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October 2, 2002

Russ Ortiz


Q. Talk about the way you pitched today and what you wanted to do going into the game?

RUSS ORTIZ: I think the first and most important thing was just to try to keep the guys on the top of the lineup off the base paths, because then you get into dangerous territory with those three, four, five hitters, so just keeping them off the base path was probably my main goal. And for the most part, we were able to do that. I was able to keep the pitches down when I needed to on big hitters and got some timely ground balls and got them to pop up a couple of times.

Q. What were your emotions watching from the bench when the Braves rallied in the late innings?

RUSS ORTIZ: I think that's just an indication that a team like Atlanta is not going to give up. They have the potential, you know, 1 to 8 hitters, to hit the ball out of the ballpark. Obviously, that was a couple of big blows, but I think that shows that you can't really give them an inch because it's going to come back and bite you. There's a couple of innings, I think everybody thought we had them out on a double play and then it was unfortunate that Benny dropped the ball, but at the same time, those things you can't really worry about. Just goes to show you, you can't give them any breaks. At the same time, I think with the type of lead, those are only good things that we are able to come up ahead, still, without giving them more than they deserved.

Q. Some people felt you were underdogs with the Braves in the past; how does it feel with at least one victory?

RUSS ORTIZ: I think getting the first game out of the way is huge. One thing we have always tried to do is play well on the road, and coming into this ballpark, this situation, I think it's very key to get the first win. Now we can work on tomorrow and hopefully go home with everything in our favor. Getting that first win was huge, huge for us, and hopefully we can continue what we did today, tomorrow.

Q. How big is it to take home field advantage away from the Braves?

RUSS ORTIZ: I think any time you can do that against a team like Atlanta, especially, that's very key. We play well at our ballpark, and to be able to go back home with hopefully two under our belt, but at least one, I think is real huge for us.

Q. The fact that you had to close out with every game like a playoff game, do you think that has helped you help the Giants, where the Braves had a big lead?

RUSS ORTIZ: I think just being able to do our jobs for quite a while now has been the key factor. It might seem like we are playing playoff baseball, but I think everyone was just telling themselves, "I'm going to do my job." And that's what happened today. It's just carried over from this season, that everybody has been able to do their job. And we all knew that going into the season; that if everyone can do the little things, with defense and timely hitting and getting guys over and stuff like that, we are going to win a lot of ballgames and we are going to do real well, and we've been doing that for quite a while now. You just have to really appreciate what all of the guys on the roster are doing and we've been doing it for so long now . It's almost like saying, "That's the way we are supposed to play the game," and it's felt real good to be able to play that way for a long time.

End of FastScripts�.

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