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October 5, 2011

Charlie Manuel


Q. It looks like Holliday is going to try to play tonight. How much different is the Cardinals' lineup with him in it?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He is one of the top hitters in our league. He's a tremendous hitter, and of course he gives them a bigger threat. He's consistent in his hitting, and he's got power.

Q. For the last month or so, the Cardinals were completely out of it and they came back and kept fighting. How important is it to know after what they've done for you guys to have this opportunity and finish them off tonight?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Like you said, they've been grinding it out. I look at their hitters in the game, and they grind out their at-bats. They never quit, and they just keep coming. But that's how you play, and that's what makes them good. You know, whenever we get a chance, we need -- we come to the ballpark tonight to win the game, of course, and we need to win. That's how we look at it. We've got the same philosophy. Tonight is the biggest game we've played so far. That's how we look at it. And we came here to win.

Q. Can you talk about Ryan Madson, his development and your confidence in him?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, he's been outstanding. He's had a big season. But most of all, his pitching is -- he's proved that he can close games, but the improvement he's made with his command, he can do more with the baseball now. He can put the ball more where he wants to. His change-up, he has as much command of -- better command. And his fastball, he's got a power fastball. And I think the quality of his pitches has gotten better.
Of course that comes from confidence and trusting his stuff and knowing that he can close the game. It took him a while to learn how to do that, and again, through experience and everything. I think he's turned the page or the door or whatever you want to say, and he's ready to go.

Q. You guys have won a number on the road in the NLDS. Can you talk about the team's mentality on the road in these situations?
CHARLIE MANUEL: It's the same old boring thing I say every day: I'm sure the players might get tired of it. We play on the road just like we play at home. We come to win that game on that day, and we've been doing that for the last five years for sure, or six, and that's how we look at it and that's how we go about it, and that works for us. Our guys believe that, and that's how they want to play. So when we talk about road and home, what makes us good at home, we always have a full house, and we always -- there's always a lot of noise.
Citizens Bank, for a big stadium, it's kind of close, fans are close to the playing field, and it seems like everything just kind of is surrounded in there, and that's what brings a lot of energy and life to the game.

Q. The Cardinal players have been complaining about shadows in late afternoon games since Labor Day, maybe even before. What do you think of the conditions for late afternoon games? And what's the difference between here and games in Philly?
CHARLIE MANUEL: We knew there was going to be some shadows. And at this time of the day in Philly, there would be some shadows more than likely, especially if there was bright sun, and today there's -- it's a very pretty day and the sun has been real strong. I was out there walking earlier, and the sun is definitely bright. Once you start -- the shadows start casting over the stadium; it's going to be about the same as it was yesterday. There's going to be some shadows there.
Our players coming back, they weren't complaining a lot, but they were saying that the ball was -- the rotation of the ball was hard to pick up, it was more like it was just kind of looked like a gray or a dark, a little bit darker than usual, and that creates a problem. But at the same time, two teams are playing, and you've got to really bear down and stay focused on what you're doing and try to stay on the ball as much as possible. Some guys didn't have any problem.

Q. Roy Oswalt is towards the end of his career and his future is kind of uncertain. How desperate do you think he is to get a ring, especially with this team?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Oh, I think he wants a ring. I think that's why he came over here to -- I think that's why he came to Philadelphia. I think he definitely came over there for a ring, and I think he definitely wanted to win one more time before he made a decision on his career and stuff.
I think if you go ask him, Brad Lidge and some of the guys that have been with Houston, I think that they had something to do with him coming here because he wanted to come over here on a good team and try to win again.
I think tonight is a big game for him. He knows that, too. I can see that just the way he walks around. And I think he's ready to go.

Q. I was also going to ask you about the shadows. How much of a factor is it, especially during the early parts of the game, not just for the hitters but outfielders and stuff on fly balls?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think yesterday the sun was definitely -- when the game started, it was kind of a problem. I noticed that the center fielder for St. Louis, he was having some problems. But if you -- nowadays with the glasses that some of the guys wear, they're really good.
Jimmy Rollins showed me a pair of glasses yesterday, if you put them on, they're -- it's almost like the sun, and you can see the ball much better. I think that helps on what kind of glasses you have on. But at the same time, yeah, it was a problem.
If the sun is out like it was when the game started yesterday, it might be a problem again today.

Q. Jimmy has been going pretty good since the last week of the season. Is there anything you can point out that he's doing well or is it the bright lights, big game, he's that type of player?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He's really into the game. I think this is -- we've always talked about he liked the bigger the stage, the better he played, things like that, and he likes the cameras. I think the part of being a showman he likes, and I mean that in a real good way. I think that's his personality, and I think he can definitely bring some energy and life to your team. And when he's getting on base, that definitely seems like we definitely score more runs if you go by his stats and things. He's been doing real good, and hopefully he'll continue. He swings good from both sides of the plate, he's short and quick, he stays on the ball good, and he's moving the ball around, he's not just pulling everything. That's a good sign.

Q. Do you foresee a circumstance tonight in which you would use Cliff Lee out of the pen?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I sure do. He's available.

Q. Sticking with the bullpen, the question -- you had to use four guys in the eighth inning last night. One, how do you foresee -- would you go back to Madson again?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Last night that's the first time I've gone to Madson for five outs. I think I did it for four outs a couple times. It depends on off-days and breaks and things like that.
And actually yesterday I was in the same -- I was thinking about him throwing -- pitching four outs. He was definitely going to be on Pujols. But at the same time, when we got where we was at, I thought to myself, our best option is to have Madson in the game now, and I was hoping that he wouldn't go out there and throw a lot of pitches. He ended up throwing, what, 20 yesterday or something, and that's very good. I definitely didn't want him to go out there and end up throwing 35 or 40 or 45 pitches or something. That was the only concern I had about putting him in. And things worked out, of course. The guy hit a rocket and Ut (Utley) picked it and turned the double play, and then he got him out in the ninth.

Q. I know Cliff's availability has a lot to do with where he's at in terms of bullpens and when he's going to pitch again, but do you think he's the best suited one of your four starters right now to come out of the bullpen, all other things aside?
CHARLIE MANUEL: What's that?

Q. Aside from the fact that Cliff is available, is he the best-suited starter of your four to come out of the bullpen? Is he the one that has the attributes to do it kind of better than anybody?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think so. I think who he is and how he looks at things -- when Lee pitches, he's very talkative. He walks around just like, give me the ball and get out of my way and stuff like that. Actually he's not that -- he's kind of quiet and everything when he talks to you guys, but actually he's a little bit louder in the clubhouse and stuff. He's kind of funny; he's got a witty way about him. But if he's uptight or something, he don't show it. He thinks he can get everybody out. And when he talks, if you listen to him, he definitely holds himself responsible for everything he does. Yeah, I think that he's a good fit for the pen, really.

Q. You talked about having Cliff available or using Madson for five outs last night. How much, when you're making these decisions, is your philosophy balanced between wanting to do what you did all season that got you here versus knowing it's a one- or two-game situation where you need to win and kind of not leaving any bullets left in the gun?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think when we get in a situation like the three out of five, it plays even different than the four out of seven. But the three out of five, like last night, we had to win the game I felt like. And tonight we need to win the game. We have to win the game. If I look at it that way, I think if we can shut them down tonight, we'll face tomorrow when we find it. That gets you there.

Q. The lineup for tonight?
CHARLIE MANUEL: The lineup is the same except IbaƱez is in the 6 hole playing left field.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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