10/30/10 10:00 PM ET
Moreland, Hamilton interview after Game 3
By / MLB.com
JOSH HAMILTON: I think the playoffs have proved it doesn't really matter where we play. We feel comfortable. Obviously playing at home is always better, but throughout the playoffs we've had great success on the road.
You know, the momentum, obviously we're still down one game, but it's shifted. I mean, we're at home, we've got the fans behind us. We're right where we want to be.
Q. Mitch, could you just take us through that at-bat with the home run. Were you looking to get a fastball as you were fouling all those pitches off?
MITCH MORELAND: Well, I knew I had a runner in scoring position, so he was going to try to pitch me tough, you know, and I fouled off some offspeed stuff and just tried to battle back, and I got the fastball. I think it was kind of down and in, and was able to put a good swing on it.
Q. Josh, can you take me through the home run at bat and why have you shown such power against left-handed hitters.
JOSH HAMILTON: I blacked out for a second. I'm just messing with you.
You know, Mitch had already hit a home run, and I saw how he battled up there. Mitch is stubborn. He's not going to let anybody beat him. He's got that competitive attitude about him, which is a very good thing as an athlete. I saw how he battled him. They were throwing me inside most of the night. Every pitcher I faced did.
It was finally good, just like the Yankees series when I hit the home run off Pettitte, but the one that felt good was the one I flied out to the wall, finally stayed square. I felt like tonight just stayed square and covered the ball.
Q. For Mitch, when you see your name ninth in the lineup, what do you think? Do you have to put your ego aside?
MITCH MORELAND: Not at all. I'm in the lineup, so I just try to go out -- I know my job is go up there and grind out at-bats and do what I can to see some pitches and try to get on base a few times.
Q. Mitch, when you started the season in the Minor Leagues there was a lot of talk about Justin Smoak being the first baseman of this organization, was that something you used as motivation to get here and to have success here?
MITCH MORELAND: Not so much that as me just trying to go out and take care of what I can do, stick with my game plan and my approach. I knew if everything fell into place that I would be in the right spot at the right time, and I've got the opportunity, and it's been a lot of fun so far.
Q. Josh, to hit that first World Series home run in the first game here, running around the bases, the fireworks are going off, the music is playing, with everything you've gone through to get to that moment, how sweet is it to be making that trip around the bases?
JOSH HAMILTON: It's pretty sweet, but at the same time I was thinking about the couple at-bats before that. You know, it was great, I put a good swing on it, but thinking about that swing I just took and thinking about how to replicate that swing.
So it was all great. I've got some family in town. Crowd was good, fireworks were awesome, but that's what we try to do. I mean, we try to entertain folks.
Q. What has Colby meant to you guys this postseason?
JOSH HAMILTON: He's been tremendous. You know, throughout the whole season he's pitched well. We just never supported him with runs. You know, his focus level, the intensity when you see him go out there, he's on a mission, and he's pitched well. And fortunately we've scored runs when he's pitched.
We were joking around that we saved up all the runs from the season for the playoffs. But he's just been tremendous. He's been just as good as Cliff and C.J. It's pretty awesome to be out there in center and watch him pitch.
Washington interview after Game 3
Q. What's it like being able to put out a lineup in which you've got a No. 9 guy who can juice the ball?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, you know, it's nice. Mitch Moreland has certainly established himself as a Major League player. He's just a battler. He goes up there and he uses every bit of talent he has. He fights, and when he gets his pitch, he don't usually miss it. That was a huge home run for us tonight, put us on the board, gave us a little breathing room, and Colby Lewis took it from there.
Q. Can you discuss Colby Lewis' invaluable contribution, not only tonight but throughout the postseason.
RON WASHINGTON: Well, he's been great for us all year. You know, through the course of the year you've got five pitchers out there and there's usually one that doesn't get run support, and he was that guy. He didn't get run support but he pitched well. He pitched as well during the season as he pitched night. We certainly needed it, and he went out there and he stepped up and he gave us what we needed and gave us an opportunity to finally get a win. He did a tremendous job. Can't say any more than that. We certainly need it.
Q. How important is it for you to have a Josh Hamilton and the way that he has hit left-handed pitching, he's hit them for some power in this postseason?
RON WASHINGTON: When you've got a guy like Josh in that lineup they will try to put as many lefties on him as they can. The more he see the more comfortable he becomes. You make a mistake to him, he can make you pay as he did tonight and it turned out to be a big one for us.
The more Josh goes up there and the more pitches he begins to see, I think he'll continue to swing the bat well for us.
Q. Can you just talk about getting back into this series, now 2-1. I know that's the way baseball go, but how do you feel about getting this win tonight?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, I feel great. We wanted to get back home. We felt comfortable here. We knew we could finally put a good game together, and we did. You know, it took the whole team to get it done, and they certainly did. But it feels great.
You know, we have to come back tomorrow and do the same thing.
Q. Colby has come out and pitched -- all three of his wins have been the day after you guys have lost a game. What is it about a pitcher and what does it say about a guy who can come out and give the team a performance like he's done coming off of a loss?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, that just goes to show you that he's prepared. He knows what he has to do. He executes. And more than anything else, his command is what it's all about. If he can command his pitches and he can put them where he wants to, you'll get out of him what we did tonight. And it was quite important for us tonight because we needed a well pitched job.
They've been having opportunities to come back on us late, but tonight we was able to stop that.
Q. Speaking of that, what were your thoughts on O'Day and Feliz out of the 'pen?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, they were tremendous. We had O'Day for Posey, but after Colby got the second out there, then he got two quick strikes on Huff. After he got the second out, I really wanted him to finish that inning, give him a chance to finish it, and he got two quick strikes on Huff and tried to bury a breaking ball at his back foot and ended up hitting him. I had O'Day ready for Posey. So I brought him in Posey. He got me the ground ball, got out the inning and gave the ball to Feliz.
Q. Have you ever tempted to move Moreland up the lineup a little bit with the way he's hit since you called him up?
RON WASHINGTON: No, with our lineup he's hitting right where he needs to be.
Q. Does the win ensure that Tommy Hunter starts tomorrow or do you still give thought to Lee perhaps?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, as far as I was concerned, Tommy Hunter always had the start tomorrow. He will start tomorrow.
Q. Talk about the journeys that many guys on your team have taken to get here. How sweet is the reward for Josh and for Colby to have their roles in the first World Series game here given the journeys they've both been on?
RON WASHINGTON: Well, it's a dream, a dream come true. I think we all in the game of baseball that's certainly played or coached it, when we hit Spring Training it's to get to the World Series. And somebody made a statement to me, if we told you in February that you would be 0-2 in the World Series, how would you feel about it? Well, I would feel tremendous. Those guys put in hard work. They work hard every day. They care about each other. And the thing I love the most about them is they never quit.
Colby and Josh are two examples of what the Texas Rangers is about. And I think it's a tremendous example.
Postgame interview with Colby Lewis
Q. Given where you were last year, three years ago, to be in a World Series game and to hear everybody chanting your name as you're walking off the field, what's that feel like?
COLBY LEWIS: Like I said before in a previous interview, I had a similar situation, of course it wasn't the World Series, the big stage, but in Japan they did it a couple times. Yeah, it's great. I mean, it's an unbelievable feeling. I get goose bumps thinking about it right now. It's an awesome, awesome feeling to think that many people come out to see me and see the Rangers play.
Q. The last two series you've had terrific success right after Rangers defeats. Do you look at it as "I must win this"?
COLBY LEWIS: Well, I think for sure. We definitely don't want to go three down, so we've got to go out there and win tonight, and that was my big thing. We came back home, we knew we had a little bit of momentum on our side coming back after the ALCS playing well here. So it was just a thing of comfortability really, coming back home and letting the fans do their work and us doing ours.
Q. You've had some fans, not you but the Rangers have had fans for 39 seasons and you've also picked up a lot of new bandwagon fans. How good does it feel to give them a win at home in a World Series game?
COLBY LEWIS: It feels amazing for sure. You know, I feel very fortunate to be on this stage really, like everybody says. I was in a Japan for the last two years not thinking I would have this opportunity. But I'm here, trying to make the most of it, and it's just a great feeling to be back here to have this big of a following, and like I said, to do it on this stage.
Q. The Giants came in with 20 runs the first two games and a lot of momentum. How big was getting out of the first inning with two guys on so their momentum didn't keep going?
COLBY LEWIS: Yeah, I just tried to tell myself to -- I knew being in the bullpen I felt like my stuff was pretty good, so I knew and I just told myself to command my pitches and I'd get myself out of it. I wasn't real flustered. I mean, it's early, so even when you do give up runs early, I think it's a big thing to try to just stay calm and know that there's a lot of game left.
Q. For the way you pitch, how crucial is it for you to control the counts?
COLBY LEWIS: Yeah, I mean, for sure. I think it's crucial with any guy. If you go out and pound the strike zone early, it opens up a lot of doors. I think it's a situation where you can get ahead early and throw the pitches you want to late. You see it with all the great pitchers, with Halladay and all those guys getting ahead early, with C.J. last night, pounding the strike zone early. It's just a situation where you're able to throw the pitches when you want to when you get ahead early.
Q. There's been a lot of talk since the loss in Game 2 about what might happen, who would pitch Game 4 for you guys in the event of an 0-3 or something. Do you hear that kind of conversation, and were you -- I don't know, were you thinking, let's just play the game before we make those decisions or are you insulted by it?
COLBY LEWIS: No, not at all. We take one game at a time, and that's what we have to do really is go out and play and compete and then make the decisions after the game.
Q. As you were putting together your game plan for tonight what was the most important aspect of it did you think that you really had to do against this team?
COLBY LEWIS: For me, I mean, with the previous series, Yankees loaded up the lineups with lefties, and I knew my curveball was going to be a big player, and my changeup. So tonight, of course I threw a lot of sliders. I think it's a situation also with my breaking ball that worked well. Basically that was it. It was trying to command the fastball in and out. I felt like I was kind of peeling off, jerking the fastball and letting it not really commanding the inside fastball to lefties. It felt good to righties, but I couldn't get it in to lefties. But definitely the slider, I think, played a large part tonight.
Q. Obviously the bullpen has had some problems off and on in the playoffs. What were your thoughts on Feliz shutting it down tonight?
COLBY LEWIS: I wasn't worried at all. Those guys have been doing it all year. Nefti came in throwing 100, as he usually does, pounding the strike zone early, and put guys away with the big fastball.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.