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October 11, 2007

Jeff Francis

Brad Hawpe



Q. Brad, would you just talk a little bit about your at-bat in the 3rd and what you hit and what was in your head when you went up to the plate?
BRAD HAWPE: Yeah, Webb was throwing a lot of sinkers and curveballs today. I fouled a sinker back and so I was thinking he's either coming back with a sinker or he may try to get 0-2 with his curveball. Threw a curveball, didn't try to do too much to it but just put the barrel on it.

Q. You've had a lot of success against Brandon. Is it because you've seen him so many times, is that one reason? And, two, you've been awfully clutch with bases loaded. Talk about how you felt with bases loaded.
BRAD HAWPE: Webb's really tough. He's as good as there is in this League. It's just fun to go up there and battle against him, as good as he is. Keep going out there. He keeps coming at you. He doesn't give in. It makes it a lot of fun. As far as bases loaded or two outs, it's just something I try to think of the pitcher is the one in trouble. I just try to think properly when I'm up there, this guy's in trouble, he's got to make the right pitch and I'm in the driver's seat.

Q. Can you give us your thoughts what happened in the 7th inning, first of all, Upton's slide and then the fans' reaction when they pelted the field left and right?
JEFF FRANCIS: I don't know, you just -- it's obviously an inconvenience, but us just try not to let it affect you too much and just try and stay focused on the game and not worry about it.
BRAD HAWPE: It was tough. That's just fans, a lot of energy out here. It's playoff baseball. They're excited. Some of them probably made the wrong decision, but that's what you want, is the energy like that.

Q. In the slide itself, did you guys think the slide was just a hard slide or a dirty slide?
JEFF FRANCIS: I didn't see the slide. I had my head turned to first base I haven't seen it.
BRAD HAWPE: I just saw a side replay of it. As far as it goes, I don't know the rules like that the umpires are the ones with that. They're guys playing hard. Obviously that could have been dangerous for Kaz.

Q. Brad, this season you've taken your game to another level in a lot of ways, but your ability to come through, two outs, runners in scoring position has been off the charts. Is that the thing you're most proud about what you've been able to accomplish this year individually?
BRAD HAWPE: Yeah, you know, the thing I'm most proud of is being where we are right now.
As far as personally, yeah, that's been most fun for me, because that's one way I know I'm helping the team.
It's a situation that I look forward to that I'm excited about and that I do want to come through with.

Q. Jeff, you got a second chance at this and came through on top this time. Your feelings after maybe even a bigger victory than what that one would have been the last time you two faced?
JEFF FRANCIS: It's a big win, obviously. First Game 1 on the road. I think the big boost was having that three-run lead in the 3rd inning. Pitching with a three-run lead, guys get on base, you're not in panic mode.
So I think just a bit better execution and that was the difference.

Q. Jeff, would you just talk about what was working for you tonight or today that was a little different, or if it was from your last outing against these guys?
JEFF FRANCIS: You know, I think -- I just think, as far as fastball command goes, you know, two-seamer maybe had a little wrinkle in it. I don't know for sure. But I know in some offensive counts I was able to throw it and get some ground balls and some big double plays they turned behind me.

Q. Wondering what you thought when you saw bottles flying out onto the outfield tonight?
JEFF FRANCIS: It's a bit of an inconvenience, but you try not to let it affect you too much and try to stay focused on what you need to do.
BRAD HAWPE: Yeah, I wouldn't say that it was the Arizona fans or anything, just a few people out there were upset. You know, like I said before, that's what this is all about, is that high energy, excitement level. Some people took it too far. It sounds like the rest of the fans took care of it and were pointing out who was doing it. And that's just a good sign of good fans right there.

Q. Why have you been so successful against this team, Jeff? Especially here?
JEFF FRANCIS: I can't explain it. I think it's just a small sample size of me not being here that long and having a good run against one team. I think you just try to come out here every day and not try to recreate what you did last time, but just move forward and make the necessary adjustments to try and get people out.

Q. Brad, 18 out of 19, nobody's even mentioned that in here now. I guess it's becoming old hat. What's it like to be in the middle of something like this when it seems like every time you take the field you're going to win?
BRAD HAWPE: You know, this is a special run. We've had quite a few days off. What is it? Four days, I think. And so as soon as we stepped on the field, speaking for myself, I'm sure I speak for everybody else, you had the butterflies.
I mean it was an emotional, exciting, high-energy day for all of us. We weren't in the flow of it like we had been. So you know today's win, I think, is even more special because of that.

Q. Brad, you got hot with about two weeks ago in the regular season and you've carried it on through now. Is part of that you just riding the energy that the team has created during this surge?
BRAD HAWPE: Yeah, there's a real good energy. Everybody's excited. Everybody's pushing right now. The players are happy. We're all happy to show up.
I'm saying that for the end of the season. And the way I look at it it's either now or next year. You can't -- at that time of the year, at the end of the year, you gotta do it now. It's now. We gotta win every game, every game. And our season's very indicative of that.
We had to do it. We only won by -- what was it, a half game? It was a special game.

Q. Brad, would you say it's fair to characterize you as a low-ball hitter or a good low-ball hitter and is that maybe one of the reasons why you have success against Webb?
BRAD HAWPE: Maybe. I probably hit that pitch better than I do the high one. There's pitches I hit better than others. And that's just part of baseball. The pitcher's still gotta throw it. And you battle through. You battle through certain pitches. If they're getting me out one way, that's part of playing baseball and playing every day. You gotta be able to make adjustments to that.
And that's something I try to do.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, guys.

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