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March 10, 2009

Travis Blackley

Jon Deeble


THE MODERATOR: We have with us the manager from Australia Jon Deeble, and tonight's starting pitcher Travis Blackley.

Q. It was a tough loss tonight. What do you think you've proved in this tournament already?
JON DEEBLE: We've proven that we can match baseball with anybody in the world, and we knew that before coming in tonight. You know, this is a great ballclub. We've got -- our country has got great baseball players. We don't get the respect from everybody. It's about time that changed, and it starts with you people.

Q. I know the reason for the rule, but for one night do you wish the pitch count limit were not there?
JON DEEBLE: When I went out to get him, he said, "Gee, I wish I could stay in." He pitched a hell of a ballgame.
TRAVIS BLACKLEY: Yeah, I felt good. I had it all going. I was in a good rhythm and it didn't seem like anything was going to change it.

Q. Having beaten Mexico already, what confidence does that give you for tomorrow's game against Mexico? And also, having played Cuba so well, winning until the eighth inning, how does that help your confidence for tomorrow's game?
JON DEEBLE: Mexico is a good ballclub. We know that, and we're expecting a tough game. If we keep playing the way we've played our last two games, everything will be fine. We've faced maybe two of the top five pitchers in the world tonight, and we had some 18-year-old kids out there taking the battle to them.
I thought we did very well tonight. But very confident that we can beat Mexico tomorrow. We want another shot at the Cubans after that.

Q. A player from Mexico, he said in the last game, it only coincidence your victory. How do you say about that? He said that you won only by chance, by accident.
JON DEEBLE: We'll have another accident tomorrow (laughter). You don't get 22 hits by accident.

Q. What did you talk to your boys after the game? Maybe you have already advised them, or the boys are so disappointed and maybe you have to change their mind? What did you tell them?
JON DEEBLE: They're disappointed, there's no doubt about that. They're disappointed. But the good thing about our group, about the camaraderie, about the teamwork, the chemistry, I don't think you can beat the Australians when it comes to chemistry. Being able to get up when they're down, and we've proved that time and time again.
15 minutes these guys will be back up, they'll be back laughing, and the music is going in the clubhouse and we're getting ready for tomorrow's game. I don't see that being a problem at all.

Q. What was your approach pitching against Cuba's lineup tonight?
TRAVIS BLACKLEY: Just keep the ball down. It's a pretty small park with the altitude. We just tried to move the ball around, not make the same pitch twice. We know they're an aggressive hitting team, so I used that to my advantage a little bit. I threw a lot of pitches that may not have been strikes but might have looked like strikes and got some kind of weak contact on the ground. That was always in the plan.
But no, I mean, you can have that plan and it not go right, either, as well. I felt like I was pretty lucky tonight. I made some pitches when I had to and kept us in the ballgame.

Q. Manager Vinny Castilla proved by making Jorge Campillo his starter for tomorrow. He was planning to take his second pitcher to the second game probably knowing it would be against you. What are your thoughts about Jorge Campillo? And second, Mexico had a mariachi party before the game, and tonight the crowd was totally on the side of Cuba. How do you reflect this on the motivation for your team?
JON DEEBLE: The crowd is irrelevant to our team. The opposition is irrelevant to our team. The crowd is irrelevant to our team. Our job, as I said the other night, it's about execution, and we did that tonight. We don't have any regrets. The pitcher tomorrow is a good pitcher, there's no doubt about that. We were hoping the Cubans were going to face him tomorrow night and not us.
We take the same approach. He couldn't be any better than Chapman. He might be one of the best pitchers going around. So anything we face tomorrow is not going to be as good as that kid.

Q. I think it was in the top of the second inning that Cuba batted in an order that was certainly not consistent with what we had as a pre-game lineup, and you seemed to be confused by it. Can you explain from your perspective what happened with that batting change?
JON DEEBLE: I'll tell you honestly, I'm so disappointed in the Cubans and the disrespect that they showed us by giving us a lineup and bringing out another one. I think it's disgusting, I think it's disgraceful, and I think something should be done about it because they continue to do it, they continue to get away with it, and I think it's totally disrespectful. Something needs to be done because they continue to do it, and nobody ever does anything about it. It just blows my mind.
From the manager's point of view, totally disrespectful.

Q. Who will be the starting pitcher for tomorrow's game?
JON DEEBLE: David Welch will be pitching for us tomorrow night.

Q. Travis, what was really working for you out there tonight? You seemed to be really on your game?
TRAVIS BLACKLEY: Yeah, pretty much everything. I was keeping it down in the zone, and I was using it enough to not have them be able to sit on it, and the change-up was definitely possibly the biggest pitch, and when I really got in a jam, I would go to the cutter down and to the right. And just for good measure flip a curveball in there every now and again.
It kind of all came together. It didn't feel like I could throw a ball. I enjoy playing in Mexico. I played here in the winter and had good success. Yeah, everything was working really well for me.

Q. How did it feel competing against Chapman?
TRAVIS BLACKLEY: I had no idea who he was. I just heard he blew cheese (laughter). Honestly, we're a good fastball-hitting team. Our guys, you can't just keep bringing the smoke at them. He did a great job. You bring a 99 and you can flip in your other stuff as strikes, man, our hat's are off to our guys for even putting up a run off him. He's a great pitcher, and I won't forget him.

Q. James Beresford got that big hit for you guys to give you the lead. How proud are you of him for being in this tournament?
JON DEEBLE: This kid, he's amazing. Nothing phases him. To come up and get that hit, I was so proud of him. It was amazing.
You know, again, it goes back to our academy. I keep talking about this, people probably get sick of it, but the MLB Academy with the Australian Baseball Federation, that's the product. That's the product that comes out of there, and that's why it's so important to our game in Australia. Not being a top sport, kids like that that come out of there. Richard Thompson is another one that's come out of there, as I said, there's 12 of them on this team, and that's why we're good. We're going to get better and we're going to get better and we're going to get better.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks to the outstanding Australian team. Travis, congratulations on a great outing tonight.

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