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September 30, 2011

Roy Halladay


Q. Given how you guys came up short -- not short, but disappointing finish last year, how anxious is this team to get things going in this playoff?
ROY HALLADAY: We were anxious in Spring Training, really. I think we talked about it at the end of the season, it's not something that you just flip the switch. You know, it was -- obviously last year we wanted to go farther, we didn't, and coming into Spring Training it was our goal to get back here and try and get farther again.
We're looking forward to it. I know you come out and play 162 games and you get to this point, this is the fun part. Yeah, I think we're looking forward to it. Obviously the ultimate goal is to give ourselves a chance to win a World Series, but we've done a lot of great things this year, and we have a great team. I think I learned last year, being in this is the best part of it. Being able to play these games is what makes it all worthwhile. To get to this point, I'm excited, and we obviously want to go all the way to the end.

Q. What does this particular lineup when Matt Holliday is not in it, and apparently he won't be for Game 1, how does that change their lineup in the middle there?
ROY HALLADAY: Well, I think they proved over the last couple weeks, they're pretty balanced. You know, obviously I think everybody would agree they're a better team with him, but the guys that have stepped in for him have more than carried their weight. You know, I think that just because he's not in there doesn't mean anything for us. They still have good players in there, and they're still going to play us hard.
There's no doubt he's a great player. He can be a difference maker, but they have some quality players that are stepping in for him who have obviously done the job.

Q. You're a guy that puts in a lot of pregame preparation. During the playoffs there's a lot of things going on, and it's a little bit different than the regular season. How do you handle that? And does it really bother you or is it much trouble in how you prepare going into a game?
ROY HALLADAY: No, it's not bad. You know, if anything, there's more time.
Last year, we had almost an abundance of time. I think that part can be a little bit tricky, especially for a pitcher, and obviously for guys hitting, too, trying to stay in some sort of a rhythm.
But really, I think as long as you keep your stuff as normal as possible -- there's obviously different obligations, different things you're going to have to do, but really, I think the important thing is trying to keep things normal, and that's actually pretty simple to do, I think.
You know, just making sure you're prepared, not getting caught up in the stuff that isn't going to help you, I think is important. We've had -- fortunately finished early, got ourselves in a good position early and were able to get things set up the way we wanted, get guys healthy if guys needed time off and that sort of thing. That was definitely a benefit. There's distractions, but I think there's always ways to make those simple on yourself.

Q. Coming into the season, you and the ballclub were heavily favored to be where you are today, and now you're favored to go all the way to get to the World Series. Does that put more pressure on you? Does it work on you mentally at all, because you've got the first step, and now the pressure is back on you to do what everybody thought you would do at this stage of the season?
ROY HALLADAY: I don't think so. I think that we have a lot of trust in each other. We feel like we have a good team. We feel like we have all the parts that we need to go all the way. And I think to a man in that clubhouse, there's not a guy who would tell you that he would not be disappointed if we didn't win it all.
I think the fact that we've had that mentality all year, that that's been the goal all year, I think that -- I certainly haven't felt the added pressure. I feel like we have everything we need, and it's a matter of continuing to do what we've done all year. We don't have to go out and do more. We're so well-rounded that it can really be a team effort.
You know, I really don't see a lot of the extra pressure. I think that everybody expects of us what we expect of ourselves. You know, if it doesn't happen, I'm sure there would be disappointment, but we don't look at that side of it right now. I think we look at the opportunity in front of us, and we have a chance to do it. I think for us that's exciting.

Q. You guys didn't fare very well against the Cardinals during the regular season, and after what they just did to get to the playoffs here, how dangerous of a team is this you guys are going to face here in the divisional series?
ROY HALLADAY: Well, as dangerous as any other team in the playoffs. I think that you get to this point, every team is good. I don't necessarily think what happened during the season has a lot of bearing on what happens here. You know, there's plenty of teams that we didn't play well against during the season that aren't here.
I don't think a lot of guys are caught up in how things went two series, a couple months ago and one a couple weeks ago. I think that this is a whole different deal.
We're looking forward to it. They're a good team; that's the reason they're here. And that's the same reason that there's four teams in the National League playoffs. They're all good teams. They're all dangerous.

Q. Given your friendship with Chris Carpenter, long-term friendship, are you just as happy not to be facing each other in this series?
ROY HALLADAY: You know what, I think we'd enjoy it. He's obviously been a good friend, playing together, taught me a lot. I came up behind him. I think we're a lot similar in a lot of different ways. You know, we always enjoyed golfing against each other, fishing against each other, and haven't to this point got a chance to pitch against each other.
Yeah, I think that a lot of people put emphasis on opposing pitchers, and really for me it's more focus on the lineup and the guys that I have to get out.
You know, I'd look forward to pitching against Chris. He's obviously one of the best and has been very good for a long time, and that's always a challenge.

Q. The way this team, the Phillies, have played since your last start against the Mets, the Mets game and the Braves games, what did that show you about this team's ability to focus and lock in, and how confident are you considering the way you guys played those last four games?
ROY HALLADAY: Well, I think the people that were least worried about what was happening up to this point was us, to be honest with you. We all knew how we wanted to feel going forward, but by the same token, there were things that had to be addressed, guys that needed some rest, different things that we were doing bullpen-wise or whatever to get guys in games, get guys rest there.
You know, we had just clinched. There was a lot going on there. I think that we felt like it really was a matter of getting everybody out there. We're kind of over the excitement of clinching, and we realize things are getting close, it's time to go. You know, I think it was a good way for us to finish. If we'd have lost four games at the end, I don't necessarily think it would have crushed our determination moving forward. It was definitely a good way for us to finish, I think, from the standpoint of really not having to answer a lot of questions about are we ready for this. I think that part was good.
But we're a confident group. Like I said, we have a lot of trust in each other and a lot of trust in the talent that we put on the field. You know, I think that's important to always keep in mind for us.

Q. What do you think kind of went into those three series this season with St. Louis? Did they pose a particular match-up problem for your pitchers and hitters or was it a time and circumstance thing not having a full lineup?
ROY HALLADAY: You know, it's hard to say. Sometimes you just lose games, and there may be particular things during the game that happened. I know the game I pitched there was a couple pitches that cost us that game. So I don't see a huge difference in our teams in that we lack something that they have. I don't necessarily see the scales being tilted one way or the other. I just feel like it's -- there's years where you're going to win seven out of three and you're going to lose three out of seven another year. I don't think there's necessarily one thing that led to it. We caught them twice, two times they were playing well, and we were missing guys, they were missing guys. So it's a good match-up. It's going to be a good match-up. But I don't really see one thing or a couple things that would lead us to believe that it's going to happen again.

Q. Could you tell me what stands out the most in your mind from that no-hitter last year in your first playoff start against the Reds?
ROY HALLADAY: Really, I think once the game started -- it was the first time in the playoffs. There was a lot of things I was thinking about going into the game. And I think the thing that stood out to me the most was once the game started how normal it was. It wasn't this great big animal that everybody talks about. I was comfortable; it was a normal game.
That was interesting, getting to the playoffs, this thing that I've been looking forward to for so long. And when you're playing, it's a regular game. It's what you've been doing since you were a kid. That's something that stuck out to me, that it was very comforting.

Q. Does your perspective on these playoffs differ having gone through what you went through last year, having never gone through it before?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, I think that going in last year, especially at the beginning, it was -- you just had this feeling of -- especially for me being the first time there, was this has got to be it. I think that once things got going, you kind of relaxed and settled into it.
You know, I think "perspective" is a great word. You really have to put things into perspective and understand what this game ultimately means. And you play it because you love it and you play it because you enjoy the competition. And I think that's what, at this point, is most important. I think if you go in with the mentality of this being the end-all be-all, you're putting a lot of extra things on your plate that you really don't need. So I think having that perspective of, you know, why I'm here, I enjoy playing. And ultimately what this game means, I think that's always an important way to look at it.
We want to win. We all want to win, and believe me, we want to win bad. But if it doesn't happen, we know how to handle it. But we sure hope it does.

Q. Could you talk about the balance of being in touch with what the other team is capable of, having proper respect, but at the end of all that, thinking about what do I know I can do and what our team is capable of, so you don't keep too much respect or too little, that balance there?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, I heard a quote a long time ago, I came here to bury Cesar, not praise him. I think it's true. We're all well aware of how good the team is. We obviously have a respect for what they've done and how they've played, but you have to be confident going in that you're going to be able to beat them. You have to be confident the guys around you feel the same way.
It is important. I think we all don't take them lightly. But at the same time, I feel like without an arrogant tone to it, we believe we have a team that can go out and get the job done.

Q. You've had a lot of time to prepare because of the early clinch, but you had three teams that you didn't know who you'd be facing. How far in advance did you start looking at the possible teams and how much work did you do in advance?
ROY HALLADAY: Really my last -- the two days before I pitch are the days that I really spend the most time going over guys. Fortunately we didn't have a one-game playoff to where we were waiting until tonight to find out and really kind of last-minute preparing. It would have been nice to see them play another game, but this way we have two days in advance, which is normally when I would start spending time, especially with the day off yesterday and just workouts today, you have more than enough time to get ready for them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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