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October 9, 2009

Charlie Manuel


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Charlie Manuel.

Q. Who is your Game 3 starter?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't know yet.

Q. You do know, right?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Pedro Martinez.

Q. Can you kind of talk about that a little bit, the reason why you're having him go?
CHARLIE MANUEL: You know, basically, first of all, we think he's very healthy, and I know some people talk, the first thing you're going to ask me probably is about the weather.
He has pitched in cold weather. He pitched in Boston and also pitched a playoff game against us when I was in Cleveland where he came in and he had a bad arm, and he went about five innings, five or six innings in a playoff game, and it was cold that night.
And he says he's ready and up for it. And also like we wanted to -- with holding Blanton back and we figured that definitely gives us a strong back end of our bullpen.
And if we have to get into it, I can use it the way we might, we feel like Blanton's a horse. Joe Blanton, he can do different things for us.

Q. Will Happ be available out of the bullpen tomorrow night?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Basically we'll try to stay away from maybe one of those guys, but at the same time it depends on the situation in the game, like we'll have a starting pitcher for you after the game tomorrow, or maybe even before.

Q. With the Rockies' well-known vulnerability to left-hand pitching, a lot of people figure you go with your three lefties, boom, boom, boom. Can you talk about why you decided not to do that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: First of all, I think that when Happ got hit on the knee yesterday that had something to do with it. He's fine. He's kind of like he's well. He can pitch.
But at the same time for myself, too, I look at him as going Sunday. But we haven't made a decision on it yet. But I'll have it for you tomorrow.

Q. Do you have to approach this series more on a game-by-game basis, the fact that you don't have a Game 4 starter yet pencilled in?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I look at it basically what's going to come up in the bullpen is going to be the Game 4 starter, like how we had to use it and what happened, and I always figured that somewhere along the line like that we were going to have one or two guys that would definitely have been starting all year long for us, was going to start that game.
I look at Joe Blanton, like I said, to me like he's kind of a -- he's a very durable guy, and he's a tough guy who can pitch a lot.
And I think that he can do a lot of things for us. And I think in the way that we kind of go about this playoff, this round was the fact that we needed to beef up the back end of our bullpen from the seventh inning on.
And I think that if we can kind of bridge a gap and like get to a certain point, I think our fourth starter will be standing right there for us.
So it's kind of the way I look at it.

Q. As you know, the weather is supposed to be maybe in the 20s, there could be snow on the ground tomorrow. How tough will that be especially on the hitters? And the pitcher stays warm a lot as he's moving around a lot, but the hitters?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Cold weather is tough -- it's tough on a pitcher in some ways where he grips the ball and stuff. But it's tougher on the hitters. You usually put on more clothes and it's hard to get loose. But also when you hit the ball, kind of stings your hand, even though you have gloves on you can kind of feel it. It kind of sets in the back of your mind about if it's real cold, if you notice that a lot. But at times it didn't bother guys at all anymore.
They put -- with the clothes, the insulation clothes that they wear and the fact that things -- the stuff they put on their body, like their body holds the heat and everything, so they stay pretty loose.
Actually, the guys on the field at times, if you ask them today, they'll tell you that usually that once the game starts, that they stay pretty warm. So it's hard to tell. I've seen a lot of hitting in cold weather, and I've seen it vice versa. I've heard guys say it's cold and the pitcher is going to pitch a good game and he does a lot of times, but, there again, until we play we'll see.
I know this. It's tough to play in cold weather, and it's definitely tough to play if it's raining or snowing or something.

Q. You managed in Colorado Springs. What were some of the coldest days you managed down there?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Spring of the year, used to snow quite a bit. I've seen it drop down in the teens, maybe close to zero. I've seen us play like 20, 16. That's probably the coldest it got. But it would get in the low 20s.
And I've seen it in Colorado Springs be like you can walk outside of a morning sometimes be like 65, 70 degrees and then at night get down in the 30s.
So I used to say you could have four seasons here in one day. But, no, that's just something that you adapt to.

Q. Brett struggled a little bit with his command yesterday. What did you see out of him? Can he pitch tomorrow? And are you concerned at all or is he just knocking off some rust from the layoff?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I'm concerned how much that we put Brett out there, yes. I am concerned about that. And definitely the more work he gets in there and like that he'll get more velocity on his fastball. His fastball is not where it usually is. Best pitch right now is probably his breaking ball and the cutter he throws. But mostly his curveball, that's probably his best pitch right now, and his workload -- no, we can't put too much on him.

Q. Pedro's only pitched seven innings since September 13th. What are your expectations as far as the amount of innings you might be able to get from him tomorrow?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think if Pedro -- I think I can sit here and tell you -- very honestly can tell you that I feel like Pedro is capable of going anywhere -- I say he's going to throw anywhere from 85 to 100 pitches. And I think that can get you into the sixth or seventh inning if his command is good.
Of course, if he has a couple of innings where he does throw a lot of pitches, that will determine how far he goes in the game. But Pedro is in very good shape, a lot better shape than last year. He's throwing quite a bit better.
He keeps himself ready to go. He throws a lot on the side, and he's ready to pitch.

Q. When did you tell Pedro the decision, and how did he react?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I sent Dubee to tell him. I think he kind of -- I think he kind of -- I think he kind of put two and two together last night and kind of knew, really.

Q. Charlie, what's the status of Cole Hamels and his wife? Do you know if they had the baby?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, where is Greg at?
GREG: They had the baby this morning, yes, in Philadelphia.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I was asking whether it was a girl or boy. He said it's supposedly -- it's supposed to be a boy. But I don't know. I was trying to get some information out of him. I will call Cole Hamels today sometime.

Q. When do you expect him to rejoin the team? Do you know yet?
CHARLIE MANUEL: After I talk to him today. I'm sure we'll decide on like when he'll be with the club.

Q. Just getting back to Myers for a second, because he's someone who I guess you're a little bit concerned about or isn't at full strength you decided to put him on the roster still over a couple of righties, what was the deciding factor there? Was it experience or just what you know his upside is?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I like his experience and I like the fact that putting him on hitters probably anywhere from sixth to seventh inning, eighth inning, in that area of the game. I felt there was definitely some hitters I would like to put him on because of his experience.
And like I kind of know, have an idea on what he can give you.

Q. Were you at the '97 World Series, Game 4, I think it was like 38 degrees? What do you remember about that game? I think the Indians scored 10 runs that game. Did it affect play at all?
CHARLIE MANUEL: '97, I was there, yes. I was a coach.

Q. What do you remember and do you remember it affecting play at all?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I remember playing Seattle in '95, when it was about as cold as it can get. And it was blowing snow in Cleveland. It was definitely in the 20s. And that didn't bother the hitting.
And I remember playing the Yankees there one night when Sandy Alomar hit a home run off Rivera to right field, and there was some hitting in that game, too. And Florida beat us that one night, and that was in '97, when we had a lead like 8-to-5, they ended up beating us something, 14-to-9, 8, something like that. There was a lot of hitting in those games. It was snowing, and it was definitely under 32. It just all depends.

Q. I was wondering if you remember back in '99 when Pedro pitched against you in the ALDS, he came in like the third inning and pitched like six no-hit innings. Apparently he was saying like his shoulder was hurt that night. Did you learn something about his toughness that night and watching him pitch?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I was getting on our team about that before that, that was in Pedro's heydays when he could throw like 94, 98. And had four pitches. And that night when he came in, he was throwing, you can ask him. He was throwing about -- his velocity is about 84, 86. I was getting on our hitters, because he was getting us out.
And he pitched a heck of a game that night. And it was cold that night. But at the same time he had tremendous command and he did a heck of a job.

Q. Earlier when I asked you about J.A. pitching Game 3, you said the fact that he came into Game 2 and got hit had something to do with it. I'd like to follow up by asking why did you brought him into Game 2 as opposed to saving him for Game 3?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Why I brought him in because I wanted to get the left-hand hitters out. It felt like it was time to use him. Once we got him up like where we knew we was at in the game we were trying to hold them. I felt like we still had a chance to win that game.
And because we are a game or a run down or two or whatever, like I felt like we still had a chance to win that game, like we were trying to hold them right there.

Q. In regards to Happ, I know he had a great start against these guys. Did you just feel that it was too much to ask him to come back since he did get hit in the leg the other day?
CHARLIE MANUEL: No, actually, like I just want to make sure that he's ready to pitch. And that it doesn't bother him, that he can handle the load and everything.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Charlie.

End of FastScripts

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