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October 7, 1998

Ken Caminiti


Q. Can you talk about any games like this, Cami?

KEN CAMINITI: Yeah, there's been a lot of them this year, close games. Losing Vaughnie, but the team is still a great team offensively. We haven't been scoring a bunch of runs, but the last game we played at home we had that big inning, and that was clutch. It made us relax a little bit. We're facing good clubs, good pitching with Smoltz tonight. You've got to give them credit. And what you try to do is hopefully get a pitch you can put in play and take a good hack at it. You try to put more runs up than the other team, and try and get yourself a good cushion, you might say. And when it's not like that, you bite your nails and hope for the best, play hard.

Q. Can you talk about the pitch you hit the home run on?

KEN CAMINITI: Fastball. Whenever you get 3-0, you sit dead red. And he worked a 3-1, and I still sat dead red, and if he throws anything else, hopefully I can lay off of it. They know I was struggling. They didn't want to walk me. They put the No. 1 down, I took a good pass at it.

Q. The team has won so many close games this year. How does it help you in your confidence to pull it out?

KEN CAMINITI: Well, whenever you do that, that's a big plus for the team when you get to that point, you never say never. And that's what we've been saying from the beginning. You never give up, never say never. Anything can happen. This club is very, very explosive. Things happen. We've got good pitching. We know if we can hold them, if it goes extra innings, if we hold them, we can score a run. And we've got pitchers to shut them down. It was big for Trevor to come in and he might have got tired, but we had somebody come in and do the job after that. I think it takes a little bit of pressure off Trevor. I know Trevor is kicking himself a little bit, because he's hard on himself. He's a competitor, and we want to see him out there in the next game. He's the man, as far as it goes.

Q. Can you talk about the play at third base with Klesko, and first inning on the strikes?

KEN CAMINITI: Klesko was very aggressive play on his part. With Rivera out and taking Vaugnie's place, when I saw Klesko going, I thought: Oh, gosh, he didn't hesitate. He thought: I'm going to third. I tried to put a good tag. I went a little too quick before I had the ball. And it's a bang, bang play. He might have been out. He put his head on my shoulder and cut his nose or whatever he did, I'm not sure. But it was a good, aggressive play on his part. But if he's out right there, maybe it's not so good. And then the first at bat it was just -- I've been struggling a little bit. And you're trying to get a good pitch. And you never want to show anybody up, but maybe I'm just a little frustrated. And the pitches I thought were outside, and especially with runners in scoring position on that. So I feel if it is something that you don't feel is a strike, you -- hopefully, you try not to show them up. But they're human, and we all make mistakes. And if it is a mistake or not, I still feel I have an opportunity to say: Hey, look, maybe that was outside, or whatever I say at that point. I was just disagreeing with him, that's all.

Q. How much does the win mean for the confidence with Kevin pitching tomorrow?

KEN CAMINITI: It's big. Kevin's been doing a great job. Especially when you take the first win and you know your ace is coming out. But still, this team we're playing is a great offensive team. They make adjustments. We've got to come out and put runs on the board. We can't say: Okay, we've got a run, and Kevin is going to shut them down. We've got to come out with the attitude we're going to put a bunch of runs on the board and give him a cushion. This team does make adjustments. I like the attitude if they're going to score a couple of runs, so let's go out and try and relax. If it does, hopefully Kevin does his job, but we've got to come out offensively and help him out.

Q. Can you talk about what Ruben did for you in light of him having to play now for the next couple of days?

KEN CAMINITI: Ruben is very qualified. He's one of the best outfielders I've seen, as far as tracking the ball down with his arm. And watching him swing, he's very explosive. He can do -- if he's on, he can put the ball out of the ballpark with the best of them. He's young, so this is great experience for him, as far as that goes. I think this team is very confident with him, especially what he did today was very big. He was very aggressive on the base passes and scored some runs. He did a great job today filling in.

Q. (Inaudible.)

KEN CAMINITI: I really feel my day today was positive, especially right-handed. Right-handed, I struggled at home. And I was beating myself up. And the guy threw us real hard, when I moved the runner over, and I took a nice, smooth pass, and I felt good to stay there. Left-handed, I felt good all day. I didn't get long, I just had -- they just pitched me real well. So I'm pretty confident with my bat right now, whereas I was kind of lost in San Diego, hitting right-handed, especially. Left-handed, I feel pretty comfortable. Tomorrow going right-handed, I took a good pass at the ball, and I hope I will tomorrow. I feel pretty comfortable, though.

End of FastScripts….

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