home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 7, 2009

Cliff Lee

Charlie Manuel


Philadelphia 5
Colorado 1

Q. Cliff, when you actually went out there getting ready to throw your first pitch in your first playoff game, were you able to put that in a place where it was just like any other game, or did it take any time to settle in?
CLIFF LEE: I tried to treat it as much like a regular game as I could. Obviously there's more excitement and energy with the playoff game, but it's still 60 feet, six inches to home plate, still same strike zone. Everything the same is still. I knew there was going to be a little bit more adrenaline, but for the most part I tried to treat it like a normal start.

Q. From the base hits you got to moving Feliz moving the runner over, you guys really did a good job of putting yourself in situations to score runs. How pleased were you with that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Today was actually a tough day with the wind blowing, but also the guy we beat today has got a lot of talent. He's got a big time arm. He's got tremendous stuff. I felt like we did a good job. We definitely created some chances and we took advantage of all of them. I felt like we hit the ball very good, and it's good to see Ibanez and Werth, the middle of our lineup, hit good, and we beat a good pitcher today. And of course Cliff pitched a hell of a game. It was a good ballgame, really.

Q. Cliff, obviously you got stronger as the game went on. Jim Tracy was in here a minute ago about two runners on, Garrett Atkins, the high change up that he -- he didn't swing and miss, but he missed it and could have hit it hard and didn't. Do you kind of feel like you got away with one there?
CLIFF LEE: With Werth throwing the guy out at third and the way the inning went, they could have easily scored a one in run of these innings and that may have changed the momentum of the game. That's why you play the game, too. Sometimes you make bad pitches and they hit it to people; sometimes you make good pitches and they make good hits, too, and vice versa. That's the name of the game. You've got to throw strikes, you've got to make them swing the bat. They earned their way on every time they got on today.
I feel good about not walking guys, and yeah, really the only chances they had to score seemed like, other than home runs, it seemed like were the first couple innings, and we were able to get out of that with zeros. That was big for the team.

Q. With Cliff going the distance, how does this help you set up the rest of your rotation, if, in fact, it does?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think -- Howard I think tomorrow will kind of dictate that. We'll see what happens from there. I think that's what's going to determine how we set up our rotation with our starting pitching especially.

Q. Cliff, how important was it to sort of set a tone for the series? Cole was in here earlier today talking about last year and his ability to do that. So for yourself just to go out there and maybe set a tone for the rest of the series?
CLIFF LEE: It was big. This was the biggest game we've played so far. It's huge to get off to a lead any time.
But tomorrow's game is equally important. If we win that, we're up two; if they win it, we're tied again. Every game is equally important.
It's nice to get a lead. This was what our goal was, what we're trying to do. We're trying to win the game. Hopefully we can pick up where we left off tomorrow and keep the ball rolling.

Q. Can you please talk a little bit about how Ruiz helped you today?
CLIFF LEE: He caught an unbelievable game. He knows these hitters a lot more than I do. I faced them once this year. But he's a pretty smart catcher. He knows what he's doing, and I have a lot of faith in him. Him and Bako both. They're both good catchers and understand what they're doing, and understand my strengths and know how to link that with the hitters that we're facing. I've got as much faith in Ruiz and Bako as I ever have with any catcher. He was a big part of us winning the game today for sure.

Q. The last month or so, it's been a little bit up and down for you. Really, really good outings, and then ones that weren't as good. What is the difference for you when you have a good outing? Is it just hitting the corners? And how difficult on a day when you're kind of almost getting off the mound every now and then?
CLIFF LEE: Did I get blown off the mound? Oh, the wind. I thought you were talking about them stroking me. (Laughter).
What was your question?

Q. What was the difference between today and those more spotty outings?
CLIFF LEE: They didn't hit balls in the gap and over the fence. When you throw 100-some-odd pitches, usually it boils down to a couple of key situations.
My past four or five outings, I've missed out over the plate in the spot where they were in a 2-0, 3-1 count, an aggressive count, and they made me pay for it. That's what Major League hitters do.
Today I was more staying away from 2-0 and 3-1 counts, number one, for the most part and staying out of the heart of the plate. That's as simple as I look at it, and that's what you've got to do to be successful is not miss out over the plate much, and if you do consistently, bad things are going to happen. If you're locating and keeping the ball down and out of the heart of the plate, good things are going to happen, more often than not.
I didn't feel like I was all over the place the last four or five outings. I felt like I was locating for the most part, but then I'd have little lapse here and there where instead of taking one or two pitches to make an adjustment, it might take five or six, and that's not good. At this level you've got to make adjustments quicker than that, and the results show.

Q. Charlie, you guys didn't have a leadoff runner reach until the fifth with Werth's walk. Can you talk about the importance of that and also Utley's single which led off the sixth?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think when Werth got on that was very big, and I think that kind of set the stage for us to score, and I think Utley got a big hit. But at the same time I felt like up until that point, I felt like their pitcher was very good. This guy, I like this guy. He's a power pitcher and he's got tremendous stuff, and he kept us at bay.
But also, I'd like to say the difference I saw in Cliff's pitching today was the fact that he was really -- he had a fastball cutter, and he was real good with both of them and he used them. He was aggressive. He had a big tempo and rhythm, and he had good concentration. The flow of the game, he handled the whole flow of the game pretty good. I felt like where he was putting the ball, and basically what he said, he didn't walk anybody and pitched a hell of a game.

Q. I'm just wondering if you've given your pitchers a green light to steal bases now, and Cliff, if you can describe that play and what followed afterward, too.
CLIFF LEE: That was totally Davey Lopes. That was totally him. By no means was I out there thinking I was going to steal a base. He told me a little pointer, I saw what was going on, and he said if you think you can get it, go ahead and go, and I did. By no means was I thinking I was going to steal the base.
CHARLIE MANUEL: He said the right thing when he came back. He talked about stealing a base, he talked about Davey Lopes. And I told him, Davey sees things I don't see. Seriously, Davey Lopes is tremendous, really. He said the right thing when he came back.
I thought, what in the hell is he doing? (Laughter).

Q. Cliff, you waited a long time to pitch a postseason game. I wondered if there was ever a point where you stepped back, took in the moment, and if you did, what went through your head?
CLIFF LEE: Actually I did. It was in the ninth inning right before I gave up that double in the gap, so I wish I wouldn't have done that. But I got 0-2 right there and the crowd got pretty fired up, so I took a little second to look around and soak it all in. But then I threw three straight balls and one down the middle that went in the gap. So whatever. It was a five-run lead right there.
I wanted to give myself a chance to really absorb it and take it all in. Maybe it cost me a run, but we still won, so that's the bottom line.

Q. Charlie, you had Happ up in the ninth inning. What did that mean for today, for tomorrow, and especially for Game 3?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Just had Madson and Happ throwing there. Of course, they were just getting loose. But I wasn't planning on using him, because I didn't think I was going to need them anyway. And Cliff kind of proved us right.

Q. Would you do the same thing tomorrow, and will that affect Game 3 as far as Happ pitching Game 3?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't think so. He didn't throw that many pitches. He probably threw maybe 10, 15 pitches just getting loose. It was no big deal.

Q. We've spent some of August and September asking about stuff like runners in scoring position issues and timely hitting, stuff like that. All of a sudden Game 1 of the playoffs, timely hits, sort of all-around complete effort from your team. Is it reading too much into that to think that there's something there as far as what you guys believe in yourselves and being able to step up now that the playoffs are here?
CHARLIE MANUEL: What I want to say is baseball, it's a funny game. We know how to play the game, and also, our guys know how to move runners. They know what you have to do to move runners. Sometimes they don't do it, but at the same time we know how and when it's supposed to be done, and that's kind of what execution is all about.
A poor execution team, they go for a long time and they won't do it, but at the same time when you see a team move the runners and put the runners in scoring position and also knock them in what I call with less than two outs and men on base, stuff like that, can go on contact plays, things, those are usually the teams that will get consistent.
We had a game, what, about five or six days ago where Rollins and Victorino hit back-to-back triples, really kind of jump started the offense. All of a sudden we started doing some things very good, started pulling the ball in the hole from the left side with a runner on first. We started moving our runners going first to third and stuff. We started hitting a sack fly every now and then, and basically all those things gelling together, and that's when you start playing good. We know how to do all of that. I think basically that's why we're a good team, and that's why you talk about us when we don't do it. But that's baseball, and that's kind of how it goes sometimes.

End of FastScripts

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297