10/07/10 6:46 PM ET
ALDS Game 2 postgame interview: Young
By / MLB.com
Q. What would you say about the check swing call?
MICHAEL YOUNG: You know what, it was 2 2, threw a good slider, kind of bit out of the zone at the last minute, I checked, if he had rung me up, I would have walked back to the dugout and focused on defense like I usually do. I got the call in my favor and just tried to lock in on the strike zone at that point.
Q. After that call did you see the pitcher lose his concentration at that point because of everybody jawing against the umpire?
MICHAEL YOUNG: I doubt it. I mean, he's a good pitcher, they have a good team. They had the best record in the league, so I doubt that's a characteristic of their team. Either way, that's really not my business. My business is my playing, focusing on what I have to do at that point in order to help the team win.
Q. Two games and six or eight guys have already come up really big. How confident are you right now in your teammates?
MICHAEL YOUNG: My teammates have done great. I just think that we've had a great mentality these first two games. We're really not thinking about some huge, grand picture here. We empty the tank for the game we're playing that day. We emptied the tank today for Game 2; we're going to empty the tank for Game 3. We just push them all in and play as hard as we can.
Our pitching has been great. Cliff and C.J. did great, and our bullpen was awesome today. We got in a bit of a jam in the 7th, and they got out of it. So my teammates have been great.
I imagine when you get in the post season play that the good teams are the ones that have complete, total team efforts, and that's what we're getting right now.
Q. What do you think when you see Josh Hamilton making diving catches and running into the wall and doing all that stuff?
MICHAEL YOUNG: I hope he catches every one of them. The injury stuff is on the back burner now. I'm pretty sure everyone is going to go no matter what at this point.
Like I said, when I say we're going to empty the tank for every game, we're going to do that. If we're a little banged up or a little hurt, we're pushing them in and we're going. We're playing too talented a team to sit there and relax or say this guy is banged up or he doesn't play or this guy is banged up, he gets pulled out. That's not going to happen. We're going to go all out every pitch, every inning, every game, regardless of what might happen to us physically.
Q. What was the home run pitch and what was location, and also, how gratifying is it for you to finally get to the post season and have a big hit in Game 2?
MICHAEL YOUNG: It was a fastball, a sinker that stayed up a little bit. At that point I wasn't thinking about doing anything too big. I was thinking about focusing on the strike zone, wasn't thinking about doing too much, just trying to put the barrel on the ball, stay as short as I possibly could.
But for me personally, I mean, this personal stuff goes out the window. It's always nice to contribute and nice to play well. We're competitors, we want to do our jobs well. But at the end of the day the W is what every team is searching for, regardless of how it comes, you get the win, that's what we're searching for. I feel no different today than I did yesterday.
Yesterday I went 0 for 4, but I feel no different today than I did yesterday. The win is what our team is searching for right now.
ALDS Game 2 postgame interview: Washington
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the way C.J. pitched and then the position that you guys find yourselves in for the first time in the franchise history?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, you know, he really showed maturity out there today. He stayed within himself, he used all his pitches. He went around the strike zone with it. He never really got shaken. You know, he bent a little bit, but he didn't break, and that's exactly what we needed. We needed him to go out there and give us a good outing, and he did.
You know, being up 2 0 is huge, especially winning two on the road. But we still haven't accomplished anything yet. Our goal is to get as far as we possibly can, and we're just going to take it back to Texas and come out and try to play as hard as we can again, and after nine innings see if we've got the lead and got the win.
But nothing is won yet. We've still got to go out there and play baseball. That's a very resilient team over there. They're not going to lay down, but we aren't, either. So it's nice to be going home.
Q. The last time you were in here and you got swept, you said it would be a different result the next time you come in. I mean, is it some sort of prophecy that you knew something nobody else did?
RON WASHINGTON: No, I just know my ballclub. We had the first game won, and things just fell apart there, and the momentum shifted. We're very confident in our ability to go out there and play baseball. It's not always the best team that wins, it's the team that plays the best, and for two games we played pretty good baseball. Right now that's all it is, two games. But I know my team, and we weren't healthy. I wasn't making any excuses, I was just making a fact.
It's the first time in a long time we've had all the guys together. Yesterday one group of guys picked us up and today another group picked us up. That's what our lineup is all about. But more than anything it happened on the mound. Cliff Lee gave us a great outing, C.J. gave us a great outing, Ollie came in and finished it all off, so that's what it's all about.
Q. Can you talk about what you saw on Michael's check swing?
RON WASHINGTON: You know, the umpire said he didn't swing. If he would have said he swung, I don't think we would have argued about that, either. It was a judgment call, and those things happen in baseball. Sometimes they work in your favor and sometimes they don't. They worked in our favor today.
ALDS Game 2 postgame interview: Wilson
Q. C.J., how many hitters in that lineup would you say that you're actually concerned about when you're pitching?
C.J. WILSON: All of them. I mean, every guy in that lineup, even guys that get switched in at the last minute on the roster I'm concerned about. I mean, obviously you don't just you don't take a breather and just throw the ball down the middle. I'm out there trying to make a pitch every single time, trying to be perfect. That's just what it's all about.
Watching Cliff yesterday and watching Roy Halladay last night, I had some inspiration, so it was pretty fun. But with guys like Crawford, Bartlett getting on base, that has a little bit of a factor, as well, got to go from the slide step, prevent the stolen base and all that. But I was lucky to come up with some really big pitches in situations where there was guys on base and the game was tight, especially early, getting Longoria out with a guy on base and all that stuff.
Q. Aside from the inspiration you got from watching Lee, what were a couple of things that you learned in watching the way that he approached their lineup that you were able to really use today?
C.J. WILSON: Well, some of that is proprietary technology that I'm not allowed to share because it's team secrets. No, Cliff is a better version of me. He throws a little bit harder, he's a little bit taller, has a little bit smaller waist, so I try to follow his lead on a lot of stuff. I just watched him kind of work in and out with his fastball, and from there I was able to see which guys maybe it was necessary to go in on and which guys it wasn't, and that had a big factor today.
Obviously I made a mistake in with Bartlett, I hit him, but I'm trying to throw that ball pretty much where I did, he just leaned into it.
Cliff is the perfect guy for me to stream off of because he doesn't walk anybody and that's really my weakness is I put guys on base unnecessarily. I have good stuff so I can challenge guys the way he does, but it's something you get more and more comfortable with that as you see somebody that has pretty much the same stuff as you do it right in front of you, so that was the big thing.
Q. Can you talk about the last at bat and what you were trying to do?
C.J. WILSON: Yeah, I mean, right there I had a couple of bats against them earlier. The bat where I walked him, I threw the pitch almost where I wanted to if I threw the pitch right where I wanted to it's for sure a strike out looking. I had that finishing sequence in my head.
It's like when you play chess, you sort of remember what moves set up other moves, and I had that in the back of my head knowing, okay, I'm going to hit my spot this time. I'm not going to try to do too much. Last time I tried to throw a sinker and it kind of cut, and that time I just threw a four seamer straight away. I brought Treanor out to the mound because I was like I haven't thrown him a four seamer the whole at bat. I'm like screw it, we're just going with that. We're just going to go right there.
I had thrown him some curve balls that he swung and missed on, I'd thrown him some cutters that he had fouled off, throw him some sinkers that he fouled off and stuff, and changes that I'd missed with. So I was like, you know, I'll throw him the one thing the most simple, elegant solution to this whole thing is just boom, strike right there. If he hits it, he hits it, but I'm definitely not walking him this time. I'm throwing him a strike, and that's what happened.
Q. About Michael Young, he played a lot of games waiting to get here. Can you describe a little bit about how you and maybe some of your teammates felt in seeing him get that three run homer?
C.J. WILSON: Well, I'm not in the dugout during our offensive stuff, I'm kind of in the back just trying to zone in, trying to relax and stuff. But I heard some controversy, I heard the fans kind of boo or whatever and then the next thing I heard was a whack, and our dugout went crazy. I saw it on replay.
But the thing is about Mike, like he's trying really hard, so we could tell if he had struck out or whatever yesterday, it's like he's like, man, I'm here, I'm in the playoffs, what I've always wanted, what I've wanted with this team. Because the thing is Mike is our backbone. We've built our team around him for the last couple years, actually the past ten years, I guess, if you really think about it, past ten seasons.
And in that 1,500 games or whatever it was, that's him playing 150 or 160 games every year. He's our Derek Jeter or our Cal Ripken or whatever, that's our guy. We rely on him for all sorts of stuff. But he's got tremendous work ethic and we knew it was just a matter of time before he came up big on offense, because he'd made some really great plays on defense already.
So I was excited obviously because to have that cushion is huge, but our offense just has weapons 1 through 9 and even guys on the bench. We have guys on the bench that can come up and hit a home run or steal a base or whatever. We've been watching it for the last couple years. We watched these guys develop and watched these guys zone in, and Mike is just absolutely like I said, I mean, he's the captain, the backbone, everything. To see him succeed in that situation, in a huge situation for us as a team, is awesome. Individually, like everybody has that extra little fist pump inside, you know, just that relief of, okay, Mike got his hit, Mike drove us runs in or whatever. Now anything is possible. That's kind of the way we look at it.
Q. Talk about the difference for this team between last year and this year in terms of its bent, not break, results.
C.J. WILSON: Well, I think the pieces that we've exchanged, bringing in Vlady and bringing in Darren Oliver, having that veteran presence out there, it keeps everybody calm because we know that we can count on these guys to come up and influence the other team, influence the game.
And when there's trouble going on, I think a lot of us have experienced that. Like when you first come into the league, you fail. You come up there and maybe you succeed, maybe you fail. But then you kind of get an idea of what it takes for you to succeed, whether it's like maybe certain lefties are going to be cheating on your breaking ball or whatever. And as you go along, you get used to pitching with guys on base, you get used to pitching out of jams, and the only way to do that is just to be thrown into the fire. Last year a lot of guys got thrown into the fire. For the last couple of years, I was thrown into the fire in the bullpen.
So now when there's a guy on base or whatever, I'm like, you know, I've gotten out of this before. I've struck my way out of bases loaded, no outs, I've done whatever I've had to do in extreme situations. And also yielded to the bullpen and trusted that O'Day and Ollie and guys like that are going to come in and clean up my mess, which they did, so it's awesome.
I think it's kind of a hive mind. We have 25 guys on the team and everybody is in focus and they're going after every pitch. It's crazy. It's the energy, I've never been around anything like it, and it's just that much better than it was last year.
Q. How would you describe the mood of your team right now being up 2-0 and heading home?
C.J. WILSON: Very positive, very confident. We play well at home. I don't know if we're going to be wearing the red jerseys or the white jerseys or whatever, but everybody is happy. It's like once the seal breaks and we get that first hit, we get that first run, you see the energy just spike in the clubhouse. Everybody is doing the claw and we're all having fun. This is the most fun a lot of us have ever had playing on the team before. It's just a great group of guys, and that's the big thing. We are all pulling for each other, so it's just very positive.
Q. Did you learn anything watching Cliff Lee pitch yesterday about the Rays' batters and how did that affect you today?
C.J. WILSON: Cliff is great with throwing his fastball for strikes. He's great at getting ahead in the count, he's great at working both sides of the plate. The thing I try to draft on him is figuring out which guys he's going to go in on, which guys I can go in on because of that.
Some guys you have to keep more honest than others. Some guys are going to go up there and really just sort of cheat, so you've just got to kind of figure out - because him and I are so similar in terms of the package, the fastball is pretty similar, the sinker is pretty similar, everything is close enough that I can just sort of monkey see, monkey do on his success. And if a guy gets a hit off him, I can be like, well, I'm not going to do that. So that's pretty much how it goes.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.