10/02/08 3:52 PM ET
Pat Burrell pregame interview
Phillies left fielder addresses media prior to Game 2
By FastScripts by ASAP Sports / Special to MLB.com
We know we've got our work cut out for us. This guy has been phenomenal for them all year. You know, a guy to come over in a situation where, you know, the team really needs him. You see moves like that all the time, but you don't see guys who come over and dominate the way he has.
So you gotta give him a lot of credit for what he's done there. But the truth is, we've got to find a way to go out there and beat him. We know he's a competitor, and if it's up to him, he won't [and] doesn't want to hand the ball off to anybody else.
So, like I said, we've got our work cut out for us, and I think everyone's prepared.
Do you ever have to remind yourself that he's beatable, considering how good he has been since coming to Milwaukee? People talk like he's never been scored upon.
He's pitched well. He's pitched phenomenal, like I said, but this is the playoffs. Anything can happen. We've got to do what we've got to do to put ourselves in positions to score runs. And if we get those opportunities, we've got to capitalize.
Two questions: How is your back and talk about hitting in this ballpark. Is this ballpark any easier to hit home runs in than any other park in the National League?
You look at it and it should be. I haven't had nearly the success this year that I have other places. So for whatever reason, you know, you talk to some people and some people think that because it's short to the eye and, it might be an advantage for the pitcher, because guys might be trying to hit home runs, who knows. The only thing that really matters is that it's the same for both teams. So, like I said, the important thing here is that we come out and, hopefully, establish a lead like we did yesterday.
And the back is fine. It acted up the other day. With the treatment and all the stuff and the excitement of what we're doing, I don't think it will be a problem.
Given Sabathia's size and his windup, is it harder to pick up a ball from the release point from him than it is other pitchers?
From memory, it's been last year, I guess. Anybody that stands tall out there, you know, it gives the impression that maybe there's not enough time or as much time as other guys. But whatever the reason is, you can't make excuses for things. We've got to go out there and find a way to beat this guy.
He deserves a lot of credit for what he's done this year and the whole days' rest thing, I don't know how important that is. But he's really stepped up and shown not only what kind of a competitor he is, but how important his team is. And I think that says a lot coming in the mid-season trade.
When they talk about different managers, Charlie [Manuel] never gets mentioned as one of the top guys in the league for whatever reason. But he's led you guys to two division titles in a row now. Can you talk a little bit about what he brings to this club and what it's like playing for a guy like Charlie?
Well, I think these things have been talked about before. As a hitter, Charlie is a hitting guy. But I think the most important thing that he brings to the table is the fact that no matter how big the game is or the situation, you're going to get the same guy. You're going to get the same guy win or lose.
You know, obviously, there's frustration and there's excitement at times for different things. But over the long haul, you're going to get a pretty steady guy as far as what he puts out to his players. And as you guys know, it's a long season. So you're going to have your ups and downs. But he seems to keep a pretty even keel.
Two part question: Tight is a word that a lot of people use when talking about some hit tight, hitters at the plate. How did you guys feel yesterday as a team a year after your first playoff appearance and, B, you didn't have a lot of hits but you had a lot of baserunners. Can you kind of assess your guys' performance yesterday?
I don't know if tight's the word. I think the guys are prepared. Most of the guys that were out there yesterday were in the situation last year, and I think that helps. I think that can kind of eases things down a bit. There's a lot of excitement. There's a lot of anticipation. And everybody wants to do well. And everybody wants to shine in this opportunity.
So we started off the game yesterday and we kind of felt our way through it, it seemed to me. You know, there were some innings I thought we could have done a little more, been a little more patient, personally.
And it just goes to show you, you know, you get a couple of guys on, Chase [Utley] gets a big hit, and that just leads to more pitches that the guy has to throw and ultimately for us more opportunity.
So there's a key there, too. You want to be patient with the guy, especially in the situation where he only had one other start prior to that. And I'm sure there was a lot of anxiety and all the other things going into it. And we could have done a better job making him pitch. And tonight that might be a totally different story.
But a guy with the power and stuff, I don't know if the plan is you want to get deep in the count. But I think going into tonight, we've got a pretty good plan.
Do you feel at all at a disadvantage because you didn't see CC three weeks ago in the series?
Well, I think at the time we were pretty fortunate not to. To be able to get four games on a team late in the year like this, like it was, you know, some things had to go our way. And certainly they did.
But anybody at this point in the year, there's so much information. There's so many , there's so much video and stuff and scouting reports and analysis that you can get overwhelmed sometimes. The most important thing to do is not get caught up in all that stuff and just go out there and play. And it's an old term, but see it and hit it is sometimes the best way to go about it.
We're in a good position here, winning the first game. And we know we've got our work cut out for us. So like I said before, regardless of who is out there, we've got to find a way to get to them and ultimately create some leeway for our starter.
Brett [Myers] has been phenomenal for us since he's come back. He's had a couple of rough starts. But if you remember down the stretch last year, I mean, this guy wants the ball when the game's on the line.
So I think we're getting prepared for a pretty good game.
Charlie told us that he was concerned enough about your back yesterday that he actually had two lineups. How worried were you that you wouldn't be able to go and how bad would it have had to have been considering you played through a lot in your career?
You know, the truth is I wouldn't have taken the field if I thought in any way I would jeopardize the team and the position we're in. Because, ultimately, that's the most important thing. Do I want to play? Of course, especially now going through the whole year and everything else.
But the most important thing is the team. And you can't be selfish there and make something personal more important than the team. And we had talked about that. And I told him I wouldn't go out there if I didn't think I could help.
Both teams have guys who have struck out a lot as well as hit a good deal amount of home runs. When you get into a playoff series like this, where you're facing the other team's top pitchers and everything, do you change your approach at all to try to minimize those strikeouts or same as usual?
That's an interesting question, because you can't try not to strike out. You can take Ryan [Howard], for example, the guy is on the verge of 50 home runs and 150 RBIs for the regular season. Did I strike out? I think almost 200 times.
I would rather take my chances with the guy driving in 150, that's the way I see it. I think it's more important, the production. And when you're going out there to do damage, you're going to swing and miss.
Certainly, this team strikes out a lot. I don't know how significant that is to anything, but more than just we're trying to hit. Obviously, there's certain pitchers you change your approach on. You can't have the same approach against [Tom] Glavine, Glavine as opposed to CC tonight. I think that's common sense.
But I think the guys know what we've got up against us and we're going to do the best we can.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.