10/16/05 9:16 PM ET
Ensberg, Lane postgame interview
Players say team needs to continue playing solid ball
By / MLB.com
JASON LANE: Yeah, it was a two-strike fastball that he had actually thrown earlier that he got the single on, the same kind of pitch. I was just trying to protect and shorten my swing up with two strikes and I was able to get the barrel to the ball even though it was kind of in, up and in a little bit.
For either one of you guys, throughout the series, y'all have been struggling with runners in scoring position, just how have you guys been able to get by in these low scoring games?
MORGAN ENSBERG: I've been really kind of laughing to myself about the runners in scoring position. Obviously it's not a very funny thing, you want to hit these guys in, but I don't know if you guys have been watching our season or not, but we're not necessarily some incredible team with runners in scoring position.
I think the big key there is the amount of opportunities that we are getting. We are getting a lot of guys in scoring position. And also, in a three game series, you know, in that first game, we had a lot of hard hit balls that we're talking about feet would have turned into extra base hits, would have turned into two run plays. You're right, we need to do a much better job with runners in scoring position, but luckily, our pitching staff is incredible and they have been able to pick us up big time.
Morgan, can you tell me what you're thinking in the ninth inning when Reggie comes to the plate with men on the corners?
ENSBERG: When you have first and third and obviously the tying run is at third, you're definitely thinking that the run at third is the most important run and that you have to stop that. And virtually any play that you can make, you're going to make sure that you are going to get that run. So even if there's a diving ball to the left, you're going to check. Even if it's a ground ball right at you, you might not necessarily just be sitting there and turning two at the time, because remember, there's nobody out. But it was actual very easy for me just in the sense that I got a slow roller, I saw Albert already running down the line. There actually was no decision; you had to go home.
ENSBERG: Flat out unbelievable. You want to get in here, Laner?
LANE: From my angle I thought when they hit it, there's no way we were going to be able to turn two and it was going to be a tie game to see Bruntlett get that feed like that and turn it, it was one of the best turns. I don't think there's many guys that can turn that double play like that.
Morgan, can you also describe after you throw Albert out what's going on after that? It did appear that somebody, I believe it was you, looked to get time out, and can you just describe what happened there and how you felt that play turned out?
ENSBERG: Well, after that ball was thrown, you know, I'm turning around and running back to third just to make sure that third is covered for the exact reason as to what happened. So apparently time out was not called and Larry had an incredibly heads up play.
You guys have seen what your guys in the bullpen have been doing all year long, Brandon comes out in the sixth and the guys Phil put out there put zeros on the board throughout. Talk about how your bullpen keeps coming up with the big pitches.
ENSBERG: That's you.
LANE: Those guys have stuck together all year. They have a great group down there and they take a lot of pride in the bullpen. They have been a real tight knit, close group. Like I said, they take a lot of pride and they have been great all year. They have had some games when they maybe haven't got it done, very few this year, but when they haven't, they bounce right back and don't let anything get them down and they want the ball.
You know, we've played close games all year, so they are used to this situation. I think by playing close games all year like that, they are poised and under control.
For both of you, you guys are up 3-1 and you have Andy Pettitte, Roy Oswalt, and Roger Clemens coming up. What does that feel like?
LANE: It feels good. But at the same time, this is a great team we're playing and we've just got to keep playing good baseball.
Obviously we've got a chance tomorrow here to close low it out in front of the home fans, and we've got our big three and those have been our guys all year. So we've just got to go out there ask keep playing good, solid baseball and that's been the key to us, I think.
For either one of you, people talk about how loose this team stays, is it going to be easy to stay loose tomorrow, as you have been up to now?
ENSBERG: Loose gets thrown out quite a bit, as if almost, I'm afraid that people think that we don't care or something like that, but that's not the case. I think really when you start off 15-30 and are constantly getting beat, I mean, there's nowhere to go but up.
We had to go through damage control and so forth, but I would tell that you because we've had relationships for so long with these guys, the majority of the guys on our squad come from the Astros organization and we have all been playing together for a long time.
So you really can't tell if we win or lose when you're in the locker room, and I think it just has a lot to do with being familiar with the other guys and just the makeup of the guys that we have in our locker room. We are just not affected by losses, and ironically, it's an incredible strength.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.