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October 5, 2007

Charlie Manuel

Jamie Moyer


Q. Charlie, since they started putting the balls in the humidor, have you noticed the difference? The home run totals have come down, have you noticed that and has that played into it? And Jamie, have you ever pitched here before 2002?
CHARLIE MANUEL: We came here for one series during the season, and I can't tell the difference. I spent a lot of time out here in Triple-A baseball, but I hear the home runs are down, so I would probably say that has something to do with it. But as far as really knowing and watching the carry of the ball, I can't really answer that. I don't really know.
JAMIE MOYER: I pitched here twice. The first time I don't recall when it was; it was with Seattle. And then I pitched here before the break and, you know, I had a number of questions back in Philadelphia about the ballpark and things like that. For me personally, I don't have -- I don't feel like I have enough history here to make judgment on ball carrying, things like that.
The only thing I know here is, you know, the dimensions are fairly large because of the altitude. The League has tried to make adjustments with the humidor as you alluded to earlier. And you've got to go out and pitch and play the game. The gaps are bigger, outfielders normally play deeper, but I think every team has their own reason or rhyme for what they do. The thing I notice here, if anything, them having the advantage of playing here 81 games, they take advantage of the ball in the gap and go first to third or second to home; whereas, maybe say in the more normal ballparks that aren't in this elevation, guys -- base runners aren't apt to take system extra bases.

Q. Emotionally where is this club at right now, being down 0-2.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Right now I would say we're 0-2, like you said, but I expect our guys to come out tomorrow and be loose and have fun and take it to 'em. I think that's how we gotta look at it. We come to win tomorrow's game and, you know, we might as well put forth the effort to win the game as far as being relaxed and playing our kinda game. As long as we do that, take care of itself.
JAMIE MOYER: Emotionally I think we realize where we are. As Charlie alluded to, and as you all know, we're down 0-2. We play tomorrow, we win, we play Sunday; we lose, we go home. It's -- unfortunately that's the way it is. But we've played hard. We have a lot to be proud of, the way we played this season, the way we fought back, the way we came back and won our division, and, you know, the way I look at it we're not out of this.
Tomorrow is a big game for us as well, as it is for the Rockies. They probably could use the rest. But we're not concerned about what their needs are or their wants, we need to concern ourselves with playing the game and playing it well. And as Charlie said, if we win the game -- I think we expect to win the game tomorrow, and I think we have to walk in the door expecting to win.
Whether that's going to happen, I don't know. We'll find out in 24 hours -- more than 24 hours, but, you know, I think we're going to give it a great effort and we'll take it from there.

Q. Both of you, ever since you started 4-11 this season, it seems like this team plays its best ball when its back to the wall, thinking to the two New York series later in the year here. Is that coincidence or is it something more than that? Does there seem to be a heightened sense of urgency that seems to make this team play better baseball in that spot?
JAMIE MOYER: I feel the latter. You know, there is a sense of urgency, and you start out 4-11, you go, hey, we're starting out behind the 8-ball. You're aware of what's going on in your division, knowing that you have a lot of baseball to play. But if you get behind the 8-ball too far, sometimes it's difficult to overcome.
Early in the season it's much easier to overcome than it is if you play 4-11 the last 15 games of the season. I think sometimes we do play better with our backs against the wall. I think it's a lot easier to play when your backs aren't against the wall.

Q. Jamie, when you guys won that impressive run in September to get where you are today, what kind of stood out from the team to make up the character of the team to get you through?
JAMIE MOYER: I think there were a number of things that stood out. You look at our lead-off hitter in Jimmy Rollins, he set the tone offensively for us. He got on base, whether it was via the home run, extra-base hit, he got the ball rolling for us. When we played at home, if the starting pitcher went out and got three quick outs, that helped a little bit, too, but we played for the most part pretty much mistake-free baseball.
We got key hits when we needed them, and everybody contributed, and that's what it takes to win. You can have an individual on a given day carry a team, but when you look at the whole season, it takes 25 -- this year beyond that with the injuries we had. It took 28, 32, 35 guys to allow us to get to where we are today.

Q. Charlie, are you surprised at all that this team has been able to sustain the run that they've been on? And the second part of that, I know you've been around the game of baseball a while. Have you ever seen a run such as this?
CHARLIE MANUEL: When I think about it, 16 out of 17, I think that's absolutely tremendous, and I've been keeping up with most of the -- almost all of their games. I think -- but if you watch them go play, and definitely things are going their way, they're creating those things, and I think they are loose, they hit, they hustle, they run, and I think -- if anything at all, I think their pitching doesn't get mentioned, or it's kind of underrated. I think they have young guys who might have command problems, but their talent and their abilities is enough at times to allow them to pitch good games, or take you to a play in a game to give you a good chance to win.
And then, of course, their bullpen, Brian Fuentes and their closer, you know, like I think near absolutely tremendous. I think they are as good as anyone in our League, and I think they get overlooked at times. They've got a good ball club. I think right now the way they're playing, somebody sooner or later -- somebody's got to beat 'em, and I hope it's big Jamie tomorrow. He can do it; I know he can, but I like the team, and they deserve to be where they're at.

Q. Charlie, between your offense from game 1 to game 2, when you compare them and then look at where you're at now, do you see signs are about to bust out?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think yesterday when we got behind, I think our guys definitely kinda -- a lot of times when you're behind you end up scoring some runs, and a lot of it has to do with opposing pitchers, like knowing what they've got to do, so they are more apt to give you a good fastball to hit with a big run lead and things like that, and that's why you get hits at times, but also I think that can help you get going.
Anytime you hit a couple of balls good or a ball or two out, or you hit line drives, I think that brings confidence back to where you want to be, and I know how good our team can hit and play and I think -- yeah, for a couple days there we kinda slipped, but at the same time I give credit to the Rockies pitching, too, because especially the left-handed pitchers, they off-set us a little bit. But I think tomorrow we'll be scoring some runs and we'll be good, because to hold us down three days, I think that you're doing a heck of a job if you do that.

Q. Jamie, while this is clearly a team game, as a veteran and as a competitor, how much do you like having the ball in your hands for clearly the biggest game of your season?
JAMIE MOYER: Not a better place to be; that's why I'm here, and I would hope that's why all my teammates are here, too. From the pitcher's aspect, I would hope they want the ball. This is what you dream about, what you play for, and it's exciting. And, you know, all the work that you do in the off-season, all the work that you do early in the day before the game starts, all the preparation as far as the mental side of things, the scouting reports that you get, this is what it's all about. This is what it comes down to.
And you take your ability against the opposing team's ability, and you see where it's going to shake out. I enjoy this; I really do. I would much rather be here doing it than sitting at home watching it, and I've sat at home too many years watching it, so I'm going to relish this and enjoy it.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, guys. Appreciate it.

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