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October 5, 2011

Charlie Manuel


Cardinals – 5
Phillies - 3

Q. Ryan Howard seems to be in one of the mix-ups you talk about a lot. What right now do you see with him?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, well, the last couple days he's having trouble tracking the ball, staying on the ball. When he does that, usually he struggles.

Q. Do you see overall on your team some discipline in terms of their plate approach, particularly after they get runs?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, well, tonight, especially there at the end, we kind of got -- we looked like some of our guys started swinging pretty hard, so that's a sign of a little bit overanxious trying to do too much. But at the same time, we jumped out and scored two runs, and that was about most of the hitting that we did. Outside of that we couldn't really put nothing together.

Q. In the first did you think that Pence got in with the tag? And either way did it seemed like a pretty significant turning point to you?
CHARLIE MANUEL: From where we stand, it's hard for us to really see because I got blocked out by the third baseman, and actually I didn't really get to see the play real good. But our guy said he was safe. We were running there a 3-2, but it looks like a straight steal. He's trying to actually steal a base. It's not just because it's 3-2, we're running. Also, he's not trying to steal a base and looked like he -- I kind wanted to push the game there, too, because we had just scored and we needed a guy in scoring position, but he called him out.

Q. What did you think about the play when Chase (Utley) tried to go from first to third?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think he was very aggressive. I think it -- of course he was running, and I think that when the ball was hit, he thought he was being aggressive. He was trying to make something happen and he was trying to get to third. Actually the play as it came out, more than likely we would have had a guy on second base with one out. Instead we had a guy on first with one out. Because I think if Pujols stays on the bag, I think Pence would have been out. I think Pujols was the key in that play because he read it. He read it. If you noticed he came right off the bag and got in a good position to throw the ball.

Q. Do you have any issues with squirrels running across the field? And what did you say to the umpire when that happened?
CHARLIE MANUEL: There's not too much I can do about a squirrel running across the field. I don't know if I can -- I don't know what I can do about that. Of course being from the south and being a squirrel hunter, if I had a gun there, might have did something. I'm a pretty good shot.

Q. The one thing you guys haven't had to do in this whole run is play a decisive Game 5 or Game 7. What changes in a type of game like that? And what kind of comments do you have with Halladay on the mound for that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: To me it's been a good series. Might be fitting that it goes down to the fifth game. We're a good team; they're a good team. We've been in close games all year long. It's up to us to go get it. It's sitting right there for us. We've got our ace going, and we're at home, and so everything is sitting right there -- and basically that's why we worked like hell to get the home-field advantage. It's evened up, and we'll go from there. I feel very confident. I feel like we've got to take it to them. If we don't get it, it's our fault.

Q. On top of that, twice in this series you've had your ace out there and scored first-inning runs. In both cases you scored two runs, I think, total. What do you attribute that to?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I attribute that to actually the Cardinals in some way, them shutting us down. They find a way to hold us. I've got to attribute that a lot to them. Their at-bats, too. Our at-bats, we kind of worked the pitcher, but at the same time it seems like he gets ahead of us.

Q. If it's scoreless in 22 of the last 25 innings, are you committed to Pence there in front of Howard? Will you move in behind Howard again? Are you committed to this lineup or might there be a lineup change for Game 5?
CHARLIE MANUEL: You know something, I'm never committed to the lineup because definitely I'm not afraid of changing it. I'll think about -- believe me, I think about my lineup every day, and I'll sit down and I'll think about what's the best lineup for us to have. I like our lineup, especially when we win the game.
But when you don't hit, you get back and you look for things that you think can help you, give you an advantage of winning a game, and maybe somebody is hot or maybe something you might change or put them into a better position or something. But at the same time, definitely I'll look at my lineup.

Q. Would you say that David Freese might have been one of the less likely people you expected to be the hero tonight?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think I don't have to say too much about David Freese. I think that he kind of won the game. I think his hitting was -- he kind of did it.

Q. You often talk about taking it one game at a time and not valuing any one game any more than any other. Do you have to as a group maybe change that mindset and get more up for a Game 5 or do you have to stick to the plan?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think if we have trouble getting up for Game 5, I think that's not good. I think if we can't get up for Game 5 -- I say it all the time: If you don't like to play in Philadelphia, something is wrong with you. And if we can't get up for Game 5 in the playoffs, then so be it. That's kind of how I look at it. We're going to be up, and we're going to show up, and we're going to be ready to play.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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