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October 4, 2008

Charlie Manuel


Q. That was a very unlike Moyer first inning, gave up a few walks, wild pitch. Wasn't his normal self.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, he threw a lot of pitches in the inning, and it looked like he threw a lot of close pitches. But, like, he didn't say anything about the umpire missing them or anything. He said he felt like they were close, but he didn't say a whole lot about it. But he accumulated a whole lot of pitches there at the start of the game and also, what, in the first three innings.

Q. Seven times tonight either Chase or Ryan or Pat came up to bat with a man on base, a good run-producing opportunity and were 0-for-7. Any idea why those guys seem to not be producing like they were in the regular season?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Sometimes when we talk about hitting, that's where it goes at times. I don't know what you do about it. Actually we've played, what, 27 innings of baseball, and we've only scored in three innings. We scored three and five and one run. So actually we haven't hit really, what I'll call hitting for our team. Victorino's grand-slam home run the other time, that supplied runs for us. We scored those three runs in the first game with some breaks when the second baseman dropped a ball at first and stuff. It kind of opened up the inning for us.

Q. In your last game, first inning, runners on second and third, you walked Fielder. Tonight, same situation, you pitch to Fielder. What went into your thinking tonight?
CHARLIE MANUEL: What went into my thinking?

Q. Yeah.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Who was pitching at the time, Moyer? Eyre? Left-handed pitcher probably, yeah. I figured we were going to get him out.

Q. You've never officially named a Game 4 starter.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Blanton is pitching tomorrow, yes.

Q. What kind of confidence do you have in him?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I've got confidence in him. He has a chance to throw a good game. I've seen him this year throw about three or four good games. If he's getting his strike zone down early in the game in the strike zone, like -- he's capable of pitching a real good ballgame. I think he'll be okay.

Q. Can you talk about the obstruction call, what the explanation was? And do you think they made the right call there?
CHARLIE MANUEL: The umpire said that interference was called, the runners could not advance a base. I said, well, the guy on third base and the guy running from second, they've got to advance. Like it's a force play. And he said that's still not -- the rule, I said, "Do you know the rule?" He said, "Yes, we know the rule." He said, "I'm telling you, that's the rule." At the end Jimy Williams was wanting me to go out and protest. I said, "Do you know the rule, is it right? He said, "I don't know."
So I figured I'd better stay where I was at.

Q. What do you think about the obstruction call to begin with, Shane going into second like that? He kind of hip-checked him. Do you think it was the right --
CHARLIE MANUEL: Well, like I've seen times probably where they didn't call that, but the umpire is standing right there on it. Like Vic went, like, to take him out, and evidently the guy thought that he went too far out of the baseline, and he was too aggressive with him or something. I mean, that's the only two things I can think about what happened.

Q. Back to Game 4, how much consideration is given to starting Cole on three days' rest?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Actually, like from where Hamels has been all year and where he's at, that's pretty tough for us. That's kind of hard for us to do.

Q. Could you talk about the decision to let Eyre start that inning instead of bringing in Madson clean there, at that spot?
CHARLIE MANUEL: We got into a little pickle when we took Jaime out of the game. We had to get some outs there, and we figured that he was going to be facing -- first of all, he's gotten right-handed hitters out since he's been with us, and second, Counsell was in the lineup. Counsell became a big out, and with two outs he had a swing and bunt hit, and that really kind of set things off.
Then when we got down to where it was either Kendall, or we felt like if we brought a righty in or something, they might put Durham or something. So that was the moves that we ended up making.

Q. Do you feel fortunate to be up two games to one considering how you guys have not hit? And what do you think the mood of the team will be going into Game 4? You guys have always been pretty resilient.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think we're fortunate to be up two to one, but at the same time I feel like Myers and Hamels pitched real good. If we get back to pitching -- even tonight I felt Milwaukee outplayed us tonight. But even then, like they scored four runs, and what did they have, 11 or 12 hits? I think that we were fortunate because of the pitching that we got from Myers and Hamels. I still think that tomorrow, like we're definitely capable of coming out and scoring some runs, and we're about do.

Q. The middle of your lineup struggled the last postseason, too. Is there anything, any good sign you see, that they're going to snap out of this?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Howard hit the ball better today. He swung the bat better and he hit the ball better. Utley swung the bat a little bit better. He hit a ball hard, hit a single pretty good on a breaking ball, fly out to center field, looked like the ball got in on him just a little bit.
I mean, we've got to hit. We've got to score runs. We're supposed to hit, and when we don't, yeah, I'm concerned about it. But I don't know what you can do right now, especially this time of year in the playoffs and stuff. Actually that's what the playoffs is all about; you don't have time to go into slumps or go bad or anything. You've got to be playing good. In order for us to go to the World Series, we've got to hit.

Q. The Brewers' top two hitters reached base seven times. Were you surprised how patient they were there against Jaime at the plate?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, I was. The first inning of the game I was definitely surprised that they took close pitches because I -- actually they haven't been. But maybe that was their game plan. They definitely took some real close pitches, especially in the first two innings.

Q. How about Burrell? Before the series started he tweaked his back. Is he kind of like iffy? If it wasn't the playoffs would he be sitting out a little bit?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He hasn't said anything about his back. I've been getting my reports from our trainer and everything, and he hasn't said anything at all about his back. He told me the other day that he was ready, and actually no one said anything about his back.

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