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October 15, 2003

Grady Little


Q. I know you just played this game, all of the emotions, but can you step back and appreciate the fact that these two teams have such a history, it's coming down to one game, everything that happened this series and do you ever think that there's something at work beyond what's going on the field?

GRADY LITTLE: I think all of us may think that every once in a while, but then it boils down to the players on both teams have to go out on to the field and play the game. That's what it's all about. These two teams are getting out there pretty good right now just as they have all season long, and tomorrow should be an exciting date.

Q. You did quite a job manipulating your bullpen and coming down the home stretch you had Williamson, Wakefield, you finally decided to make Williamson the man. How do you make the decision on that?

GRADY LITTLE: That's kind of like writing the lineup every day. We don't do that. The players make the lineup and the players line themselves up on the job they are supposed to do and when they are supposed to do. We just kind of point them in the direction when it's time to go.

Q. In the sixth inning, what was the key moment in your comeback?

GRADY LITTLE: I don't know exactly. You know, we've been waiting ever since the post-season started to be able to get the line moving, is what we refer to in the dugout, just trying to get the line moving, get some baserunners, get some base hits in an inning. They started coming right there but when finally it happened back-to-back that Nomar and Manny got extra base hits back-to-back, it's something we haven't seen throughout post-season play. I think that was a big plus.

Q. Just picking up on that, was the best news tonight so many of your hitters who were on the schneid got off and it paid off?

GRADY LITTLE: I think that goes without saying, tonight we had some good plate appearances and it paid off for us. Tomorrow we'll try to continue.

Q. Continuing on that, it must be good seeing Nomar have a game like this tonight?

GRADY LITTLE: It was certainly good. It was good for him and it's good for us. This guy is certainly capable of doing this any day he steps on to the field. You know it's going to happen sooner or later and tonight it happened.

Q. The way the wind was blowing before the game, were you concerned about it or did you think that this might benefit you?

GRADY LITTLE: When you see some kind of field condition like that, whether it be wet ground or the wind blowing like that, the one thing that you can be assured of is that it's the same for both teams.

Q. Have you ever been around a team that just consistently comes back, that's not done again, come back again, they did it all year and they did it again tonight?

GRADY LITTLE: No, I've never been around a club quite like this. But tonight the way that game went down out there, it typified our whole season. The majority of our season was played just like that and we were glad to come out on top.

Q. Could you talk about Burkett's performance and his pitching in the fourth inning and your decisions about sticking with him and then ultimately taking him out?

GRADY LITTLE: Well, Burky was put out there to start the game, to give us as much as he had as long as he had, and he got three outs there in that inning, but he had a little trouble with Soriano, the next hitter. Once again, we can't ask any more of him than that to get three outs in an inning, but you have to pitch three outs over the plate to Soriano and it hurt.

Q. Can you talk about the performance of your bullpen particularly getting out of that jam in the sixth inning?

GRADY LITTLE: He was outstanding. Our bullpen was outstanding throughout all the post-season play and we'll knock on wood, I hope that continues.

End of FastScripts...

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