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October 8, 1999

Buck Showalter


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 tonight.

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 like this.

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 tomorrow?

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 --


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….

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