WILLIE RANDOLPH: No, not at all. That
can be overrated sometimes. You look at the
stats, maybe certain guys don't do well on three
days', four days' rest whatever it might be. But it's
a different time of the year and Tommy is strong
and fresh and ready to go as far as being taxed.
Second half of the season, you know, he was
pretty strong. When I think back on some of his
starts, they were starts where he got through them
real well and got ready for the next start.
This time of year, three days' rest, all the
money on the line, it's not a big deal.
What's Trachsel's status today and
his availability for the rest of the series, if
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Well, today, he's
icing down. He has a bruise on his lower thigh.
We'll wait and see how he feels tonight and
tomorrow and go from there.
Jose Valentin has struggled
mightily. Is he in the lineup tonight and what
do you make of his approach?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Yeah, he's in the
lineup. He got a hit last night, I believe, and
hopefully that's going to turn the corner for him.
He's been playing great defense for us and he's
one of those kind of guys who can always step up
for you at any point in time.
So he's out there, he's my guy and we've
still got a lot of series left. He's hopefully going to
get going a little bit like everyone else.
Could you talk about the
significance of getting the offense going,
especially after the bats were so silent
WILLIE RANDOLPH: It's a big key as far
as our momentum and what we do as a team.
Jose had a nice game yesterday. We couldn't get
him in, but there's always been a key for us all year
long. We feed off our energy and when the guys
are swinging the bats and we can get out there
and move like we want to move it's kind of
contagious for us. It's imperative that we do that
and that we do it tonight. Suppan was good last
night and they played good defense behind him
and that negated a lot of what we wanted to do.
I still feel like overall offensively the guys
are swinging the bats pretty good for the most part.
I don't sense that outside a couple of guys, if you
look at the 0-fors might jump out at you but things
can change pretty quick. Our guys come to play
every day and we'll find some holes tonight.
Is there anything new on Floyd?
And second part, about what percentage would
he need to be for you to run him out there?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Oh, that's totally up
to him. I can't tell what he's feeling or how he
I think he's feeling a little bit better today.
But it's up to him. When he comes in, gives me a
thumbs up, I'll put him in the lineup after
conversing with him on how he feels. But that's
totally his call. Basically to me, it's what he feels
as far as comfort and what he can deal with when
he's on the field. So it's totally up to him.
Two questions. First of all, given
how well Darren pitched last night, will there be
any consideration to starting him in Game 7 if
the series got that far? And second, do you
think the Tigers have an advantage against
whichever team comes out of the series just
because they are going to have a week off?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Well, Darren, we'll
wait and see obviously, but Darren has started for
us and that's a possibility. Obviously wait until we
get to that point. Yeah, he's done great things for
us this year as a spot guy, obviously a long guy
and he's pitched in short spots for us, too. I love
his versatility. We'll wait and see on that.
The Tigers, well, you've seen it, I've seen it
many times. That's just a crap shoot. You throw it
out there, sometimes it happens, sometimes it
doesn't. It depends on how you are that particular
day. I've seen teams go in after long layoffs and
just roll, and I've seen teams that just do the
opposite. So, you know, got to get there first and
then worry about that.
If Steve's leg responds tomorrow,
could you see him being available out of the
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Have to wait and
see, I don't know. Depends on where he is, really.
Everything's open this time of year, all options are
there and just do what you have to do that
particular day. You've seen it before. We get to a
situation where you have to, you know, put all the
money on the table and let it all hang out, I guess if
you can do it, everyone's available, yeah.
Do you have a sense on Oliver
Perez's nervousness level tonight?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: I'm sure he'll be a
little bit hyper. He may be a little bit nervous but
hopefully he'll get through the first inning and calm
down a little bit. I think why he's good sometimes
is he's able to feed off some of his energy. You
don't want to take that away from him or talk about
it, let him manage it himself. I've seen him come
into games with that kind energy and he's fed off it
really well and hopefully that will carry over for
seven or eight innings this year.
He's pitched against the Cardinals
well this year, how much did that go into your
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Each game is totally
different. You go into each situation totally as a
brand new experience. Someone said that he had,
his ERA wasn't that good against the Cardinals or
whatever, that means nothing to me. That's
something that you can kind of write about. When
you get to a situation like this, it's about executing
pitches and executing and timely hitting and all that
kind of stuff. It means nothing to me.
You mentioned that you're
encouraged by guys' at-bats, can we assume
that David Wright is one of the guys you're
talking about, are you encouraged by his
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Yeah, he's swinging
the bat, he's hit the balls pretty good. That's why I
never look at 0 for this, 0 for that, it's very
misleading. David needs to find a few holes more
than anything. For the most part his at-bats have
been pretty good and he's stung a few balls and
tonight it might be a different story. David's
stepped up for me all year long and he's a
dangerous hitter every time he walks to the plate.
Tonight is the night I feel he's going to bust out.
The '98 Yankees, if I'm recalling the
year right, trailed the Indians in the LCS two
games to one, won Game 4 and went on to win
the World Series and I can recall guys talking
after they won how winning Game 4 in the LCS
was a moment of truth and pivotal point. Do
you regard this as being a similar type of
situation for your team?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Yeah, it could be. I
think every game is a big game, really. But when
you look back in retrospect, usually this type of
game is the one that you might look back on and
think that this is the one. So it could be tomorrow,
for that matter. Even if we lose tonight, we still
have a chance to win it in seven games or
whatever it might be.
So, you know, hopefully this will be the
game we get things rolling tonight and keep
You've been very optimistic
throughout it all, but a lot of people sort of
predicted that you would have to scramble with
your pitching with Pedro and El Duque out. In
your heart of hearts, is this about what you
WILLIE RANDOLPH: No, not really,
because I've seen guys always step up for us and
do the job. Listen, one of the strengths of our
ballclub all year is we don't really concern
ourselves with who is not here and what we don't
have. These guys have shown me time and time
again their resolve and their toughness and their
So I still think, even though we are down
2-1, we're still in this mix here and things can
change real quick, maybe overnight hopefully, and
we'll just keep moving on.
Guys like Oliver Perez and John Maine
and Dave Williams when he was here, those guys,
we always felt good about giving those guys the
ball because we're a team and we feed off each
other, not just one particular guy who is not here. I
came into this series feeling like even though we
didn't have El Duque and Pedro, we still had a
good chance to win, and that's the way we all feel
about each other.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.