October 22, 2012
The Week In Quotes
SAN FRAN’S WIN BRINGS NLCS TO GAME SEVEN
“I just tried to do really the same thing [Game Five starter Barry Zito] did—come out here and set the tone early for us. We jumped on [Chris] Carpenter there early and put some runs on the board. We played a great game. These guys played great defense for me. But I just tried to emulate [Zito], and keep them off the board early and get some momentum going our way.”
—Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong, who pitched seven innings and struck out a career-high nine batters in San Francisco's 6-1 win in Game Six of the NLCS. The decisive seventh game will be played tonight. (Chris Haft, MLB.com)
“This place is gonna be loud. I can tell you that. I anticipate [Matt Cain] coming out here and throwing a great game, us showing up like we have the last two [games]. The outcome, I don't know. But I can tell you one thing—it's going to be loud here.”
—Vogelsong, on Game Seven.
“That sounds so good. It would mean a lot to me. Early in my career, I never expected to be in the big leagues this long. Now to have the opportunity to be in the World Series, for me, I can't even imagine.”
—Giants second baseman Marco Scutaro, on potentially making it to the World Series for the first time in his career.
“We knew going into this it was going to be a tough series. We knew that we had a couple of pitchers that we were going to be facing that are tough to stack up any runs on. … So it's just kind of played into a Game Seven here that everything is on the line, and we couldn't be any happier to have Kyle Lohse on the mound.”
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny (Jenifer Langosch, MLB.com)
“I don't want these guys doing anything different than what they've been doing to get to this point. We play the game the same way all the time, whether it's Game Seven or it's the first game of the season.”
GIANTS LIVE ANOTHER DAY BEHIND RALLY ZITO
“I couldn’t be happier for him. He’s done a great job for us this year. I don’t know how many times we needed to win this year and he would find a way to get it done for us.”
—Manager Bruce Bochy, after Barry Zito threw a masterful 7.2 innings, shutting out the Cardinals in Game Five and staving off elimination. (Alex Pavlovic, MercuryNews.com)
“He was pitching. He was raising the eye level. He was in the top of the zone, just above, on the edges. He was moving in and out, back and forth. He was taking speeds off his breaking ball and changeup. That’s what pitching is.”
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny on Zito.
“My fastball is set up by my off-speed; that’s no secret. So if I can command my fastball to both sides of the plate and throw most of my off-speed for strikes, I’ll get them to miss the barrel. That’s what I’m going for.”
—Zito (Andrew Baggerly, CSNBayArea.com)
“You have to manage your emotions. Stay calm and keep the game slow around you. If you do that, you have a good chance of letting your talent be maximized.”
CARPENTER SEARCHING FOR CONSISTENCY
“We've seen some flashes of the vintage Carpenter. I was very happy with what we saw in our playoff game in Washington (Carpenter threw 5 2/3 scoreless innings). He had a very good mix of everything. Last game it looked like he was just competing. He was trying to find things that weren't naturally coming to him. We know Chris Carpenter is going to do something special every time he gets out there. You have a rare few (pitchers) that can compete when they don't have their whole arsenal, and Chris Carpenter is one of those. Now, if he has his good stuff, it's going to be fun to watch.”
—Cardinals manager Mike Matheny on Game Six starter Chris Carpenter, who has started two games this postseason. His last outing in Game Two of the NLCS resulted in a 7-1 loss for St. Louis. (Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“No question. The last time out, my stuff went backward a little bit. And then my command wasn't very good and I was trying everything I could to get outs but, unfortunately, it didn't work.”
—Carpenter, when asked if his body has yet to catch up to what his mind wants.
CHRIS YOUNG JOINS THE ATHLETICS
“He’s going to fit in well. He’s similar to a lot of guys we have here, he’s young, He’ll have a lot in common with everyone. It’s going to be exciting to see him.”
—Athletics starter Jarrod Parker, after the team acquired outfielder Chris Young from the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for shortstop Cliff Pennington. (Susan Slusser, SFGate.com)
“I think it just has to do with Bob Melvin knowing these guys so well and Billy having such a good relationship with their front office. They work well together.”
—Parker, on the multitude of trades consummated between Bob Melvin and Billy Beane. Parker himself came from Arizona’s organization in the Trevor Cahill trade.
“We had a very productive outfield last year and were able to get a lot of playing time for everyone involved. We had, in my opinion, one of the deeper outfields in the game, and I think this is another way of duplicating that. This is a really good player and someone whose talent we’ve admired for a long time.”
—Billy Beane (Jane Lee, MLB.com)
D-BACKS BRING HEATH BACK OUT WEST
"We've addressed two needs today. We knew we had an abundance of outfielders, and we wanted to add another strong arm in the pen, and we wanted to add some depth to the middle of the infield. We looked at the free-agent market ... and what was available in trade, we felt Cliff was one of the better options we had."
—General manager Kevin Towers, on the acquisitions of reliever Heath Bell and shortstop Cliff Pennington. (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com)
"In my mind, as well as I know him since the velocity is still good and he's still got the good rotation on the breaking ball, I think changing scenery and getting back into hopefully a comfortable environment for him, I think he'll be strong. I don't think there's a lot you have to do in the way of tweaking where he's at. I think it's just really getting back to where he was before, challenging hitters and throwing to contact and going right after them."
—Towers, on Bell.
“I told him that J.J. is our closer and he’ll be used sometimes in the seventh and sometimes in the eighth, and if J.J. needs a blow every now and then he might get some closing opportunities. His response to me was, ‘You know I’ll take the ball. I’m ready. I’m resilient. I just want to help the ballclub. I’ve got a lot of respect for J.J. Putz, and I just want to be part of something special, and I’m just looking forward to the opportunity.’”
—Towers, on adding Bell to the bullpen that already hosts J.J. Putz as the closer. (Nick Piecoro, azcentral.com)
TIGERS OUST YANKEES, ADVANCE TO WORLD SERIES
“It’s certainly disappointing and hard to stomach how we played here and at the most important time of the year. We feel we let the fans down in New York, and each other at the same time.”
—Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, whose team was dispatched by the Tigers after a four-game sweep in the ALCS. (David Waldstein, New York Times)
“We didn’t swing the bats. It wasn’t one guy. It was a bunch of guys. It’s hard to win when you don’t score runs.”
—Yankees manager Joe Girardi, on his team’s anemic offense in the ALCS. Yankees hitters fashioned a .157 average in the championship series.
“We just got cold in the worst four games to be cold in all season.”
—Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira
“I expect Alex to come back and be our third baseman. What just happened here I don’t think is reflective of Al’s abilities.”
—Cashman, affirming his faith in recently-beleaguered Alex Rodriguez, who hit a mere .120 in the postseason.
“If somebody would have told me we'd sweep the Yankees in this series. I'd have told them they were crazy.”
—Tigers manager Jim Leyland, on his team’s impressive performance. (Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press)
A-ROD RIDES PINE, PLAYS FIELD
*The following series of quotes recounts A-Rod’s behavior on the bench during Game One of the ALCS after being lifted for a pinch hitter late in the game, according to an anonymous source. (Emily Smith, New York Post)
“I watched him flirt with two admittedly very cute young women nearby.”
“Alex was holding a pen and wrote a note on a ball which was thrown at the women by a ball boy.”
“The girls, who had already caught two balls, seemed bemused at first and tried to hand the ball to another fan, but other fans noticed the note on it and yelled at them to read it.”
“The note asked them to write their phone numbers on the ball and throw it back.”
“One of the girls, with darker blond hair, wrote . . . on the ball and threw it back at A-Rod, who gave her a big smile.”
“The flirtation stopped once Derek Jeter got hurt.”
—The Tigers’ skipper didn’t want to see his club get cocky as they attempted to knock off the Yankees.
—And that’s why Paul Newman couldn’t manage a baseball team!
—Chris Carpenter’s response: “Who’s Mike Matheny?”
“I didn't feel like he was going to be depth at the major-league level. If we could look into a crystal ball and see he was going to be a Cy Young candidate the next season, of course we would have kept him.”
—Former Angels scout Abe Flores, on Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong and passing on him back in 2011. (Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times)
"Normally you don't take out Secretariat in the final furlong, but that was pretty much it for him."
—Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who removed Justin Verlander after surrendering just one run on three hits over 8.1 innings—and 132 pitches—in Game Three of the ALCS. (John Perrotto, USA Today)
“There's work left to be done. I didn't want to leave on a note that we still had work to do. It left a real pain in my heart to feel as I did at the end of the season this year.”
—Reds manager Dusty Baker, who signed a two-year contract extension. (Mark Sheldon, MLB.com)
"I'm extremely excited to be returning to the Red Sox and to Boston. I love this organization. It's a great franchise in a special city and region, with great fans, and we want nothing more than to reward their faith in us.”
—Former Blue Jays manager John Farrell, who was traded from Toronto to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for infielder Mike Aviles on Saturday night. (Ian Browne, MLB.com)
Jonah Birenbaum is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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