I don't think you ever, this time of year, feel comfortable with anything. But Max Scherzer was as advertised, and had a lot of foul balls off Tilly, which was a credit to both him and their hitters.
But we strung together a lot of good at bats and gave us some margin for error.
Q. Buck, speaking of errors, how big was that Rule 9 error to make things snowball there a little bit there?
BUCK SHOWALTER: That's a tough play. He's got a twin or hop, somebody can run, he could have scored either way. But I thought Alejandro and Bobby Dickerson were very opportunistic there, taking advantage of that, first of all coming over to the ball to start with. A lot of guys are passive and try to stay there. The thing we try to tell them, if you can get past it, as opposed to where it was hit, and that was a great read for him.
Also, there's a lot of runners that don't give a third base coach to send you there.
Q. Buck, you used the bullpen a little differently than you did earlier in the year.
BUCK SHOWALTER: I figured you would notice that, Rich.
Q. But your strategy in using Miller and bringing Zach in in the eighth, can you talk about your reasons for doing that?
BUCK SHOWALTER: We talked about things change, it's the postseason.
We've talked to 'em since the season was over about how this was going to work. There aren't guys strolling down there after the fifth inning, like some of them do. The way we have normally used them, they know that it's all hands on deck. And it felt like that spot of their order was good for Andrew. And the next group of guys was good for Darren. I knew that I would pitch Zach in the eighth inning. I would have ran Zach back out there, but he had over a 40 minute delay there, not delay, it's the wrong word, time between pitches, so just didn't like him doing that again.
Q. Buck, would you say your strategy on using bullpen arms has evolved through the years? It's not something you see commonplace for managers to bring in one of their best relievers in the sixth inning, even if it is the heart of the order.
BUCK SHOWALTER: I thought it had to do with the Detroit Tigers and making Chris work so hard for it. And a lot of it had to do with they had three or four days off and were ready to go multiple innings. All those things through the year where you don't bring 'em up, and you're not double barrelling everything, this is the time of year you're able to reap some of those benefits.
But the bottom line is they're good pitchers. When you have more than one good relief pitcher, you can do that. If not, you're trying to -- believe me, I would like to see Tilly pitch seven innings. He had the stuff to do it with, but they wouldn't let him do it.
Q. You talked about taking in the moment, when Nick Markakis wasn't here in 2012, how great was that early on to see him with a single and drive in what was the go ahead run?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Everybody got it. There were so many unspoken things and just a look at each other. I don't want to get too -- but with Nick and a lot of our guys, it's just so many little things you want to step back and take in. He may not wear it on his sleeve, but trust me, there is a lot of burn underneath him in a good way. He's a poster. He posts up! He's a consistent human being and consistent father, husband, he's just consistent in his life, a guy you can count on.
Q. You mentioned Chris having the stuff to go seven innings, but do you feel, given the depth and quality of your bullpen, you don't necessarily need an overwhelming start from your guys to match their --
BUCK SHOWALTER: No, we would like to have an overwhelming start. I'm in. I know the bullpen guys were, but this time of year, with the off days and everything that's going on, it's a different season. It's a different set of rules. And, you know, Spring Training is different. Everything is different. Now your team has to make the adjustments and I think our guys know that.
We got to figure out how to win two more games from these guys. It's going to be tough.
Q. You talked about Chris' stuff, a little bit on his grit and being there for you, and maybe the biggest out of the game, his final out in the fifth inning.
BUCK SHOWALTER: Uh huh, it was. Chris is a guy that -- it's tempting, I think he threw strike three to Kinsler, didn't quite get the call. One of those borderline things. Of course I'm bias about it. But he doesn't wallow around. And he knows, he's smart enough to know that's his last hitter, and he emptied the tank that inning. I've been real proud to watch him come along as a pitcher for us and as a teammate.
Q. Could you talk about Ryan Flaherty, what he's battled through this year, 20 for 66 in September and a couple of really good at bats tonight.
BUCK SHOWALTER: Yeah, and caught the ball well for us. Ryan's been a contributor all year. Sometimes by not even playing, the things that he allows us to do with some other players and that safety valve there. He's going to end up with close to 300 plate appearances and can play six positions for us at a level that doesn't make you hesitate playing him. It's allowed us to keep a lot of our guys healthy this year, where he can spell 'em now and then, as you've seen.
Q. What do you think of the atmosphere? Was it loud as you were expecting?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Yeah, I kept waiting for them to open the gates during BP. We were getting ready to invent another group to hit, but that was fun when everybody came in. I don't care how much you do this, you do feed off that. If you don't get that, you're way too cold for this time of year.
That was pretty special, fun to watch. I felt like I wish I had a towel. (Laughter.)