10/14/08 1:27 AM ET
Joe Torre postgame interview
Dodgers manager discusses his bullpen use in Game 4
JOE TORRE: First, he was on short rest, I think that was well-documented. He had to work hard every inning, even though he was in the 70s, pitch-count-wise. The only 1-2-3 inning he had was the fifth inning. I thought at that point, especially when we took the lead, because it just looked like he was fighting his emotions the whole game.
He said he felt fine. We were probably going to get only one more inning out of him anyway, pitch-count-wise, and I just decided to make the move there.
In retrospect, do you wish you would have handled your bullpen differently so you had a lefty left to face [Shane] Victorino and [Matt] Stairs?
JOE TORRE: Not really, you do what you do, we were hoping we could have [Hong-Chih] Kuo get through the eighth inning also, but it just wasn't coming out. And that was something, since he had such an efficient seventh, and he was throwing the ball so well, I was trying to get him through the eighth.
But I watched him warm up and if he didn't get [Ryan] Howard out, I was going to go get him. That's what I did. I don't think I can say I would do anything differently, really. Cory Wade's numbers against left-hand hitters this year has been really good. He threw a breaking ball and it stayed up and Shane just knocked the hell out of it.
The thing is, you seem to spend a long time to talk to Kuo on the mound before ...
JOE TORRE: I was trying to get my pitcher ready down there. He was ready to hand me the ball. I said, 'Not yet.' I just needed a little more time to get Cory ready, and he was ready. There was no excuse for -- I mean, he's been a great pitcher for us. But he was ready to go. We just didn't get the job done.
Are you thankful you have a day off in between these games to give your guys a chance to catch a breather after?
JOE TORRE: I canceled the workout tomorrow. And these guys are fighting their hearts out, and just I told them to be back here on Wednesday to be ready to play baseball.
We have to win the remaining games. We can only do it one at a time. I sense we'll be back right here with the right attitude. These guys have been playing hard. There's a little inexperience sprinkled in, but we know that going in. But they're certainly not afraid. And I expect us to be out here on Wednesday and play hard.
Was there anything beyond the results that had Derek [Lowe] evidently really irritated there in between the innings in the first?
JOE TORRE: No. You know, that's what it is. He's just very emotional. He was fighting it the whole game. And I went up to him after the fifth inning to ask him how he was doing, and he says no different. No different. I'm maybe a little bit better because he was getting a little tired.
He wasn't fighting himself as much. But he was dealing with it emotionally the whole game. As I say, I thought he spent a lot the fact that the first innings he didn't get 1-2-3, and he was in the fifth inning.
But, that's just the way -- that's why you love him, because of his emotion, the way he goes out there.
You said your plan was to get Kuo through the eighth. Was part of that a reluctance to use Casey [Blake] after two innings the night before?
JOE TORRE: To use?
You used Wade two innings the night before.
JOE TORRE: No, I knew I had Wade for part of one or one tonight. Because we had -- and that's been what we've done with him all year.
And, I mean, the thing with Kuo, you saw the seventh inning, it was just very impressive. Again, we know he's coming back from a physical problem. I mean, he's had physical problems just about his whole career. He never pitches -- the fact he wouldn't know what it felt like not to feel something all the time.
But the seventh inning, we said, you've got Howard leading off, let's send him out there. He started warming up, just didn't look like it was coming out the same. When Ryan got the base hit, I decided to make the change.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.