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October 8, 2010

Charlie Manuel


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Charlie Manuel.

Q. Obviously, Jimmy not hitting leadoff today. What went into that decision? I know you were leaning that way before Polanco got hurt in Game 1, but could you just talk about that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, I made Jimmy sixth tonight and put Raul 7th, because I wanted a couple of right-handed hitters behind Howard in case they brought in the lefty. We can get some balance. Ibanez has been hitting the second half of the season, and especially hitting left-handers pretty good. But I liked that lineup the other day, and I like it now because of the fact they've got depth and left-handers in the bullpen.

Q. Given the way Jimmy's leg and hamstring has been, do you anticipate him being a running threat at all the rest of the way for you guys this year?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think it's a day-to-day thing. I think it's a confidence thing. I think it's how he feels when he's running. I think like he told me the other day, he says that he was going to definitely get ready to try to beat the guy in Atlanta, the pitcher, to first base because he was out in front of him. And he says that he went to -- he started to really kick it in to see how much he had, and then he was very leery of it.
I think that once something happens in the game where he gets confident, once he tests it, I feel like that will tell him, you know, something about how good a shape he's in and how good his leg feels.

Q. One of your team's real strengths the last few years has been forgetting about yesterday and not worrying about tomorrow. Given what happened the other night, how do you think that mentality plays into today and not worrying about the no-hitter, just going about their business?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think that mentality is going to play big in today. I think we can handle it. I think at the same time I understand exactly what you're saying. It's hard not to think about something like that because it was such a great individual performance. But not only that, it was also big for our team. But at the same time, that was one victory, and today is a new day. We always talk about not looking back or looking forward. Today's the day we're going to play.

Q. Polly's in the lineup, so obviously he's good enough to play. But is he limited in any way? Is he feeling any back soreness, tightness, how much is he over it, is he over it at all?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He's feeling very good. I mean, he got okayed and he told me he's fine. He said he feels a lot better. I took it that he's going to play the game just like he always has.

Q. Roy Oswalt spoke the other day about how much he enjoys pitching in this ballpark, which sort of turns the conventional wisdom on its ear. This is supposed to be a hitter-friendly park. He said he feels as if the mound's only 50 feet from home plate. Why do you think he's had so much success here?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think he's really, since he come over, I think he's happy to be on our team. I think it's a good environment for him, and I think he gets pumped up when he pitches. I think that he's been very aggressive. Actually, that's what kind of pitcher I see him as. He's a guy that's got three pitches. He likes to move the game along, he gets the ball and throws it, and the defense always has to be ready and everything. That's kind of who he is. And he'll challenge you.
Sometimes I sit there and watch him and I think to myself he's going to throw a changeup or a breaking ball, and he'll end up throwing a guy three straight fastballs, keep going right at him. He mixes his pitches good when he's really on.
I think he just likes pitching here, and he's got a lot of talent. His ball's hard. They have trouble timing his fastball down either when it's low and up. Low it's got a little jump to it, and high it's hard to follow. He's got real quick arm speed. But with his motion and everything, his ball's hard to follow.

Q. Is it possible, I know you don't think this far ahead, but even if you have a big lead you might try to get Lidge in there just because he hasn't thrown a lot in the last two weeks really?
CHARLIE MANUEL: What's that?

Q. Because even if you have a big lead or if you're down and it's not a save situation, might you use Lidge because he hasn't pitched a lot in the last two weeks?
CHARLIE MANUEL: We'll play the game the way we see it. I always talk to Dubee about our pitching during the game, things like that. Things that we have to do or want to do it, that's kind of what we do, you know.
I like to use our bullpen. Of course, I like to use Lidge and Madson and those guys, and make sure that they get used a lot. But at the same time, I don't want to just bring them in to get them work, if that makes sense.

End of FastScripts

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