NAVIGATORS GAME QUOTES – JULY 21-22, 2008 – NAVS 2, KEENE 1 (14)
by Joseph Gravellese, North Shore Navigators Sports Information Department
Coach Jason Falcon
It was a battle between two teams near the top of the North Division, so we all expected a competitive game. But you couldn’t have possibly seen that coming, could you?
No. Never in a million years. I put all of our position players in. This game is on the players, not me – they all did an excellent job, every single one of them.
Have you ever been involved in a game like this?
Last year in the playoffs, game 2 against Lowell, they took us to 15 innings and they beat us. It was nice to end up on the winning side today.
Talk about persisting through all the jams, and through some great Keene pitching, to score the winning run.
It just says a lot about our guys – they’re not going to give in to anybody. I don’t’ know how many times they had runners in scoring position with less than two outs – but give credit to the players, they just don’t want to give up anything. We talk about winning as many home games as we can, and they certainly went out and did their job tonight.
Is it possible to even describe the job done by the bullpen tonight?
No, you really can’t. that’s what they do, that’s what they’ve done all year. They do what they’re supposed to do. They make me look good on a night like tonight, when I made more mistakes than any coach in the history of the game. They’re competitors, and a lot of them have a future ahead of them. After what I saw tonight, I know a lot of them have a future ahead of them.
If the game goes to inning 15, who’s coming in?
Gallo was next. He was ready for3-4 innings. He’s probably all upset because he was down there pumping from the 6th inning on.
There were a lot of big plays tonight, and it would be impossible to recount them all. But are there any that especially stand out in your mind, looking back?
The game-winning hit, obviously… but Folino’s bunt. That’s a play that has to be made in order to win this game. Defensively, we made a bunch of really good plays tonight. Little had a good running catch, Zurcher made a couple of great plays at short, and Costello had a few good scoops down at first base. Great game all around.
Justin Little, CF
How did it feel to get eight at bats in one game?
Well, I wish it could have been one less and I could have got a game winning hit earlier. But in that kind of game, it’s nice to just get the win. That was a great game. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Matt Costello, 1B, game winning hit
You jumped on that first pitch and lined it to left for the game winner. It looked like an out from my seat, but it fell in. Talk about what you were looking for in that at bat.
They’ve been beating me with fastballs with their lefties, just throwing the hard stuff. So I wanted to choke up and just put it in play, and not hit into a double play. I got the fastball and just got my bat to it.
How does it feel to end such a dramatic game?
Honestly, I’m so tired that I don’ teven know how to react. It felt good. Really good. This one was a lot of fun – but very tiring.
Ryan Krull, reliever. Worked out of a bases loaded, 0 out jam in the 9th inning
Talk about working out of that bases loaded, nobody out jam in the 9th. What was your approach, and what did you talk about during those conferences at the mound?
I really just wanted to get one guy at a time. Just wanted to get that first guy. You have to start somewhere. I got ahead of him with a changeup, then he swung and missed at a fastball. That was big. And then we put on the intentional walk to set up the double play, and it worked out.
Were you throwing pitches specifically to try to get the double play?
I was just trying to keep the ball down in the zone in general. Make sure they couldn’t get anything up in the air. You always have to keep it down in that situation to prevent a sac fly.
Two really good teams battling it out tonight – talk about how it feels to be part of a game like tonight’s.
It was a blast. This was the first game I’ve been in that’s been this long all year. It’s fun. It’s long, obviously, but it’s fun to get everybody in the game. It’s a good team win because just about everyone on the team had a contribution.
It was a lot of fun. We were trying to figure out what we could do to change up the luck and get the win. We tried rally caps in every direction – forwards, backwards, sideways. We had it all going on.
Chris Kowalski, reliever. 3 1/3 scoreless innings.
Talk about the work of the bullpen as a whole tonight.
Unbelievable job by everyone. It’s been like that all year – just come in and throw strikes.
What’s it like to watch a game like that from down in the bullpen?
It’s great, you just have to stay focused and be ready when your number is called. Throw strikes, get outs, keep the game moving. Nobody wants to be the guy that loses it. It’s great to see all the guys out there competing.
Could you tell that Costello’s game winner was a hit? It looked like an out at first from the stands.
Yeah, it’s funny – I know the left-fielder, he’s a catcher at [the University of ] Virginia. I knew that once he hit it to left field it had a good chance of falling in. And that was it.
Wayde Kitchens, starting pitcher.
Seemingly six, seven, eight hours ago, you pitched today. Talk about how you felt on the mound facing this tough Keene lineup.
I felt good. Fastball was working today, I was hitting the strike zone a lot. I just wanted to keep us in the game.
In the fifth inning, you got out of a major jam – runners on first and third with nobody out. Talk about the pitches you made to get out of that and keep the game tied.
I threw all fastballs, really, then threw the curveball once I got to two strikes. And luckily for me both pitches worked and I got out of it.
How does it feel as a starting pitcher to leave the game, then have to watch as it goes on for eight more innings. Is it agonizing to be watching a game like this from the dugout?
Not really, it was actually a lot of fun. This game was huge for us, we needed the win. Obviously, I just wanted the team to win. I wasn’t agonized at all – it was great.
I’m told that you were next in line to come out of the bullpen if the game went to 15 innings. Was there any shred of disappointment when the game ended and you didn’t get to pitch? Be honest.
Well… I haven’t pitched in about 24 days, so… I’m happy we won, but I would have liked to have come in.
How did it feel to watch this game from the bullpen?
By myself with Hill… jeez. It was exhilarating [laughs].
Phil Rosenfield, owner
Phil, this was absolutely the most thrilling game we’ve seen so far at Fraser – what was this like from the owner’s perspective?
It’s great, as long as it ends in a win. Whenever a game ends like that, you go home happy.
(on the game winning hit by Costello):
Just like lightning – one swing, and boom – it’s over. First I thought it was a hit, then I thought it was an out, then I thought it was a hit.
Any plays from this game stand out to you today?
Yeah, actually, I thought the last run was poetic justice, because [Keene’s] first run came on a play where our outfielder broke in, then went back out, and the ball went over his head. So for the same thing to sort of happen in reverse was great poetic justice. That’s what I love about baseball, things like that always seem to happen.
Zander Kean, cameraman, LynnCam
Were you getting tired from all that standing?
The best decision I’ve ever made in my cameraman career was lowering my tripod and sitting down from the 11th through the 14th. I was ready to go 20 If I had to.