AL DIVISION SERIES: TIGERS v ATHLETICS
October 7, 2013INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
DETROIT, MICHIGAN: Game Three
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jim Leyland.
Q. Jim, about Jhonny Peralta, to what extent were you surprised or not surprised that he, after the 50 games, picked up where he left off at the plate?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I was a little surprised, to be honest with you, you never know how it's going to work out. I thought he swung the bat pretty good in Miami. We're putting him in there today to try to get some offensive punch in our lineup. So we will have to wait and see how it plays out.
Q. Talk about today's approach against their starter and how good would it be just to get a couple of early runs to break that little 17?inning drought.
JIM LEYLAND: Like we have been saying all along, we're going to see a good pitcher like we have been and they're going to see a good pitcher like they have been. We're hoping to get on the board early.
Have to wait and see how things play out, but it would be nice to get on the board early, maybe some a little confidence and get rolling a little bit.
Q. Jim, hitters are judged by the number of hits they have, but in the first two games who was swinging well without much to show for it?
JIM LEYLAND: I don't know that anybody has swung exceptionally well or exceptionally bad and maybe it's a combination of good pitching and maybe not as sharp on top of your game as you like to see.
But I don't think anybody has swung really great or swung really bad. I guess Yoenis Cespedes would be the most impressive offense since guy so far for Oakland.
Q. Jhonny Peralta, you were surprise with his offense, but what about his defense, watching him and the reports you got from the instructional league?
JIM LEYLAND: Unfortunately, he didn't get much action when he played down in Miami, just a little bit. The instructional league was that he was fine. That's a whole different scenario than up here, with a lot of shirts in the stands. It's a different atmosphere.
So we're playing Jhonny Peralta today to get some offense. And if you're going to do that, you have to live with what could happen defensively. I think he will be fine. Jhonny Peralta can certainly catch a fly ball. He's got good hands and good eyes. But it's unchartered waters for him, so we'll have to wait and see.
Q. Jim, how much does the 2?2?1 format allow to you manage your bullpen than the format from last year? Does that give you more leeway, not just how you use your relievers but how long you can use them?
JIM LEYLAND: It means some guys get to rest a little bit too long, probably, but some guys that need it probably helps out. So it works both ways for you. Guys that need a day off like it was probably good for Alburquerque to get the day off yesterday, had he not had a day off, he might not have been ready to go today if we need him, so it's a factor.
Q. What do you know about Dan Straily and how does he rank among the young ace pitchers that they're throwing at you in the series?
JIM LEYLAND: We've seen him. We haven't seen him very much, but he's going to be another good, postseason pitcher and we know that.
We got to take care of business today first. We've got to try to get after Jarrod Parker and we'll worry about Dan Straily tomorrow. We haven't seen a lot of him, but we have seen him some.
Q. Do you think it's any advantage, the fact that your players know Jarrod Parker from having faced him not only during the season, but in the playoffs last year, as compared to facing Gray who they hadn't seen?
JIM LEYLAND: Anytime you haven't seen a pitcher it's a little bit of a disadvantage for either team. Whoever hasn't seen the pitcher, it's a little bit of a disadvantage.
Obviously when you're familiar with the guy, it's better for both teams. We've seen Jarrod Parker. They've seen Anibal Sanchez. So you can flip a coin.
But it's always a disadvantage when you haven't seen a pitcher, particularly during postseason play because the stakes are so big. The kid the other day was so fantastic and him and Justin Verlander locked up in probably one of the best playoff games you'll see all year.
Q. Jim, did you give consideration to playing Jhonny Peralta at shortstop?
JIM LEYLAND: That would be an option during the course of the game. I'm not going to start the game that way, but we could certainly if we happen to pinch?hit, a situation where we pinch?hit, we could bring Jhonny Peralta in at shortstop. That would be an option.
We made several lineups out prior to the playoffs. There was a lineup or so with him at shortstop, depending how the series goes. Certainly we're not playing him at shortstop today, so we'll have to wait and see.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.