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October 18, 2009

Joe Torre


Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Philadelphia Phillies 11

Q. Kind of a two-parter about Kuroda: One, it's probably entirely unfair but do you have any second thoughts about the decision? And what did you see? Is it rust? Is he just missing spots?
JOE TORRE: No, I mean, I don't second-guess the decision because we made it on what we saw, and his bullpen was good for this start. The bullpen today coming into the game was good. He came into the game, and he just didn't -- the ball didn't behave. That's basically all I can tell you about that. But if there was -- if it was a rust situation, it wouldn't have shown up the way it did, I don't think, because he threw strikes, nothing but strikes, when I saw him. And as I say, he was commanding the ball in both bullpens. So it was just one of those things.

Q. What did you think of Cliff Lee?
JOE TORRE: What I always think of Cliff Lee, he's pretty damned special. Again, he attacks the strike zone, he works fast. He threw us some pitches to hit, but sometimes with his delivery and how aggressive he is, I think he comes at you quick, and sometimes it startles the hitters where they're not quite ready to hit. You know, he knows what to do with the lead. He throws a lot of strikes, and you give him a lot of credit. And plus, not only strikes, but he throws strikes at different speeds.

Q. You talked about when you were in LA about how tough it is to play here in Philadelphia. Can you elaborate on that outside of maybe like the crowd? Is it the weather, the travel?
JOE TORRE: No, I just think that Philadelphia is one of those cities -- when I say it's tough, you'd rather be at home. I think any team would feel that way. But we know it's a very passionate city. I played here as a player and managed here a number of times, and they love their teams. Obviously if they love them, they hate us.
But again, the way you can neutralize that is to do a better job than we did tonight. You give up six runs early and all of a sudden it becomes that snowball going down the hill unfortunately.

Q. Not that one hit determined this game, but you guys were so successful in limiting Albert Pujols as much as you could in that first series. Is there a strategy with Howard, and are the pitchers adhering to the strategy? I guess it's kind of to throw inside maybe? Maybe that pitch got out over the middle, I don't know.
JOE TORRE: Obviously tonight we didn't throw the ball where we wanted to. No, we didn't come into the series saying we're going to walk Howard every chance we get. We're certainly not going to pitch to him with a base open and stuff like that. There was no base open in the first inning. Utley was running 3-1. But he's got a pretty good supporting cast around him, too. There's no easy touch in that lineup when you go basically -- you could say sometimes one to six, but that No. 8 hitter has been pretty good against us all year long.
Today is one of those games. You know, they scored 11 runs, they only beat us once. So that's good news for us. But obviously we didn't pitch to where we're supposed to pitch today.

Q. Any idea how you could handle Kuroda the rest of the series?
JOE TORRE: You know, I don't. I'll be looking forward to seeing him throw again in the bullpen. Again, we've had -- in fact, after we watched him pitch on Tuesday, his bullpen, which I did not witness, Rick Honeycutt came in and made a special point to come to me and tell me how good it was.
I think it's just one of those days, whether it was the cold weather or whatever. I can't answer that. Health-wise I think he's good. If he's not, we'll let you guys know tomorrow when I find something out. But he didn't seem to have any issue. No excuses, put it that way. He just didn't pitch well.

Q. Just a follow-up to that, I think you answered it, but did he express any discomfort in the neck tonight?
JOE TORRE: No, not at all. As I say, as of now. I didn't talk to him. I talked to him a little bit on his way into the clubhouse, but I think I would have gotten that feedback from training staff, but I haven't had that yet.

Q. On a night like tonight, win or lose, do you carry it with you when you leave the park or do you try and get it all out so by tomorrow it's totally gone?
JOE TORRE: Yeah, you never want to get your rear end kicked, there's no doubt about it. But these games, you don't toss and turn wondering, if I had made this move or that move. This is one you can put away a lot quicker even though it's a lot uglier than most. But again, as I mentioned, it's only one game, and we're still in a position to tie the series tomorrow, and that's what we need to do basically.

End of FastScripts

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