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October 15, 2009

Charlie Manuel



Q. The perception, I guess, coming into this series was that the bullpen was not necessarily a strength, but something that you would find a way to maybe overcome, and tonight you've got Happ and Lidge and park coming up in big spots. So I mean, what do you think of that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think that basically the game was -- I mean, it was sitting -- we scored, we took a lead, of course it was 8 to 4 and they were right there with us. The game was not over, and we had enough to get by. We got outs when we had to, and really I felt like Madson did a great job of getting Manny Ramirez out, but at the same time Madson had to go that far. Once we had him in there, he had to go down through to Manny Ramirez, and he basically had to pitch to Ethier.

Q. Can you just talk about how important it is to get that first win in the series, especially when it is on the road?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Any time you win on the road the first game is definitely a big win. If we were at home, it would be big. But at the same time, to get the first game, it means a whole lot. It might not mean as much as it does in a three out of five deal, but in four out of seven it means a lot, too. If you win the first one on the road, it definitely sets up tomorrow's game, and that gives us a chance to really go home looking good.

Q. Talk about Carlos Ruiz and the way he just seems to be eating up this Dodger pitching for quite a while now?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, Chooch has been playing real good, but the last two months he's been hitting good. Basically tonight he got a hit in the count, and that's what hitting is. He got up in the count 3 and 1, and he zoned a fastball up like middle in, and he crushed it. When you get up in the count, that's how you're supposed to hit to be a successful hitter and stuff. When you get pitches that you're looking for, then you're supposed to hit them.

Q. Entering the playoffs there was some doubt as to who your closer was. Is it fair to say that Brad Lidge has reemerged in that role for you?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, tonight was -- Lidge was the guy. I mean, he was going in there, but the inning was also -- I liked the way it was set up with the right-handed hitters starting -- leading off the inning. That was good. That was very good. Lidge is always -- actually if we pin down one closer, it's always been Lidge.
But at the same time we just kind of -- when he started struggling a little bit, we had to do some maneuvering and give him a break, give him time off and everything. I've said that when I started taking him off and not putting him in and stuff.

Q. What makes this team so good on the road?
CHARLIE MANUEL: We like to play. I mean, we always stay in the game, and we always play out the game. I say it over and over, we definitely come to play, and we focus on today's game. Now, we'll celebrate this one for a little while, and then we'll get ready to play tomorrow. When we come out, we don't look behind us and we don't look ahead.
Last year when we won the World Series, I went out on the field and I looked up and it was kind of like we crossed the finish line and somebody stopped us and said, hey, you won. I looked over, and I thought we still had a lot left, and that's -- I like that part about our team. But at the same time, I'd like it to be a little easier, especially when we get a lead.

Q. Did you consider leaving Park out there anymore, or was the fact that he hadn't pitched in a long time going to limit the length tonight.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Park was real good first of all. He was throwing the heck out of the ball, and he hadn't pitched in a long time, and we had Madson standing there, and he was fresh and everything, and there was no way I was going to leave channel out there throwing 45 or 50 pitches. Yeah, I didn't consider that. He was gone.

Q. For the third straight game, one of your relievers has kind of gone up against the other team's best hitter to decide the game. Does that help bring confidence not only in the bullpen but in the entire team?
CHARLIE MANUEL: No doubt, it definitely breeds confidence. Any time they can get somebody like that out, I think that's really good. Any time that Brad Lidge gets people out, especially in big moments, I think it's good. Madson tonight, he had to go down to Manny Ramirez, and when he got him out, he did a tremendous job. He regained -- he regrouped, regained himself, got himself together, and he stayed after him, and that was good.

Q. I'm sure when you look at the scouting report on George Sherrill you see he's been pitching really, really well. Were you surprised at his wildness today?
CHARLIE MANUEL: If you look at his stats, his match-up against us, it might be the first time we got a hit off of him. I don't think we've had maybe one. I don't know, I think it might have been our first. He pitched against us over in Baltimore and in three days we didn't get a hit, I know that. He's been real good against us.
Tonight of course Raul got a big hit, but that's the first time I've ever seen him not have his command. You're right.

Q. The two three-run homers, obviously the focus of your offense today. Are you going to need power hitting to beat this team, the Dodgers?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, you know what, we can beat you by manufacturing runs, and like today, for instance, we had seven walks, and I think we scored three or four runs off those walks if I'm not mistaken. But we can beat you by manufacturing runs.
But the key is Rollins and Victorino and even Utley sometimes have to get on, because that is our running game, and that's a part where we can use our speed. Jayson Werth can run, he can steal a base for us sometimes, too.
But at the same time those guys have to get on base, and at the same time we've got to be running. Outside of that, our power definitely -- that's a part of our offense.

Q. Thinking back to about four hours ago, what did you think of Hamels tonight? What did you see?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I felt like Cole pitched good. He got off to a good start. When we scored the five runs, I felt like that was a long inning for him. I don't know if you noticed when he went back out, before he had been throwing 92, 94, touching 95 on that gun.
When he started hitting there, it was like 88 -- he threw two or three 88s and he got to 89 and I think the highest he got in that inning was like 91, and that kind of told me that he might have -- was getting stiff from sitting too long. But he kind of regrouped and he started throwing good.
Of course the home run Manny Ramirez hit hurt him. But we had a double play ball and we was out of an inning, and that's all part of the game. You're going to make mistakes if you play this game, too. We hung in there, and we was fortunate enough to get a win. They played us tough, and they always do.

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