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October 18, 2009

Charlie Manuel


Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Philadelphia Phillies 11

Q. A lot of teams say that they can take a punch and come back and knock the other team down. You guys seem to be able to do it again and again and again. Why do you think that is and how do you think you contribute to that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I talk about that every day, really, just about. I'd say about three years ago we took on the fact that we play for that game, we play to win every day, and that's what we do. If we get beat, it's definitely put behind us and we look forward to the next day when we can get on the field and win. We're not looking ahead to tomorrow. We'll celebrate tonight, and once we leave here we'll start thinking about winning tomorrow. That's how we play.
I think what I contribute to that, I think the way I'm thinking when I talk about excellent versus success, and the fact that if we have an elite team and we master the game and everything like this, we'll be successful. The season is 162 games, it's a long season and when you get in the playoffs it gets even longer, and you've got to keep things in perspective and we're an even keel team. We don't get too high and we don't get too low, and if we get knocked down we can get back up, and we try to keep a level head. That's kind of who we are.
The biggest thing is we love to play baseball. That's a tribute to our team. That's a tribute to our guys and their attitude and the chemistry and things and kind of how they look at the game. That's very good.

Q. Total team effort tonight, you got contributions from just about everybody. Could you talk about that a little bit?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, our hitting, our offense was very good, of course, and we hit. Howard got us going with a triple in the first inning and then we got a couple home runs, but most of all we hit the ball -- everybody kind of contributed and we hit the ball good up and down the lineup. Cliff Lee, what can I say about him? He was just absolutely outstanding. He struck out ten guys, gave up three hits, didn't walk anybody, and he put zeros on the board. It was a good game for us, and we're up 2-1 in the series now. We've got a game tomorrow. We've got to come back out and keep going.

Q. I know you talked about Hiroki Kuroda earlier today, about your team being due to hit him. How do you think what they were able to do against him in the first inning -- I know you talked about getting off to a strong start and this is the strongest one you've gotten off to this post-season.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think we were patient against him and we made him throw the ball over the plate and didn't get overanxious and start swinging at slow stuff, especially close or around the strike zone. I felt like we made him pitch and we were able to get to him. Got some runs on him early, and that kind of -- after we got to four runs, and then we added two more, and that kind of gave us a little margin. I think that's kind of what happened to him.

Q. Cliff Lee didn't pitch well before he got to the postseason, and now he's pitching great. Did you have any concerns coming in?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think if you go back and look right before the postseason, he threw a couple, two pretty good games. When you look at him, like, tonight, when he's on, like I said before the game, like, when he's on and his command is there, he's a tempo-rhythm and he controls the game. He takes the game kind of where he wants it, and that's exactly what he did tonight. He did a tremendous job.
When he came over here, when we first got him, he pitched about four, five real good games, and then he kind of hit a little spell where he had a little trouble with his command. But you see him when he gets going and he starts working, he gets in a rhythm, he starts working pretty quick, and he's got tremendous angle on his ball, and he's good. He can hit the outside and the inside part of the plate, and that's what makes him real good.

Q. Can you just describe the postseason Ryan Howard is having. Seems like he's hitting everything.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, Ryan is swinging the bat very good right now. He's staying on the ball real good. It's good to see. He couldn't pick a better time to hit good. It's outstanding. Keep it up. (Laughter).

Q. Charlie, one of the former players and commentators has said about your ballclub that they're not cocky in a disrespectful way, but they have what he called, "audacity," to know that they're going to win. Is it accurate in your opinion?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think that's close to being right. I think the fact that when we look to win, I think that comes -- that's a tribute to the guys again on the fact that we love to play. And when you get the most out of playing, then more than likely you've got the energy and you've got all the effort there to put forth a winning team. I think that comes right along with it.
When we're playing good baseball and we're winning, we don't talk about losing and we don't talk a whole lot about winning because we expect to win when we come to the ballpark, and that's kind of who they are.

Q. You sent Cliff Lee out there to hit in the ninth and I don't think you got anybody up warming up until Victorino. Were you going to have him pitch the ninth?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I was going to let him go back out.

Q. What was the determining factor?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Once we scored the three runs and everything and it got 11-0. First of all, I was going to give him a chance to throw a shutout. I figured he threw 114 pitches. If he threw about ten more, it wasn't going to hurt him. Of course you guys might get mad at me, but hell, who gives a damn? You guys can manage, I'll write. (Laughter).

Q. Carlos Ruiz, what was your first thought on the foul tip? And you talked about having guys who love to play ball, where would you put Carlos in that pecking order?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Carlos Ruiz has really improved since last year, but he started improving the second half of the season last year, and he's come a long ways. He handles the pitching staff good, he plays aggressive, and the pitchers like to throw to him. They trust him. He can stop the running game, and about the last two months his hitting has really picked up. He's been doing a good job. He's been hitting the ball mostly in the gaps, and he's staying in good, and he's got a quick bat. And he plays a big role. When I first came to work over here, when I traveled through the Minor Leagues, I used to see Carlos quite a bit. He's come a long ways, and he's developed himself into a real good player.

Q. And that foul tip was nothing?
CHARLIE MANUEL: The foul tip, no, it kind of hit his mask and kind of hurt his jaw, but he bounced back.

Q. I meant when he was at bat.
CHARLIE MANUEL: He's all right. He's fine.

End of FastScripts

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