Q & A with Scott Proctor
Reliever confident his club will bounce back in Game 4
DETROIT -- Scott Proctor watched from the bullpen on Friday night, as the Tigers defeated the Yankees, 6-0, putting New York one game away from another early October exit.
Detroit leads the best-of-five American League Division Series, 2-1, putting the Yankees in a win-or-go-home situation on Saturday in Game 4 at Comerica Park.
Throughout the 2006 postseason, Proctor will take part in an exclusive Q&A with MLB.com, sharing his thoughts after every Yankees game. On Friday, Proctor spoke about Kenny Rogers' masterful performance, the surprising lack of hitting by the Yankees and what his team needs to do to force the series back to New York for Game 5.
MLB.com: Do you feel that the Tigers' win in Game 3 took a little air out of your team or pumped them up a little more?
Proctor: I think it helped them more than it hurt us. I don't feel that we had any more pressure on us than we did before or that it took much momentum away from us. It was a tough fight and they came out on top, but both teams played really well. This loss definitely hurts more than that one [in Game 2] did. It just gave them a little more confidence.
MLB.com: Much of the talk leading into Game 3 was about Randy Johnson and his bad back. What did you think of his performance on Friday night?
Proctor: Randy battled. I thought he had real good stuff, but a couple of clutch hits by them gave them the momentum that they needed. He threw the ball real well, even though the outcome wasn't the best. I don't think he pitched poorly at all.
MLB.com: When Detroit was leading, 3-0, Johnson settled in and retired nine out of 10 batters. Are you sitting there thinking, 'Our offense will break out eventually?'
Proctor: With this offense, we're capable of putting up a ton of runs. We've done it time and time again this year. Rogers is a heck of a pitcher, and he pitched a great game.
MLB.com: Rogers' numbers against the Yankees were terrible coming into the game. Were you surprised to see him dominate the way that he did?
Proctor: You don't ever think that anybody is going to shut this lineup down. You figure that at least two or three guys are going to have a good game. He just made the pitches when he needed to, they made some good plays, and before we knew it, it was the ninth inning and we didn't have any runs.
MLB.com: Is it frustrating sitting out in the bullpen, not being able to do anything about it?
Proctor: Yeah, but we've gone through a lot to get here. We have to take Game 4 as do-or-die, play the way we played all year. If we do that, we'll come out on top.
MLB.com: Your team has responded well to terrible losses like the 19-1 loss in Cleveland and the 12-2 loss at home against the Orioles. Why do you think that is?
Proctor: The advantage we have here is that we have a lot of guys with a lot of time in the big leagues, and they've been through a lot. We all know that whatever happened yesterday doesn't matter, whether it was good or bad. Every day is a test, and you have to go out and prove yourself. We're going to go out and battle, and we'll see who comes out on top. It's definitely going to be a fight.
MLB.com: Knowing that Saturday could be the last day of your season, how do you not let that creep into your clubhouse in the next 18 hours?
Proctor: Everyone knows that, but the biggest thing is just to do the things we've done all year -- go out and fight, make the starting pitcher work, get to their bullpen and play solid defense. I think we've got a good shot.
Mark Feinsand is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.