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October 15, 2013

John Farrell


JOHN FARRELL:  Well, with Jonny in left field today, I just felt like the ability to keep us right and left alternately pretty much through our entire lineup, and the one thing we discussed yesterday or mentioned yesterday was when we've done some things offensively Jonny has been in the middle of it.  I think he brings a little different personality to our team.
And that's not to be demeaning to Daniel Nava in any way, just felt like going up against Verlander today, if he's on, we can probably take those matchups and discard them somewhat.  We're looking at a different lineup, different look today.

Q.  How does Verlander present a different challenge to the other two guys you faced?
JOHN FARRELL:  A little bit different stuff.  Probably just as it relates to the breaking ball, more of a curveball rather than a slider, where both Scherzer and Sanchez, that's their secondary pitch.  Whether or not Justin comes out today, and it's almost like three inning segments where he progressively gets stronger as the game goes on, that necessarily wasn't the case in Oakland, no different than the first two games in this series.  We know we're getting premium stuff thrown at us, and the consistency to the execution will be the key again today.

Q.  Before you made that decision how much conferring was there, how much of a roundtable, people involved, it sounds like a pretty intense decision, lots of numbers and lots of looks and lots of scouting?
JOHN FARRELL:  On Gomes decision?

Q.  Yes, sir.
JOHN FARRELL:  There was conversation among our staff.  And not just about today's game, because tomorrow's matchup, Daniel has had good success against Fister.  That's no guarantee that will be the case tomorrow.  But also contemplating Daniel will have three days off leading into tomorrow and how does that affect his potential timing at the plate.  There were a number of things we considered.
But getting back to what's most important, that's today, and trying to get the best fit, the best matchup that we could come to.

Q.  Can you talk about Napoli and what it would mean to the team if he can get hot again?
JOHN FARRELL:  It would mean a good thing, I know that.  But the one thing, even though on days when maybe if you look at that line score that hasn't shown multiple hits, RBIs, runs scored, whatever may be with Mike, he fits into our overall approach.  He runs the pitch total up there.
There's been occasion where even though there might have been four outs made, however they come, there's still a high number of pitches seen, and that fits into our overall approach.  Whether or not that takes place today remains to be seen.  But Mike is the guy we've leaned on in the middle of our lineup and he's going to remain in our spot.

Q.  What were some of your thoughts at the time of the three‑way trade?  You must have had some mixed feelings losing a guy like Iglesias, but getting Jake Peavy.
JOHN FARRELL:  A couple of things, one, it's a great baseball trade because it clearly had specific needs and fit for the three teams involved.  Secondly, you have to give up a quality player to get a quality player in return.  But having been around Iggy when he first signed here a number of years ago and see how he's matured and the way he played for us, it was hard to see him go.  You don't see that kind of defender come along very often.  He's a magician with the glove.  He's a great kid.  He fit in our clubhouse great.
When you see him walk on the field, even in a Tiger's uniform, there's always a smile on his face, he loves to play the game.  I think teammates really like to be around him.  It was hard to see him go, but in return we knew we needed another quality starter, and we got that in Jake.  And for him to cap off our divisional series with him on the mound, like I said, it was a very good baseball trade for all teams involved.

Q.  What do you like about Jake's makeup as a pitcher?  He seems to be a gamer.
JOHN FARRELL:  Well, he's a competitor, and that goes back to long before he came to the big leagues.  That's the way he's made.  That's the way he's wired.
We know when he walks on the mound he's going to lay it all on the line, there's not going to be anything left in the tank when he walks off.  I think he brings ‑‑ I think our guys in the dugout feed off the times he's yelling at himself to try to motivate himself at key moments.  He's accountable.  He's stand‑up.  He takes responsibility for all that takes place between the lines.  And we know for a fact by watching his preparation he's going to be ready to go on the day he's called upon.

Q.  Fister gives a different look than the other Tiger starters.  What is it that give you guys a hard time the last time he pitched?
JOHN FARRELL:  I think he grounded four or five double plays that day.  He's got the ability to get two outs with one pitch.  He controls the running game.  Everything moves as it comes across home plate.  He might not have the sheer power and velocity the other three guys have in this rotation, but he does it a little differently.  And like I said, his biggest weapon is his ability to get two outs with one pitch.

Q.  Talking a lot about Victorino getting hit by a lot of pitches, but Prince Fielder led the American League getting hit by pitchers, what is your thought about that method of getting on base?
JOHN FARRELL:  Well, you better have a high pain threshold, for one.  Two, in Vic's case, as he's gone to the right side of the plate exclusively, he crowds home plate.  And part of that is going to come in to the hit batsman is going to be part of it.
I don't see a guy who's intentionally diving into the strike zone to take a hit by a pitch.  And I think as right‑handers have faced him for the first time on the right side of the plate, it might be new for them.  If a pitcher has got an intent or desire to pitch him in ‑‑ for a right‑handed pitcher to pitch him inside part of the strike zone, there's not much margin for error, there.  It's helped us on base, I know that.

Q.  Did Peavy show you something in the last round by how effective he was despite having the long layoff, no signs of rust on his part?
JOHN FARRELL:  No, there wasn't.  He threw a couple of innings leading up to that start in Tampa.  But he's such a good athlete.  And he's got a repeatable delivery that even with added rest he's a very good strike thrower.  And that's been one of his characteristics over the course of his career.  And even with a couple of additional days off this time, we fully expect him to have consistent coming out at well.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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