Q. Can you talk about your decision to start Parker tomorrow and Milone the next day?
BOB MELVIN: We were comfortable with either. Keep Parker on turn. He's been pitching well here recently. Both of them we've given them a little bit of rest over the course of the season. But I think the way Jarrod's been pitching here recently coupled with the fact that we'll keep him on his regular routine was the final decision.
But we're comfortable with either.
Q. Even though your team is young, inexperienced, do you think what you guys have done the last few weeks or month kind of gave you playoff experience because so many games were crucial?
BOB MELVIN: Yeah. I do. I mean, every game that we played here down the stretch seemed like it had that type of feel. Now, you never know with a younger group until you get in there and experience postseason what it's completely like.
But as a lead-in, you know, we had to win to get where we are today quite a few games and quite a few games in a row to do it.
It had that type of feeling. So I would say that's a fair point.
Q. You're the higher seed here but first two games on the road obviously. This situation, just what kind of keys? What do you point to as being key in these first two games on the road and getting off to a good start?
BOB MELVIN: Well, again, what we've tried to do all year is just play for that particular day, whether you're on the road, whether you're at home. It doesn't matter what the schedule is, you just deal with that day. And I think we'll continue to do that.
We'll worry about who Game 2 is starter for them when we get to Game 2. Our focus is getting our workout in today and worrying about tomorrow.
So we're not thinking too much about the makeup of the schedule. First couple being here, 2-1-2 as opposed to 2-3, I think we're just worried about today.
Q. You obviously just saw this team two weeks ago. What were your impressions of them as, and now looking at them as a potential playoff opponent?
BOB MELVIN: They're a very good team. And you look at the roster composition, and they're probably built for the postseason as well. They have some starters that get your attention. They've got back-end-of-the-bullpen guys that get their attention, and they have a lineup that's very deep.
We saw it they roughed us up a couple of games last time we were here. And I think it was during a difficult road trip for us. But it's a team that you don't want to look like a Game 2 or Game 3, or Game 4 you just have to really challenge them and play our game on a particular day, because they are that good a team.
Q. You've obviously gone through a lot of sort of adversity through the season, the Pat Neshek family, the tragedy they're going through, the fact he's here, good to see him here and sort of your thoughts?
BOB MELVIN: Awesome to see him. I spoke to him real briefly. Got in here today, wanted to be here, rushed to get here. I think the team can kind of insulate you from something like that. You know you're going to get a ton of support.
We've been a very close-knit team here, especially in the second half. And I think that will benefit him. Now, what he's going through, man, it's devastating. And we all know that.
And so we all want to be here for him. We're proud of the fact that he did get here and wants to be with us, wants to be on the roster, wants to pitch. So we will support that as completely as we possibly can.
Q. What do you remember about 1985 here and also about playing for Jim Leyland in the Minors?
BOB MELVIN: It was Instructional League I played for Jim. '85 was my rookie year. Came in after -- I think it was May with the team that won the World Series the year before. So a lot of veteran guys.
It was more like do your thing and not be heard, just kind of do your thing. That's the way it was back then when you were a rookie-type player. It's a little different now, but being able to come in behind the Lance Parrishes and Kirk Gibsons and Alan Trammells and Jack Morrises, I watched those guys very closely coming up through the system, and I really -- I was proud of the fact I came up in the Tiger system. I only spent one year in college. Then you go up in your system, which was for me it was a Tiger system. It was almost like being at a university.
I came up in a University of Detroit Tigers, and they had so many good players. The team was so good at that time. Sparky Anderson was the manager.
There were so many things you could learn from as a young player, and then as far as playing for Jim Leyland, that was just for a short period of time in '81 in Instructional League. He got the White Sox coaching job I think during it. But it didn't take you long to be around Jim Leyland to realize the impact that he has around players and people.
We were there in Instructional League, that's winter ball stuff. I remember losing three or four games in a row to start.
And he came in, had a little tirade, in Instructional League, that got my attention very quickly. Some of the points were made that because this is winter ball doesn't mean we go out there without the intensity to win and learned a lot in a very short period of time with Jim Leyland, one of the great managers of all time.
Q. You're going to face four right-handed starters with them. Are you inclined to maybe stick with those right-left matchups as far as your lineup, or do you think you can mix and match a little bit how do you approach that?
BOB MELVIN: We'll take it day to day. And we'll go with the lineup that we feel is appropriate for Verlander and we'll make adjustments accordingly along the way.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.