BRANDON INGE: That's a tough
situation, because he kind of -- he helped us out
that year in 2003, he didn't have a good season,
whether it was he wasn't getting much run support
or not, he still worked as hard as he could that
season to help us out. He's been through the
rough parts of the year, and he also contributed a
lot this year to get us where we are. But the injury
to his arm, that was the decision Leyland had to
make and it's just one that he felt he wasn't going
to be ready enough to succeed for us in the
postseason. That's a decision the manager has to
make, and you have to respect it.
We feel for him because he's part of this
team and he deserves it, but at the same time it's
Leyland's responsibility to put the best team out
Even though it's been only three
games, have you seen pitching on a sustained
level that's been a step up from anything that
you'd seen earlier this year?
BRANDON INGE: From our side or are
you talking opposing pitching?
I'm talking about opposing pitching.
BRANDON INGE: I think they've stepped
it up tremendously in the postseason. Of course
Kenny going out there and putting the
performances out like he has, had kind of inspired
some of the other guys. Kenny has been a key
part in this offense, and just for everything else. Is
that what you're talking about?
No, the question is St. Louis'
BRANDON INGE: I thought you meant
ours. Reyes came out. Of course he just
dominated us. Some people are going to say it
might have been because of the delay we had.
Well, to be honest with you, I'm going to give him
credit, he came out, got strike one. We missed
some of the pitches we should have hit. But Reyes
did a great job. And Carpenter, he did a great job,
too. Weaver pitched pretty well, too.
In my opinion these guys are very focused.
They made it all the way to the World Series. They
had a little rough patch at the end of the season,
but I think they got through that. And now they're
very focused on this World Series. It appears to
me they're going to come out and try to pitch their
best game every night. That's what you should
expect as an offensive hitter going against these
guys. It's going to be tough. No one said it's going
to be easy.
Todd Jones has a reputation for
being very witty and in dealing with reporters. I
imagine he's probably even funnier with you
guys. A, is that the case? And B, do you have
a favorite thing that he maybe said that you
walked away shaking your head laughing?
BRANDON INGE: Todd Jones, a lot of
times what he says I just look the other way,
But, no, he's very funny, he is. And
sometimes I think he gets misinterpreted a lot. He
says some things that honestly he really doesn't
mean. He gets taken the wrong way. If you know
him personally, he's a very kind hearted guy. But
sometimes he just says some things that, I think
they just get read the wrong way. He's a great
guy. We love having him as a closer. He goes out
there and gets strike one. He's a battling force. To
be honest, I don't care about the off-the-field
things. As long as he's doing well in the closer
role, that's all that matters to me.
You said the time off has given you
a chance to talk to some of the pitchers. When
you talked to Todd Jones, did you actually get
anything out of that?
BRANDON INGE: As far as? What are
you talking about?
BRANDON INGE: Baseball-wise? I like
to know what's going through his head. I called
him in 2001. He's someone he's very fun to catch,
for the reason that you really don't know what he's
going to have on that particular day. He just goes
out there, he pitches as hard as he can. As long
as you keep him very positive he's going to be
good. Talking to him, you get a sense of what he's
trying to do to some of the guys on the team. For
me as a third baseman, I kind of want to know how
he's going to pitch some of these guys, so I know
how to position myself a little better.
With Weaver and Verlander pitching
against each other tomorrow, you played with
both those guys as young pitchers, how do
they compare to one another?
BRANDON INGE: Very similar stuff, and
as a matter of fact I played against Jeff Weaver in
Cape Cod League in '97, I think it was, '97, yeah.
And funny thing was, he threw a no-hitter against
us, and the pitcher that pitched for us threw
one-hitter, which was a home run. He beat us, that
one run. He struck me out with nine pitches three
times. Three pitches each time.
I know Weaver in his prime he had a plus
fastball, just like Verlander does. Weaver has
more movement on his sinker. But they're both
dominant pitchers. They have great breaking
pitches, and they can be dominant on any day. It's
going to be a matter of who wants it more.
I was just wondering, the last time
you got rained out during the postseason you
went out and ran off seven straight. Has
anybody mentioned that while you've been
waiting around to play?
BRANDON INGE: To be honest with you,
I don't think -- I mean it's just coincidence maybe,
but that is not the reason we won seven straight.
We just want to play baseball, as long as we get
focused -- I don't think that's the reason, and, well,
if some of those guys in the clubhouse need that to
think that, hey, I might go back and tell them now.
I don't think that really is much of a factor. I think if
we really focus and get prepared everything, will
kind of fall into place.
I was just curious if you remember
who was your pitcher that day who pitched the
BRANDON INGE: Matt Birch. He was
my college roommate, and he got drafted by the
Kansas City Royals in the first round. It was kind
of funny. Gave up one hit and it was a home run
and that's about all she wrote.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.