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July 13, 2010

Charlie Manuel


Q. How does it feel to finally end the American League dominance here?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Feels good, feels real good. I talked to our guys right before the game and told them the importance of home-field advantage, I don't know if they heard or not, you'd have to ask them but I like the way they pitched, and the play Byrd made at the end to throw out Ortiz at second. Good game, good pitching.

Q. How do you feel about getting home-field advantage back?
CHARLIE MANUEL: The last two years the Phillies have been in the World Series and it was big, two years ago when we won it, when we played the Devil Rays in Philly and won three straight, we definitely did not want to go back down to Tampa and play, and I think home-field advantage, definitely, it's a big deal.
I think home teams play better at home, and I think last year with the Yankees, they were a big home team if you go back and check, and they finished the season strong. I feel like that they definitely have momentum when we played them in New York.

Q. How tough a call was that to pull Molina back and send McCann up in the fifth?
CHARLIE MANUEL: It's tough because Molina is a very good defensive player. At that time, I've been in this game -- the last two years, we have had trouble scoring and McCann is more offense than Molina and that's why I put him up there.

Q. What did you make of the defense? What do you consider that made the different that actually made the National League come out on top? What was the difference?
CHARLIE MANUEL: When you actually get down to it, I think it was the pitching. That's what held up at the end and we did make some mistakes on defense, but at the same time, you know, they didn't take advantage of it, and usually, that's when you win games. We happened to get the right hit at the right time, and our pitchers got them out at the right time. That's what it was all about.

Q. Were you surprised that A-Rod didn't bat in the ninth inning with the tying run on base?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I definitely was looking for him. He's one of the better hitters in the game, if not the best. That was going through my mind.

Q. You used some of your relievers earlier in the game; can you talk about that a little bit?
CHARLIE MANUEL: The way the bottom of their lineup is, and I respect the fact that they had some good left-handed hitters there, and Kuo has been hot against lefties, the way they lined up, my pitching coach and I, and Bud Black, Bochy, we felt like that was a good way to go. And he did good, he fielded the ball and of course threw it away, but at the same time, he was throwing real good.

Q. What contributed to no runs, was it just pitching or maybe could it have been the history of these games, twilight, 5:00 starts, it's hard to see the ball?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think it did have something to do with it, guys came back said it was tough to see but at the same time, when it was all said and done, it was the pitching. Pitching was good on both sides. Like I say, we got the big hit with the bases loaded when we needed it.

Q. How big of a play was Scott Rolen going to third base; was that an attention-getter in both dugouts when he makes a play like that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: That kind of set it up, that set our scoring up it felt like.
Rolen is a good player. He's a tremendous baserunner. He's probably -- people don't say a whole lot about him any more, but he's a solid player.

Q. You have seen McCann a lot in your division, is there any reason to believe he would be a clutch player like that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Absolutely kills us, I was sitting there on the bench and the guy threw him a fastball and he threw him a low fastball. I told Bruce Bochy, and Bud Black was standing there, I said I hope he keeps the ball down and hard, because this guy can light him up. He threw him a low fastball, and he clocked him.

Q. The names and faces change year-to-year, but does this streak at all, does it weigh -- have you noticed the last couple of years, does it weigh on guys positively or negatively?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't think it really weighs on the players. I think it weighs on fans and you know, like the media sometimes, they like to talk about it, I think because they beat the National League for so long.
But you know, baseball comes -- good things -- all good things have to come to an end, and tonight evidently was our night.

End of FastScripts

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