April 19, 2014

Post-Game Comments from Torre, Martin, Broxton, Kuroda (June 8)

Joe Torre:

On the game as a whole:

“It was a classic.  That’s post-season baseball right there.  Great pitching on both sides.  Carpenter did an amazing job at getting out of jams.  They made plays.  Kuroda, that’s as good as you want to see him right there.  It was a great game.  If they had beaten us, I’d still have to say it was a great game, just the way things played out.”

On Kuroda:

“It looks like he was very aggressive.  It looked like he was pretty much doing what he wanted to.  It looked like the ball was really alive, movement wise, and he was locating it.  I think that he had as good of command as he’s had since early in the season.”

On Ethier:

“It is just a matter of timing for me.  You saw him hit that ball the other way with two strikes from the left-hander, you know he is back and comfortable.”

On Manny:

“It looked like he tried to pull.  He was hitting the ball on the ground.  Stayed inside the ball that last time and hit the ball hard to right field.”

Hiroki Kuroda (through his interpreter):

On his pitching overall:

“Most of my key pitches were moving. The sinker, slider and also splitter…were all good today.”

On facing Chris Carpenter:

“Before the game I didn’t really have the time to think about the other pitcher.  I just was worried about how I was going to pitch today and how to get outs on other hitters.”

Russell Martin:

On Kuroda:

“His command was great today.  Good velocity on his fastball and good movement on it too.  His two-seamer was working well for him.  He really had all his pitches tonight: his two-seamer, his slider working well, his splitty as well and also using his cutter.

From the first inning, he was throwing 95 and getting that good sink.  Just with that pitch alone, he can get away with just having that pitch.  Today’s the day where he had everything. So you know when you have all those weapons that you can use, that there’s a lot of different things you can use to get the hitters off balance.

On hearing that the surgery for the little girl who fractured her skull during batting practice on Monday was going to be ok:

“Earlier today, I heard the news, and definitely felt a bit better. It definitely was on my mind yesterday, the whole day, and it was good to hear the good news.”

On playing 0-0 games:

“It means that you’re doing things well, playing good defense and pitching well.  The hitting part, you’ve got an ace on the other side.  You get a win against him, you’re happy, no matter how you get it.”

On Chris Carpenter:

“He had his good stuff today.  Good curveball, command.  Not really leaving anything over the middle of the plate.  Every time you’re up there, it’s a battle against him.”

On Manny’s big hit:

“I don’t know how he hit that ball – it seems like he got jammed a little bit.  That’s a good sign when he’s able to stay inside the ball like that and drive it the other way.  That’s when he’s at his best, so it’s good to see that.”

On Broxton’s 11 pitch battle with Pujols:

“When you get in those situations, the great hitters just get even better.  And you could tell right there, he was fighting off some really good pitches.  Good thing we had one of the best closers in the game out there.  That’s what Pujols does, he’ll just wear you out until you make a mistake and then capitalize on that, but fortunately Broxton just came through, kept making good pitches.”

Jonathan Broxton:

On the ninth inning:

The heart of the order coming up.  I just had to go out there and make pitches…I did.”

On his battle with Pujols:

“I was just out there trying to go pitch for pitch…trying to see what he’s doing with the ball.  He kept fouling off some good pitches.  I finally just had to bury one.”

“It felt like it was a long time.  I had to keep going with good pitches and good location.  I couldn’t make a mistake.”

Photo Credit: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2010

Pre-Game Comments from Joe Torre (June 8)

Following are the highlights from Joe Torre’s pre-game media session.  A casual day with lots of discussion about two-sport athletes (like Dodgers first round draft pick Zach Lee), but not too much news to report:

On George Sherrill Starting Fresh Now that He’s Back from the DL:

“You’re certainly not going to be able to change the stats.  You’re just going to have to go out there, and I’m sure he’s going to be in that mindset anyway.  He’s not much to concern himself about how pretty it is, it’s just about getting it done.”

On Carlos Monasterios:

“Last night was good for us. We’ve had all those one run games. It was a good opportunity to rest our bullpen for one. Monasterios gave us a heck of a job.  A heck of a job.  He got himself in a bit of a jam there in the fifth inning, and then got himself out of it in a hurry.”

“To me, the fact that he’s pitched this well, I think he could do the job out of the bullpen too. I think all this stuff has done nothing but increase his confidence, and increased our confidence in him.  He doesn’t seem to be bothered by who he pitches against, and that’s a big get for me, is just to watch his demeanor out there.  After the first few times, he’s been pretty good.”

On Rafael Furcal:

“There’s a lot of life in his body right now.  He was sort of fooled on that ground-rule double that he hit, but he kept his bat in the zone a long time.  He’s staying back a lot better.  I thought a few days ago he was swinging out of his shoes, but he had much more controlled at bats, I felt, last night.”

On Washington Nationals Pitcher Stephen Strasburg’s Debut Today:

I’ll tell you one thing, from what I’ve seen in the inning and two thirds I watched him pitch, the ball comes out of his hand pretty good.  He’s got that one that sinks a little bit, and with that arm speed, he’s got a great curveball…so quick.  You have to be more than perfect to live up to the expectations…he certainly appears to be pretty special.  I don’t think there’s any question.”

On Who Strasburg Reminds Him of:

“When you think of someone young, coming up and pitching, I think of Doc Gooden.  He’d cross your eyes with that breaking ball and throw that fastball.  He’d say ‘Here, I dare you.’ And that’s what you’re seeing with this kid.”

On Possibly Being Asked to Talk to Zach Lee:

“Whatever they ask me to do…I’m only here to serve.”

Photo Credit: Chris Volk/2010 dodgerfan.net

Dodgers-Diamondbacks Post-Game Comments

Here are the post-game comments from Joe Torre, Travis Schlichting, Garret Anderson and Carlos Monasterios:

Joe Torre

On Travis Schlichting and the performance of the pitchers:

“Schlichting pitched his tail off, as everyone else did.  I have no clue where we’re going to go from here.”

“That’s the one area that’s made a big difference in our ball club.  Anyone who tells you that pitching isn’t a main part of the game should take a look at those numbers.”

On Garret Anderson:

“He’s a pro.  I’m happy for him.  He’s a guy that’s used to playing all the time.  Playing off the bench isn’t the same, but he comes in like a pro every day and it’s nice having him here.”

On Carlos Monasterios:

I thought he was terrific.  I took him out because he had a little blister.  That’s why he came out of the game, although his pitch count was about where we wanted it.  We were going to send him out there for another inning.”

On Travis Schlichting:

“He’s gone three innings a number of times and his pitch count was pretty good.  But that was going to be his last one and we were going to come with Weaver.  That was something I certainly didn’t want to, but at this point we had no choice.”

On who would have pitched after Jeff Weaver:

“I have no clue.  A lot of it would have depended on that inning.  If [Reed} Johnson has to pitch, now I’m out of players.  Even if you go to a position player, you’re going to have to have a pitcher play someplace."

On Reed Johnson potentially pitching:

"I don’t know…I didn’t poll anybody.  Short of one of those things, I was hoping that if we weren’t going to score, that it would be Garrett making the last out so at least the next inning I’d have Johnson leading off and I’d have nine guys.  Pick one of those guys to pitch.  But if I had to use him in the 14th inning, then I was going to have to probably use a pitcher to play a position and not pitch, which is something I’ve never had to do."

On potentially making a roster move to add a reliever:

"Kim [Ng] is out there waiting to talk to me. She’s going to come in and ask me the same question.  I haven’t really digested this yet and I don’t know where we would make room for that person, but we are going to be a bit short, so we’ll have to see.”

Travis Schlichting:

On his performance today:

“I felt great out there.  Last year I was a little nervous coming out, and this year…I just felt more relaxed and calm out there which is a good thing to feel.”

Garret Anderson:

On how big the game-winning hit was for him personally:

“I don’t really worry about myself personally too much. I just try and contributed as much as I can with what I got and fortunately I was able to do something today when it counted.”

On the fans getting restless:

“I’ve had that before and it’s well deserved.  I don’t mind hearing boos when I’m out there not doing the things I’m capable of doing.  So yeah, I’ll take those boos.”

Carlos Monasterios:

On how soon he can throw:

“I can throw.  We’ll see tomorrow.”

On how happy he was with how he pitched:

“Very happy.” (with a huge grin)

Joe Torre’s Pre-Game Comments

Following are some of Joe Torre’s pre-game comments from earlier this morning:

On John Ely:

“He doesn’t have an issue with taking the mound in any ballpark in any city…He’s in his own world out there.  Guys feed off the enthusiasm.”

On Ely facing the Diamondbacks for the second time:

“That’s important, because as I know as a hitter, sometimes you get familiar with a pitcher, you know what you want to hit.  When he’s able to throw as many different as pitches for strikes, it makes it a little tougher to do that.  He sort of puts you on your heels a bit as a hitter, because he works so quickly.  It’s really unlike a lot of the pitchers these days.”

On George Sherrill:

“I watched him throw the [simulated] game the other day and he threw the ball well.  He’s going to go tomorrow again with Padilla and then he’s ready to come off in probably five days or so.”

On giving so many starters the day off today:

“I think we’re better this year with the quality of the bench and A.J. [Ellis] has been remarkable because he hasn’t played for so long, and he had some good at bats this last game.  Defensively, he’s certainly not a concern at all.  I think you have to do what’s necessary, whether you have the quality on the bench or not.”

On Andre Ethier’s mechanics:

“It’s just timing right now.  I’m glad he got his base hit, but it’s still a matter of timing.  That’s the thing about hitting.  He doesn’t look inhibited in any way or trying to protect anything.  He’s pretty comfortable swinging the bat.  It’s just a matter of getting the rhythm back.”

On A.J. Ellis missing the birth of his child to stay with the club:

“It’s a throwback, that’s for sure.  Normally a player, when his wife is pregnant, will come in and say ‘My wife’s expecting in a month or five weeks.’  I always tell them, if you need to be there, take as long as you need.  Catcher’s a little different than other position players, unfortunately.  But he never came in and asked for any consideration.  He knows it’s an opportunity right now.  It’s an opportunity this kid has, and when you play this game, it’s a family commitment.  You spend so much time with your teammates than you do your family.  I’m sure it was tough.  He did say that he did watch it on the computer….but it’s not the same.”

On the team’s recent hitting struggles:

“I think our at-bats have been ok.  You go through those ups and downs.  Manny’s struggling a little bit, Ethier is just getting going and Matt [Kemp] seems to be getting comfortable again.  Those guys don’t hit, and then you’re asking the support guys to do the job.  Even Furcal is trying to find his stroke.  I think we’re just going through a little bit of a dry spell, that hopefully we can start coming out of.  Casey [Blake]’s been swinging the bat really well. James [Loney] is struggling again.  He can be as ugly as it gets, and then all of a sudden, three hits will come out of him.”

On Carlos Monasterios:

“Like Ely, he gets the ball and throws it.  It’s going to come down to throwing strikes early to keep him from trying to hard.  He falls into that too when he’s struggling a little bit.”

On Charlie Haeger:

“We can’t start him up again until the start of the week.  His foot is getting better.  The only thing he really hasn’t been tested on is touching the bag, but he’s been doing a lot of stuff.  He’s just about back to where he should be right now.”

On Russell Martin’s slide from last night:

“I thought it was hard, but I thought it was clean.”

On the benches clearing after the slide:

“I told Matt Williams: you’re mine.” (Torre was obviously joking here)

On Jason Hayward coming to town with the Atlanta Braves:

“I am curious.  He’s a pretty special young man.  Bobby [Cox] doesn’t throw compliments around as easily as you might think and when he started talking about him in the spring, that got my attention.  I hope we can deal with him.”

We’re Live at Dodger Stadium Today

Dodger Stadium - A View from the Dugout

Just a quick heads up that I’m at Chavez Ravine for today’s afternoon game against the Diamondbacks.  It’s the Dodgers’ young starter (Carlos Monasterios, 2-0, 2.20) against the Dodgers’ former young starter (Edwin Jackson, 3-6, 6.03).

Here are the pre-game quotes and notes from Joe Torre.  Follow us on Twitter for in-game comments and analysis.

Post-game comments to follow after the game, as usual.