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October 22, 2008

Charlie Manuel


Q. In the first inning it was Utley bunting on his own and what did you think? It went foul and what did you think what happened later in the at-bat?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yes, he was bunting on his own. If it had been a fair ball, he might have got a double out of it.
The other one, he hit the home run. Pretty good, wasn't it?

Q. Did the extended time off in any way help Utley's hip?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Well, I think it definitely could have, because I think that he -- as hard as Utley plays mentally and physically all during the season, and as much as he plays, he definitely gets kind of wore down. I think any time he gets time off it helps him. And it definitely might have helped him. I would say yes.

Q. Can you talk about Cole, not just tonight but in the postseason. The record sort of is pretty impressive.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, Cole is pretty good, man. I'm glad he pitches for us. He's been very consistent all year long. When I think about how he pitched tonight, that's kind of like, so far, kind of like a regular game for him. He can be a little bit better, he can be a little bit sharper, but tonight he was very good. He took us to the right place in the game. And of course we scored three runs, and that was enough tonight. And he was able to hold onto the lead, and our bullpen also did a good job when they came in.

Q. As good as he was, is that still a slam dunk to go to your bullpen for the start of the eighth there, or is that a leaning-either-way kind of call?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Actually I wanted to -- what's the shortstop's name? Bartlett? He had walked him twice, and the lead-off there had three hits off him, and he was getting about that time, he had 102 pitches. And I want to put Madson in, who has been throwing real good, on those guys. But also Madson I would have used him in the eighth inning. But the big reason was because of who was leading off and also the lead-off hitter.

Q. Howard and Rollins have both been MVP's the last couple of years, and Utley has kind of gotten overlooked a little bit on your club. Do you feel like this is kind of his time to maybe get the national stage with the rest of the country, maybe to know who he is a little bit more?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, I think that you sit and watch Utley day-in and day-out, and the way that this guy goes about playing baseball, I think he's one of the best players in the game. And I think anytime that he can do good and get national exposure, it's going to help him.
But you know what, what's amazing about him is he don't really care. As long as he gets to play and as long as we win the game, I know that he thinks to himself, his determination, his mindset, I'm going to do good. I know I'm going to do good, because I love to play.
But he's a good player and you've got to sit and watch him day-in and day-out to really enjoy how good he really is.

Q. Did you have any concerns at all about the layoff? And did anyone in the organization talk with maybe Leyland or Colorado to pick their brains about how to deal with it?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yes, I watched those games. And I've heard people say, and they talk about the layoff, I think I heard both managers say that the layoff hurt them. And they might have been right, I don't know. But to me, like did it hurt us? I don't think so, because I think that we practiced and I think we stayed focused on what we was doing. And we talk about things like not letting nothing get in the way. And we were all serious about baseball. I think that's the way we wanted it, that's kind of how this team prepared. And I think it didn't hurt us at all.

Q. These guys they were talking about the dominance of Cole's change-up. Did he use it anymore tonight? Not seeing him really all season, did he use it more than usual? What was the percentage?
CHARLIE MANUEL: About like usual. I like seeing him pull a little bit more curveballs, but he has a tremendous feel for a pitch. When he throws a few more curveballs and throws them for strikes, then his change-up and fastball becomes much better.
But that's about normal amount of change ups he throws in the game.

Q. What was the percentage?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I didn't look. I don't know. I'll find out when I go back in my office.

Q. As well as Cole's pitching this postseason, do you get the feeling your team leads whenever he starts, do you think that affects your offensive production?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, I think -- I hope it don't affect our offensive production, because tonight I thought we should have scored five or six runs. At the same time anytime Cole pitches, I feel like we're going to win. I said that yesterday. And I feel like he's got a good chance to shut somebody out. And also a chance to throw a no-hitter sometimes.
But about the games, the importance of the game, every one of them is important. We won tonight, and we've got the same mindset. We come back tomorrow and work on winning tomorrow's game. We don't want to get ahead of ourselves.

Q. Obviously the home crowd is pumped up, but when the third batter of the game hits a home run, can that take the wind out of the sails?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I can't think of any other way to quiet them down. That's how you do it. If you want to take the wind out of the sails and you shut the cow bells up and get some home runs, that will do it. Except in Citizens Bank Park. If you hit enough there they ring a bell. They ring the Liberty Bell, so that would be good (laughter.)

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