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AL DIVISION SERIES: TIGERS v ATHLETICS

October 9, 2012
Richmond High School



Bob Melvin


OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Game Three

Q.  Is there any reason why you would watch Anderson more closely tonight than in one of his normal starts?
BOB MELVIN:  No, not really.  I mean, he's thrown a couple of aggressive bullpens and I've said often here recently that if anybody pitches ?? throws their bullpen in game type of fashion, it's him.  He goes after it pretty hard.
We've looked at this thing pretty hard and we feel like we're in a good position with him and he feels good.  Training staff feels good about it.  It's like a normal start.

Q.  You said you would probably stay with the lineup that you went with Game 1 and 2.  Looks like it's very, very similar.  Did you give any thought to Jonny or Chris or any of those right?handed bats?
BOB MELVIN:  Well, at first Brandon Moss has been quite the weapon for us here recently, against right?handed pitching, Brandon Moss is going to play.  We do try to get Jonny in there when we can, but we're going to stick with the lineup that we feel like and that we've played here down the stretch.  And on top of that you're looking at the numbers, Smitty probably has the best numbers off of their starter today.

Q.  You have been in so many tough situations, of course on another stage, can you talk about how those compare to this situation now?
BOB MELVIN:  Yeah, we've played a lot of games when we lost tough games and we've come back and won the next day.  We do have some ?? we have some history with that.
If you look at it, you have to win all three of these games, that's probably not the right way to look at it.  We're going to go out and try to win today's game and go on and deal with tomorrow, tomorrow.  It's much less daunting to think about that than saying, All right, we have to win three games and we have Verlander on the last day.  We're just focused on today and we feel like we're pretty good at home if we have to win one game.

Q.  A.J. was in here talking about trying to put his last couple of starts behind him.  What do you feel about him as a Game4 starter?
BOB MELVIN:  Well, I think he just got a little frustrated with his command that's been so good.  And he's ?? you can tell when he's not throwing the ball where he wants to.  He gets a little confused by that.  But we have a lot of confidence in him.
What we try to stress with him is focus on the good things that have happened, not the couple of tough starts that you've had, and you've accomplished a lot up to this point and pitched a lot of really good games and know that your team feels very good about you on the mound.

Q.  There have been teams who on occasion have said we're simply not going to let Cabrera and Fielder beat us.  And they've gotten away with that.  Have percentages tempted you at all in that regard?
BOB MELVIN:  When you say ?? you said just walk both of them?

Q.  Yeah, pretty much.
BOB MELVIN:  Well, we'll take a look.  If there's guys on base, it's difficult to walk two guys like that.  We do have a left?hander on the mound today who is pretty good against lefties, as well.  But you always know where those guys are.  And for me it's difficult to pitch around both.  But we'll try to navigate around the guys that we think at that particular time that we need to navigate around.

Q.  Did you see in Scherzer what would develop into the type of pitcher he is in the Major Leagues?
BOB MELVIN:  Yeah, pretty impressive arm.  Extends probably a little unique to anybody else.  I remember the first time I actually played catch with him, the ball gets on you a lot quicker than it appears because of the extension that he creates.  He gets out there a little bit farther than most guys do.  I think the only question in Arizona, was he going to be a closer type or was he going to be a starter.  And he probably could have been either.  He's developed into quite a starter.  I know they're happy to have him.  He's a tough competitor on top of it.

Q.  Detroit adds Fielder into this lineup this season.  It's akin to the question a couple of questions ago.  But how does he create problems for other teams and what is negotiating the speed bump of Cabrera and him together like?
BOB MELVIN:  It's not an easy task.  You look at the numbers and they both have knocked in over a hundred runs and both of them hit 30?plus homers, so somebody is pitching to them.  It's not like they're not getting anything to hit and they haven't had good seasons.  There are times you can't pitch around those guys and you have to go after them.  And we feel good about our staff.
Again, it's very difficult to pitch around both.  So we'll take it inning by inning and, again, we know where they are in the lineup and we'll do the best we can.  It's not like those are the only two guys in the lineup that hit the ball, either.  They have a pretty good lineup.  Just because you pitch around other guys, they have one of the better offensive teams and we have one of the better pitching staffs.  Tonight should be a nice little competitive game to it.

Q.  When you consider the lack of shutdown innings for you guys so far this series, home field advantage tonight, maybe less about the environment and simply more getting those last at?bats?
BOB MELVIN:  It could be.  You always have that feeling at home that you have the advantage.  You do have the last at?bat.  We've had four team walk?off wins here.  We feel really good about games, whether they're close or not at the end that we have some experience winning those games.  It's always nice to get on your home field and know you have the last at?bat.

Q.  When you're facing elimination and you've got your whole staff available, how hard or easy is it to manage when you know that there might not be a tomorrow?
BOB MELVIN:  I think it's ?? really after we lose Game 1, that's the feeling, you have to run your best out there as long as you can.  And we're going to run our best pitching out there, at whatever particular time it is.  A lot of if is going to have to do with how far Brett goes in the game, how many pitches he throws and where we are at that point.  But you don't save anybody, certainly not tonight when we have to win tonight's game.

Q.  In '07 with the Diamondbacks, you guys swept the Cubs and had to wait five days to play the Rockies, that didn't go so well.  Was there anything from that layoff, and anything teams can do during that time to stay sharp?
BOB MELVIN:  It is difficult.  And the Rockies had to go through the same thing.  I think they had even a longer layoff before the World Series started.  You try to simulate games and do the best you can.  The flip side is you don't get it done in a hurry, I think if you can get it done in a hurry, you'd rather go that route and then deal with the other variables.  It is what it is.  You try to win as soon as you can and deal with it.

Q.  What did you think of that throw Garcia made the other day on Crisp and what kind an impact does an outfielder's arm like that have on a series like this?
BOB MELVIN:  At the time it was a big play.  How the game ended up, you go back and you look at some of the things that get lost in what happens at the end of games, and that was certainly a key play.
Coco is one of the better base runners in the game, makes a great slide.  They had to make a perfect throw to get him and a great tag on top of it.  You can see why they're excited about Garcia, he's got a chance to be an all?around player, offensively and defensively, as well.  And he showed it on that play.


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