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October 7, 2009

Jim Tracy


Philadelphia 5
Colorado 1

Q. Did you think of pinch-hitting for Jimenez to lead off the sixth inning?
JIM TRACY: No. You know, up until they got the two runs in the fifth inning, it was probably one of the better games that he had been pitching over the course of the better part of the last month. You know, the two-run-inning started obviously with the leadoff walk to Werth, and the two runs that they ended up getting were both on 3-2 pitches, the ball Ibanez hit down into the right field corner and the base hit that Ruiz got.
But he was really, really on his game into the fifth inning. He had all his stuff. His pitch count was probably better than, as I just mentioned a moment ago, in better shape than it's been in any game he's pitched over the last month.
A 2-0 game, a single and a ball hit out of the ballpark and you're back tied. It wasn't up to that point they had hit too many balls all that hard. Probably the Werth line drive was the hardest ball that had been hit up to that point. He's certainly a guy that's been basically the ace of your staff all year long. I don't think that's a very good message to send to a guy that after they scratch two runs off of him that you remove him from the game.

Q. I'm sure you've seen that Lee in the last month or so, five, six, seven starts has been a lot spotty, good and bad. What did you see of him today and why did he give you so much trouble?
JIM TRACY: Well, he got really, really good as the game went on, and to the point where by the third inning, I don't know if he missed a spot. But we certainly didn't have very many good swings off of him beyond the third inning, and we certainly didn't get too many good pitches to swing at. He was pretty much on corners.
I thought we had a chance to crack him a little bit and give Ubaldo something to work with. In the first couple of innings, I know that when we had the two guys on in the first inning Garrett Atkins had a pretty good pitch to swing at. It was a high change-up. And when I say missed it, he didn't swing and miss, but he mishit the ball. There was a little bit of opportunity. There was a little bit of vulnerability to him in getting started, but once he got into the third and fourth inning, he was pretty much into his game.

Q. Did you expect them to press the action on the bases as much as they did, and is it a concern for the remainder of the series?
JIM TRACY: Did I expect it? I was fairly certain that they were going to test that. I think -- and you can understand maybe why they would do that, but as you look back at the game, the one stolen base that obviously put them in a good position, the others, they didn't end up helping for any of those to correlate into any runs.
The Utley stolen base, after his leadoff single in the sixth inning, and then the ball that Howard drove to the wall that Gonzalez almost made an unbelievable play on obviously allowed him to score easily, but there was nothing really else from the standpoint of their stolen bases that put them in a significant position where they had add on runs or runs that you look at the reason they got those were all the stolen bases.
Where Ubaldo ran into problems was in the sixth inning after the Utley base hit. The ball -- that was the first and only point in time, because obviously I removed him from the game in the sixth inning, but the ball was not finding spots in the sixth inning. The ball was finding the middle of the plate.
Had we not been dealing with the wind conditions that we were dealing with today, that ball would have been hit out of the ballpark. That ball got to the middle of the plate and not in better spots in the same capacity, where I thought we had a couple chances there with Cliff in the beginning of the game and then we didn't get much other opportunity. We popped the ball up. We hit the ball weakly from the third inning on with the exception of the ninth inning, when Tulowitzki hit the ball in the gap, we didn't square another ball up. That was the only ball we squared up.

Q. One of those deals where you just tip your cap to a well-pitched game, or is there something else about this performance that concerns you more than that?
JIM TRACY: No, I think you tip your cap to him. It's a five-game series, and obviously we've been in this position before, trust me, more than once, where obviously tomorrow is a pretty important game because you certainly -- you wouldn't be looking forward to going back to Denver down two games. So you know, the game tomorrow to me takes on the significance of a big game we played in San Francisco back in August, a Cardinals series that we played a couple of weeks ago at home.
You let it go. There's no real play or any situation that you sit and wonder what would have happened if this would have taken place or that would have taken place. They beat us today. You know, they got a base hit in every spot in their lineup, including Cliff Lee. They created opportunities for themselves to score runs, and we really didn't create any with the exception of what took place in the ninth inning. They just beat us today.

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