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October 9, 2002

Mike Scioscia



Q. Can you talk about the decision to bring Percival in in the eighth and the job he did once you brought him in?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, Percy's a guy that we do have available for four outs, if necessary. The way the matchups were going today, I thought was -- it was gonna be better to get Percy in there in the eighth. Especially since Francisco, he's throwing close to 30 pitches there and getting his five outs. Percy came in against a, you know, he's a very, very dangerous hitter, especially from the left side. He's been swinging the bat specially well. Percy did a great job of making some pitches and broke out a nice off-speed pitch to get him looking on strike three.

Q. Erstad and Fullmer, both hitting over .400 against Rick Reed. The rest of the line-up was kind of around .200. Can you talk about their performances?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Maybe we should hit them one and two in the line-up against Reed. Rick is tough on us. Erstad and Brad just seemed to, you know, sometimes you're seeing the ball better out of a guy's hand than some other guys. He got a changeup up a little bit to Brad. I think he tried to run a fastball into Erstad in the first inning. Those, you know, two big hits, obviously, for us. Those two guys, you know, they stepped up and gave us a lift tonight because Rick Reed is a tough pitcher. If he gets on a roll, you can see after the second inning, how he really settled in, put up a lot of zeroes there until Brad's home run, which was a big play for us.

Q. Mike, talk about Darin's home run and how it got you guys off to a good start?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: We'll go with the flow of the game. If we obviously got behind, we weren't going to fold the tent. But it's nice to get a lead. It's nice to, you know, jump out, especially with Ramon, letting him relax and just worry about executing pitches. It was a big start for him and he really stepped up and did a good job. Those early runs, obviously, they're important any time. But I think where we are, especially in the series, it gave us a big lift.

Q. How important is it to win on the road, especially in the Metrodome?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, you got to win four ball games. You know, whether you're home or on the road, you're going to have to bring your game. This is obviously a, you know, the Twins have a great record at home. It's an advantage. You know, they, going into the series, having home field advantage, it's a challenge, no doubt about that. But I think we have the confidence if we can bring our game into a stadium, we feel very, very confident. And, you know, tonight we were able to do some things, I thought we ran the bases well early in the game. You know, they opened the door a little for us, we took advantage of it. That's the type baseball we have to play. We've been playing it all year. Whether it's home or on the road, we're going to have to bring the same -- we play back in Anaheim, we have to bring the same style of play in, or this team -- and this team is tough to beat. But, you know, we're going to have to earn it.

Q. What happened to Salmon? What's his prognosis?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Do you want to give...?

TIM MEAD: Tim received a cortisone shot from Dr. Louis Yocum and should be able to play on Friday.

MIKE SCIOSCIA: He's day-to-day, we'll evaluate it. He has a slight strain in his hamstring. We thought it was better at that point to just get him out. He felt it tighten up a little. It grabbed a little bit. Better to get him out there than to risk something further happening where he wouldn't be available at all.

Q. (Inaudible)?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Actually, on the play, the inning before, when he made the nice catch in right-center, trying to think who hit the ball...

Q. Hunter.

MIKE SCIOSCIA: Hunter. Hit the ball to right centerfield. Tim made a nice running catch. Fist felt a little tight. Then when he came up to the plate, he was running out after he hit the fly ball, grabbed a little and we didn't want to take a chance at that point.

Q. We're working on an off-day piece about the quiet success of your bullpen. Can you identify some of the specific characteristics of those pitchers?

MIKE SCIOSCIA: I don't know if you'd call it "quiet success." They've been, you know -- we could see them coming for a long time. They've done a great job. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for our bullpen stepping up, I'm not just talking about Troy Percival. He's a -- given the way he's performed over the years and he's been on the money this year. But if you look at guys like Brendan Donnelly and Ben Weber and Scott Schoeneweis and now Francisco Rodriguez, Scot Shields, Al Levine who's not on our playoff roster, Dennis Cook, these guys have all just the pieces have just fit. They've done a terrific job. You saw Francisco tonight. That was a big part of the game. Brendan coming in and, you know, kind of putting that fire out in the sixth inning was a big part of the game, too. These guys have been doing it all year. We're not going to get to our goal unless these guys continue to throw the ball well and do the job. They've been doing it and it's great to see.

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