4/12: Lansing Postgame Quotebook

The Postgame Quotebook feature is a brand new addition to InsideTheDome for the 2007 season. In the Quotebook you can read all the post game comments from the manager, coaches, and star players. Check out this free preview edition from Thursday's Lansing game.

Post-game interview with Gary Cathcart:

InsideTheDome: Julio Pinto came in for the ninth inning and did a great job tonight. Talk about the job that he did in the ninth inning.

Gary Cathcart: I sent Reddout back out there because they had left-handers coming up, and I knew I was going to take him out before the inning was over because I wanted Pinto to face the right-handers. I didn't envision a first and third situation with one out, but I just told the guys we have to get a groundball to get the double play and get out of the inning.

InsideTheDome:: What happened with that final play of the top of the ninth? There was a little bit of a decision to go to second base due to Josh Bell playing in from third to get the play at the plate.

Gary Cathcart: We had the corners in for this at-bat, and the third baseman knows that if the ball comes to them on their glove side, they go to second base. If the ball goes to the backhand side they can step on third and go to first. We went over all of those options on the mound before I brought Pinto in and basically told him wherever the ball took him to start the double play from that.

InsideTheDome: Talk about how big Brian Pettway came up for you tonight.

Gary Cathcart: Brian knows this is a big year for him and he has been preparing better than I have seen him prepare. He knows what he has to do to climb the ladder and get to the next level, and when you prepare like he has been it usually leads to good things. He comes every night at seven o-clock ready to play and that is all you can ask of him.

InsideTheDome: That was a better swing on the outer half of the plate. Is this something that has been worked on during your time off?

Gary Cathcart: He knows that he has been struggling a little bit with the balls that come to him away so he is trying to cover the whole plate, especially with the fastball. He is going to be in the middle of the lineup every night so he is going to have to do that kind of stuff for us.

InsideTheDome: This has only been your third game in the last ten days, what have you been doing to try and keep these guys sharp mentally and physically?

Gary Cathcart: I'm a pretty creative guy, but this has been testing my creativity to find facilities to work out in. We've been lucky enough to have an indoor facility in town to let the pitchers be able to go there and throw, and use the cage for the hitters. Luckily, the head baseball coach of Michigan State University (David Grewe) let us use his indoor facilities to try and keep these guys loose.

InsideTheDome: Talk about Kyle Ginley's performance tonight for the team.

Gary Cathcart: He went five innings for us and only gave up two hits. He was throwing his curveball early in the count to get ahead and only made that one mistake. He hung a curveball over the plate with two strikes, to Strieby, which drove in that run. But, he was moving everything else around and elevating his fastball in some tough weather to play in.

InsideTheDome: Finish this sentence for me: If you make it back to the playoffs again this year it is going to be because of …

Gary Cathcart:: (Laughs) Interesting question… I would have to say it would be because of our bullpen and our defense. I think the offense with take care of itself, but I think the bullpen is going to be very important.

Brian Pettway was the hero of the night for the Lansing Lugnuts. He went 1-for-4 with 2 RBIs, one of which was the winning walk-off home run.



InsideTheDome: How hard is it to play in weather like this?

Brian Pettway: It's hard being from the south. It's been fun, but I am getting tired of it already. You have to fight through it and it is just one of those things you have to get through.

InsideTheDome: How hard is a layoff like this for a player?

Brian Pettway:: You get used to going through a routine everyday and when you don't get to do that you just have to fight through it and do the best you can. But, it's hard especially when it's cold outside swinging the bat. If you don't hit it good, it's going to hurt.

InsideTheDome: Walk us through that last at bat when you got up there.

Brian Pettway: I think it was a 1-0 pitch and it was the first time I had ever seen him (Bierd). I really didn't know much about him. First pitch I saw that it was a two-seam fastball and so I was reading him to go fastball out over the plate next. I knew that if I swung on a pitch inside it was going to be a ball and I was going to hurt myself with that bat. So, I got one out there and I put a good swing on it and hit it good.

InsideTheDome: Is there a better ending for a home opener?

Brian Pettway: Not that I know of, no. We had a hard time tonight. We didn't get many hits, and I didn't have a good at bat until my last one. Finally, it worked for me and I just stayed with my approach and good things happen when you stay with your approach at the plate.

InsideTheDome: With weather like this, do you have to change anything at the plate?

Brian Pettway: No, not really. You're just trying to hit it hard and not really to any specific spot, you're just trying to make a good swing on the pitch.

InsideTheDome: How important was Kyle Ginley's performance for the team tonight?

Brian Pettway: He was big! He worked fast, which is great because as an outfielder you want the innings to go by as fast as possible with the elements out there. He filled the zone up great and with Bormaster behind the plate helping him out it was just fun to watch him pitch.

Catching up with right-handed reliever Julio Pinto:



InsideTheDome: That was a tough spot to go into there in the ninth inning. What was that like for you?

Julio Pinto: I just pretend like it is a normal situation and don't go in there and do anything different. I was just trying to go in there and throw strikes while pitching really carefully. So, I just tried to throw a sinker to get the ground ball.

InsideTheDome: Once you got that double play, could you feel the momentum swing in your favor inside the dugout?

Julio Pinto: Oh, yeah. We were really excited when we came off the field and I just knew something could happen.

InsideTheDome: How have you tried to keep loose the last week with all the cancellations?

Julio Pinto: I didn't even know the weather was like this here. But, they tell us in spring training to be prepared for it. You even have to take it into account when warming up to come into the game. The coaches tell us when we are coming in and it normally it takes me 15 pitches to get ready but on nights like this it takes around 40.

InsideTheDome: You've had two really strong performances now. That has to be important for the confidence you have in yourself as well as the team's confidence in you, right?

Julio Pinto: Absolutely. Everybody knows I have pretty good big-game potential because I played during the winter leagues and I have to face a lot of big leaguers. I have had a lot of good experience when playing against them, and it helped out here tonight.

InsideTheDome: What have you taken from pitching in that league that you can bring back here and utilize for the Lugnuts?

Julio Pinto: Actually, I've tried to work more with my location. I can control my cutter inside and have started throwing it since last year in the games. I actually think my best pitch is my curveball. It's my strikeout pitch and I don't really use it often but it's good to mix it up out there.


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