JIM LEYLAND: Well, he's a professional
pitcher. That's what he is. There's guys with other
stuff. There's guys that will light up the radar gun a
little bit more. But to be honest with you, for the
most part of this year, he's pitched as good as
anybody we have, and fortunately we have good
pitchers. That's a compliment to all of them.
Will Zumaya be available tomorrow?
And would you use him if he is?
JIM LEYLAND: I don't know that he'll be
available tomorrow. I really don't know the answer
to that. He was better today. And for
precautionary stuff, he's got some type of device
on his hand, so that's normally not a good feeling
for a manager, when you see your pitcher with
some type of device on his hand. I really don't
know the answer to that just yet.
With all the things Polanco does,
how much did you miss him when he was out,
and how concerned were you that he wasn't
going to come back this year?
JIM LEYLAND: I really didn't know if he
was going to make it back or not. Obviously we
missed him. We're like everybody else; we try to
be professional here, and we have no excuses. I
mean, did we miss him, sure.
Are they missing their combination that
they had at short and second? Absolutely.
There's no excuses, and good teams find a way to
survive and do the best they can when they have
certain players down, or any player down as far as
that goes. So did we miss him? Yes, but we have
to go on.
Nothing that Polanco has done
really surprises you. You've been on his
bandwagon for a long time. But for him to have
come back with that shoulder problem and
then had the kind of artistry he's had at the
plate the last couple weeks, can you talk a little
bit about that?
JIM LEYLAND: I really don't know how
he's done it to be honest with you, because I
thought -- sometimes you can get guys like that
back and you put them in the lineup because that
name is supposed to be in the lineup, but you're
really not sure what to expect.
Polanco is the type of guy like the rest of
our players: He's going to come back and give you
everything he has, so you have a good feeling
about that. But to see him do this is pretty
You've used different people at DH
each game and you've gotten production out of
each of them. Is this a matter of finding the
exact right spot for these people?
JIM LEYLAND: I think it's a matter that
you have confidence in all your players, and
there's also a little luck that goes along with it, to
be honest with you. I'm not trying to keep
everybody in suspense of who I'm DHing.
Infante was 1 for 3 with two walks. He got
a hit today and walked. As a manager, like I say,
you just make out the lineup that you think gives
you the best chance to win. If the players execute,
it's a good lineup; if they don't, you should have
picked somebody else, I guess (laughter).
You've seen plenty of postseason
action both in the dugout and elsewhere. Have
you seen many back-to-back dominant
performances like Kenny has put together
JIM LEYLAND: Well, unfortunately I saw
the Braves in the '90s (laughter). I saw quite a bit
of Mr. Smoltz, who I think is the best postseason
pitcher I've ever seen. But I can tell you this: It
couldn't be any better. It's a little bit different type
of stuff and everything, but nobody could have
pitched better than what Kenny has pitched the
last two outings, including John Smoltz, who like I
said is the best postseason pitcher I've ever seen.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.