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October 7, 2010

Joe Maddon


Texas Rangers – 6
Tampa Bay Rays - 0

Q. I know that two hits isn't going to help you out, but how big was that play with Michael Young in the check swing?
JOE MADDON: Well, I mean, first of all, the Rangers have out played us for two consecutive nights, so I've got to give them all the credit. You can't win games by just getting two hits, but I had to make my point for two nights in a row. That's all that was about.
For those of you that have been around us the last couple months, we've had several of those moments occur. So this was a pretty big moment right there. I really thought he had been struck out, and obviously we could go to Choate on the next hitter if that were the case but it didn't happen to turn out that way. So it's really hard to yell from the dugout. Nobody can hear you, so I had to go out to the mound and make my point.

Q. Can you talk about the decision to pull James Shields there at the top of the fifth? He had 68 pitches.
JOE MADDON: Yeah, it was a good situation for Chad. He's a ground ball pitcher. Young has hit into a lot of double plays this year. If you remember a couple days ago in Kansas City, we did kind of the same thing and he got a ground ball versus Josh Fields for a double play that led to a victory kind of in the same point in the game. So I felt good about that with Chad because Chad was on a shorter leash today compared to what he had been on yesterday. If he gets him out, like I said, even if it's not a double play just getting out Young and then moving it to Choate, then we can move it to possibly Niemann at that point.

Q. Can you just talk about the short at-bats in big spots, guys swinging at the first pitch, and like defense sort of defensive lapses? These are things you're not really used to.
JOE MADDON: No, we normally play a higher brand of defense, there's no question about that. Regarding the first swing I'm really not upset with that if it's a good pitch to swing at. The thing that they've done, they've thrown a lot of first pitch strikes in this Series. They've done a nice job. Even Wilson has even sharper, I thought, earlier in the count. With Lee you know that's going to happen; you know he's not going to walk you. With Wilson there's a better chance of that. But he was pretty sharp tonight. I've got to give him a lot of credit, too, down in the zone, in on the zone to the right-handers and also some really good change-ups, so I thought he was very sharp.
We didn't play well. Listen, I'm not going to defend it. We did not play well yesterday or today. It's not our game. We definitely have not put our best foot forward yet.

Q. Can you talk about the offense? You guys obviously have struggled all year long with a .247 average but it's rarely looked worse than tonight.
JOE MADDON: Yeah, again, they've pitched really well against us. I thought yesterday we actually swung the bats a lot better, hit a lot of balls more on the nose for outs. Today it wasn't the case. We did not really drive the ball at all. We had a couple minor chances, but we just have to do better than that.
They've taken a part or a component of our game away with the walk. We have not walked that often because of their command issues or how well they've commanded the baseball. So it's not too late. We've just got to get back to the Trop next Tuesday. They've got some righties throwing the next couple days, we'll pop a different lineup out there and see how that works.

Q. With Shields being gone as quickly as he was, any thoughts on the Niemann-Shields thing looking back, and second, what did you think for the applause for CC there late in the game?
JOE MADDON: Well, I didn't hear the CC applause. I was upstairs so I missed that, but I think that's very cool.
The replay with Shields, Shields didn't throw the ball that badly. He gave up a 2-0 homer to Kinsler, otherwise the other runs scored on a hit batter, hit and run, he goes to second, eventually ends up on third and then scores on a wild pickoff attempt after an infield hit.
Shields actually threw the ball pretty good today, I thought, overall. There's really nothing to denigrate -- when you look at his overall line, those numbers came up on a three-run homer by Young. That's where a lot of the bad numbers popped right there. I thought actually James was pretty sharp today.
The really difficult part with his performance is hitting Treanor twice, which that -- I think they were both change-ups, also, he just came off two change-ups and hit the guy. He rarely does that.

Q. What do you tell your team as you now head to Texas here for Game 3 and then hopefully beyond?
JOE MADDON: We'll work the crowd when we get down there in the workout tomorrow and in the pregame the next day, a lot of what we always do. Again, we've been in difficult situations before, and a lot of times we've come back from that. I think up until we've had 16 three-game winning streaks this year -- we're going to have to do this one game at a time starting on, what would that be, Saturday.
So again, I'll just work it a little bit tomorrow among the group as we're working out in Arlington and then again prior to the game on the next day. So I really anticipate us to come out and play well on Saturday.

End of FastScripts

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