October 6, 2014
The Week in Quotes
September 30-October 5
BUMGARNER SHUTS OUT PIRATES IN NL WILD CARD GAME
“It was a different game that he pitched, a different game than we'd scouted. He used all of his pitches. He was able to get his fastball in tight with the right-handers. He was able to spin the ball late. He also knew how to elevate. I mean, he had it working tonight.”
—Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, on Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner’s complete-game shutout (Tom Singer, MLB.com)
“It was just a big game for us. Obviously it was win or go home. Maybe I was a little selfish because I wanted a complete game. I really wanted to stay out there.”
—Bumgarner, on going the distance and finishing the game with an 8-0 lead (Henry Schulman, San Francisco Chronicle)
“You know, it's obviously cool to do something like that, but you can't hit a grand slam without the guys in front of you getting on base. So it's kind of a team thing in that sense and I'm just glad it helped us get a win. That's what matters, in the end.”
—Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford, on hitting the first postseason grand slam by a shortstop (Paul Casella, MLB.com)
ORIOLES AND ROYALS PUNCH TICKETS TO ALCS
“I think we’re over the stage of ‘happy just being there.’ We know this group is for real. The city knows this group is for real. I think the rest of the world is starting to find out we’re for real.”
—Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, after completing the ALDS sweep of the Angels on Sunday. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)
"Our homegrown players were huge for us. I told the boys with about a week to go, look, some of you guys haven't had years that you really wanted to have, but we get to the playoffs, nobody is going to remember that, and we've gotten to the playoffs now. Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, these kids are all stepping up big-time and putting us in the position that we're in now. "
—Royals manager Ned Yost, after Sunday’s win. (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com)
“When Billy Butler steals a base, you know it’s your night.”
—Royals outfielder Lorenzo Cain, referring to Billy Butler’s first stolen base since the 2012 season. (Rustin Dodd, MLB.com)
“The fans were tremendous. That was incredible. They are passionate and they have every right to be. We are giving them a good product on the field and they are responding, even better than how we are playing. They are tremendous out there.”
—Butler, on clinching the ALDS sweep in front of the home crowd. (Jesse Sanchez, MLB.com)
“The thing I’m most excited about is the players getting an opportunity to do this and trying to have an impact on their lives. I mean, I got it. I’m a ship passing in the night. This is fun to watch and believe me, I’m happier than you can imagine. But most of it comes from getting to see the players get what they put into it.”
—Orioles manager Buck Showalter, after winning his first MLB playoff series as a manager. (Dan Connolly, Baltimore Sun)
“Sure, I did. What do you define hesitation as? Nobody's that smart. Just needed a little karma, change the way that inning was going. Had a lot of faith in Zach and there is a lot of factors going on there."
—Showalter, when asked if he had any hesitation about intentionally walking the potential winning run in order to set up a potential double play in the ninth inning of Sunday’s game. Closer Zach Britton rewarded his skipper’s decision moments later by inducing the series-clinching double play. (Gregor Chisholm, MLB.com)
“All of us in the dugout are sitting there guessing, what's the right move? Whatever he does seems to be the right one. I've had a lot of great coaches, a lot of great managers, but I don't know that I've ever seen anybody as prepared as Buck Showalter. I think it pays off. I think the staff as a whole is really, really special and I think it goes a long ways.”
—Orioles reliever Andrew Miller, on Showalter’s decision.
“Well, any time you make a decision on something and it doesn't work, you kick yourself. I kicked myself all night. That's human nature. But we also have a reason for that move. The reason for that move, as I explained it last night, was Buster missed a breaking ball on him, hit a deep fly ball to right field on a fastball, hit a first-pitch slider and lined it to third base that Anthony (Rendon) made a great play on. To say, OK, we need Drew ready for Buster. We gave Jordan the opportunity to go out there and complete the game. But knowing that if he gets in trouble, that we have our closer up and available and ready - that's standard practice. You kick yourself any time it doesn't work. However, you have to put your guys in a position to do their jobs and what they do. So that being said, I don't have a problem with it. It didn't work out. But we've got our best guy, who is the closer, coming in to pick up the guy that just gave us all he had for 8 2/3.”
—Nationals manager Matt Williams, on his reasoning behind removing Jordan Zimmermann from Game Two of the NLDS with two outs in the top of the ninth inning (Dan Kolko, MASN Sports)
“I’ve never been a part of nothing like that. But we kept fighting. We kept fighting. We didn’t give up. And that’s how we’re coming for the rest of the postseason. We’re not giving up, no matter if they take the lead or not. We’re going to be ready.”
—Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson, after last week’s thrilling AL Wild Card game win over the Athletics. (Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star)
“I think he called a lot of bad calls today. My last at-bat, I think the second strike was too high, and the last one, too. I don't want to get thrown out of the game, but in that situation, in that moment, you're not thinking about getting thrown out of the game. In that moment, I wanted to be on base and help the team to win.”
—Nationals second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera, on being ejected from Game Two of the NLDS for arguing a called third strike in the bottom of the tenth inning (Andrew Simon, MLB.com)
“It stinks. The guys we have in this clubhouse, we definitely feel like we had a very good baseball club. Definitely good enough to be still playing right now. It stinks, because this is the best team I've ever been on. To get knocked out in the first round, it's never fun. Hopefully everybody uses it as a little bit of motivation ... and we can get ready to do something special next year.”
—Tigers starting pitcher David Price, after his club was swept by the Orioles. (Adam Berry, MLB.com)
“The dude ate like a horse. My dad still talks about how much he’d eat every morning. It was an asinine amount of food.”
—Madison Bumgarner’s high school teammate and friend Jimmy Messer, on some of the factors behind to Bumgarner’s success. (Ron Kroichick, SFGate)
“Everybody just kept saying, 'Let's see what happens.' What other choice do we have? Just keep battling and we strung some hits together and next thing you know, Carp has the big double and we got a lead. So baseball's a crazy game and we were able to come back. It was quite a task.”
—Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday, on scoring eight runs in the seventh inning against the Dodgers in Game One of the NLDS, with six runs coming off Clayton Kershaw (Rick Hummel, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
“Simply put, if we don’t have Jon Lester, I don’t think we make the playoffs. The Angels were going to catch us. They played nearly .700 ball from a certain point. If you go back to my quotes from when we made those trades, despite the fact of where we were, at no point were those trades made for the playoffs. I was adamant about it. I could feel the Angels breathing down our necks.”
—A’s general manager Billy Beane, responding to criticism in hindsight about the swap that sent Yoenis Cespedes to the Red Sox in exchange for Jon Lester and Jonny Gomes. (Justin Leger, NESN.com)
“We definitely have to treat it as a regular start,” Fister said. “You can’t all of a sudden change your plan or your routine or anything else. For me, I really tend to try and block out as much as of the exterior influences that can occur, whether it’s fans, whether it’s media, whatever it may be. You know, I try and go about my day the same as I have for the last six months, whatever it is. When it comes time to get up on the mound and play in front of whatever it is, 45,000, 50,000 people, I tend to take a second, step off the mound, look around, soak it in and then let it go and get back to business.”
—Nationals pitcher Doug Fister, who will take the hill for his team on Monday. The Nationals are currently down 2-0 to the Giants and face elimination. (James Wagner, Washington Post)
“Just looking zone. Just looking for something to drive. He did throw me a fastball yesterday, I hit it pretty hard, but tonight he tried to get me with a couple of sliders, I laid off some tough ones that were close on the plate, but he left one just out on the plate that I could do something with and I put a good swing on it.”
—Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, on hitting a go-ahead home run in the eighth inning of Game Two of the NLDS (MLB.com)
“Obviously, it's fun. It makes a difference ... it's a big difference sometimes. Today, at least one extra run scored because of it, because of the slash at-bat. It's really important fielding your position and hitting, not being an absolute out. And I don't know if there's an absolute or there's an exact number to how it helps, but it definitely helps.”
—Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke, on getting two hits in the Dodgers’ Game Two win (Michael Lananna, MLB.com)
“I'm still playing that game over in my mind. It'll take me a week to filter through this one. It always takes a while to get past it… I feel horrible about it. I have so much respect for Adam Dunn, it kills me."
—A’s manager Bob Melvin, who was not able to insert Adam Dunn into the team’s Wild Card loss to the Royals. It would have been Dunn’s first career plate appearance in the playoffs. (Carl Steward, San Jose Mercury News)
“I feel like we’re going to be playing on Monday. That’s what I feel like. Because the way everybody came back through the dugout into the clubhouse after the last game, everyone had that right level of intensity… Like, they were a little bit upset that they didn’t come through, but they were determined to do it, and I think that’s what you see from our team, that resiliency. We’ve had a lot of things go wrong for us this year. We still managed to win a lot of games. It was because we pull together and work well as a team. Everybody gets along. Everybody trusts the other guy. Everybody feeds off each other. We have a lot of good energy, and I don’t think this is any different of a situation than that for me or for the team.”
—Angels starter C.J. Wilson, the night before the Angels were ousted from the playoffs. Wilson lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Sunday’s game. (Mike Digiovanna and Zach Helfand, Los Angeles Times)
Nick Bacarella is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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Chris Mosch is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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Nick Wheatley-Schaller is an author of Baseball Prospectus.
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