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March 9, 2013

Brandon Phillips

Joe Torre

Ryan Vogelsong

David Wright


Team USA – 6
Team Italy – 2

THE MODERATOR:  We'll go ahead and get started with Team USA.

Q.  Mr.Joe Torre, how does it feel to go into the game tomorrow knowing that you completely control your fate, just win the game by a run and you guys go on to Miami.
JOE TORRE:  I like the fact that we went into tonight's game knowing that we controlled our destiny.  This way, if you win it, you earn it; if you don't, you don't earn it.
But at least the Canadian win today was certainly a huge thing for me.  And I just felt that you don't have to be checking numbers or anything like that.

Q.  Ryan, couple of things.  You've been looking forward to this for so long.  How was the experience compared to your expectations?  And then the second question is what is it that Maddux told you on the mound?  Because that seemed to turn things around for you.
RYAN VOGELSONG:  Well, it was the emotions that I had going into it were everything I thought it was going to be.  It's definitely a postseason atmosphere.  It was a great feeling, great adrenaline rush.  He just came out and reconfirmed what I knew; that I was throwing some good pitches and giving up some hits, and then I threw a couple pitches that weren't that great; that they hit pretty hard.
And so he‑‑ just to hear that affirmation that he thought the stuff was good too and just keep doing what I was doing.  I just got a little angry and just tried to turn it up a little bit more and was able to do that.

Q.  David, just take us through that grand slam a little bit.  And, also, do you think it took a weight off the team's shoulders to finally get the big hit that you couldn't get last night?
DAVID WRIGHT:  I think we got a lot of momentum early.  We gave up some runs.  And then Voge (Vogelsong) settled down and I think gave the offense some momentum, putting up some zeros.  I think that was the most important thing.  And that particular inning we strung together some good at‑bats, with Brandon going the other way and drawing some walks and kind of kept the line moving, and that's something that we hadn't been able to do up to that point.
It seemed like we had some chances with runners in scoring position and weren't able to get that big hit.  But that inning seemed like guys had good at‑bats.  Like I said, kind of kept the line moving.  And tremendous momentum for us.  And it starts with putting zeros on the board pitching‑wise, and Voge (Vogelsong) was able to do that.

Q.  Question for David or Brandon or Ryan.  Just to win this game, does it feel exhilarating to get this win, or is it more a sense of relief that you've given yourselves another chance to win the game tomorrow?
BRANDON PHILLIPS:  Honestly, it felt good.  It's a good feeling just knowing that we have a chance to really go to Miami.  It feels good.  Just the way we played today, it was beautiful.  Hopefully we can take that into the game tomorrow and try to get a win, because we really want this bad.
We want to go to Miami.  We really want to play for the country.  That's what it's all about.  So hopefully we can go out there and just play the game that we did today, and then we'll be going to Miami.

Q.  David, it looked like you knew it as soon as you hit the ball, gave a little hop out of the batters box and stuff.  Did you know it as soon as you hit it, and what were your personal emotions hitting that home run?
DAVID WRIGHT:  It's emotional.  You hear the "USA" chants, you look up in the stands and you see the flags, you look in the dugout and you see "USA" across the front of guys' chests and across the hats, and you get caught up in the game and you get a little emotional.
And then I've experienced what it's like in the last WBC making it to the semifinals and how much fun that is and it only gets better from here.  And I want to experience that and more this time around.
So for sure you get the adrenaline pump when you put that uniform on, you look around the field and you just see all these great players and it pumps you up and it gets you excited for this.

Q.  I imagine each of you at one point or another in your career has been in a brawl.  Knowing what a team can be like coming out of that and how excited Canada was coming off that victory, is that a dangerous team to be facing tomorrow?
JOE TORRE:  Well, they have the same thing at stake that we do.  Fight or no fight.  You don't need to get motivated to win a Game 7.  And that's what basically this is tomorrow.

Q.  Ryan, you finished the last season pitching in a couple of must‑win games in the playoffs.  This feel almost like picking up where you left off?
RYAN VOGELSONG:  Yeah, it did.  It did.  It was very similar.  Same kind of emotions as the postseason last year.  So not exactly how I had it planned out in my mind, but it was fun.  It was everything I thought it was going to be.  Like I said before, the adrenaline and everything was going really good and it was everything I thought it was going to be.

Q.  Joe, how important was it only using three pitchers?  Seems like you got your bullpen set up pretty fresh for tomorrow's game.
JOE TORRE:  That was our plan, we're going to use Detwiler to piggyback, and I love the way he pitched.  It would have been nice if he had about another eight or nine more pitches, because, again, our goal is to make sure these guys get the work they need so when we do return them to their clubs, that they're at the part of Spring Training they need to be.
But he was great.  But this was our plan and we were hoping for this result, obviously.  And of course Affeldt certainly did a great job of gluing both sides together, because that was huge in the fifth inning for us.

Q.  Dave, first off, you've been a pretty vocal supporter of this tournament and how important it is for the U.S. to do well here.  That said, and being so much out in front, how gratifying is it to do something big for the team and get them a pretty big jolt that they needed?
DAVID WRIGHT:  Yeah, I think that it's well documented I really enjoy this tournament.  I think it's a great tournament.  I think it's only going to get bigger and better.
I think as Joe mentioned before, when you put that USA jersey on, have you a bull's eye on your back.  Teams want to beat us.  So it makes it a great atmosphere every time out.  And I think all of us take a lot of pride in putting this uniform on and we want to represent the country well.
So any time we play a clean, crisp game like we played today, it's good for USA baseball and obviously it's good for our fans and good for the country.  So I'm glad I could be a part of that.

Q.  Joe, watching the home run, you and Bowa kind of jumped up at the rail there.  Obviously you had been waiting for a big moment like that to kind of‑‑ especially after Friday when you guys seemed a little maybe flat.  What were your feelings when you saw that happen?
JOE TORRE:  I'm not sure it was flat.  We had men on base, we just couldn't get a base hit.
But Bowa was just begging for a soft single.  I was‑‑ I didn't say it, but I was hoping for more.  But that was huge.  You talk about just sort of being able to exhale.  That was basically what that was, because we had been teasing ourselves for the last couple of days and all of a sudden we got one to bust it open.
These guys, when we were in the clubhouse last night, it was dead silence last night.  And this is a pretty determined group.  They have only been with us for a short period of time, five days or so, but it's‑‑ when you look in their eyes, they're pretty special.
THE MODERATOR:  Thank you, guys.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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