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March 13, 2006

Endy Chavez

Freddy Garcia

Victor Martinez

Luis Sojo


THE MODERATOR: Good evening. Manager Luis Sojo, Endy Chavez, Freddy Garcia and Victor Martinez. Our interpreter this evening is Dina Kuriansky.
LUIS SOJO: Well, today wasn't different for our pitching. The pitching has been great the whole series, the whole tournament. Carlos Zambrano, Carlos Silva, they've been great the whole tournament. Today we come through with a big hit when we needed it. You never know in this game. They're not supposed to hit homers. They've got two so far. I love you, man (laughter).
I mean, we made some changes today. He didn't know that he was going to lead off today until the last minute because I didn't get my line-up. When they introduced him he didn't know.
I tried to make some changes. I tried to get some speed in the bottom of the line-up with Endy and Omar (Vizquel), and I think it worked out. Victor came through in that game and in the situation with the bases loaded, and I expect that from this team. We played well offensively, and today we came through when we needed it.
VICTOR MARTINEZ: Well, we knew what we were coming for this evening. We had the task and the mandate to win. But we had to play against Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is a team, a wonderful team, great class, very competitive, not easy to play against because of the top quality of the players in that Puerto Rican team.
But ultimately we were able to put everything together and everything went well, and this is a result of the game.
ENDY CHAVEZ: We had excellent pitching today. I'm very happy with the result of the game. Winning was our objective in coming to tonight's game, and it was a very pleasant experience. It was a wonderful experience. We were playing against a major team. We still have one strong team to play against tomorrow, but offense, everything came up to par, pitches, offense, all blended together to bring us to this wonderful result.
Q. Is this the team that you wanted to see in the WBC?
LUIS SOJO: That's the team I wanted to see in the WBC. I want some more. Today we came through when we needed to. Andy took advantage of 3-and-1 of Pineiro. He was pitching great. 3-and-1, he knew he was going to throw another fastball and Endy took advantage of it. Joel was pitching great, and he kept us quiet for a little while.
The other guys set the tone for that homer because Victor was great today. He was missing the pitches that he was looking for, he didn't connect. But at that particular time, it was like he was going to do something, was going to come through, and he did that.
We took advantage of this control. This guy, he missed the home play, he walked home. Everybody worked good in that inning. That's the team I want to see. Today, and hopefully tomorrow is a big day for us, and we'll go happily to San Diego.
Q. Endy, were you thinking of hitting that homer when you did, when it was your turn at bat with a 3-and-1? Were you thinking of a homer or simply hitting the ball?
ENDY CHAVEZ: I was not thinking about just hitting a homer. I was just standing there thinking of the breeze. I don't know if this is the most important hit that I had in my career, the home run. I was just concentrated on looking for a good swing, and just being able to connect with the ball. For me I was looking at everything thinking of my hand, a solid hit so I could bat adequately. Suddenly I hit, it went to the left field, it was a good swing, good contact, thinking it could become a homer, which it did, so timing and experience, and it was one of the best moments of my life.
Q. Your team had a tough time with the Dominicans last week. Could you talk about playing them tomorrow with San Diego at stake.
FREDDY GARCIA: Well, it is a challenge for both of us. The way I see it, it is a great day for the two teams. It is our last game, it is a huge challenge, but we are ready for that. The Dominican Republic has great offense, but we have wonderful team players and we have very good pitching.
Q. Tomorrow is a very important game. Have you thought about the pitchers and the line-up or the pitching staff for tomorrow? What have you thought about that? Then the second question to Victor, regarding the home run, what did you feel about the home run? It was exactly the right time to strike a homer, so what you did you feel?
LUIS SOJO: Well, for tomorrow I don't know -- I still don't know but we have to think of all the pitchers coming in tomorrow, Freddy, Kelvim (Escobar), everybody except (Victor) Zambrano. He had some problems and wasn't feeling so well, so maybe not him, but everybody else has to pitch in. We have to keep the same men at the time, put everything into it, and I don't think it takes that much. We have good pitchers. Definitely that is a strong part that we have for us, for our team. And if you see the Dominican Republic, they must be thinking about it because 9-0, this is the way that you win. The good pitching we have is what gives us that wonderful opportunity.
Q. When you hit the homer, you just stood there watching. What were you thinking of when you hit the home run, Victor?
VICTOR MARTINEZ: Once I hit the home run, I was able to see that it was going outside the park. It was leaving the field, so I felt very happy because I was thinking of the feelings that were going through the minds of my team players. The team was more comfortable, I felt great joy because it was the first grand slam home run in my career, so it was really important and I felt very happy because it gave us an advantage on the score.
ENDY CHAVEZ: Well, everything has worked out well. The balls have worked out well. I can say that the way I'm feeling now is, as you were saying, a low profile with a great man. Having acted and played for my team, with Venezuela, it's a very special feeling, and the only thing for me is to continue with my aggressive swing, good contact, swinging well and doing what I've done so far, being very happy with the results.
Q. For Freddy, last year you played four different games, and it was important, but now it is really important for you to realize you're playing against the Dominican Republic and the possibility of them becoming champions and playing with your team, with your country. What are you thinking about? How are you training? How are you setting your mind in order to deal with this?
FREDDY GARCIA: Well, last year I had wonderful opportunities. I had the chance to pitch in the three, four last games in the series. But this is an opportunity to defend my country, to play with my teammates and my team, the national team. I feel good, I feel excited, I feel moved, and if we win tomorrow, which is a most difficult game, then we go on to the final, but we are ready to go there.

End of FastScripts...

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