Oct. 5 Mike Scioscia pregame interview

Q. You guys haven't been in a must‑win situation this year. How do you approach it differently, or do you?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: We had 162 must‑win situations during the season. That's the way you have to approach every game is to go out there and play your best and try to win it. Obviously as an elimination game here, there's a part to losing we haven't had to deal with, but I think the only way to slay that dragon is to go out there and play free. You've got to go out there and play baseball, and I think we have a good mindset for that. We haven't swung the bats like we can in the batter's box and that has to be point one of what we have to change to change the momentum in this series. We've pitched well, we've played good defense.

Although sometimes it's tough to see the light at the end of the tunnel, we get a couple hits and a couple runs early, I think you start to see that, and it'll switch the momentum of the series.

Q. Can you gauge the mood of the team right now, and also, do you say anything to the team in the clubhouse with closed doors before the game?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, I'll preface what I'm going to say by nobody has their heads buried in the sand. They know you lose this game what the circumstances are. Also I think everybody in that room is relaxed. I think they've been relaxed. We just haven't been swinging the bats well in the batter's box. I think that they know what they can do. They're very confident. They want to go out there and they want to do it. I think guys are upbeat, they're up for the challenge, and hopefully, although we're facing a tough pitcher, you get some early runs, it changes the momentum of the game, and we win this game, obviously you have an opportunity to change momentum of the series.

Q. Kole Calhoun is one guy that has been swinging the bats these two games. What have you seen in his at‑bats?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Yeah, the first two pitches he saw off of Jason Vargas in the series, he hit one that came, made a great play in center, then he rolled over one. His first two at‑bats he saw two pitches. But I think as he got more comfortable and saw more pitches, you're seeing what he did all season. He's grinding it out. He's able to use the whole field. He's one of the ‑‑ I think one of the few guys in our lineup that looks comfortable in the batter's box and doing what we anticipate he can do, and other guys have to get comfortable and have to get comfortable quickly, obviously.

Q. You said yesterday that you were not going to take Josh Hamilton out of the lineup. I haven't seen the lineup yet; I'm assuming he's in there. I realize he's not the only one who is not hitting right now. How close have you come to putting somebody else out there in left field, especially for today?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, I think there's a lot of ways you win a baseball game, and I think everyone here is focused on what happens in the batter's box, but you have defensive continuity, too. Josh is obviously struggling, so he's not hitting fourth. We talked about that. But as far as what our options are on the defensive end, this is our best defensive look that we have in the outfield, and he's important, especially on a big field like at our ballpark and here. He has a presence out there, and that's important. On the offensive side, I think that it's definitely worth getting him the at‑bats to see if he's going to find it because when he does find it, he's a difference maker. Josh is helping us to win games, even though maybe it's not happened in the batter's box, and there's a lot of focus on that. I think you said it earlier, he's not the only guy that maybe has not swung the bat to his capabilities. We need to get that offense going, but we still need, as I said, that defensive continuity, and Josh is really good out there.

Q. Considering how your bullpen is structured and the options that you have, how important is it for C.J. Wilson to get into the flow early in the game?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, it makes things a lot easier if C.J. gets into his flow and pitches his game, and that's always important, but in a game like tonight, I think everybody realizes we're not going to work through some things in the second inning like you would in April or May. So that being said, we have enough length to be able to hopefully not put too much pressure on what C.J. has to do early, but we fully anticipate C.J. to go out there and pitch the type game that's going to give us a chance to win.

The importance of it is, somebody has to hold these guys down and give us a chance to win. If C.J. is off to a rough start, our bullpen has to come in and do that. If C.J. is doing well, then obviously he's doing it himself and getting us where we need to be. I don't want to put too much on what C.J. needs to do, but as a staff, our whole staff is going to have to get it done if one guy stubs his toe.

Q. I think C.J. has walked eight against these guys in 10 innings this year. I know it's only 10 innings, but if he does walk a couple guys early, what do you look at to see either I've got to get him out now versus maybe he's close and I should stay with it?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, I think that's what Mike Butcher will be looking very closely at C.J. We'll all be looking closely at C.J. Again, I don't think you're going to see one guy walked and C.J. out of the game. I think C.J. is going to be in the zone pitching well. If it comes to a point where it obviously looks like he's not getting it done, we'll make a decision and try to get an arm in there to get us out of a jam if need be.

We'll see. We don't have a crystal ball what's going to happen, but I think we've all been very clear on what we're looking for in this game, and it won't be a game where your starting pitcher is into the second, third inning really struggling and it's April and you're going to let him work through some things. That's not the time for that tactic right now.

Q. Understanding it's only two games, have you seen anything different in Trout's at‑bats? It's the first playoff experience for him.

MIKE SCIOSCIA: I don't know if Mike is pressing. There's certainly some pitches that he's put some good swings on and missed, and there's some pitches that he's taken that maybe he gets a little bit passive, he's caught in between a little bit. Those guys have done a good job pitching against him, but Mike is ‑‑ he's not out there ‑‑ I really don't see him as tight. I just think sometimes you're not squaring balls up like you can, but there are a couple pitches that he had good swings on that he missed, and I think if he can just square one up and hit it hard somewhere, I think you'll see him find his swing and be productive. This guy is the best baseball player in our league, but even the best baseball players at times aren't squaring balls up the way they can.

Q. The teams you used to have you used to have a lot more speed sort of like the Royals' team now. Do you ever miss managing those kind of teams?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Is it miss managing or mismanaging?

Q. Miss managing.

MIKE SCIOSCIA: I think a couple things. This is definitely the most ‑‑ the team we've had that is most structured in batter's box offense and built on batter's box offense in the 15 years we've been here. It doesn't mean the offense is worse or better, we've scored a lot of runs with batter's box offense this year. I think historically some of the better teams we've had, if you look at '09 and you look at some of the teams we had, you look at a balance of batter's box offense with great team speed. I think the cards that you have in front of you are the ones you're going to play, and we're very confident in our offense, even though, like we talked about, maybe the straight steal isn't there, but we do have enough team speed where we led our team in first and thirds. I think we create a lot on the bases that scored runs with outs, and that all adds up to the type of offense that we have. Maybe we don't have quite the situational look in the batter's box. This is a team that has the capability of scoring a lot of runs in a hurry and keeping it for a long time, and that's what we need to do. We need to get more of this batter's box offense going.

Q. I'm pretty sure if this was July, Josh would problem I be on a rehab assignment in Salt Lake. What are you seeing in his at‑bats that leads you to believe he would be a better option than maybe Cowgill or Navarro?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, we talked about this. I don't think there's anything else to really say about it. I mean, Josh is helping us tremendously in what he does in the outfield, and it's worth getting him some at‑bats to see if he's going to square some balls up, and I think that if ‑‑ I think we've said all we can along those lines. I don't think there's anything that we're going to talk about that's going to shed any new light on this.

We certainly need Josh. We need more than Josh. There are a lot of games where you look and you're going to see guys have 0 for 4s in front of them and you win the game. We've just had too many of those guys in our lineup the first two games, and it's been something that's set us back a bit. I think there's far too much attention on Josh and Mike right now. I think they're playing hard, they're going to help us win in a lot of different ways, and what it's going to take when our offense is going is 1 through 9 pressuring teams every inning, and we just haven't gotten there.

Q. Jered has only gotten three days' rest but what gives you confidence to throw him back out there?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: I've got confidence in Jered on one‑day's rest. This guy is an incredible competitor. We just need a couple more days so his body recharges enough to go out there. You've got to recharge that battery a little bit. But in talking with Mike Butcher, there's not much difference in Weave coming back and throwing with four full days as far as when he throws his bullpens and coming back one day earlier on three days. We're hopeful that he's going to get out there and feel good and maintain his stuff, and you know, I think it just sets us up with the best chance to get this done if we get by tonight, so he'll be out there tomorrow.