GRADY LITTLE: Well, we're still playing.
As long as we're still playing, we feel like we have
a chance. And we have got another game
tomorrow. We are in a situation where we have to
put together a three-game winning streak to come
out of this series and everyone realizes that.
So we'll get after it tomorrow.
You saw Greg Maddux as an
opposing pitcher when he was with Chicago,
you've seen him pitch for your club, is he a
different pitcher? Is he a better pitcher now
because the results would seem to indicate
GRADY LITTLE: Well, to me Greg
Maddux is good all the time. I saw him, I was
working in the Braves organization for many years
when he was over there. He's an artist. He's an
artist out there, and he always paints a good
picture. He might not always sell it for a good
price, but he's painting a good picture every time
he goes on to the mound. There's no doubt in my
mind that he will take a plan out with him tomorrow
to that game and get the best results he can get.
Is James Loney going to be the guy
at first base every game or are you going to go
GRADY LITTLE: We'll take that day by
day but James Loney will start the game tomorrow
at first base.
With a right-hander starting for the
Mets, will we see Ethier in the lineup
GRADY LITTLE: I'm still a little bit
undecided on that. Marlon Anderson has done
such a great job for us, it's going to be hard for me
to take him out of the lineup tomorrow and I
suspect Marlon will be in there tomorrow in left
In the must-win situation you guys
are in, how nice is it to know that you have
someone like Greg with the Hall of Fame
credentials like he has?
GRADY LITTLE: Well, we feel good about
our pitchers that we're putting on the mound. But
we also realize that at this time of the year we have
got to play a little bit better baseball than we have
played these first two games. Because you can't
make the little blunders that we made in the first
two games and expect to get away with them
against a good ballclub like we're facing.
Depending upon the game
tomorrow, would you ask at that Takashi Saito
to pitch two innings?
GRADY LITTLE: The game will dictate
that. But we feel like he's fully able to do that. He
was prepared to do that last night and he'll be
prepared to do that until we're done. We have got
three games, three very important games here to
go and for us to win a lot of games this year he's
had to be involved. To what extent we'll let the
game dictate that.
Because he could have been
needed, how angry or frustrated are you at Joe
Beimel, because of what happened to him and
how he was not truthful with the ballclub about
the incident in injuring his hand?
GRADY LITTLE: Mostly we're
disappointed. We're disappointed in what's
happened here. But we can't -- it's like a 10-game
losing streak; we can't look back on it. We have no
time to waste on that right now. Our
disappointment is unlimited. But we got to
continue going. We got to go forward and we got
to go forward quickly. We have no time to waste
on thinking about that right now.
You guys have been so streaky this
year and you've had so many dramatic
victories here, does that make you feel any
better about coming back and making this a
GRADY LITTLE: We always feel good
about coming back to play in Dodger Stadium.
And we realize the importance of everything we do
right now is under a serious microscope. But what
we have got to do is go out and play better
baseball than we have played the first two games
of this series and when that happens, good things
will happen for our club. And we have got to play
one game at a time. We got to win one, then we
got to win two, then we got to go back to New York
and win three. And we have been in this spot
before, it happens.
I know you've been in this situation
before, not too long ago. Do you say anything
to your team to try and put things into an
historical perspective for them that this can be
done? Or is that not necessary?
GRADY LITTLE: You know, there's little
conversations going on all over. I'm not going to
address the ballclub. We all understand the
situation we're in. We understand what needs to
And addressing the whole ballclub, giving
them a pep talk right now would -- I don't know
how much that would do.
Since Greg joined your team he's
averaged per start something in the vicinity of
about 80 pitches. And I mean obviously he's
very economical pitcher. Do you need more
out of him in this next game maybe because
it's an elimination game or because your
bullpen isn't as at full strength as you would
GRADY LITTLE: Well, what we need out
of Greg tomorrow is exactly what he's going to give
us. He's going to give us the most he has. And
when he's had enough, he'll know it, we'll know it,
regardless of when it comes. It could come with 60
pitches in the fifth inning. It could come with 80
pitches after eight. We don't know what that's
going to be, but we are confident in the fact that
whatever he gives us out there is going to be the
very best he can give us for as long as he can.
What were your expectations of
Russell Martin when you called him up and
how do you think his teammates feel about
GRADY LITTLE: I think that Russell is just
like any other young player that comes to the Major
Leagues, he's untested no one knows what he's
going to do. He's got to come in and experience it,
perform to the level that he has performed. And he
earns the respect that's gained from his
teammates, from the players in the league. And
this is just going to keep growing. And the kid's
just at the beginning and he's got a long career
ahead of him.
Your players have said that if there's
anything that characterizes this team it's been
the resiliency. You've had bad streaks and
come back with good streaks. Why is that?
Where does that come from?
GRADY LITTLE: We have done -- we
have had a lot of conversation about that and one
of our local writers and I had a long talk about that
a while back. And I wouldn't name his name, but
then I would be shorting other people, but he
knows who he is. We came to the conclusion that
this could be mostly due to the fact that we're not a
home run-hitting club. We're a base hit, single,
double, base on balls, it takes a lot of those in one
inning to get us going. And on days when that
doesn't happen, we haven't been able to really sit
there and rely on the Albert Pujols to hit a three-run
home run to win a game for us. It takes a lot for us
to score runs and when that's not happening, we
struggle. And sometimes that happens in streaks.
But we did have a game recently where we
hit the four home runs in the ninth inning and one
more in the tenth. But believe me, that didn't
happen that many times this year.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.