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October 12, 2009

Carlos Gonzalez


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Carlos Gonzalez.

Q. In your estimation, what's the mood of the guys today after a very, very difficult late-night loss?
CARLOS GONZALEZ: Well, last night was very difficult for us. After we lost a great game, but this is not over yet. Like I said last night, today we're just going to go out there and try and have some fun like we did the whole season.
And we cannot afford to lose. So we're going to be very focused at the game and just try to win the game.

Q. How do you explain your torrid hitting right now? I think you're hitting over .600 this playoff series. Are you seeing the ball good? What's going on there?
CARLOS GONZALEZ: I think I'm being more focused at the plate. I think that's the key for me. And obviously we're playing a very important game and that helps me a lot, too, being involved in these big games and just being a part of this team.
I just feel very proud with how everything is going and just trying to help the ball club.

Q. You tore up AAA. When you first got called up, you struggled. You were striking out a lot, et cetera. When did it click for you? When did you really start to feel that you passed that growing pain and really found the secret that's allowed you to blossom a little bit?
CARLOS GONZALEZ: That was right after the All-Star break. And I hit like .200 the first half and I just kept working during the three days off and then just watching videos and just trying to get better in my game.
And basically I never lost -- I always was confident and I knew that I can hit. I did great during my Minor League career.
And at some point we all know we're here for a reason. And everybody in the Big Leagues have a talent. But at the same time you have to put your mind and your talent together and just prove.

Q. A lot of the strategy in this series has been about the left-handed starting pitching of the Phillies, and a bunch of your left-handed teammates haven't gotten to play on account of it. Obviously it hasn't affected you at all. Would you talk about hitting left-on-left and do you think too much is made of that whole percentage issue in general?
CARLOS GONZALEZ: Everybody knows it's difficult for a left-handed hitter to hit well against lefties. And I think that's why our general manager, he put all the lefties against us because we have really good hitters, lefties. And I think what has been helping me is just don't try to do too much, just make contact and look for a good pitch and think about the big part of the field. Just drive the ball up the middle and then if there's a way just to try to go with the ball and just react with the ball inside.

Q. When you made the Big Leagues, what specifically was the biggest adjustment when you were facing Major League pitchers?
CARLOS GONZALEZ: Well, they're all smart here. Everybody has a different way to get prepared. In the Minor Leagues you don't have any videos and stuff like that. And here everybody prepares very well before every game.
But at the same time we have the same system. We can just go into the video room and just see what kind of pitcher we're going to face that night and just see the way he pitched against lefties, against righties.
So that's the biggest challenge for a young player, when you're playing in the Minor Leagues, and the thing here is when they know your weakness they're going to try to do it until you make an adjustment.
So the Big Leagues it's all about adjustment, because, like I say, everybody here has the talent to play on this level.

Q. When you got the trade in the off-season and looked at coming to the Rockies and looking at how they're positioned, who the competition is, what did you see for yourself in terms of your goals and your realistic prospects? Did you ever imagine yourself on this stage at that time to get that trade?
CARLOS GONZALEZ: Yeah, absolutely. I think since I got traded here I knew that -- I knew that I was going to have a lot of competition, because we have a great team here. We have a lot of outfielders and they all play really well.
But at the same time I was excited because this is a really good organization, and I knew that if I stayed here I was going to have the chance to be in the post-season and just to fight for the World Series ring. So that's what every player expects.

Q. You guys have a lot of Venezuelans on the Rockies this year. Have you got a sense back home how much people are paying attention to the series but especially to your team and can you just describe that a little bit, please?
CARLOS GONZALEZ: Everybody in my country always watched games, post-season games, the World Series. And it doesn't matter if it's a Venezuelan player playing or not. But I know right now everybody down there is watching the games and they'll pay attention because we have a lot of Venezuelans here and we all have an opportunity to play.
So it's been really good for us. And it's been a great experience. We all try to work together. And it doesn't matter where you're from, you just want to be a good teammate.

Q. It's been a long year after the trade. You had a fever during the winter ball in Venezuela. Have you been able to hold up physically in this long season and do you intend to play winter ball beyond this year?
CARLOS GONZALEZ: It was pretty tough. And when I was down there playing winter ball, I got traded for the second time. It's one of the most difficult times for a young player when you get traded like every single year. And you don't know where you're going to be. And like you don't know anybody.
But at the same time you just want to -- everybody has to be happy and proud to be wearing a uniform. It doesn't matter what team you're playing, if you have the opportunity to play and wear a Big League uniform. It's something very important and very -- you feel very happy for that.

Q. Based on Cliff Lee's performance in Game 1, what do you guys have to do as a team? What kind of approach do you have to take to try to get something done against him today?
CARLOS GONZALEZ: Well, I think we have to do the same thing we did the second game. The first game we were very anxious to play. And Cliff Lee pitched a really fast game. We were swinging at every pitch. And we just did it easier for him.
This time we just need to change our plan, just be patient and just try to put some traffic on the bases. And when you have a man on base you are going to have an opportunity to score runs.
So that's what we didn't do the first game, and that's why we only scored one run at the end. So that's our plan for tonight. And just try to be more patient, look for a good pitch and just try to score a lot of runs for the pitcher.

End of FastScripts

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