Oct. 8 Jim Leyland pregame interview

Oct. 8 Jim Leyland pregame interview

Q. I don't think you're superstitious about this so I'm going to ask. What have you got going for a possible Game 5 pitcher?

JIM LEYLAND: What have I got going for Game 5?

Q. Yeah.

JIM LEYLAND: I'm hoping I got Max Scherzer. I could possibly use him out of the bullpen today. We're going to wait and see how he feels. He might be able to pitch a couple of innings if necessary. I will tend to lean on the cautious side with something like that, would have to be totally convinced we're not risking anything. The reason I would be able to do that is because we would have Justin Verlander for Game 5.

It's obvious we gotta win this one today if we want to play a Game 5, but the pitching situation is really not an issue.

Q. Jim, I know you don't start guys on short rest, but was there a thought process of putting Max out there for Game 4?

JIM LEYLAND: No.

Q. The reason I ask is because people are wondering, you've caught Victor Martinez in the past in games. Would it help or have you ever thought about getting Miggy out of third base and having him DH and filling in with Victor at catcher and Peralta at third?

JIM LEYLAND: Good question, but the answer is no. Legitimate question.

Q. To follow up on Max Scherzer, at what point in the game would you think about putting him in if your starter is a little short?

JIM LEYLAND: It's very unlikely that I would put him in if we were behind in a game. It's a possibility I would put him in for maybe innings 7 and 8 if we were ahead and Doug was out of gas. That's a possibility.

This is a time of year where it's really interesting because everybody comes up with all these different scenarios that maybe you could try this, Did you think of this and that. It's interesting, but we are what we are. This is the way we play the game, this is who we are. There are no tricks.

Yesterday if you remember, I said we're putting Jhonny Peralta out there, and you take a shot defensively, and hopefully he can knock in a couple, perform well. He knocked in a couple.

I'm not trying to act smart here. I don't do that. But there are no tricks. We got Jackson leading off, and Hunter and Cabrera and Fielder and Martinez and Peralta and Avila, Infante. That's who our guys are. There are no tricks or nothing to try to pull something out of the hat at this time of year, something different.

I guess every once in a while that happens in baseball, but if we get Austin Jackson on base a couple of times and movin' around, we're pretty dangerous. If we don't, we're not a manufacture team, we're a team that hits the balls in the gaps and over the fence, and we haven't hit a home run in seven games. There is not a lot of secrets to this.

Q. So following it up, like last night where Fredi decided not to go to Kimbrel, there is sometimes when you do make moves

JIM LEYLAND: I got my own problems. I thought Fredi Gonzalez did it exactly right. I watched his press conference and he said if they got two outs in the inning, he might use Kimbrel for an out. I would have done the same thing myself.

People can disagree with that and some people said, and it was legitimate, that maybe I went long with Sanchez, legitimate second guess. I thought I did the right thing. He's one of my horses. He led the league in earned run average. You get all these opinions. That's fine. That's what this postseason is all about, different ideas and different thoughts.

But I personally thought Fredi did the exact right thing myself. The guy was throwing 98 that he brought in, 97, 98 miles an hour with a fabulous earned run average.

Q. So Max Scherzer, does he have two innings in him? Is that fair to say tonight?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, I think he has exactly two innings and exactly 18 pitches. (Laughter.) I'm just kidin' you. He said he could probably go a couple of innings.

But to be honest with you, I know this will become a big story, so you're always reluctant, he's going to throw as we go out for BP and see if he feels like he is good, and his arm is really good. Then there is a possibility that we would do it. If everything isn't exactly right and the stars aren't lined up, I would never do it or take a chance.

Like I say, we will see how he feels. I just wouldn't risk anybody, let alone Max Scherzer. I wouldn't risk any pitcher that's going to do something that doesn't always work when you bring those starters out of the bullpen. Sometimes it does.

It's a great story, and it's a great question, why didn't you use him. I haven't had a lot of luck with that, myself, bringing a starter out. We'll see.

Q. Jim, you mentioned you guys haven't had any home runs this series. Does that shock you that the offense has been what it's been through three games this series?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, I mean, up until yesterday, they didn't have any either. They hit a bunch. I don't know that it shocks me because the pitching, particularly the first two games, was terrific. So I don't know that it shocks me.

All I'm saying is that's kinda how we operate and that's how we've operated all year. That's what happens. It's good for us. So at the same time, you don't want to sit up here and have your guys hear you saying, "We need to hit home runs," and then they go out and try and hit them, because you normally don't hit 'em when you're trying.

Am I surprised we have not hit them in seven games? Yeah, but we haven't hit the ball very hard. That's the surprising thing.