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October 15, 2001

Charlie Manuel


Q. A couple of days ago before Game 2 Finley had said that he thought he may have been a little overanxious. Did you sense any of that today?

CHARLIE MANUEL: No, not really. I think today the one inning where he got in trouble, he was still trying to find the command of his pitches. I think when Finley is good, he gets all three of his pitches over the plate. And I think the same thing happened with bases loaded, when he loaded the bases and McLemore got a hit. In that inning he was still scuffling to find his control, like to get good location on his pitches.

Q. What's your general feelings right now about the playoffs?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Any time you play a five game series, it's kind of tough. But I look and Seattle has a great ballclub. They won 116 games. And the last two days, especially, I felt like they were pitching -- Their pitching really shut us down. We've got a pretty good offense. I think we proved that the other day when we scored 17 runs. But at the same time they've got great quality of pitching, and I think they stopped our hitting. And usually on a good day, I'd say an average day for us, we're going to score four to six runs a game. That's kind of like an ordinary day for us. And their pitching shut us down and held us. I felt like the last few days that was definitely the turning point of the series.

Q. Are you surprised at all that the Mariners didn't press more, with all the burdens they had on them, well the 116-win season?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Not really. They play -- the other day when we had a big wide scoring game, I felt things got away from them, but they play steady baseball. And like they play the game the right way it's supposed to be played. And I tell you what, they're going to close the game, it gets pretty tough to beat them, and their pitching steps up. Ichiro is a heck of a lead-off hitter. I don't know how we stop him. And also at the same time we've got Edgar Martinez and Boone and Olerud, and they've got some good middle line-up hitters, and they've got very good complimentary players, and they play good baseball. They've had a lot of success in the game, as far as experience goes, and knowing how to play the game. To me like this is what makes them a good team. They are a team.

Q. Charlie, could you talk a little bit about the hitting and the pitching. Their strike zone seemed to float a little bit. It seemed like the hitters maybe had trouble getting comfortable with what was a strike and what wasn't.

CHARLIE MANUEL: I think our players, I think the kind of team we've got, I think we don't like a cry or the strike zone or bitch or whatever. And as a manager I don't want to complain about strike zones and things like that. But I felt today Moyer was definitely getting the ball down. I can't tell from the dugout where the ball is as far as in or out, but he was definitely getting the ball down, and this was confusing our hitters. And they were coming back, and like -- it wasn't like -- they were just upset that they felt like the balls were low. And like I felt like that really helped Moyer as far as the way he pitches.

Q. Charlie, why do you think -- you look at the games you lost, and I don't think you scored more than two runs in any of the games. Why did the offense just shut down?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I think that's a credit to their pitching. I think if you saw -- Actually like the first game we won, and when we beat Garcia, things went our way. I think yesterday things went their way. But in the game we beat them 17-2, I think their pitching, we got to their fourth and fifth starters, and their first three guys out, especially the two, Moyer and Garcia, I think are really top of the line pitchers.

Q. Your bullpen got you out of some big jams. Did you think "keep this close, keep this close", and we're going to explode sooner or later?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I think when Riske stopped on that one inning, I thought we were going to win the game. And the reason why -- I thought that would pick us up, and I thought somewhere along the line we'd get some big hits. I've been saying all along, if we can keep the game close, we can win it, because I felt like we could hit -- our ballclub during the season hits good pitching. We've got experienced guys on the field. And actually I've got to give credit to Seattle's pitching, because they definitely held our offense down.

End of FastScripts....

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