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March 16, 2009

Carlos Beltran

Jose Oquendo


Q. Jose, first of all, what are the expectations for tomorrow's game against the U.S.? And second of all, how do you assess the use of replay after a seven-minute delay to review the play?
JOSE OQUENDO: Well, first of all, I would like to congratulate the Venezuelan team. They played a good game. They pitched really well. We'll be ready for tomorrow's game. It's going to be a good game, and hopefully we'll try to get a victory tomorrow.

Q. What about the homer?
JOSE OQUENDO: About the homer? Well, the homer was a homer; that's the way they saw it. Repetition, that's part of the rules at this time. They did a good job. They got together. They took a bit in coming up with a decision, and I think they could have improved that a little bit.

Q. Carlos, when third base got stolen we've seen it several times with the Mets; you catch them by surprise with your speed, and you saw that Mora was behind, or was it just something that was planned?
CARLOS BELTRAN: Well, in that situation when Delgado is up to bat, the third baseman moves towards the shortstop, and I'll have a chance to be safe arriving at third. They're giving away a base.
Supposedly they haven't caught you in that play, but you have to be completely sure that you're going to get there. So when Delgado is up to bat and the second baseman got around and the pitcher is doing 1-4, 1-5 to the plate, they're practically giving a base away.

Q. This question is addressed to both of you, Jose and Carlos: What was missing tonight in terms of timely hitting on the part of Puerto Rico?
JOSE OQUENDO: Well, you yourself answered your own question. We left ten guys on base, but we have to give credit to the Venezuelan pitcher. He pitched quite well. He threw a good curveball at the right time, and this wasn't in favor, but the guys played ball as they should. It wasn't tonight, but tomorrow could be another day.
CARLOS BELTRAN: Well, I really say that the effort on the part of the team was there. We have to give credit to the Venezuelan team. Hernández pitched well. Their catcher hit a homer, so they did the job. Basically we had some chances that we couldn't capitalize as we wanted to, but these things happen in a game.
We went onto the ball field with the mindset to win, but we must also understand that we're playing on a team where there are lots of big leaguers and prominent players and at this time they're active in the majors. You can't get careless. But these players are going to capitalize when anybody makes a mistake, and that's what they did tonight.

Q. You had your regs, in the second inning Alex Cora came to the plate and you had a runner on base. Why didn't you go to Geovany Soto? You had him sitting on the bench.
JOSE OQUENDO: We were not in that situation because we could have hit-and-run, and Joey Cora is a good hit-and-run player. It didn't work out, and he didn't hit, and it shouldn't be done in that situation because they could have used another play with Alex.

Q. This question is for both of you: How do you get rid of this strike against you tonight? How are you able to recoup and come tomorrow and do a good job?
JOSE OQUENDO: Well, the guys are pros. As far as I know, we already talked before coming over here, they're going to be ready for tomorrow. They know the reason for which we're playing. We don't know what's going to be happening, but at least we'll hold our head up high and we're going to play ball hard. What's the result? Only the Lord will know but we're going to play ball as we should.
CARLOS BELTRAN: Well, tonight we lost but tomorrow we have to come in with the mindset of winning. We're going to play against a U.S. team that's a great team. It's practically an All-Star team. We're going to out on the ball field and try to score early. Any time you score early as a team, the team gets its confidence. As he said, we're pros. You win some games, you lose some games throughout the season, and we lost today. Once again, we must give credit to the Venezuelan team because they did a great job, and actually they ensured their place in LA.

Q. Two questions: Hernández' home run, how do you see that, and then the atmosphere tonight, was it a playoff-type atmosphere?
CARLOS BELTRAN: Well, it was a great atmosphere. We have a lot of fans, Venezuelan fans, Puerto Rican fans. It was great. I have to say the support has been great, and that play right there when Hernández hit that ball, it hit behind the ball. I knew it was a home run but I tried to play it like it wasn't, and the umpires got together, and it basically showed up that it was a home run.

Q. Jose, there is no tomorrow. Tomorrow is the decisive game. Would Javier Vazquez be willing to pitch an inning tomorrow or is that not in your plan?
JOSE OQUENDO: No, Javier will not pitch tomorrow. We're not going to risk him. We're still in a three-inning season. We have guys available in that bullpen, and they could do the job.

Q. So Javier won't play. Is Nelson Figueroa available tomorrow?
JOSE OQUENDO: All the other guys are available with the exception of Giancarlo.

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