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October 4, 2011

Charlie Manuel


Q. Win or lose, will Roy Oswalt definitely start Game 4 for you tomorrow?
CHARLIE MANUEL: We've got Roy scheduled going Game 4, yes.

Q. Obviously Garcia has had some success against you guys, but how better suited do you think your lineup is now against tough left-handers like him with both Pence and Mayberry in the lineup?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think since we got Hunter Pence and also since John (Mayberry) has kind of come into his own, I feel like we definitely can put more balance in our lineup against a lefty, and we've got some stronger -- we've got some consistent power.

Q. How much better do you think Oswalt is health-wise now to just maybe a month ago or two months ago, and how concerned were you during the season that he'd be able to come back? I think in that start in St. Louis he was talking about maybe never being able to pitch again the back pain was so bad.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, back then I was very concerned because he was having a lot of problems. If you noticed about the last two or three times -- the last two times he's pitched for sure, he's had more -- his movement has been a lot better on the mound, and he can really what I call throw downhill and get through the -- like throw the ball through the mitt good. And when he can do that, of course his command gets better.
In the last couple times out, I've saw some real big improvement in him as far as that goes, and also his velocity on his fastball has been good the last couple times, and he's always been a big-game pitcher. I've got a lot of confidence in him.

Q. Given that you have this with Roy and everything, will you have maybe Cliff Lee available tomorrow if something should happen out of the bullpen?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, we definitely can have people available. Like if something happens and we want to make -- we want to do something in the game, yeah, we could always -- if that's an option for us, we can definitely use those kind of options.

Q. With Holliday being out both is last two series, Allen Craig has played a lot and had some extra base hits. What do you think of him?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think against us he hit the ball good. In the series before we even got to the playoff, we played them at home, he had a big series. He has power and he's a threat at the plate and he plays very steady at third base. I think that he's been real good as far as filling in for Holliday. I think Holliday is a tremendous hitter, of course, but this kid really did a good job. He really helped them.

Q. Given how short this series is, do you have to manage this game with the urgency of like an elimination game, or is it too early for that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think today's game, I think we -- the key to our success and us being here I think relies -- goes toward our starting pitching, and our starting pitching, I think Hamels is going to be good, and I think he's definitely going to keep us in the game. And I think as far as the pitching moves that we make, I think Cole will dictate those and basically our starting pitching. I think in close games and things like that, we've kind of got to depend on our starting pitching to take us to a certain point in the game.

Q. How much do you think Roy Oswalt's experience against the Cardinals over the years, particularly when he was with Houston, can help him, especially with pitching to Pujols and guys like that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think that plays up big. I think he should know a lot about them and how he thinks he's got to attack them to get them out. Why he's had some success against them and things like that, I think that's all about being prepared and studying the game, and I think that's what makes him a good option to pitch against them.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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