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October 12, 2007

Clint Hurdle



Q. Go to Philadelphia, you take 2 on the road. You come here, take the first two in a row. Tell me what it means going home and going up 2-0 in this series?
CLINT HURDLE: It's been a work in progress, this organization, to find a way to get a team together to play consistent baseball on the road. We've had some dramatic splits in the past and this year this club has taken a step forward. They've removed some of the baggage in the past. We played better baseball on the road. Fundamentally sound. We execute. We pitch better. We find ways to win. So that has played out very well. Now, I think we run it to 9 straight road wins. Four in the post-season.
That speaks for itself. We'll go home. We'll enjoy the off day tomorrow, and we'll get ready to try and put all our focus on winning Game 3. That's it, just winning one game at a time.

Q. Just talk about Jimenez and his stature tonight. He just kept hanging in there getting out of trouble and gritted it out for you?
CLINT HURDLE: He did. That's a good word. It was a gutsy performance. It was dicy out there. Pitched out of the stretch quite a bit. I think every inning three up, three down, then after that he had to make pitches.
He pitched around some traffic. But he hung in there. He's got a lot of confidence, plus he's got good stuff. And he can always get back in the count when he's behind in the count. He's got stuff that's electric enough and gets some swings and missing some strikeouts helped him out tonight.

Q. You had some big at-bats by Hawpe all night. But Jamey Carroll's at-bat off Valverde is a huge bat. Just talk about the patience there.
CLINT HURDLE: His track record pinch-hitting has been impressive throughout the year, showed up well for us in that role. More of a limited role doing it this year. But a big at-bat against the Padres, obviously, to come in and it was a pinch-hit but it was late in the game, double switch, three at-bats. He has good discipline. Doesn't panic, has a slow heartbeat. It's not an easy position to fill. Two the toughest -- couple of the toughest jobs in baseball is pinch-hitting and playing defense. That's what we've asked him to do. There's no safety net very often for those guys and it was a big at-bat for us tonight.

Q. They made reference to the 2007 Rockies, 19 out of 20 now, five wins in your first five post-season games, the first team to do that since the '76 Reds. Your thoughts on how your team is rolling right now?
CLINT HURDLE: We're playing with a lot of momentum. All 25 are in play. Everybody counts and nobody counts. Speier comes in and gets, closes the deal tonight. Corpas lets it get away and then holds the door. There was no safety net from our bullpen from the bottom of the 6th inning on. I thought they responded very, very well. And I don't know if that was our game plan going in. We didn't draw it up to win the first five.
Again, we're locking it in to win one game at a time, starting to pick up some momentum. This is a good ball club we're going to play. We're going to face a very crafty and gutsy and very good performer in Livan when we get back to our spot. So that will be a challenge for us.

Q. Can you address the nice grab by Atkins in the 3rd and then the Willy Taveras catch on Clark? Your defense continues to step up at critical times.
CLINT HURDLE: The 3rd inning was a good inning for us with a pitch-out throw-out and then the play Torrealba jumps in front to bunt out Drew, to throw him out, Atkins laying out, getting up quick. Helton pick. It's stuff we've seen before. We don't take it for granted but we do it. And Willy Taveras, that play in right center field, I don't know if we have another guy in this club that makes that play. I don't know how many guys in the League can make that play. A guy going as fast as he can laying out and coming up with something in a very big part of the game.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks, Clint.

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