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October 3, 2011

Charlie Manuel


Q. You used Mayberry quite a bit against left-handers in the second half of the season. Do you plan on starting him against Garcia in Game 3?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I've been thinking about that. More than likely that's what I'll do probably.

Q. They led the league in runs scored. What makes their lineup so difficult to face?
CHARLIE MANUEL: They've got good hitters, and they've got more than one or two. The hitters that actually -- that don't have a lot of power, they still are good hitters. They put the ball in play, like you saw last night, like Jay when he gets those big hits off of Cliff (Lee); and the guy that hit, Theriot, the guy that hit the ball down the right field line on a fastball away, the guys that make contact, the guys that they take what you give them and they really make sure that they hit the ball, and they like to hit.
They look energetic to me as far as their hitting. You can tell they like to get into it. Every guy they send up there they definitely enjoy hitting, and that's kind of what it's about. They've got power, of course, in the middle of their lineups and they've got a good lineup. Molina is one of the most improved hitters I've seen this year really, from a regular player standpoint. He can really hurt you.

Q. How much do you think Polanco is compromised offensively by the sports hernia that he's playing with?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think it bothers him some. He's missed time because of it, and I think it plays a part in -- especially his movement and things, and he gets real tight and sore, and I think it definitely bothers him.

Q. In a short series like this, do you feel any extra pressure for these guys to come out tomorrow and get a win here in Game 3 in a short series?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think we stick to our philosophy. I think if we come out and I think if we enjoy playing the game, too, if we come out to win the game tomorrow and we come out to play the best possible baseball we can, this time of year, this is supposed to be a lot of fun, and it's -- we take it serious, but at the same time I want us to be relaxed and focused on what we're doing, and we play better that way. And when we do that, that's what works for us.
And what's going to work for us is we've got to come out, and Cole has got to pitch a good game for us, and we've got to take it to them and we've got to play better than they did. In the first game we beat them, I felt like we played better than they did. In the game last night, I felt like they played better than we did. And I feel like that right there is what's going to happen. Can they beat us? Of course. Can we beat them? Of course we can. But say for instance we don't, and if I look back it's going to be because we don't play up to our capabilities.
It's up to us to get it done, but at the same time play nice and relaxed and have a lot of fun and stay focused on what we're doing and play our game.

Q. Seems like Jimmy (Rollins) and Chase (Utley) have both been swinging better bats the last several games. Did you think about why that is, Jimmy and Chase?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think Jimmy started hitting the ball, if you remember, the last couple days when we played the Mets, right before the season ended, and it carried right into Atlanta, and it's carried right over into the playoffs. When Jimmy gets his swing down and he's going good, he stays consistent for a good period of time. I've seen him go a long time and be very consistent like a month or two sometimes, like before he'll hit a little slump or something.
But Chase is starting to swing much better. He started to swing good when he got hit in the head, and after that when he came back, it seemed like he's had a hard time getting going. But definitely the last three or four days he's starting to swing a bat better.

Q. Facing Garcia tomorrow night, how has he been able to have the success that he's had the last two years against you guys, and are there any subtle changes or approach changes that the hitters can take?
CHARLIE MANUEL: First of all, he has good command, and he uses all of his pitches, and he keeps his cool against us. He's really kept his composure and his cool, and he's made good pitches against us. And what we've got to do, we've got to take what he gives us. There again, that's what makes the Cardinals such a good hitting team, they take what the pitcher is giving them, and that's what we've got to do to Garcia.
We've got to make sure we get good balls hit, but at the same time don't try to do a whole lot and try to jerk him and see how far we can hit him, just try to make solid contact on him and kind of go with the pitches and everything and see if we can't get him that way. I think that's how you're going to have to get to him. When he has his command, he's a pitcher, he's pretty good.

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