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October 30, 2009

Joe Girardi


Q. Reflecting on the great performances of Ryan Howard and Alex Rodriguez in the first two series, have you got an explanation for their lack of hitting in the World Series so far?
JOE GIRARDI: Good pitching. I mean, you can't expect guys to hit a home run every day and to get two hits every day. I mean, you make your pitches, in most cases you've got a pretty good chance to get guys out.

Q. There's been some pretty good pitching performances on both sides in the first two games, but even in other sports, basketball, football, whatever, the scores tend to be lower in the post-season. Pitching, defense are always at a premium and accentuated in the post-season, especially World Series. Why is that?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think that in most instances good pitching can shut down good hitting, and mediocre pitching can't always shut down mediocre hitting. You look at both these lineups, both these lineups are very good, and the pitching on both sides is very good, and they've been two well-pitched games. It's usually what you see in playoff baseball.
And the clubs that get to this point usually do a lot of things right and are able to shut other clubs down.

Q. Charlie Manuel said last night that if the Phillies can get to Rivera, that they can hit him. What do you make of those comments? And does that change how you are going to use Mariano as far as making him pitch a two-inning save?
JOE GIRARDI: No, it will not change how I use Mariano. As far as being able to use him for two innings tomorrow night, I'm not sure that I'll be able to do that. I'll have to see how he physically is.
But I wouldn't expect any manager to say, well, I don't think we can hit him and the game is over when he comes in. I mean, that wouldn't be a very good message to send to your club.

Q. How much does it hurt to lose Matsui? And is it absolutely out of the question, him playing in the field?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I'm going to look at some things today, watch a little bit, see how he moves around and see if we think that it's physically possible for him to do it. It's something that we have to look at, and if we can't do it, we'll use him in a role to pinch-hit when we feel that he can be most valuable to us. It might be a situation where you might think about a double switch at high time, but you don't want to lose his bat. As productive as he's been for us this year, you don't want to lose his bat.

Q. Do you find an inherent advantage in the situation where the DH, for either club, in a situation where the DH is present, then absent, then present again?
JOE GIRARDI: I'm not sure I understand your question.

Q. Well, it's a strange situation, the game's premier event is played with two distinctly different rules, and there seems to be a distinct disadvantage to your club. The National League gets to add a hitter in your city and here you get one less player.
JOE GIRARDI: Well, it's something that's been going on for years, and we're prepared for it if you can't use your DH. The real problem that I had with our DH in situations, we played nine interleague games in a row on the road, and to me that's a distinct disadvantage because you lose your DH for nine days, and then it might take him another three days to get going.
But this has been going on. At times DH's have went to the field, and at a lot of times DH's were previously position players that you could put out at a position. You know, our club is not necessarily built to come into this ballpark, but our club is able to handle it.

Q. Last year the Phillies had a lot of success with the middle of the Rays' lineup in the World Series and a lot of the credit was given to the advanced scouting that went on. They had a lot of time obviously prior to this series to look at your team. How much does advanced scouting play into or factor into any kind of success a team might have?
JOE GIRARDI: I think it's very important, because what you'll have is you'll have advanced scouts on a team for a long time. They'll start in September, they'll watch them for three or four weeks in September, and then they'll watch them each round, so they see them for a long period of time. As opposed to maybe seeing them for three games or six games during the course of the season. So they've got a pretty good idea exactly what to do. They go back and watch video, as well.
So I think it's real important.

Q. Would you like to see the use of instant replay expanded?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, I think that's a question probably to be answered during the off-season. We've been on the side of some calls, and we've been on the other side of some calls. Each team has had to deal with that for years. Nobody is perfect out there. There are not enough eyes to see every play that takes place. We all know that.
My concern about using instant replay too much is the rhythm of the game, especially for the pitchers. So if it was expanded, I would like to see an umpire in the booth that could make a call within 30 seconds, because I think most calls you could make within 30 seconds, which a lot of times would be quicker than a manager running out there.

Q. Two quick questions based off of Mike's question for number one: The National League is the only organized league in the world that I know of at this point that doesn't use the designated hitter. Ultimately where are we going with this? It doesn't seem like it's ever going to roll back to not using a DH somewhere. Are you in favor, you've played in both the National League and American League, are you in favor of just standardizing the DH throughout baseball?
JOE GIRARDI: I actually like the difference in the leagues, and maybe that's because I'm a traditionalist. I actually like to see a DH on one side and not a DH on the other side. I think it makes it interesting and it gives people a lot to talk about and a lot to debate over. If, and probably not, but if and when I'm the commissioner, I'll have to see what I would like to do with it, but right now I'm kind of happy with the way it is.

Q. Secondly, back to the scouting issue, what do you guys know about Hamels? You saw the Phillies earlier in the year, but you haven't seen him in a while. How do you evaluate him?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, we know that he's got very good stuff, and we know that he knows how to pitch in the post-season. He proved that. He has proven that, being an MVP. He's got a good fastball, he's got a great change-up, and he's got a very good curveball. The one thing that both clubs will talk about what you want to do with starting pitchers is you want to try to make them work, get the ball up and get your pitch. That's basically the plan on every guy.
We know that he'll throw his change-up at any time, any count, doesn't matter what the situation is. Look for a good pitch, put a good swing on it.

Q. Can you talk about, everyone talks about the crowds here at Citizens Bank and they are loud. Does it really make a difference do you feel?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, the one thing that I always found was a player, you might notice the noise during the downtime, but while plays are going on and you're behind home plate thinking about how you're going to get the next guy out and what's the next pitch, believe it or not, you really don't hear it. It's blocked out. And I can't explain how you do it. Maybe growing up in a house with five kids helped me do that.
But you really are able to block it out. And it's just something that the more you play, the easier it is.

Q. Two questions: Have you had CC Sabathia prepare as if he's going to start Game 4?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, yeah. We've had him prepare, because it would be silly to not do that and then say, "Uh-oh, CC, you're starting Game 4." He is prepared to start either one.

Q. Will you do the same thing with A.J. going forward?
JOE GIRARDI: Yes, we will.

Q. Obviously you want to win every ballgame, but is there some magic number that you come into this ballpark with, playing three here, trying to either end it here or take it back to Yankee Stadium?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think you worry about just winning a game tomorrow, and then you go from there. I don't think in a series like this or really at any point you can look beyond what the task is at hand, and that's to win the game tomorrow night, and then you go from there.
These have been two tough games so far, and I don't expect anything different tomorrow night.

Q. Are you just waiting to see where you are after Game 3 before you name a Game 4 starter?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah. Physically we'll continue to talk to CC and how our guys are doing, and we'll talk about it as a staff the next couple days and decide what we're going to do.

Q. Does up 2-1, down 2-1 matter?
JOE GIRARDI: I don't think that necessarily has too much to do with it, it's just physically how players are doing. You know, that does have a little something to do with it, but it's just something we want to discuss.

Q. You guys are going to play three games in a row for the first time, I think, in the post-season. How is that going to affect what you've been doing with the bullpen?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think with the depth of our bullpen, we should be fine. The one thing that you have to be careful probably with is using Mo a couple innings and limiting the amount of pitches that you can use him. It would be very difficult to throw him 30 and 35 and 40 and try to do back-to-backs. So we'll have to be careful about that.
This is when the depth of your bullpen is going to show up.

Q. Do you think it'll limit the way you guys have used match-ups?
JOE GIRARDI: No, because I think most of our guys could bounce back and throw a couple days in a row for sure, and it might be one of the few times all year that we use them three days in a row.

Q. I asked Andy this when he was in earlier: I asked him if he saw any similarities between the young Andy Pettitte and Cole Hamels, and he talked about, "My old pitch was a cutter, his is a change-up," whatever, but apart from your out pitch, in terms of focus, body type, demeanor, all that kind of good stuff, are there similarities between the two?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think that the similarities you would probably talk about the most is the success that they've had in the post-season would probably be the closest similarities. I don't necessarily think physically they're the same. I think Andy is a little bit thicker and a little bit bigger than Cole. I haven't really stood next to Cole that close. But I think the success and their ability to blocks things out and make big pitches when they have to is probably the biggest similarity.

Q. Is right field the only thing you need to figure out for the lineup tomorrow? And how do you go about making that decision from the three guys you have to choose from?
JOE GIRARDI: Discussion, discussion and discussion. Right field is probably about the only issue, yes.

Q. Johnny will be in left?

End of FastScripts

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