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October 29, 2009

Charlie Manuel


Philadelphia Phillies 1
New York Yankees 3

Q. On the Utley double play, there was some talk about maybe starting the two runners there. What went into your decision not to start the guys there?
CHARLIE MANUEL: My decision? First of all, Utley don't hit into many double plays. He always hustles. You go back and look, I'll guarantee, I don't know, I bet he's got less than five.
And at the same time I don't want to get -- Utley is a left-handed hitter and Posada has got a straight shot at Rollins, and I want Utley to hit, too. That's kind of how I looked at it. There's a lot of things that can happen there, and I definitely wanted Howard to hit. Plus Utley don't hit into a lot of ground ball double plays.

Q. So you're saying if the runners had gone and he had grounded out --
CHARLIE MANUEL: I'm saying I don't want Utley to hit into a line drive double play and I don't want Jimmy Rollins to get thrown out at third base. I want Howard hitting in an inning, and also go look, Utley -- he don't hit into many double plays. Like I said, I'll bet it's less than five.

Q. You had a long conversation with Pedro or at least you had a long talk with him talking to you in the dugout before he went out for the seventh. Were you kind of challenging him about it?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, he said he felt just like he did. He said he felt good. He said that he was fine. He said that he wanted to go back out and pitch. The bottom of the lineup was up and everything, and I thought he hadn't lost anything.

Q. You had sent him out on a number of occasions this year with higher pitch count.
I'll tell you something else: Utley was safe. Go look. Yeah, he was safe.

Q. How good was A.J. Burnett's curveball most of the night?
CHARLIE MANUEL: You know what, he was good. He was good and he was very aggressive with his fastball and his breaking ball was good. He pitched a heck of a game. Pedro pitched a good game, but give him credit, too, he pitched a heck of a game. He pitched very good.

Q. Your assessment of both starters?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I felt like Burnett did a tremendous job. I felt like if we could have hit his fastball early and made him throw breaking balls a lot that his command might be not so well and we might be able to get him deep in counts and hit him better. But he blocked all that out by throwing his fastball for strikes and being very aggressive with it, and then of course his slider was off the chart.
I felt like Pedro did a tremendous job. He changed speeds, and he definitely moved the ball around, and he was aggressive. He wasn't afraid to throw inside to some of their big hitters, and he pitched a good game. Pedro got hurt by the long ball off left-handed hitters, and that's kind of -- it was a heck of a game. It was a very close game, and we couldn't pull it out.

Q. You had to deal with Rivera for two innings tonight, but you made him work, guys got him into a couple of three ball counts, is that something you can build off if you have face him again in the series?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah. We can hit Rivera. We can hit any closer. We've proved that. He's good. He's one of the best closers in baseball, but if not the best. He's very good. But I've seen our team handle good pitching, and you know, we're definitely capable of scoring runs late in the game.

Q. 1-1 after two games on the road going home now. Are you content with a split?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I guess I'm going to have to be. I always like to be 2-0 over 1-1. But it is what it is. I've got to accept it. Like you said, we're going home.

Q. You mentioned that Utley was safe on that play, and he appeared to be safe, and Howard seemed upset on the pitch that appeared to be outside that Rivera struck him out on. Do you think those were just two calls that went the wrong way, or what do you think of the umpiring in general?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I'm not saying nothing about the umpiring, I'm just saying that he was safe. That's all I'll tell you. I'm not complaining about the umpire. I'm not saying nothing at all about the umpire. I'm just saying that he was safe.

Q. Do you think it was good then? The umpiring was good?
CHARLIE MANUEL: You know, I've probably never thought umpiring was good, if you want to know the truth. (Laughter).

End of FastScripts

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