Mike Scioscia postgame interview
Manager doesn't blame umpiring, team needs early runs
Mike, did you ponder walking (Paul) Konerko in the first inning with the base open there?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: We did, but we felt that Ervin (Santana) was going to have the ability to make some pitches, and he came within an eyelash of making it. You could toss a coin whether Paul went around that 2-2 pitch, and then hung the breaking ball.
But it's something we thought about, but I thought that that early in the game that Ervin was going to have the ability to make the pitch he needed to make on Paul there.
Obviously a lot of your guys are struggling offensively, but (Chone) Figgins seems to really be in some kind of slump that we haven't seen before. Could you talk a little bit about that?
SCIOSCIA: You know, nobody feels this harder than Figgy and nobody tries harder than Figgy and that's probably part of the reason for him banging his head against the wall is he doesn't know how to back down. He'll take challenges head on, and right now, he needs to kind of relax and just play some baseball.
It's been probably the toughest stretch we've seen him in since he's been up here, and he's hit the ball hard a couple times without a lot to show for it in the Yankees series, but right now he hasn't been able to get anything going.
I know you talked at the beginning of the series about how the Sox' pitching staff was a strength, the starting staff, but could you imagine that they'd have three consecutive complete games, plus what (Jose) Contreras did that first game?
SCIOSCIA: Well, they have the potential to do it. You never want to think along those terms because we have the potential to get to pitchers early and we haven't had some guys in our line up that are really in any kind of zone or swinging the bat the way they can. But as I talked to the guys afterwards, playoffs can turn in a heartbeat, and momentum switches very quickly. In the playoffs right now, they've got a 3-1 game advantage. The series isn't over until that fourth game is clinched. I told the guys that if we were in Tempe, Arizona, I told them we were four days away from reaching our goal of getting to the World Series and we needed to get on a three game winning streak and we'd take it, let's go for it.
Mike, considering that you had some momentum and the offensive was moving along, how big was the missed catcher's interference call?
SCIOSCIA: It was big.
Are you at all frustrated by the umpiring this series?
SCIOSCIA: Well, you know, there's always going to be calls that are going to go your way or going to go against you. That's baseball. You know, I don't think the umpiring in this game is why we're behind 3-1.
Mike, what attitude, what approach works in this kind of spot for your club?
SCIOSCIA: Well, you know, not much different than it would all year. You're always looking at one game at a time. You're always looking pitch to pitch. As a pitcher you're looking to get to the next pitch and make a good pitch. As a defender, you're focusing on every pitch. That's the way you climb this mountain. You can't be looking at Game 7 until you get that win in Game 5. We know what we need to do. We have the ability to do it. It's going to take guys to get to their level of play.
But by no means is it over, by no means is there anything that we're not going to be able to do if we get into our game. But obviously the margin of error is kind of getting on the wrong side for us right now.
Mike, yesterday Konerko said in spring training in '96 he was given the choice of going back to San Bernardino as a catcher or going to first base in San Antonio. Did you wish he had stayed with his catching career?
SCIOSCIA: I'm kind of kicking myself a little bit. If we kept him as a catcher, he'd be in Triple-A right now catching instead of swinging the bat like he is against us.
You know, we talked about Paul, he's a special player, special offensive player. He's really improved defensively at first base, and he's one of the top players in our league and he's showed it these last couple games.
Did you think you had (Scott) Podsednik picked off there?
SCIOSCIA: Yeah, there were a lot of bang bang plays there. You know, stealing second base, it was very close and we didn't get that call, we didn't get the call on the pick off, but as many calls that were close that don't go your way in a given game or a given series, this game tonight wasn't decided by umpiring.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.