October 9, 2001
SEATTLE, WASHINGTON: Game One
Q. Charlie, talk about Bartolo's pitching?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Bartolo, what can I say about him? You guys saw him. He pitched a pretty good ballgame. I felt like he got some plays -- I felt like he threw the ball good from the first inning on. His shoulder started getting tight in the 7th inning, and -- but he was still throwing hard all the way through to the 8th. And that's when -- I thought Bartolo pitched a super game today.
Q. There's so much focus on the Mariners, and the 116 wins, do you think your team was undersold coming into this?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't know. I look at our ballclub -- there's a reason why we're here. Like the Mariners, they've had a big season. Look at 116 wins. They won 25 more ballgames than us. Why shouldn't somebody think they might be the better team. But like I said before, like that's what makes baseball. That's why you guys are sitting there writing. That's why people are always second guessing the game is all part of it and that's baseball. And that's what makes it fun. That's what makes people predict things that's going to happen. But when you get down to it and play the game on the field, like anytime you get in the playoff, five game series, seven game series, you're starting off 0-0. You're not chasing somebody or nothing. You've got the same chance. When the first pitch is thrown, then you play the game. And basically that's kind of what happened today. It was a good played ballgame. We scored five runs and won the game.
Q. Charlie, seemed like you borrowed a page from the Mariners, in terms of your offense.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think basically what happened to our offense, especially the third inning is when we scored the runs, like we got a walk, we got a couple of hits on the infield. We got some hits on singles up the middle to centerfield, and actually we just did some good, consistent hitting in that inning, and like things kind of went our way, and like we were able to score some runs off of Freddy. Outside of that, that was pretty much the game. We scored another run and Burks hit a home run and that's how we got our five runs. And the way Colon was pitching, that's all we needed today.
Q. Charlie, Ellis Burks hadn't done much against Seattle all year, any adjustments he made today?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think it was the fact that just the way probably his approach to the ball, and like the fact that this is probably the first time in a long time -- it probably took him a while, and hitting off of their pitching staff, we played them 7 games, and like he's probably just getting to know them. But at the same time he makes adjustments at the plate, and was swinging the bat good, and waited good, and got a quick bat.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Coming in here, we tried -- I made the statement we wanted to contain Ichiro, but today he got three hits. We didn't contain him too good. But at the same time we did stop him from running, and to me like that's one of the keys to him, too. He had a big day, but at the same time they didn't capitalize on the hits they got, we were fortunate enough that actually he didn't hurt us.
CHARLIE MANUEL: He puts the ball in play. We're not trying, I don't think we tried to get him out all the time. We will get some hits, but if you contain him some, if you make him hit what you pitch, we stand a better chance. We want to get him to get the ball in the air.
Q. Is that as good as you've seen Bartolo pitch a full game like that. He pitched the whole game well.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I've seen him pitch better, but that's the best he's pitched in quite a while. Actually when I think about it, our game plan, like he still threw a lot of fastballs today. And when he's really on good, he will -- he'll throw a breaking ball over the plate every once in a while. But the fastball was the pitch today and he stayed with it.
Q. What does that do now for you, the series, how much pressure does that put on Seattle, you coming in and winning the first game?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think that -- I think we won one game. I think we've got two more to win. I think we've got to come out Thursday, like we're going to try to win that game. And that's the way that I've been talking about playing all year, if you remember, and that's the way that I still look at the playoffs, every day we play we're going to try to win that game. And who knows, maybe the results will be good for us. That's what I'm kind of pulling for.
Q. Would you talk about the play by Thome?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Doubleplay ball he turned?
Q. It was the key in the game.
CHARLIE MANUEL: It was the play of the game. Heck of a play, good play, tremendous play. Jimmy made a couple of good plays today, but that was a great play. Omar made some good plays, too. If you stop and think, laterally he moved a couple of times -- he made some good plays I thought were really key outs for Bartolo.
Q. Einar said before the game that Bartolo was pitching well in the bullpen before the game. Is there anything he does that you can sense what kind of game he's going to have or you think if he gets through the first batter or first inning, any tell tale signs?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Sometimes the way he starts the game, I'd say the second or third inning is the big key for him. Like sometimes he'll kind of slow down, instead of keeping a good rhythm, like going -- I felt like today, like from -- that I forget what inning, the second or third inning, I felt like he kind of got out of rhythm there for a while. But he found it and got right back into it. I felt like once he got by the third inning today he was cruising. Like he stayed focused on what he was doing. A lot of times he'll have a lot of pitches early, and today he kept that to a moderate pitch count. I felt that's what carried him through the 8 innings.
Q. Charlie, your 6 through 9 hitters had 8 of your 11 hits, can you talk about Burks and Fryman, guys with leadership and professional hitters at the bottom of the line-up?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think people overlook the fact that coming in here nobody -- we've always been an offensive ballclub, but at the same time we do have some good hitters. And our hitters are consistent. When we bunch together -- we can put up a big inning on you. You can be traveling around the game and shutting us out and we'll throw a 5, 6, 7 spot on you. And I think that gives credits to our hitters. They make adjustments at the plate. And I felt today that we didn't really what you call bang Freddy Garcia around, but we got key hits up the middle, and things went our way, and actually that's just a part of staying on the ball and being consistent and hitting the ball consistently.
Q. Bartolo's delivery, does the way his ball moves, coming out of the light and into the shadows, was that going to help him maybe more than other guys today? It certainly added up to a lot of strikeouts for somebody that doesn't strike out that often.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think it helped him. Some of our hitters kept coming back and saying it was kind of hard to see. And I think -- I don't know, but in the third inning when we scored the runs it seemed like there was no shadows. And things kind of fell in place for us. But when Freddy Garcia, he's got tremendous stuff, and they kept coming back and say it was hard to see. And I'm sure that as hard as he was throwing today it seemed like the shadows played a part in seeing the ball.
End of FastScripts....