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October 5, 2006

Ken Macha


Q. A guy like Danny Haren, is there another level that he can reach as a pitcher?
KEN MACHA: To me, he has got great stuff. Probably besides Rich Harden, he is probably second in line as far as stuff is concerned.
He has had some very good outings, as witnessed in Minnesota the last time he pitched against them. He pitched a great game against the yanks in Yankee stadium, he has had some very good outings, and when he has his command and he is locating his pitches, he is tough. He has a tendency to fall off a little bit on the mound and get under some balls, and then he has a problem with his location, when he doesn't have that timing, he needs to get the good consistent release point, he gets knocked around a little bit.
So the answer to your question is, yes, there is an upside. If he can get his delivery a little more consistent, he could be a big winner in this league?

Q. Will Ellis be able to pinch run or is he out for the series?
KEN MACHA: I haven't talked to Billy about this. I don't know what the total procedure is going to be with him. []that's an interesting question[]. I know going into the playoffs when you have a roster, if somebody is on the DL list, you can replace him with anybody in any organization.
Now, in this particular run, he is irreplaceable, but what they do with him from this point until this round is over, I am not sure. So I can't answer that question for you. But he remains active.
That would be up to the doctors to decide whether he would be risking further injury by going out there and perhaps getting into a collision or whatever.
So I don't have an answer for you there.

Q. Ken, how do you feel about the team's kind of collective attitude about having a 2-0 lead?
KEN MACHA: I like the way our guys are doing it. They are pretty focused. We only have a couple players that have been in this position, and history says that we have not come through.
I think last year's experience going through how tough it was in May to win one game, and then again this year with a seven-game losing streak, I think these guys realize how tough it is to win a game, and basically the first two games we played perfect games, ran the bases right, cut the ball well, we pitched well, we pitched out of the bullpen well, and we got some big hits, so in order to beat the Twins these past two games, we pretty much had to put a perfect game out there, and that will probably be the case tomorrow because I respect the Twins 100 percent.
It's no fluke that they played as well as they did from the All Star break until the end, and I respect their manager, and he has got these guys playing hard and they are going to absolutely play hard, so we are going to have to go out and play another perfect game.

Q. Ken, the continued references to what this team has not done, 2-0, 2-0, do you think the ball players themselves pay attention to that or is that basically us and the public?
KEN MACHA: Well, you guys keep writing it in the paper, eventually one of those guys is going to probably read the paper and say "Oh, my Goodness," you know.
But it's nice -- to me we got veteran guys here. Okay? Chavez has been through the thing. You got Kotsay, Kendall, Frank Thomas, Jay Payton, you got some veteran guys that understand that every play is important, and I don't think they are giddy at all.
They know they are going to be focused tomorrow night, and they realize the quality of the opponent, and Brad Radke is a quality pitcher, maybe one of the best pitchers in Minnesota Twins history. So we got our work cut out for us, and they understand that.

End of FastScripts...

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