October 8, 1999
NEW YORK CITY: Game Three
Q. Any thoughts of pitching Randy tomorrow?
BUCK SHOWALTER: No, B.A. is going to pitch tomorrow. Certainly been thoughts about
every possible scenario including, that but B.A. is our starting pitcher tomorrow. If we
are fortunate tomorrow Randy will pitch in Game 5 back in Phoenix.
Q. Just a bad day defensively, three errors?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Well, that was one of the things that made it tough for us; good enough
club without giving them some extra outs. Any time in the Major League you give extra outs
you are going to usually pay the price. But we had it from some people who have had great
very stellar defensive seasons. Omar is one of our better fielders. Fox has done a good
job and Tony. I am not sure; you tell me if he would have been out. I couldn't tell from
my angle. Whether Omar got there in time but it is a tough play. Certainly wasn't
characteristic of the way that we played this year defensively.
Q. What about the contribution that Ricky has given them and the difference between
their lead-off guy getting on and yours not?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Well, obviously I am very, very proud of our lead-off man. We keep
talking about a lot of things. Keep coming back to reasons why we are here. Tony hit the
ball three or four times in these three games so far on the button; had nothing to show
for it. Rickey had some things work out his way. I think the shot that he hit to right
field was a big hit. Plesac came in, made a great pitch to Olerud, rolled it over for the
double-play but yet he found a place and snuck it through. Seemed like seven or eight base
hits into some pretty fortunate areas that is the way the game goes.
Q. Surprised about the amount of offense they scored without Piazza in the lineup?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Not really, not the way they scored it. I believe they hit a couple of
balls hard during the night and we had some guys who were credited with base-on-balls
during the course of the night. That normally doesn't happen with Omar out there. I
thought Omar command and honestly his command was as good as I have seen it all year
Q. Back to Ricky. Are you surprised that at 40 he has continued to be such an
incredible offensive spark for them?
BUCK SHOWALTER: We can change the subject any time. He is a great player. I think -- I
guess it is surprising to some extent because compared to other people that are 40 I
couldn't have done it ten years ago. Well, never could do it. Obviously he is a great
player doing it a long time. Don Mattingly told me -- I was asking about some players --
Ricky is the best player in the game. Don't let him kid you. He has very quietly taken
great care of himself and he continues to make contributions. He has been a real thorn for
us as we hope Tony can be for them tomorrow.
Q. Talk about Agbayani and Cedeno filling in for Piazza, four hits they got?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Agbayani is a lot like Gilkey and Colbrunn have been for us been
playing against left-handed starters for us when you look at the club before you start the
year you are going to look at how you match up left and right putting I am in there
between John and Robin, he is going to see some pretty good pitches and usually have some
people out on the bases. But usually in a game like this, you can point to it. Pratt did
an outstanding job back there. You can't look at it as all the heat is off them to have an
excuse; that is not the case at all. They realize how important this is. This is a real
tribute to them and how Bobby has kept them active so that they can contribute on a night
Q. Did you talk to the team afterwards, what did you say to them?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Not yet. We basically got off the field; had to come down here. They
have got a whole room full of people in there right now. We will take it. It is going to
be a quick night for us and the Mets. We are on the same challenge. I will say something
tomorrow. Right now, I'd like to get them in bed.
Q. Agbayani's single in the third, was Matt Williams supposed to cut it off?
BUCK SHOWALTER: First of all, no call there because you can't hear. That is the first
baseman's, third baseman's call and Matt thought he had a play at the plate and that was
the decision that was made. Surprising to see Olerud attempting to go to second with one
out. He got a way with it. Usually that is a two-out play. Any time you think you got an
out at the plate you will take a pop at that. Matt has made great decisions for us all
year in those circumstance.
Q. Give any thought to Randy for tomorrow; Brian all the way?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Certainly we have given some thought to it. But there is a lot of
factors figured into it. Randy's thrown more innings and more pitches. He is coming off a
long outing. Brian may be pitching as well as anybody we have right now. And he is rested
and ready to go. We like our chances with him out there. Even if Randy was able to pitch
tomorrow you don't know if you are going to get -- he hasn't pitched on three days rest
all year, you don't know what kind of pitcher you are going to get in that situation. Even
if we were able to get through tomorrow with Randy, B.A. would still be pitching Game 5.
You kind of like to have two guys pitching on normal rest and Brian is ready. He has done
all his work to be ready for tomorrow. We will see.
Q. Talk about your success against lefties this year? You think it will help the guys
BUCK SHOWALTER: Not necessarily. They have had success too. As evidenced by -- I think
I have said it before early this afternoon that one common denominator all the clubs
playing this year, you look at the record against left-handed starters, that is a tribute
to the managers how they can match up those players - whether it be Al Leiter or Andy
Johnson or Daal - and you have to be able to do that. I don't think it is anymore of
something in our favor than it is in the Mets' favor.
Q. Anything you do differently tomorrow or anything you are ready to do differently
with your back now against the wall?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Well, our back has been against the wall all year just like I am sure
the Mets feel like that too. So many bridges and challenges that have been put in front of
you. Tomorrow this is another one. Only difference is if you don't win tomorrow the season
is over. We knew that possibility is there. Every club that gets involved in the
postseason knows that. We are going to look at it as a chance to continue the things that
we did all year. Just as the Mets would feel if we would have won tonight. We are looking
forward to it. In a way that may not -- may seem a little unhealthy to some. Playing out
there, it is a great feeling, you are honored to be able to be put in those situations. It
can go two ways: You can dread it or look forward to it as an opportunity to really shine.
I feel real confident that our guys are going to look at it that way.
Q. Seemed after six months of playing to get to this point --
BUCK SHOWALTER: 6 months.
Q. Well, nine months however long, years. Suddenly you are here down 2-1, you can't
lose anymore games?
BUCK SHOWALTER: I don't know about odd. Seems like there is always a sense of urgency
in a game of baseball because you play -- everyday it is what-have-you-done-for-me-lately
mentality in all of sports, really, in society, in general, I guess. But we live with that
challenge seems like everyday and whether it be in spring training, there has been a lot
of games that we have had similar senses of urgency, but tomorrow, certainly we will top
anything we have done before. But we have had a lot of games like that with our back
against the wall; may not seem like it when you see the lead that we ended up with during
the course of the season, but I know a lot of things we were able to overcome this year
just like a lot of clubs. So nobody wants to hear about the injuries and the nagging
things and the DLs and everything, because everybody goes through it. It is a part of
baseball. Tomorrow will be our biggest challenge of the year.
End of FastScripts