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March 8, 2013

Giancarlo Alvarado

Edwin Rodriguez



Q.  Edwin, your impressions on today's triumph?
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  Well, I think that we were the only ones who were not underestimating Spain, and they showed it tonight.  The Spain team is a good team.  They have good pitching, and they showed it tonight.  I mean, every victory for us is an important one.
Offensively we came out aggressive.  The lefty Salazar did a great job and he held down our offense, but at the end of the evening we had our victory.  We are thinking about tomorrow's game.

Q.  Edwin, we know that you are a studious manager, calculating, but an advantage of three runs before Spain, which is an unknown country, now going against Venezuela, what do you think about tomorrow against Venezuela, that has such a tough lineup?
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  Well, as I said, we did not underestimate the Spain team.  I believe that those pitchers that we saw, Salazar, did a great job, and in the Fort Myers training we faced Big League pitchers, and we had 28 hits in two games.  I mean, I consider that the game was well played on both sides, even though we scored three runs in the first inning, team Spain kept their cool.  They kept it a close game, and you have to give credit to the Spain team.
A victory is a victory, and we are thinking now about tomorrow's game, and for us as a team that we beat 3‑0, Spain, it's the same as if we beat them 1‑0 or 12‑0.  We played good, Spain played good, and we witnessed a great game.

Q.  Edwin, the move that worked well, the bunt in the first inning, in this kind of series, that kind of play is more feasible for getting runs early on.  Japan does it and other teams have done it.  Also bringing Hiram Burgos in on long relief 4.2 innings in the third inning, and all those moves that you had thought about doing, talk to us about that process, how you reached that decision.
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  Well, all the strategy that's been talked about, and not only from a technical standpoint but among the players.  Falu, he bunted on his own.  There was no signal.  I mean, he knew the importance of getting a lead, and so he wanted to move the runner up.
Had he batted, it would have been a problem, too, because he bunted and he was the one who decided it.  He had the green light to do so.

Q.  (No microphone).
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  It depends on who we're playing and who's batting.  Falu, as I said, he bunted and he moved up the runner in the first inning, and it was on his own, not by signals.  He's been doing that ever since I've known him.  For the last eight years he's been doing that, and that's his game.  It's going to categorize it as a small ball, I call it, intelligent game.  As long as it gives us a victory, I think we're going to keep on doing it.

Q.  A question for Edwin, and if Giancarlo can answer it, too:  Was today a game that you would have liked not to have the pitching limits, and for Giancarlo to have been able to continue in the game as good as he was pitching?
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  Well, the truth is that Giancarlo did more than what we had planned him on doing.  It's been a while that he didn't pitch more than one inning.  And he pitched an inning in the exhibition at Fort Myers, so we were planning on him going on three innings, and since we saw he was so effective, we took the chance of letting him pitch one more inning.  And I think that it was enough not only because he was approaching the limit, but also because it had been a while that he hadn't pitched more than an inning, and we wanted to avoid an injury.
GIANCARLO ALVARADO:  No, I would have loved to keep on and pitch the whole game, but as Edwin says, there's a pitching limit, and I was able to help them out until then and do my job.  And I'm more than happy.  And thank God the other pitchers also did a great job.

Q.  Spain's manager said that aside from that first inning where their players were quite nervous, after the nerves went down, they were able to play face to face.  Were you guys able to notice in the beginning they were kind of nervous and then they cooled down, and then they were playing morecontrolled?
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  Well, as to nervousness, if they were nervous, we didn't see it.  Sergio Perez in the beginning had problems with control in the first inning, but that can happen when you're nervous or not nervous.  I think they played a really good game from the beginning to the end, and even after scoring those three runs.  That inning could have gone for more than three runs, but they found a way of minimizing the damage.  I think that Spain played a great game.
GIANCARLO ALVARADO:  I agree with Edwin.  It's a great team.  They never gave up, and they had a little problem in the beginning, but after that it was a great game.

Q.  Two questions:  First one is are you worried at all after the first inning you were only able to get four hits?  And when there's talk about Puerto Rico, you think more about hitting than pitching, and today Cedeño, Giancarlo and Burgos pitched a game of nine innings.  Talk to us about that.
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  Well, I'm glad someone was able to support our pitchers that pitched nine innings and zero runs, but that is a good sign of the game.  The offense, I have no doubt, if anyone has doubt that Carlos Beltran is not going to hit or Yadier Molina or Alexis Rios, I have no doubt about that.  You have to give credit to the Spain team.
I believe that the great news of tonight is that our pitchers pitched nine shutout innings.

Q.  Giancarlo, how did you feel with the crowd tonight?
GIANCARLO ALVARADO:  I felt very proud.  My wife and I, we made a prayer, we thanked God for every opportunity I've had in my career.  Maybe I've not always done everything I've wanted to, like playing in the Major Leagues, but where I've pitched, I've done my job and I am blessed.
I was in my country, this is a Big League team, and I've enjoyed it from the first inning to the fourth because of the pitching count.  But it is a dream come true, and thanks, Edwin, again.

Q.  In the social network world the greatest concern in the last few minutes has been Carlos Beltran's exit in the seventh inning.  Any extraordinary situation or merely a manager's decision as part of the game?
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  No.  Everybody knows that Carlos Beltran received a‑‑ he was hit by a ball at the training camps in St. Louis, so all that was a decision that was scheduled.  He played five innings and then we increased it to six, so it was all scheduled.  We programmed the time he was going to go out to the field.
So Carlos Beltran's exit should not be deemed as anything else other than part of his rehabilitation from being hit by the ball.

Q.  Comment about tomorrow's game with Venezuela.  And is there a possibility that that could be an elimination game and that Puerto Rico be given the opportunity to move ahead depending on what happens with Dominican Republic?  Comment on if you think them having lost, whether you think the fact that them having lost yesterday gives more pressure for tomorrow's game.
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  Well, now we can concentrate as a team, we can concentrate on tomorrow's game.  As you say, I believe it can be a game of a lot of runs or a few runs.  I mean, it all depends.  But we're going to face one of the best lineups.  I mean, not only of this Classic, but if you put that lineup and you compare it with any team in the majors, the Venezuelan team has a very powerful team, and it's going to be very, very important‑‑ in a three‑game series every game is important.  We're going to take it like that, and we're going to follow the strategy that we have established and so forth.  And we hope that Nelson Figueroa is going to keep us in the game in those three or four innings that he's going to be pitching.

Q.  I don't know how superstitious you are, but in the last few Classics Puerto Rico hasn't scored a run against Venezuela, is tomorrow Puerto Rico going to beat Venezuela?  Is that your feeling?  Do you believe that superstition?  And did you make an adjustment on the mound, Nelson Figueroa was part of an adjustment for tomorrow?
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  I didn't get the last part.

Q.  An adjustment, Nelson is an adjustment that you hadn't foreseen?  Because you had Roman first.
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  Well, first, no, I'm not superstitious.  I believe in preparation, I believe in percentages, and I have the percentages you bring up says that it's time that Puerto Rico beat Venezuela in a Classic.
And the other part, Nelson Figueroa, when we see‑‑ first of all, Nelson Figueroa was supposed to pitch in the first game against Spain, then he was supposed to pitch in the third game against Dominican, and then we decided he's going to pitch in the second game against Venezuela.  So it all depends on the adjustment that we have to make, and that's one of them.
We saw Venezuela's lineup, and I believe that Nelson Figueroa adapts more being able to face Venezuela's lineup without taking credit away from either of the two starters.  But rather it's the matchups of each one, Nelson and the Venezuela lineup.

Q.  Regarding Carlos Beltran, you said that there is a situation that's been predetermined, and you said there was a prescheduled decision that he come out when he did.  My question is, in such an important game like tomorrow, is it scheduled he's going to play a set number of innings?
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  Well, yes, he is scheduled to play seven innings, seven full innings.  Of course if he can go out and bat in the eighth, he'll go out and bat in the eighth and we'll bring in defense for other innings.  But we obviously want to win, but we have to think about the health of the players, we have to think about their long five‑ or six‑month season.  But that is the schedule.

Q.  Was there any call from the White Sox after the second time Alex was hit by a pitch?
EDWIN RODRIGUEZ:  No.  I didn't have my phone in my hands, but no, there was no problem.  He is used to being pitched inside, but when you get hit by two balls, twice, anybody can get upset.  But there was no phone call or any concern, no concern about getting upset or whatever.  I mean, that's part of the game.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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