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October 19, 2009

Charlie Manuel


Los Angeles Dodgers 4
Philadelphia Phillies 5

Q. You've said it all year that the team doesn't quit when they're down, never gives up, and for some reason stays loose when losing in big games. Can you put your finger on this and explain how they pulled it off again tonight?
CHARLIE MANUEL: We always talk about it takes 27 outs to close out the game, and you stay there until it's over. Like Yogi said. That's what happens. Any time you have a close game, and seesawing back and forth, one-run, two-run lead, something like that, you're always in the game. All you need is a walk, hits batsman, all of a sudden J-Ro hits it in the gap and we're in business.

Q. You've talked about patience being such a key at the plate with Ryan and everybody. J-Ro never comes to the plate if Matt Stairs doesn't get that walk, and of course Shane gets hit. What about Matt Stairs at bat and the patience he showed against a guy that you know he wanted to take some rips off of?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He was very good. As a matter of fact I was letting him hit 3-0. I set him up there. We were a run down and that's why I hit him there. He was 3-0, and he worked him good, and his walk became big. And of course when he hit Chooch, that set us going.
Jimmy Rollins is a short, quick, compact swing, and he can get to fastballs. He can hit your best heater, and basically that's a good match-up for us really because Broxton is good, very good. But Jimmy, also, when he's got his swing, he can explode on a fastball. He got him that time.

Q. Charlie, considering what happened last year between Broxton and Stairs, do you think that maybe Matt was in his head a little bit going into that at-bat because it didn't seem like he wanted any part of him.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't know, he was chunking him fastballs. It seemed like he was just having trouble getting it over the plate. He was coming right at him. I mean, he wasn't throwing him sliders or change-ups or nothing. He was throwing him 97, 99. I looked and saw a couple of 98s, 99. He was throwing him hard. I don't know where he was putting the ball, but he was coming right at him.

Q. Going back to the Division Series Jimmy hasn't had that many hits this series but it seems like the ones he gets are really big. Is he somebody who even when he's slumping seems to immediately have that ability to get that big hit when you guys need it the most --
CHARLIE MANUEL: First of all, he's not slumping. How many games, we're 3-1? Four games ain't a slump.

Q. Just in general, though.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Basically the only thing Jimmy has got to do, when he stays short and quick to the ball, and he's patient and gets good balls to hit, especially fastballs belt down, he's a real good hitter. And believe me, that's what brings him around. But he could go 0 for 4 games, that's nothing. Everybody jumps up about 0 for 4 or 0 for 8. Believe me, four games is nothing. It is in post-season when you want to win and everything, but at the same time if you follow what I'm trying to say, 12 at-bats, no hits, you go 4 for 4 you're looking pretty good. You've got to keep a positive attitude about things. That pitcher out there is getting us out, too. Wolf was pitching a pretty good game tonight and we weren't getting to him. What about those other guys who weren't getting no hits, the whole lineup.
Our guys are not in slumps. They can come out of it. That's no big deal.

Q. You talked about playing all 27 outs and the importance of keeping it close. I mean, how important was it for you guys that your bullpen just struggled at times, was able to put up zeros there for those last three innings?
CHARLIE MANUEL: In close games like that it's very important that we hold them. One run it's important that we hold them. That's why we brought Madson and we brought Scott Eyre and brought Lidge in the game. One run down and it was very important that we hold them because that keeps us within striking distance and that gives us a chance.

Q. You're going into the ninth inning, you're down a run. Do you talk or does the bench talk about situational hitting in that instance?
CHARLIE MANUEL: No, we're not talking about situational hitting, but we're damned sure doing a lot of talking. If you get to replays and look down in the dugout. We're talking and we know we can win the game, and I'm sure the Dodgers feel the same way, too.
Yeah, we talk. Yes, sir, we do.

Q. What were the emotions like in the dugout as the rally built to the ninth inning and your emotions when you saw that ball headed towards the gap?
CHARLIE MANUEL: When the ball went in the gap, I knew it was going to score one run, and I was hoping it would hit and ricochet kind of back towards center field. And I think it did kind of hit and go that way from what I saw, because that right there gives us a better chance. If it hits and comes this back way, of course the right fielder can field the ball quicker. At the same time, once it got in the gap and got by him, Chooch was going to score, I think.
From there everything just kind of erupted and everybody was celebrating and jumping up.

Q. In the Division Series Jimmy got two big hits against Huston Street. In this series he just got a huge hit off Jonathan Broxton. What is it about him that allows him to be that player in those kinds of situations late in the game?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Because he likes that. He likes the moment. He wants to be there, and he can control his adrenaline and he can handle the moment. Those are other things that's very important when you get in the post-season and also in any big game. Jimmy Rollins, he strives, the bigger the stage, the better he likes to play. The more people watching him, he likes the mike, he likes to talk, that's the way he is. I like everything about his personality because he's funny, he's got a tremendous personality as far as laughter. But at the same time when he goes up to the plate he goes up there to hit. And believe me, this guy, he's always wanting to be up there at a big moment in the game.

Q. Anything else you can say more about just from Park to Lidge, they just combined to pitch a real hard three innings. What the bullpen did, give some more attention to that.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, our bullpen did a tremendous job. Park did a good job. Madson did his job. Every guy down there did their job, really. They definitely did their job. Lidge did a good job at the end. He did a heck of a job. He got a win tonight. That was his first win. (Laughter). That's pretty good.

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