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October 16, 2009

Charlie Manuel



Q. Chase's throwing in this series has been erratic, even when he's been throwing outs and obviously it hurt you in today's game and can you correct it in a short series?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He can correct that. Chase is better than that. Those mistakes that you make like that, that happens sometimes. Just because you made -- two days in a row he's made one. I know it plays a part in a game, and so does he.
But at the same time I've got a lot of faith in him. He's the one guy in the world that will work on it and correct it, it's Chase Utley. Sometimes that's just the way the game goes.

Q. How much faith did you have in Pedro being able to finish the job had you left him in?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He was gone. I mean, I think he was spent. We got seven innings out of him. When the game started, I think I told you guys that I was looking anywhere from 70 to 85 pitches, maybe 90 at the most or something. He was up to what, 87, 88, and believe me, it was a hot day, and he hadn't pitched in 17 days.
Actually he did a tremendous job, and he took it actually maybe farther than I anticipated when the game started. To me Pedro was done.

Q. Ethier had so many hits this year. Do you think Happ was being too careful with him in that at-bat when he came in?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think the first pitch he threw to him was close. After that he fouled some balls back, and even once, the last two pitches Happ threw them down out of the strike zone, and of course he was trying to throw a strike. Ethier is a good hitter, he works a count and he's tough to get on base, and he did a good job. I felt like Happ was a good match-up for him because he hits 194 against lefties, and I wanted to put Happ on him and Madson had just got through pitching, throwing last night, 31, 32 pitches. But at the same time I wanted Happ on him.

Q. With the way you lost today's game, do you worry about the momentum of the series shifting dramatically in the Dodgers' favor?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Not really, because I look at our team, and we've been resilient about the last three years, and like I told you, we play day-to-day, and I know this was a tough loss, and it's a big loss in a way, but at the same time our team -- we've bounced back before, and we'll bounce back again.
I've got all the faith in the world in our team. It's going to be a good series, guys. This series by no means -- it's going to be a tough series.

Q. Do you think Pedro (Feliz) should have been able to get to that ball, the lead-off hit to start the inning? It was hit pretty hard.
CHARLIE MANUEL: It was to his left. It was hit hard. It kind of tipped off the end of his glove. Let me tell you something, Pedro is pretty good. He's one of the better third base men in the league. He gave it a tremendous try.

Q. With all the travel you guys have had to do the past week, going from Denver back to Philadelphia all the way to here, how do you think the team will be recharged being back in Philadelphia and getting ready for the next game?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think going back to Citizens Bank Park is good for us any time we get to do that. We're going to practice at 4:30 but I don't think that's going to hurt us at all as far as the travel today. I think we'll get our rest, we'll come out practice and be ready on Sunday to play.

Q. Just wonder what you thought of Padilla's performance.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Padilla was outstanding. He was aggressive with his fastball and changed speeds good. He did a tremendous job. He pitched one heck of a game. It was a tremendous pitching game between those guys.

Q. What did you see on the bunt that went in for a single in the eighth? Was that misplayed or just in a perfect spot? Secondly, the defense in general, obviously it's been a strength for you as long as you've been here. How disappointing is it to kind of lose a game that way?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think the bunt was a big play, the fact that it got by Chan Ho, and it got over in no man's land where Howard couldn't get to it. It was a good bunt, but at the same time Chan Ho Park, like he didn't get to it, and that created -- actually I thought that was huge in the inning, and then of course when we turned the double play that was big, and then we walked the guy, it seemed like we couldn't get out of the inning. Actually we was lucky to get out with giving up two runs.

Q. Was it as simple as lefty-lefty when you brought Happ in the game?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I just got through saying, Ethier is hitting .194 off lefties, and I wanted Happ off him, especially in that situation, and Madson in a way, he pitched a lot last night, and he wasn't able to throw a lot of pitches.
But even then I considered putting Happ on him in this situation because we had enough pitching in the bullpen. And also, like when Thome, Eyre comes in the game, Thome was 0 for 7 against him, and I like that on him. That's kind of the way it goes.

Q. Any regrets about pulling Pedro out at the end of the seventh inning instead of sticking him in in the eighth?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Not at all. Pedro went 17 days without pitching. He pitched a heck of a game. He pitched like 87 or 88 pitches.
Actually when I think about it he did a heck of a job. It was a hot day, and I wasn't even thinking about that. He took us to a point in the game where he pitched a real great game, and it was for him to go.

Q. Russell Martin's at-bat, he couldn't get the bunt down at all and hits into what would have been a double play. Is that just dumb luck, just the way it worked?
CHARLIE MANUEL: You know what I call that? I call that baseball. I call that just the way the game goes. Those are things you've got to live with. Sometimes it comes our way, sometimes it goes the other team's way.
But also that's what happens when you get into the latter part of the game, I've been talking about that, too. When you get into the latter part of the game and the team is sitting there beating them 1 to 0 and we were sitting there almost even, and the team gets a break and the team that capitalizes or gets a big hit or a guy that makes a big pitch, that's the team that wins the game, and that's why in close games you've always got a chance at the end.

Q. I know it's probably hard to think about it right now, but considering what Pedro did today, how much does that mean for you going forward knowing you can get that type of performance from him?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Pedro pitched a tremendous game. We have no problem with him pitching anymore. I don't think that's a problem at all. He pitched -- today he did a hell of a job.

Q. As far as Chase and the throwing do you think it could be mental as far as that, that he's got a mental block?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think mistakes are made in a game, and I answered that, too. Utley is one guy, he'll be out there working on that and he'll correct it, and I've got -- we've got one of the best middle infields in baseball, and I know that he might have made a mistake the last two days, but so what? I don't think that's a problem. And if it is, he'll correct it.

End of FastScripts

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