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October 10, 2008

Joe Torre


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Joe.

Q. You've managed teams where you got -- your bullpen allowed you to shorten the game to basically six or seven innings. Do you see something similar to with what they're able to do in getting to Madson and Romero and obviously Lidge?
JOE TORRE: You're talking about the Phillies. No question. It's tough to get to this part of the season part of the year without having a bullpen. And I'm not only talking a closer, I'm talking about people who can bridge that gap, because very rarely do you see guys going out there pitching eight or nine innings and the toughest to get through are the 6th and part of the 7th and you usually have a formula to get past that.
But they have some impressive people coming out of that bullpen, there's no question.

Q. After the walk in the third, the intentional walk, was there any consideration to pulling Billingsley at that point?
JOE TORRE: No, he's done too much for us. And, I mean, you've got -- he got the catcher and he pitched to the pitcher. We had a situation where we have the pitcher, I think he had four hits all year and he gets three in this game. So that's tough to sort of count on and defend against.
We certainly -- we gave up too much early, basically. But to me Billingsley has been too much to this club to take him out in a situation where he's performed so well.

Q. Can you talk about Chad in general? He just looked blow away to some guys -- Billingsley just locked some guys up and looked like he had some good stuff and gave up eight runs, how do those two go together?
JOE TORRE: As I say, the pitcher accounted for three of them. And that was a weird inning, the inning they scored the four runs because he gets through Burrell and Werth, strikeout, strikeout, and then all of a sudden the wheels came off at that point in time.
Very unexpected and certainly something that we certainly weren't prepared for. I'm sure he wasn't either. I think sometimes when he gets into a situation like that, he fights it and sometimes fights himself. And I think that may have been part of it.

Q. You and some of your players have been in this hole before in post-season series.
JOE TORRE: I remember.

Q. And come back on occasion. How much value, if any, do you think that has?
JOE TORRE: It's valuable for me because I can speak from experience. And sometimes when you're in that locker room and in that lineup, you tend to think things are worse than they are. You don't get to this time of year without having the capabilities of winning three or four games in a row.
And we just have to just get that feel back, because we all know when you're playing five-game, seven-game series, momentum is such a huge factor and one game is really all we have to think about at this point in time and that's what we'll do when we get home on Sunday.

Q. In 1996 I think you managed when your brother was ill, Charlie Manuel lost his mother today, and I'm wondering what you think it might be like to -- what was it like for you to be out there managing post-season games under situations like this?
JOE TORRE: It's a heavy heart. The fact that knowing that my -- I lost my one brother but my other brother was in the hospital. Part of the therapy for him was listening to us. And I know Charlie was telling me how he talked to his mom and has been talking to her obviously on a regular basis. And her concern for him was only go out there and win ball games.
It, again, sometimes gives you a place to hide where you're so busy that it's going to be a lot easier, it was a lot easier probably during the game than it is now when he goes home.

Q. Before the game you were talking about how impressed you were with Chad's game in Chicago because he was able to reel in his emotions, how would you evaluate his emotions today?
JOE TORRE: Well, I think the 1st inning was fine. I mean, he went through that part of the lineup and got away without getting hurt and then the second inning he gets the first two hitters out, the five and six guys, and then all of a sudden strange things happened. He gets ahead in two counts and wasn't able to put people away. And that may have unnerved him a little bit, but, again, you have to sort of fix this thing while it's going on.
And unfortunately, as I mentioned, Myers did the job with the bat tonight. He struggled a little bit. He got his pitch count up. Certainly pitched well enough to get through five and win the ball game. But his bat, which was the unexpected thing for us.

Q. Can you talk a little bit first about McDonald and then also does the way you had to use the bullpen tonight or just knowing you're going to be down for Game 4 ensure that Lowe is going to start that night?
JOE TORRE: I'll give you that tomorrow. I didn't even think about that one. But certainly Lowe is front and center. We're not afraid to do that. And the fact that Billingsley didn't pitch for long tonight. But I'll clear the fog out tonight and tomorrow at the workout I'll give you that.
But I thought McDonald was -- give me a first bit of action there in the post-season, here bases are loaded, get this guy out. And he strikes out Burrell and then just went on to pitch three more innings and going through everybody, obviously. And I was very impressed and I think we found out a little bit about that young man tonight.

Q. When the second pitch went behind Manny's back, did that raise an eyebrow?
JOE TORRE: Yeah. The thing that worried me about that situation was the fact that it was so tough to see at that time of day. And we all know how aggressive Myers wants to be, and how pumped up he gets. But the thing that frightened me more than anything was it was tough to see. I know it was tough to see for us from the side. So I know it had to be tough to see the first couple of innings up there.

Q. You know, you lose this game today, how comforting is it for you to have Manny Ramirez as kind of an ace in the hole when you guys are down the way you guys fell down?
JOE TORRE: It's so much when you can swing the bat one time and get three runs. I mean, that is certainly huge for us to all of a sudden, 8-2, 8-5 and now the game becomes a winnable ball game. Two different times we had the tying run at the plate. I thought Casey's ball was going to be up against and Shane made a nice play on it.
And then in the 9th inning we had the tieing run. So that three-run home run certainly put us in the position to scare somebody.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Joe.

End of FastScripts

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