October 6, 2002
SAN FRANCISO, CALIFORNIA: Game Four
Q. Dusty, would you talk about Livan's game tonight and the way he pitched?
DUSTY BAKER: Well, Livan was very focused today. He felt before the game he was ready. He knows we needed it and he enhanced his reputation as a big-game pitcher and he's throwing the ball hard, 90 miles an hour using his fastball. He was sharp, really sharp and it really helped, the fact that we got some runs early, too. Glavine, and then Livan, he was just on his game and you could tell he wanted it.
Q. Would you explain you saw that he was ready; could you tell us exactly what you saw?
DUSTY BAKER: I don't know. I just saw what I saw. (Laughter.) I don't know how to explain it. You can just tell in his eyes, you know, that he was ready from the opening pitch, you could just tell that he's ready. He's ready all the time, but sometimes, you could tell he got that really -- that focused look.
Q. Because of the nature of the game, that the Giants had to win, did you feel any special pressure or obligation?
LIVAN HERNANDEZ: No. I tried to not put pressure in my mind. I know it's a big game and on the workout in the morning, I do everything perfect, I feel good, and I'm watching TV. I told my friends in Miami, I do the same things I do every day, and when I'm coming to the park, I'm coming to the park to practice, relax, and my mind is relaxed, nothing in my mind. I don't want to make a lot of mistakes in the game and I tried to throw the ball down.
Q. Would you go through your pitching. The first four innings you had a no-hitter, you seemed pretty much in control?
LIVAN HERNANDEZ: No, I don't think about a no-hitter. The thing is they scored runs early. I tried to throw the ball down because I wanted a lot of ground balls and fly balls. I tried to stay in the game longer, and this happened today.
Q. You are now 6-0 in the post-season. You always seem to step it up a bit in the post-season.
LIVAN HERNANDEZ: Yeah, somebody said before the game, I don't know who -- 5-1, or he's 5-l, 6-0 right now -- I'm sorry. (Laughter.) I know that we're going to the next level and the team is playing tonight to go to Atlanta to try to win, and the next level -- just try to win the game and go to the World Series.
Q. Why do you think you are so effective in the post-season?
LIVAN HERNANDEZ: I don't know. You're asking me one question. I think when I go out there, I try 100%, to relax, focus on the game. Because the mistakes in the game are more important. The pitches you throw, you know, every time you make a mistake today, it's one double for Andruw Jones and you don't want to make a mistake. This is a more important one, the playoff or something, you make a mistake and the other guy is swinging the bat.
Q. You went 0-for-4 today but today you had a fantastic game. Did you change anything or was there something about Glavine you keyed into?
RICH AURILIA: Not really. I felt like I've swung the bat well all series. I've hit the ball hard, and just coming into today, I think with Glavine, there's a sense where you have to be patient, but at the same time, if he tries to get ahead of you early in the count, you've got to try to take advantage of it. I think we as a club had a good approach against him the past two starts that he's had against us. You know, the key for us is getting on top early. We've done that the two games we've won this series and we'll try and do that again tomorrow.
Q. Rich, were you surprised that Sheffield went home on that sacrifice fly, and how big was that run?
RICH AURILIA: Yeah. I was just trying to get to third base with less than two outs. I knew it was deep enough -- I'm not the fastest guy in the world but I knew it was deep enough for me to get to first base. So I really didn't have anything go through my mind, that he was going to throw the ball to third or home. I was just concentrating on third base. We were fortunate that Benito didn't hit that ball hard enough to turn a double play and we scored a run.
Q. Did you have a chance to talk to El Duque before today's game?
LIVAN HERNANDEZ: You know, I called my brother, you know, I don't want to bother him in the playoff time. It's a time that you want to concentrate on the game and stay focused. I know he's in the bullpen with the Yankees. Now, I can call him tonight or tomorrow, and say, "Are you getting ready for next year," because you know....
Q. How important was it to score two runs in the first inning?
DUSTY BAKER: It was very important because you didn't want them to get on top and figure they are going to race to the finish line and beat us and clinch here at our home. We didn't want them to beat us here at our house. It's very important. That's been our game plan for years here, jump them early, get on top, and a lot of times, the team that scores first is the team that wins. So it was very important for us to get on top, especially the way we did it. Kenny Lofton started off and then here comes Richie and all the other guys after him and we end up scoring two runs, and two runs the next inning. It was very important so we also got his pitch count up rather quickly, which is also very important; that we get into their bullpen, because we didn't want them to have a fresh bullpen if there was a game tomorrow. The thing Livan did as much as anything today, not only won the game, but we have a very strong and rested bullpen going into tomorrow's game.
Q. With Livan in the ninth inning, I know he wanted to go out and pitch, but after the bloop hit, did you just make a decision that that was enough?
DUSTY BAKER: Yes, I made the decision, and I'm sure Livan was not happy about it, but at that point, he was still strong and throwing the ball good. He had 114 pitches. He had not pitched in about ten days or two weeks, which he reminded me of the inning before. They had some very tough left-handed hitters out there. And Franco is an excellent pinch hitter and then Furcal. At that point in time we wanted to turn Furcal around, turn -- we didn't really want to face Franco at that point in time.
Q. You said Livan reminded you that he had not pitched a complete game in a while -- ?
DUSTY BAKER: Livan will tell that you in different ways sometimes. Hey, that's Livan. He's a competitor. He's one of the best competitors I've been around. But at that point in time, we figured, hey, he had done his job, and it was time for the bullpen to do the rest. Sure, if Lockhart had not gotten on, then I would have left Livan in there for Franco. But at that point, I just felt that was enough. Gave the ball to Eyre and Nen closed it out.
Q. Rich, would you talk about the home run? It looked like a low, outside pitch and you were able to get around it.
RICH AURILIA: Well, he got ahead of me with two strikes. I was two in the hole and I was just trying to put the ball in play the rest of that at-bat. He threw me a 1-2 curveball and then I tell you, I don't even know what the pitch was I hit. I don't know if it was a fastball or a changeup, but it was something probably about maybe knee-high and just reached down there and got it. Here, you hit a ball good sometimes, you're not quite sure if it's going to be out of the park but I was lucky enough today, it was a warm day and the ball carries well here when it's warm, and I got it up there a few rows. I think the key for today's game, like we did in Game 1, we had a lot of key two-out RBIs. Guys driving in two-out RBIs. I know Benito had one and I had some. That was the key for us.
Q. Knowing the way the Braves can come back, how confident were you after Rich's homer?
DUSTY BAKER: If you notice in these other games, the Yankees, the Angels, everybody, you're not confident until the final out because no team is going to concede a game. They are going to fight the entire game, and these guys have been here a whole bunch of times. You like the fact that you have the lead, but you are never really comfortable and confident until the game is over.
Q. Tomorrow is sudden death. Is everybody available to play no matter what?
DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, everybody is available to play. We have full confidence in a rested Russ. Hopefully they will sleep tonight on the plane, since we get in rather late. But, yeah, we have full confidence in Russ tomorrow. Hopefully Russ will come out of the series 2-0.
Q. How big was it for you to get that big ovation when you went out in the ninth and then again when you came off the mound?
LIVAN HERNANDEZ: Two was great. I wanted to complete my game. I'm like that. I came off the mound laughing, because I get off the mound, I get off the game -- I'm like that. It's a game face, it's my game face. A lot of people think I'm mad, but I'm like that. I wanted to complete my game, but the bullpen is there, so I said, okay. I'm very positive when I'm pitching like that all through my career. It's good like that, I think for me.
Q. Since the A's lost, all of the fans rooting for them, are you hoping that all of them will be rooting for your team now?
DUSTY BAKER: Yeah, I hope so and I hope they root for us, because we are rooting for the As, too. We're rooting for Art Howe and all the players we know over there because we have been in the same situation that they have been in. Yeah, I mean, we were sort of hoping for a Bay Area World Series, really. You know, we've got our work to do, and hopefully they can root for us the way we were rooting for them.
End of FastScripts...