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October 19, 2010

Charlie Manuel


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Charlie Manuel.

Q. Any of the previous nine times Utley hit second and Polanco hit third was against a left-handed pitcher. What made you stick with that against a righty?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I like the lineup because when I put Utley there, the fact that it gives us two guys at the top that are more apt to run. And I feel like also we can -- if I want to, I can -- my 3-0 hitter, I can play hit-and-run baseball with Polanco if I want to. He's a contact hitter. I think and I wanted to split Ryan and Utley up again.

Q. Considering the quality of starting pitching from both sides really but especially from them, do you feel like you have to run a little bit more, play a little bit more small ball and maybe that feeds into this decision today?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think that we came into the series wanting to do that. And I think that Victorino and Jimmy and Werth and Utley plays a big role in that. If you remember the other night when Jayson walked, you know, like actually we was wanting him to run then.
He led off the inning and he walked and the count went three balls and no strikes I put a take on him. The reason I put a take on him is I wanted him to get on base instead of letting him hit one out of the yard.
So really we talked about that coming in. I mean, we definitely want to speed the game up and like get some action in the game.

Q. You said you put a take on on 3-0, how often do you do that, especially with like your 3, 4, 5 guys?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Depends on the situation in the game, when you are losing, if you're down by two or three runs, yeah, but at the same time, a lot of times they're free to swing.

Q. Would you say that was an unusual thing for you to do?
CHARLIE MANUEL: That's unusual, but by him leading off the inning, it wasn't. Because we were down in the game and everything and I felt like if he got on base we stood a good chance of moving him around he could run.
First of all, like Jayson, he doesn't like to swing 3-0 a lot neither, anyway. 3-0 is a pitch it's a ball I like to say middle-in. And I've heard people say it's a good ball that you hit.
No, to me three balls and no strikes middle-in, a fastball, preferably something you like unless you're sitting on a change-up or a curveball and you're very disciplined.
And the game is kind of shifting from my thinking is because like I was taught -- my manager lets hit me three balls and no strikes, it's a ball that I'm going to either hit foul or I'm going to hit it somewhere from a gap to the line and I'm going to hit it off the wall or out or I'm going to swing and miss it.
And that's kind of basically how it's set up. But nowadays, you'll see guys that will chase breaking balls, change-ups, things like that, and that shows that plate discipline is not real good at times.

Q. I know you've answered the question about Halladay potentially starting on short rest. You've answered the question about Halladay starting on short rest plenty of times. But just in theory, why is that -- is that a dangerous proposition to start forcing a guy back on three days' rest when you still have so many games to play in the postseason? What would your generally philosophy be behind that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: You know what, my general philosophy is the fact that it's going to affect everybody. That's what it's going to do. And also I like to talk about today's game, but at the same time if you're behind -- basically I think -- tell me if I'm wrong, first thing that enters somebody's mind, what if a 1 and 2? I don't even want to think about that, because the Yankees are in that same position. You think it's going to be a good conversation piece probably for you guys to talk about or some fans to talk about.
But that's baseball and that's the way it goes. Like we set that up. And if we do that, we still have -- if we go down by two games, I mean, like you've still got to win a game.
That's kind of how I look at it. I mean, but our pitching -- actually, if you do that, you're moving the following day what you're going to do, you're moving the other guy up and you're moving the next guy up. So therefore all three of them is going to be on short rest.

Q. On that same topic, should Joe Blanton start tomorrow's game? Do you expect any less from him than your big three?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Joe Blanton, first of all, has pitched good against San Francisco. He's very capable of pitching real good. He hasn't pitched for quite a while, that's the only thing.
That's kind of what I see.

Q. You just mentioned that Joe hasn't pitched in quite a while. Like what kind of things does he do in order to stay kind of fresh?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He throws on the side, throws bullpens, and like when we had a simulated game, of course we pitched him some.
But he hasn't pitched in a while. But we also feel like he's very capable of going out there and giving you a good outing. He's pitched in the future -- I mean, I shouldn't say the future -- but before he's pitched pretty good against the Giants at times.

Q. You watched that simulated game. Your hitters were impressed with Joe. How did you think he pitched?
CHARLIE MANUEL: In the simulated game I felt he threw good. The secret to Joe is getting his secondary stuff over the plate and everything, his command of his fastball and getting the secondary stuff over the plate, and then usually he's going to keep you in the game.

Q. Are some pitchers more in tune, more able to be off for that long? I think he hasn't started since September 24th. Are there some pitchers who can just handle that layoff better than others?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, I think so. I think Joe might fit -- he fits in that. I've seen him with rest before, quite a bit of rest. He comes back and he pitches pretty good. He's very capable of doing that.

Q. What is Renteria at the top of their lineup change when you look at their lineup, instead of Torres?
CHARLIE MANUEL: What's that?

Q. What does having Renteria at the top of their lineup do?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think he definitely wanted to put Renteria up at the top because he definitely is a contact hitter. And he likes the way that he swings, probably, against Cole.

Q. Given the layoff Blanton has had, will you necessarily have him on a short leash tomorrow?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think with Joe, if we can get anywhere from five or six innings out of him, that's pretty good. Six innings would be real good.
Usually Blanton will give you a solid six innings. If he can give us that, that would very good. I'm not saying he can't do better.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Charlie.

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