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October 6, 2007

Clint Hurdle


Q. Clint, you guys have won using a lot of power, a lot of runs. Tonight you squeaked one out, first time in a long time. Does this speak to how you've been rolling for the past month?
CLINT HURDLE: It does and it's symbolic of the club we have and it's a versatile club. We've been able to slug, pitch, defense has been our staple, with whatever we've needed to cover out there. Our bullpen has done a great job, offensively we've done some fine things. Jeff Baker what a great story that is. Matsui gets an intentional walk sometime during the game, the respect he's garnered, and these guys believe everybody counts and everybody is dependent upon one another.

Q. Clint, so much has been said of this team being a team, one night it's Ubaldo, Seth Smith, Jeff Baker, Kazuo Matsui, you never know who it's going to be, and secondly, the way things have gone over the last stretch, Monday night coming back against San Diego, do you feel if the Phillies scored 3 in the top of the 9th you would have been able to score with 3 in the bottom of the 9th?
CLINT HURDLE: One of the things we're not going to think about is we are not going to lose until we lose here at home. We've created a dominance here, and we've recreated it in different ways, with good execution, defensively, we pitched well. The way our staff was able to pitch the top five guys in that Philly lineup was special. That's as good of a lineup as you're going to face every day. We don't want to face them anymore. Three games was enough.
Everybody counts on the clutch, everybody shows up. They look at the lineup, those guys are in, those guys that aren't in they just figure out what they're going to do to help our club win that day.

Q. Did you have a specific strategy against that top lineup, because Charlie Manuel said that he thought he had one of the hottest offenses coming into this series and you guys shut them down?
CLINT HURDLE: Bob Apodaca breaks down swings better than anyone. He's had some good hours here as a pitching coach and I don't think a lot of people noticed. The pitchers noticed, he put in a lot of hours. He has no ego. It's about teaching the pitchers, asking them questions.
Our guys are good students of the game, they read swings well and they made pitches. I think we all know spending time in this game, good pitching beats good hitting. We had some good pitching going for us this year.

Q. Clint, you have a lot of young guys on this team who haven't been here before. What was the process? How did you keep them from getting overly confident during this last month, basically?
CLINT HURDLE: It goes to the clubhouse, I think first and foremost, the demeanor we have in our clubhouse, anybody that walks through that door that is a rookie, I tell them, it's not a long meeting, it's respect everything and be in awe of nothing while you're here. Respect everything you see and everybody you play against. They embrace that, the game is the same. I tell them you got skill sets that got you here, now you gotta play. The hard part is staying here for a long time.
We have a young group. I gave a lot of credit to our scouts, to our player development people helping these kids grow up. Bottom line is we just got good people. We've got good players that believe in themselves, they don't let the game spit them forward too fast, they stay humble and humility is a big part of everything we do.

Q. You've matched up well against the D-backs; how much are you looking forward to this series?
CLINT HURDLE: Respectful series, two teams with a lot of young players, veterans that have helped them move things along, we've done things the old-fashioned way, showed a lot of patience and it takes courage to have patience, both taken our lumps. They've had more success than us in the past and that was always a little rock in our shoe that we've had to wear, so now the opportunity to play them in the N.L.C.S. is going to be special.
We'll enjoy the time now, we'll be ready to play when it's time to play but we will know we are playing a team that's been creative in finding ways to win and we know they also pitch very well.

Q. You stood there a day ago and said Ubaldo had a million-dollar smile, maybe a million-dollar arm for a good part of the game. You've seen everything, the gamut of emotions, a little bit on the power outage situation?
CLINT HURDLE: The power?

Q. When the lights went out.
CLINT HURDLE: First of all, Ubaldo, I didn't think he could top last Sunday's performance and I think he did. The kid's out there pitching the game of his life and it's like he's pitching against Whitey Ford. Jamie Moyer how good was he tonight? A veteran that went out and gave us a game, he made pitches, battled, kept another good offensive team off balance. But Ubaldo wasn't pitching against Jamie, he was pitching against the Phillies hitters. He made one bad pitch, hung a slider to a good hitter, Shane Victorino hits it out like good hitters do and that was it. He's fun to watch, 3 hits going into six-plus innings, in that venue with a game of this meaning, I'm just very proud of him.
The power outage -- that wasn't in the itinerary that I was handed before the game but isn't it the Marine saying that says adapt, improvise and overcome, that's the thing we said when the lights went out, adapt, improvise and overcome.

Q. Coach, what do you do to keep up the momentum?
CLINT HURDLE: I got kids to take to school, I'm going to have diapers to change. We're going to take tomorrow off and we'll work out Monday and Tuesday and fly in Tuesday night and prepare for a workout on Wednesday and a scout meeting and then we'll get ready to play ball. We don't concern ourselves with things out of our control. One thing we are happy about is we don't have to play tomorrow.

Q. When you put Jeff Baker in, did you anticipate that they would bring in Brett Meyers to face him.
CLINT HURDLE: I didn't know that, I thought they would have to jump start him in a hurry. Romero has been fantastic for them. I'm sure that's not a match-up any manager might feel comfortable with, but we had a guy that I thought might be able to swing the bat against him.
Baker has had a challenging year, got hit in the head, had to go back to Triple-A and when he came back there were guys playing well so he didn't have much of an opportunity so I think he's walking on air right now. The team is very happy for him.

Q. For a long time this has been a Broncos town and between the Broncos and the Nuggets you've taken a backseat, what's it feel like to be the top dog finally?
CLINT HURDLE: I don't know if we're a top dog, we're just a dog. We're in the hunt, people are paying attention, I don't know if you're ever going to spin this out of being a Bronco town, and rightfully so. They've done some great things and it's a wonderful organization. We need to establish our own identity and I think this was a huge step forward in doing that.

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