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Brandon Inge pregame interview

Brandon Inge pregame interview

I know you hate not playing, so what has all this downtime done to you?

BRANDON INGE: Well, for someone who has extreme ADD, I don't have much time to do anything. I sit around and try to pass time as much as I can. It's kind of good, though, in a way, because you get to talk baseball with some of the guys and some of the pitchers that you don't have time to a talk to enough. It kind of works out well. But the only bad thing is you sit around, you want to play, you're very anxious, it's a World Series baseball game and something you're very excited for and you have to wait and wait and wait. It's very tough to do.

How do the players feel for Mike Maroth not getting a chance to be in the World Series? He lost so many games in 2003.

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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 there.

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' pitching.

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, anyway. 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?

Baseball.

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 one-hitter?

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.

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