Paul Konerko postgame interview
First baseman comments on hitting third postseason homer
Paul, was it a relief for you and the offense to kind of get in some clutch runs today?
PAUL KONERKO: It wasn't like a relief like we haven't been swinging the bats well. I think it was more the first couple games it was for tipping your hat to their pitcher, so it wasn't like relief like we've been in a slump or anything like that. When you're on the road in front of a big crowd that's rowdy and into it, it's always good to get on the board even with a run in the first.
I thought J.D.'s (Dye) hit was big, and if you can get some hits early it kind of takes the crowd out of it, and that's what happened.
The at-bat was 1-2, then you got him to 3-2. Can you talk about that and were you surprised he came with the curveball and tell us what you were thinking throughout that at-bat?
KONERKO: Yeah, I saw a lot of breaking balls. I don't think I saw a fastball the whole at-bat. I'm pretty sure I didn't. He's got a base open there. I don't know, you're trying to get a read on whether he's coming after you or not coming after you, and you have to kind of, I was trying to just resist the urge to think that he was going to walk me and start with the next guy because when you do that, you usually let a good one go. I was trying to stay in there but not try to do too much. It didn't really feel all that great.
Home runs happen when you least expect it, and that was definitely the case there.
Can you talk about your starting pitching? I'm sure you're going to have lots of phrases for it, but can you talk about how dominating the starting pitchers have been?
KONERKO: It's nothing we haven't seen all year. It's the reason why we're here. You know, they just, I think there's a healthy competition amongst those guys. You know, they kind of try to out do each other. That's always good when you have that on the staff. They're just good. There's no way to explain it. All year they've been, I mean, all five of our starters at one point or another have been aces throughout the course of the season. I don't know how many teams can say that. Garland, we just hopped on his back tonight and just rode him.
KONERKO: I don't worry too much about that with our guys. Our guys have short memories, which is good when you're going bad and it's good when you're going good, as well. We show up to the park every day. I think a lot of it has to do with Ozzie. He preaches on how to come to the park every day ready to play the game regardless of what happened the day before, and that also means good things.
When you have good games you've got to forget about those because when you're playing a good team like the Angels, those guys will be ready to play. Ozzie told us at the beginning of the playoffs, every time you win a game in the playoffs, the next game will be the toughest game to win because the team you're playing is good and they're going to dig down even harder to win that game because now they have to do it. I don't really worry about our guys coming to play. We're going to come to play, and whether we have enough talent to win or not, that's yet to be seen, but coming to play is not an issue with our team.
Someone else mentioned earlier Mike Scioscia was talking about he was your catching instructor briefly, and he said he could tell you would be a good hitter but maybe catching wasn't your forte. Could you talk about those days and what you remember from that?
KONERKO: I was going to say it was my catching instructor's fault (laughter), but no, I think Mike was one of the guys that moved me. I caught about a year and a half in the Minor Leagues, and he was the catching instructor at the time. I think a couple people, himself included, put their heads together and decided it would be best if I moved. They told me if I really loved catching I could go back to A ball, but if I wanted to move, I could be the starting first baseman in Double-A, and I said, "That's all I need to hear. Give me the glove."
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.