Oct. 4 Mike Sciosca Workout Day Interview

Oct. 4 Mike Sciosca Workout Day Interview

Q. Your 1981 Dodgers team was the first to overcome an 0‑2 deficit to win a five‑game series. What do you remember most about that series, and is there anything from that series, from that experience, that you can impart on these guys right now?

MIKE SCIOSCIA:  Well, you know, they're a little ‑‑ I think there are little things that pop out in any series you're in, and certainly then it's you're young and you really don't understand the grind, but you just know that the series isn't finished until somebody wins the best of five.

There's not a lot of words that our guys need in that clubhouse. There's not a lot of experience they need to draw off of. Hopefully with a couple games, a couple at‑bats, they're going to attack the ball a little bit better. We're a much better offensive team than we've shown the first couple games and there's a lot of reasons we haven't scored runs. Kansas City is throwing the ball well, they're playing great defense and some of our guys are missing some pitches that they've been throwing. Hopefully we'll have a little better start tomorrow and get a lead and hold it.

 

Q.  What did you see out of Josh's at‑bats last night, and would you expect to give him another game tomorrow?

MIKE SCIOSCIA:  Well, you know, Josh, there's a lot of things that Josh brings, obviously, in the batter's box he's searching for some things, but he's playing great outfield for us. He made some terrific catches out there, and that's as big as anything if you're playing in our ballpark or you're coming to this ballpark. It's no secret that Josh is searching for some things in the batter's box. He's the type of guy you just never know, when he gets it, he gets it for a long time, and it's something our offense needs, that's for sure.

 

Q.  So you're not sure yet whether or not you're going to go with him for Game 3 against Shields?

MIKE SCIOSCIA:  Josh is going to play.

 

Q.  How did Matt Shoemaker come out of that start, and if it gets to a Game 5, no doubt in your mind that you can go to him again?

MIKE SCIOSCIA:  Matt came out great, had a good workout this morning, and felt great, rebounded well from the ‑‑ even though it was 80‑some pitches and not having pitched for a while, he feels great, and he definitely will be in Game 5 if we keep the series going.

 

Q.  There's a lot of discussion about the contrasting styles offensively of the teams. Are you looking for your guys to ‑‑ if the offense starts moving to generate and manufacture runs on the bases?

MIKE SCIOSCIA:  Well, I think on the bases, we ran the bases extremely well this year when you look at first and thirds and things that we did to create. Kansas City does it in a little different class as far as how they manufacture with stolen bases. They have more team speed and they use it. Our offense is more aligned towards batter's box offense, and it's been terrific for most of the season. We do have opportunities to manufacture, and we will, but we need to first and foremost start scoring some balls up in the batter's box, and once that happens, I think you're going to see some things open up for us.

Yeah, there's definitely some contrasting styles, the way they're going about scoring runs and the way we go about scoring runs. I think the one common thread is we're going to be as aggressive as we can be on the bases. I know they are, and they have more guys that it's probably going to show up because they've got some difference makers in speed on their club.

 

Q.  I have two quick questions. Will there be any lineup changes? And what kind of a mindset would you like to see C.J. take into tomorrow's game, especially knowing that it's win or go home?

MIKE SCIOSCIA:  Well, everyone came out of the game today. I don't anticipate any lineup changes tomorrow. There might be some subtleties in the batting order, but most likely there won't be.

I think C.J. if you look at how he's throwing the ball for probably his last four or five starts, had one rough start in Oakland. Outside of that, yeah, he's a talented pitcher, and when he gets the ball into good zones, he'll get his mis‑hits, he'll get his strikeouts, and I think he's going to go out there and just go pitch by pitch. It's going to be loud. There's no doubt about it. I think he's a pitcher that can absorb that energy and channel it into making good pitches. He's got every capability to come in here and give us a chance to win tomorrow, and that's what we need.

 

Q.  I know you said you're not making any lineup changes, but did you consider it just because of the past couple games and the bats were not going? Did you consider it?

MIKE SCIOSCIA:  Sure. No, you're always looking at options, but if you're going to make a change, you have to be pretty confident that it's putting you in the right direction. Yesterday we had some problems. I mean, Ventura was throwing the ball as well as anybody we've seen this year. I think in Game 1, it's a little different story. We hit the ball better than the box score indicated in Game 1. There's a lot of focus on some guys leaving the batter's box not doing some things. Sometimes it takes some at‑bats. But I think that we've invested some at‑bats and some guys, and hopefully they're going to start to get comfortable and swing the bats like they can, and if they can, there's no doubt we can get on a three‑game winning streak. That's what we're going to try to accomplish. You've got to go pitch to pitch. You're always looking for options when maybe some things are stalling, but we feel really confident about the group of guys that are out there and getting their at‑bats, and we're good with going with them again.

 

Q.  Would you expect maybe a shorter leash on C.J. tomorrow than in a regular season game?

MIKE SCIOSCIA:  I think that goes without saying for any pitcher in a playoff situation. It's not like May where you want to make sure guys keep stretched out and you'll give a guy a chance to work through some stuff and it might end up costing you a game, but the pitcher is better prepared for the next start because he stayed stretched out, he's worked through some things. I think everyone that takes the ball in a playoff game knows that that's not the case, and you need to go out there and set a tone. You need to go out there and make pitches. Just like we saw Jered Weaver, you saw Matt Shoemaker, I think the guys on the mound have held their end of the bargain up to what we need and continuing through the bullpen.

I don't think there will be any longer or shorter leash on these things. C.J. knows what it's about, and he's throwing the ball well right now, and he's going to go out there and pitch well tomorrow.

 

Q.  This may be kind of a weird question, but can you use Jered Weaver for maybe an inning tomorrow?

MIKE SCIOSCIA:  Well, I think you still have to piece together three wins, and I think that the one thing that we have, the one thing that we have in our ‑‑ on our team right now is a deep bullpen with guys throwing the ball very well. So if you want to ‑‑ I mean, if it's the 18th inning and it's maybe Jered Weaver or Collin Cowgill pitching, maybe you can come and ask me again, but I don't think it makes sense to put Weaver in a position to try to help you in a game where we do have guys throwing the ball very well out of our bullpen, and we're not going to hesitate to use them if we need them to hold a lead.

 

Q.  I know this comes up every playoff, but you have said before about how maybe a three‑day layoff going into the postseason may be a little bit too long. Is it kind of a challenge to be a team that wrapped up the division early and try to simulate some postseason intensity down the stretch, took three days off, to be going up against a team that played the Wild Card Game and had a little bit of that momentum or whatever going?

MIKE SCIOSCIA:  Well, you know, the Dodgers were off for a long time and scored nine runs yesterday. We hit the ball better in Game 1, I think, than the couple runs would indicate. I think the layoff does ‑‑ it's a double‑edged sword. Certainly helps you in some areas to catch your breath and realign some things and have guys fresher. I think the guys in our pen have come out and thrown the ball very well because of the layoff. I don't think it's that much of an issue. I think three days is manageable. I think if you get into some scenarios and a lot of the playoff scenarios that have come up, were up for conversation of where you're pushing division winners back a week, I think that's just out of line for what this game is about and how this game needs to be played.

But I don't think the three days has anything to do with why we're not scoring runs. I don't feel that way.

 

Q. You've mentioned after both games you wanted to keep Iannetta in for defensive purposes. Is there that much of a dropoff between him and Conger, and with guys like Gore and Dyson running late, no disrespect to either of them, but does it really matter who's catching those guys? They've run against everybody.

MIKE SCIOSCIA:  Well, those guys have more than two guys that run in the game. It's more than Gore and Dyson. There's a laundry list of guys that are going to press the action if you let them. Chris has a little better arm strength and he's got more time and has been through a lot more, and I think that his presence back there is important.

When we're behind in a game, you look at different options. If we've got a lead or we're tied, there's no doubt you want that presence behind the plate. That's what we've been looking at for a couple games.