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October 8, 2009

Charlie Manuel


Colorado 5
Philadelphia 4

Q. What is J.A. Happ's status at this point? Do you feel you'll be able to use him again in the series, and was he hurting as bad as he looked when he was limping off the field?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He got hit right below his knee, and he got hit pretty good. He was trying to stay out there, but he wasn't able to pitch. When he got up on the mound to throw, his back leg was shaking, and when he was landing he was having a hard time staying on his feet. He was wanting to try, and he was wanting to stay there, but he couldn't stay there.
You know what, I think he'll be okay, though. If he gets some treatment, I think he'll be fine. But he couldn't have stayed there today.

Q. Is Blanton still in the mix to possibly pitch on Saturday?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Blanton, he could pitch Saturday. We'll definitely talk about that probably on the plane ride, and we'll probably announce that tomorrow.

Q. You had to use a lot of your chess pieces today in this game. Does that seem like -- does it look like you've used -- do you think you've used one too many pieces or one more piece than you wanted to?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't know. When we get behind, I felt like we was down 4-0, I definitely felt like we were still in the game and I felt like we were going to have a run in us. You've got to try to catch up.
But as far as Happ getting hurt, that's probably the only thing -- I mean, that is the thing that probably concerns me. The rest of it, as far as our pitchers and everything go, they're fine.

Q. When was Cole informed that his wife had gone into labor? And with him knowing over the last couple days that it was possible that it could happen soon, do you think it affected his performance in any way?
CHARLIE MANUEL: It might have. It could have. He was informed -- I was taking him out of the game because I felt like we -- I wanted to hit for him, and we had a guy on, and I felt like it was a chance to -- we were going to try to get back in the game, of course.
Frank Coppenbarger came down to the dugout and went and told him his wife was in labor, and of course he was out of the game and he was out of the league, took off and left. It could have bothered him, yes.

Q. Could you just expound a little bit on your thinking on using Blanton and Happ today, both were potential Game 3 starters, and now there's going to be some questions. Is it just the fact that you thought you were still in this game?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I felt like we were still in the game, and I felt like they weren't going to pitch very long, and I felt like we had to hold them. We had a hell of a chance to get back in the game. I felt like that we give them a couple extra outs in the seventh inning and that run definitely came back and hurt us.
Blanton, he's ready to pitch. And Happ got hurt, of course, and we'll find out exactly what's wrong with him, how much, when he can pitch again and whatever.

Q. With all the moves that you made, mostly pitching, and then there were obviously other things, did you put an urgent -- more of an urgency on this game because of the way you used that bullpen, and does Pedro have a chance to pitch on Saturday?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Pedro, he's definitely in the mix to pitch on Saturday. Pedro, right now I'd say it's between Blanton and Pedro. That's where we'll sit --

Q. And to the urgency for the game?
CHARLIE MANUEL: The urgency for the game? I was trying to win the game, and like I said, I felt like I definitely had a run left in us. But at the same time, the pitchers that I used, if things had worked out like Rich Dubee and I had them plan, like Happ might have stayed longer than Blanton. But at the same time Blanton, he worked, and he'll be fine. He'll definitely could be ready to pitch on Saturday if that's what we choose to do.
Of course with Happ injured, I'll just have to wait and see where he's at.

Q. You had Durbin up a couple times. What convinced you to go to Blanton over Durbin?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I felt like at that time, I felt like there might have been a hitters' match-up and also the fact that Durbin down there toward the end of their lineup and stuff like that, I felt like they might bring on some left-handed hitters. At that time we wanted to make sure we had some room to maneuver in there.

Q. When you put Happ in, and they had all these left-handers coming in, since you double switched, were you intending for him to pitch the next inning, as well?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, probably, yes. Yeah.

Q. The weather forecast in Denver for Game 3 is 30s, snow likely. Your concerns about that in general, and then could that impact your decision in terms of maybe you being hesitant to use Pedro?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think we'll talk about the weather, of course. I think it -- whatever we decide, we'll definitely discuss about the weather. For us to leave here and go into weather like snow or raining -- raining and it's snowing and it's cold, we're going off into different weather, but at the same time I've been there before. Two teams have to play, and I've seen us play in cold weather here. You've got to play, you've got to play.

Q. You talked about you and Rich having a plan coming into this. If you had your druthers and you could save one of the guys, Happ or Blanton, which one were you kind of hoping to save?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Probably -- if I had my druthers? Probably Happ.

Q. What was your assessment of Cole Hamels today, and do you have any indication at all that he can pitch back to what he was at this time last year?
CHARLIE MANUEL: First of all, I didn't think Hamels pitched too bad. I think in the first inning it got -- they took advantage of a break, especially on the ball Helton chopped down the first baseline and he threw home, and of course that was a run, of course, but then we worked out of the inning and they only got one run.
But then the two-run homer Torrealba hit, looked like a high change-up or a high breaking ball, it was a mistake, and then they give up a run in the fifth inning, gave up another run. I felt like his stuff was good. There again you get back. He threw some close pitches, he was around the plate, but I felt like his command could have been better.
Can he get back to where he was at? Yeah, I think it's hard to tell when he's going to throw a real good game. I assessed him today and he didn't throw that bad. But when we took him out, we was four runs down, and we were trying to catch up, of course. Yeah, he can get back to that.

Q. You mentioned you would have rather saved Happ. Did you have in your mind at the start of the series that you wanted to start Happ in Game 3 unless this happened or were you waiting to see how today played out and decide later?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Actually we were going to wait for today and kind of see how things played out.

Q. With Heidi being in the hospital and in labor, that's not exactly your run-of-the-mill cold or whatever. Do you think that kind of played into Cole's mentality or gave him a little bit of confusion or whatever out there?
CHARLIE MANUEL: That could have had something to do with it, I don't know. I think definitely he was concerned about his wife. I know he was concerned about his wife, and probably his child, too. That's an exciting time, and that's a time that you really look forward to. I know it probably would have been on his mind, but at the same time you'll have to ask him exactly. I don't know exactly what was on his mind and what he was thinking.

Q. Last year your bullpen was so set, and this year obviously it's so unset. How much tougher is managing through this postseason than it was last postseason?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Well, I think first of all, when you've got a bullpen that was set like ours was and with the way that our starting pitching was last year, if you stopped and thinking about our starting pitching, not only was Hamels good, but Blanton was real good, and we got some very good pitching. So therefore, our bullpen kind of stayed -- it stayed intact, and we had Madson and Romero to kind of offset the seventh and eighth inning, and we to get to Lidge pretty easy.
This year our bullpen from day one, our bullpen, we've had to kind of patch it together and put guys in roles, new roles and everything, but that's what you have to do, and that's kind of what it is. We've still got talent at the back end of our bullpen, and we've got a lot of talent. But it's just a matter of us finishing the games off.

Q. Blanton has never done this before, pitched a relief and then started a game later on. I know you think he can do it, but do you really think he'll be able to give you as much as he would have been able to give you had he not pitched in relief?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yes, I do, yeah. I played 20 years. I've been around the game 47 years. Yeah, I think he can do it, yes. Yes, I do. I've seen guys come back and pitch three or four days in a row who are starters; how about that? Yeah, I've seen them do it.
You can write whatever you want to write, and you can voice your opinion and everything. Yeah, it can be done. And sometimes those are chances you have to take. That's part of the game. Funny game. That's how you've got to play it sometimes.
I was making moves out there that if I could have picked some other things to do, I would have probably did it. (Laughter).
But that's how I did it.

End of FastScripts

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