywire.
JIM LEYLAND: You do have a plan. I think yesterday was probably abnormal. I don't think Joe went into that game last night figuring that Hellickson was only going to go that far. I don't think he expected that at all.
I thought he did a terrific job pitching his pitchers in and out. I think there was a plan to that. I think there was more to it that he had to use a bunch of guys, I think it was smart on his plan.
I don't think he wanted Boston to see the same pitcher very much. I think he wanted to get a guy in there and not let them go into a guy two or three times. I think he did absolutely tremendous.
I did watch it. I don't think he could have managed it any better and probably still had a great shot. Unfortunately, Fernando Rodney, I'm talking about, got wild in that inning and it probably hurt him a little bit more. And I don't mean that critically. Joe probably figured Rodney was going to take care of that inning and he didn't anticipate what happened and he felt they could probably score.
I used a guy that had 22 wins last night out of the bullpen. We were desperate. There was no tomorrow. You do what it takes. Hopefully I'm not going out to the mound in the second inning tomorrow taking out Justin Verlander, because if I am, we're in trouble.
Q. Looking back at winner‑take‑all games over the last two years, there is a theme that they're lower‑scoring games than even your usual postseason match‑ups. Do you think any of that comes from the fact that managers use every pitcher they have available or just from the way teams perform when everything is on the line for both sides?
JIM LEYLAND: I think in last night's case, I think Joe did a terrific job because they were seeing a different pitcher all the time. Nobody could get settled in. They were facing different guys all the time.
But the game last year, Justin Verlander went all the way. Both these guys, the pitchers that are pitching tomorrow night, Sonny Gray for the A's and Justin Verlander for us, have the potential to pitch a whole game or deep into the game. Last night Joe kept mixing and matching and showing them a different guy all the time, which I thought was brilliant.
But believe me, had it been David Price starting that game or Cobb or somebody else, I'm sure they would have pitched more than an inning. You got a big game pitcher out there for Game 5. Hellickson hadn't pitch for a while and struggled a little bit, so Joe just thought, I guess, that that was the move to make. I thought Joe did a great job.
I'm counting on Justin Verlander being stingy tomorrow night and I'm expecting Gray to be stingy as well.
Q. Jim, in your fifty years, you've seen a lot of young pitchers distinguish themselves, whether it's Dwight Gooden or Justin Verlander, Zumaya in '06, Salazar from Cleveland. Do you think maybe because the pitcher is the guy in control of the game and he's throwing the ball, are big games easier for a young pitcher than for a young hitter for that reason?
JIM LEYLAND: I would think so. That's probably true. The only thing in sports, and this is documented, the ability to hit. I think the pitcher always has the advantage, and particularly if you get one like Justin Verlander and Gray that have abnormally good stuff, really good stuff, that makes it more difficult.
So I think the edge always goes to the pitcher.
Q. I'm sure you never sat in that dugout in 1986, and said, Boy that Dwight Gooden looks like (No microphone.)
JIM LEYLAND: No, he was a remarkable pitcher, obviously, just overpowering. Justin Verlander can be that way. Gray the other night, his poise was unbelievable. He didn't ruffle at all. Just a really, really good looking young pitcher.