NEXT GAME – NLCS Game 6
Sun., October 16: at BREWERS: Edwin Jackson vs. Shawn Marcum, 7:05 P.M. CDT (TBS, ESPN Radio, KMOX).
VIDEO FROM FOXSPORTSMIDWEST.COM
Tony La Russa and Edwin Jackson discuss how to beat the Brewers in Game 6.
Tony La Russa's full Saturday comments (from MLB and ASAP Sports)
Q. Half a year with Edwin, obviously from the performance standpoint, what have you learned about him, seen about him in these months that you had with him?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, the things that you can learn just watching him. And we had the opportunity in Spring Training in Vero Beach, it was a young phenom. And whoa. That's talent, athleticism. You watch his career. When you get him on your side, I mean one of the first days, I remember Dave Duncan had a meeting with him, and said this guy is really intelligent. I just told him he understands what pitching is all about. Some guys they just never get in, they're just out throwing. So we've learned he's got a good idea, very competitive, and got a good personality. He's fun to have in the club. Really ideal.
Q. One of the advantages of winning tomorrow -- is that one of the reasons you'd like to get in the World Series?
TONY LA RUSSA: You know, one of the neatest things about what's happened to our club from whenever we started smelling a chance to get into the 8-game playoffs, was we took the attitude that tomorrow is the last game of our lives, which means you don't think about anything beyond that. And that's really helpful. It's solved a lot of problems, therefore, have no thought about Game 7 and what happens, other than we're playing tomorrow. It's the last game we're ever going to play. And don't want to have any regrets when it's over. If the Brewers beat us, you tip your hat, hey, we did the best we could and you beat us. Not thinking about anything beyond our best shot tomorrow.
Q. How much confidence do you have knowing that you can come here and win one, because you've done it in the past?
TONY LA RUSSA: We have confidence that we have a ballclub that's well rounded so we can play on the road. And we like competitive situations. We don't mind when the crowd is all excited about the home team. Really it just adds to what you've got to do.
But we're not -- we're also very aware of who we're playing against. I'm just confident we're going to take our best shot. And they are, too, and it's going to be a great competition. And nobody has a crystal ball. As long as we take our best shot, like I said, if we win, happiness; they beat us, tip your cap.
Q. Can you describe Shaun Marcum, maybe compare earlier in the season to now, what you're looking at in terms of his pitching against you guys tomorrow?
TONY LA RUSSA: I think -- I said this a couple of times, and I think it applies again to this question. I think -- here's my two cents. I'll give you my two cents. I think the starting pitchers, for example, and the relievers, too, have all proven, including Marcum in Game 2. When they're making their pitches, they're real good offense on both sides, they're not centering the ball, they're making outs. But these are two very dangerous offenses, and if you happen to get a pitch in the middle against either side, you get damaged quite often. So he's going to try to avoid the middle. He's a pitcher, not a thrower, so is Edwin.
If he has good command, he's tough to deal with. Same with Edwin. There's within some skewed numbers, because we got to their bullpen in Game 2. But they got to ours in Game 1. If you look at when either team pitches good, start, our back end, hitters aren't having any fun. He can do that, but hope he doesn't.
Q. Are you surprised at not just the successes that Ron's had in his rookie year, but the fact that they've been so competitive with you through the long haul, game in and game out?
TONY LA RUSSA: Ron's a well-known baseball man. And because of his association with the Angels and their success a lot of people in baseball, including our coaches, friends of mine in both leagues, have known about him for years. So, no, in fact I was very disappointed when the Brewers made that choice, because we all knew they were getting better and better. He's very solid. He's been a trusted guy in Mike's staff. And he's proving it.
We always check the other side out, just trying to learn, and not only is Ron part of that, but his coaching staff, they're good with their guys. They don't panic, they're enthusiastic.
No, no surprise. There again, I hope Marcum has a bad day, very impressed with the job he's done. It's no accident. He and his staff have coached that club, all that talent, they helped bring them together.
Q. With the game tonight, depending on what time you play tomorrow, does that affect how you do as a coaching staff and get together, and knowing your friendship with Jimmy, how tough is that for you to watch?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, it's all about the friendship with Jim and Dave Dombrowski. I think I've known Dave longer than I've known Jim. And that's the only factor. I have nothing against the Rangers, I just don't know them as well. So you pull for people you're close to. So I'm hoping that it goes 7. Here again, Rangers are really good. If they beat them, they beat them.
But as far as us, I mean we play at 8 in the morning, 2 in the morning the next day, we'll be ready.
Edwin Jackson Saturday comments
Q. Edwin, just wondered kind of your approach as you go in? Your bullpen's been doing so great. As a starter do you feel, hey, I want to get six or seven innings, or does it really matter at this point?
EDWIN JACKSON: I mean as a starter everybody wants to go out and, you know, go as deep as you can for as long as you can. Fortunately we have had, you know, luck with our bullpen coming in and getting the job done when the starters haven't been able to go deeper into the game. So that's always a good problem to have. Of course, you want to give those guys as much time off as possible, but they have been coming in and definitely keeping the game still tight when they have been in the game.
Q. Edwin, I'm assuming you saw Carpenter close out the Phillies. As a starting pitcher what do you pick up from that? What do you notice? Is there anything a little different in the close-out type of situation?
EDWIN JACKSON: I mean that was a gutsy performance. I mean at this point in time everybody is out on the mound and everybody is trying to perform, you know, and go as deep as they can in the game. And of course, it would be nice to be able to go a complete game every time. It's not always going to work out that way, but while you're out there you're trying to go as hard as you can for as long as you can whether it be five, six, seven, eight innings or a complete game. But definitely it wouldn't be a bad idea to be able to close it out with a complete game, but it might not work that way. Just go out and leave it on the field for as long as you can.
Q. Do you look over your shoulder for Tony, even in the fourth and fifth inning? It's a little different in these playoffs.
EDWIN JACKSON: I mean I'm not looking over my shoulder. I can't really speak for anyone else when I'm out on the field. I'm too busy worrying about what hitter is coming up next to be looking over my shoulder. Obviously there's points in the game where there's times that you could be out, especially when you have men on base and a lefty coming up and they might want the lefty-to-lefty matchup. But as a pitcher you kind of get to know when your time is running down or when it's not, but while you're out there you're not really worried about it at the time, just trying to get outs.
Q. You just faced him a couple of days ago. Seeing it's the same team, they see you, how do you kind of look at it, is it an advantage to pitch or advantage to hit or what are the challenges?
EDWIN JACKSON: I don't think either team has an advantage. There's neither advantage for a pitcher or the batters. I mean there's no secret what I have, there's no secret what they can do. It's just a matter of execution. Whether they hit pitches that you miss or whether you throw pitches where you want to and get outs, it's just one of those things where you're not going to change up the game, I'm not going to change up my game plan, go out and attack the strike zone and take my chances with them putting the ball in play.
Q. Not knowing whether it's a day game or night game, how does that affect your preparation as far as tonight and tomorrow?
EDWIN JACKSON: It won't. I'll be watching the game, so by the time the Detroit game finishes, I'll know what's going on. By the time you get to the field, you know, you're ready to go anyway, whether it's a day game or night game. So the preparation part as far as at night, it won't be much different.