10/06/10 10:15 PM ET
NLDS Game 1 postgame interview: Halladay
By / MLB.com
ROY HALLADAY: Just try and win. It was a lot of fun. It's just one of those special things I think you'll always remember. But the best part about it is the playoffs take priority, and that's pretty neat for me to be able to go out and win a game like that and know there's more to come for us and more to accomplish. So that makes it a lot of fun.
ROY HALLADAY: It was pretty normal, really. I think you try and disconnect yourself, I think, from the emotions a little bit. Knowing that you've prepared yourself, you're ready, and you try to go out and execute your plan.
I think once the game started, I got out there and I felt like I was able to do that. I wasn't thinking about all that stuff, first playoffs or any of that. It was go out and try and execute a plan, and that made it a lot easier. But it's been fun for me. It's been a challenge that I look forward to.
So I never excited, I guess, is a better word to describe it than nervous. I was excited. It was a lot of fun to look forward to pitching in this game.
Q. Could you just go through each of your pitches and which were the best pitches working for you? And how did your stuff tonight compare to the night in Florida with the perfect game?
ROY HALLADAY: I thought we used everything pretty well today. Changeup was big for me today, curveball was good. I know I always go back to it, but Ruiz has done a great job of recognizing early on what's working, what's effective, and calling that.
Changeup has been a little bit hit and miss for me the last few times out and it was good today. He recognized that early, continued to call it, and did it in good situations. Through the middle innings, I thought we did a good job mixing pitches, going soft early, and I think that was key for it.
But really I thought we were aggressive. We were aggressive, made good pitches, and Carlos, again, what can I say?
Q. At any point in this game did history come into your mind that only one person in postseason history has ever done this? And did that ever enter your thoughts as you were sitting by yourself?
ROY HALLADAY: It didn't. It's hard to explain, but pitching a game like that, being able to win the game comes first. That's kind of your only focus until after it's over with. I think once it ends it's a little bit surreal to know some of that stuff.
But the best part about it is when you're out there, your only job is to help your team try to win the game. And if you can keep that focus off of yourself, on the team, trying to help, it makes your job a lot easier.
Q. What was your view on the final play and did your heart skip a little bit when the ball kind of hit the bat?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, I saw it bounce around the bat, tough play, good runner. Carlos made a great play. It kind of hit the bat and chucked up a little bit. It definitely wasn't an easy play, but it couldn't happen to a better guy to have Carlos get the last out. It was fun, definitely, definitely exciting, exciting way to end it.
Q. You're so focused and so methodical in your approach to pitching, and obviously you probably didn't think too much about it. When did you realize that it was happening? At what stage of the game? And what were your thoughts? Did you just concentrate totally on pitching or could you think a little bit about what it might be like to do this?
ROY HALLADAY: I would say I think by the fifth or sixth obviously you're aware of it the whole time. But by the fifth or sixth it's a little bit more, not achievable, but you're definitely closer.
I think throughout the whole game though, it's definitely not something you're trying to do. I think as soon as you try and do it kind of takes you out of your plan a little bit.
Yeah, I was definitely aware of it, knew what was going on in the fifth or sixth inning. After that I was just trying to stay aggressive, make them put the ball in play, don't beat myself up and trying to keep that focus on what was going on in the game. A four run lead, trying to stay aggressive and not pitch around and get myself in trouble and end up now not only are you giving up hits but you've got yourself in a jam. So really just tried to stay aggressive.
I think being able to pitch in that game took the priority for me.
Q. What about the outs?
ROY HALLADAY: I think just trying to execute pitches, it wasn't even outs. I think if I can keep my focus on just making the pitches, not worry about the outs, try and stay aggressive and make quality pitches. I think the rest will come.
I think even outs, sometimes you get a little bit ahead of yourself.
Q. Roy, kind of a follow up to an earlier question. Your name now goes next to a guy who is a pretty big legend in the game of baseball, Don Larsen, have you thought about what that means to you personally?
ROY HALLADAY: Not really yet. I think, at this point we're one game up. We've got to win two more. Like I said early in the year, I think these are types of things that once the season is over, I think you're able to kind of soak it all in and enjoy it.
I think right now it's easy to keep your focus on the team, especially at this point in the season knowing we need a couple more wins here to move on. It's easier for me to keep that focus, I think, than to kind of analyze where those things stack up. I think that's something you do later.
Q. Charlie said it got quiet about the sixth inning in the dugout. Is that distracting to you at all? If I could put another one on top of that, the ball that goes right by you under your glove, did you think you'd lost it at that point?
ROY HALLADAY: Well, like I said, it's something I wasn't real worried about achieving at that point. I thought I had a chance to make the play. But I think if you're not putting too much emphasis on trying to throw a no hitter, you're going out and staying aggressive, it makes it, like I said, a lot easier. So I wasn't worried about losing it, I was worried about not getting myself in a situation where now, as a team, we have a chance to get ourselves in trouble.
So that made it easy for me. You know, I wasn't paying a lot of attention to what was going on in the dugout at that point, no (laughing).
Q. The perfect game was down there on the road in Florida, this being here and the first playoff game you've ever been a part of, could you sense the crowd getting louder in each inning or do you have just complete tunnel vision?
ROY HALLADAY: No, when it gets that loud, it's hard to ignore. I thought especially the last three innings, it seemed like it got louder every inning. It's probably, obviously, one of the most electric atmospheres I've ever been in. It was pretty neat.
It's something, you obviously can't ignore, so it was a lot of fun.
Q. Not to nitpick on the only negative thing, but can you take us through what happened with the walk?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, two strikes, we tried to throw a sinker inside, and it kind of stayed on its line. It didn't come back as much as they had earlier in the game. I think if it does, we'd probably get a strike there. But it kind of held its line, and then 3 2 just trying to make a quality pitch. You never want to give in, never want to throw a ball over the middle, but you're still trying to make good pitches.
Got myself in a jam, and just one of those pitches that got away, wasn't exactly where I wanted. But I think it was still early in the game and with two outs, you're still, after the fact, trying to keep your focus on one or two pitches, get myself out of the inning. But yeah, there were one or two that got away from me there.
Q. Was it helpful, actually, since your teammates, including yourself, scored a bunch of runs early, and then they weren't doing anything either offensively, were you able to get back out there and get going as opposed to keeping your rhythm, as opposed to them scoring three runs in a half hour or half inning at some point?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, I think once we scored a couple of runs there in the second inning you give yourself a little bit of leeway. It's not going to be one pitch that costs you. So as a pitcher, that's always a nice feeling to have knowing that you can continue to be aggressive, go after guys and you make one or two mistakes and it's not going to cost you the game. So that definitely helps.
But you'll take all the runs you can get no matter how long you wait in the dugout. I think if you can keep somewhat of a rhythm, it's always helpful. That seemed to be the case after that inning. Things went pretty quickly.
Like I said, you'll always take the runs, but to be able to stay in that groove is always good, too.
Q. Everybody talks about your dedication. I think you had some dedicated teammates today. Madson said out in the bullpen he had to go to the bathroom for three or four innings, and wouldn't even move.
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, he's a piece of work (smiling). I'm surprised that's all he did, to be honest with you. You know, it's fun to play on teams with guys like that that you feel like are always rooting for you and you're always rooting for them. It's a great atmosphere and it's been that way all year. So definitely you feel that team unity and it's a great thing to be involved in.
Q. You were pitching in a pretty heavy downpour there for a couple innings. Were the conditions on the mound any problem whatsoever, and did you have to adjust your approach at all to the Cincinnati hitters because it was raining so hard?
ROY HALLADAY: No, I didn't have to change anything. It definitely got sticky. You spend some time cleaning your shoes in between innings, but it wasn't bad. It never got slick, it never got out of control. So it really wasn't that bad. I'm glad we got it in, that's for sure.
You know, it really wasn't a problem. I don't think it changed anything the way you went about it.
Q. When you arrived here in December, you talked about how the goal is to pitch in the playoffs and you just mentioned that tonight was surreal. After all those years in Toronto and the Octobers when you're not part of the playoffs, did you ever dream about pitching then? And if so, how does it compare to what transpired tonight?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, I think even if you go a couple times, I think if you don't go you're always thinking about being there. I think the longer you play, the more you think about having that chance and being able to be involved in it.
It's been fun to do here because of the atmosphere and the guys on the team. It's been really everything that I hoped it would be. It's something that I've looked forward to, and obviously very glad I got the chance.
Q. In June that game in Cincinnati when you gave up 13 hits, since then you've faced these guys twice and just dominated them. Did you learn anything that day about facing the Cincinnati Reds? And second part, today with the first pitch strikes they were amazing. When you get all those first pitch strikes, do you approach the at bat in terms of thinking you can go outside of the strike zone a little bit, particularly with your curveball?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah. I mean, first, obviously I think the more you face guys I think the more you learn about them. We felt pretty good about our plan going into the game. They have some good hitters. I think for me, it was important because it kind of plays into the second question, it was important to get ahead. They have some guys in the middle of the lineup that are patient, they have good at bats, that can cause trouble.
It's definitely something that any time you're facing a good team, I think the more aggressive you can be early in the count, get yourself in pitcher's counts, the more the numbers play into your favor. So that was definitely a priority. I think any time you're facing good hitters, especially over there in the middle part of their lineup is pretty solid, I think it's a priority. Getting pitcher's counts and the numbers are in your favor, and then you can work out of the zone a little bit, but it's definitely important getting ahead.
Q. Can you just speak about the overall defense behind you, Jimmy made some big plays out there, Chase, can you just talk about that?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, it was very good. It's been that way all year. Even Jayson Werth made a good play, you know, with the pitcher up. It's a good defensive team. I think we do a good job of focusing on the little things and defense is sometimes definitely a big part of it. We did a great job. Wilson at third did a great job stepping in. I know he hasn't played there as much lately, but all the way around very good defensive game.
Q. You had obviously a fairly significant RBI single. Can you talk about that hit and does it make it that much sweeter? And the second question is: I saw your boys, how nice is it to do this in front of family?
ROY HALLADAY: Yeah, lucky and lucky. I think any time you get a hit as a pitcher you're definitely going against the averages, that's for sure. But it made it fun for me. You enjoy competing regardless of how good you are. To be able to go out and compete and play the game is a lot of fun.
To have family here is the same. It's been a lot of fun for me, and you want to share things like this with family and friends. My family's here, and I feel like my friends are on the team, so it makes it special for me.
Q. After the game, Orlando Cabrera said he thought you got a little help from the home plate umpire tonight. I wanted to know your reaction to that, and what you thought of the strike zone?
ROY HALLADAY: I thought it was good. Any time you're getting strikes I think it's good. That's something that I've never tried to concern myself a lot with. There's going to be pitches you're going to get, there's going to be pitches you don't get. I think if you let that bother you one way or the other, I think it can cause you problems.
I felt like really it was a pretty fair zone. From what I saw in between innings, they were calling the same pitches that I was getting. It's one of those things that I think there's always going to be certain cases where people aren't happy with what's called, but that's part of the game. It's always been part of the game.
NLDS Game 1 postgame interview: Manuel
Q. Does Roy ever cease to amaze you?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I've been in baseball 50 years, this is the first time I've seen a guy throw two no hitters in a year. As a matter of fact, he should be in here talking now. He's definitely the highlight and star of the game. But, he was tremendous. Great command. Absolutely unreal.
Q. When did you and the others in the dugout start to get really excited at the prospect of what might happen tonight?
CHARLIE MANUEL: You know, I guess about the sixth inning it got real quiet. After the sixth inning, things just kind of went quiet kind of like it did in Florida. Just kind of people just stayed in their seat and sat there and watched the game (laughing). He came in and went down to the end of the dugout, sat in his chair and didn't say a word. End of the inning he'd get up and go back out on the field. Nobody said anything, sitting there watching the game. It's pretty neat, really.
It was great managing (laughing). See, that's what I call good managing tonight. That's super (laughing). No, he was very good.
Q. Did he have a really good curveball tonight, better than usual?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I felt like he used all of his pitches pretty good. But he had a good cutter, and his changeup was very good. I think he threw enough curveballs to really mix them up really well. And that was the part where his command was really great because he did use all of his pitches.
He had a tremendous feel tonight. He knew when to kind of bounce the ball. He also sold his pitches good at times low, especially when he got ahead of the hitter. He was trying to do that. He was real good.
Q. Obviously his first postseason game, did you see anything different in his preparation? What was he like around the clubhouse before the game?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He's the same. He's been the same ever since I first seen him in spring training. He goes about it the same way. He's like a boxer. If it's a ten round fight, he's going to train for 20 or 25 rounds, you know. That's who he is.
Q. A word on Carlos Ruiz's impact today?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, Carlos, you've got to give Carlos a lot of credit. He's got two of Roy's no hitters now, perfect game. And Roy just had a walk tonight. Also I felt like he threw some balls inside on Bruce that were close. I couldn't see them from where I was at, but he definitely threw some close to the plate when he walked him. But, yeah, Chooch has called both of those games, and Chooch is a guy that calls the pitches and Roy is the one that goes along with that.
He can shake him off any time he wants to, but Chooch, you know, he's the guy that's behind the plate. Every guy that ever threw a no hitter, the guy that catches him always becomes famous, too. That's what John Roseboro used to tell me.
Q. It was obvious so early how dominant he was. When did you start thinking this was possible?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Like I said, about the sixth inning. When he got through the sixth. When he got through the sixth I started looking at the lineup and how it was going to come back around. Because if you start counting outs and everything like I said, everything got real quiet and everybody got definitely interested, and they were thinking about him throwing the no hitter.
Q. Everybody wants to jump out in the short series and get some momentum going. Obviously Roy seems to have gotten you a little bit of momentum. Is there any danger to thinking this is more than just one win in the series or it's a long way to go?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Roy had a great game. I mean, actually everything about it is tremendous and very positive. We got the first win, but that's one. I think you know how we play. That's what I talk about every day. I've been talking the same thing for six years. Sometimes I think it gets boring to you guys, but it never gets boring to me because that's kind of how we look at it.
We know we've won one game, and we know we've got a couple more to win in this round. And we're coming out Friday to try to get another one.
Q. Can you talk about the job that Wilson Valdez did filling in on short notice for Placido?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He did the same thing he's been doing all year for us. He's played outstanding for us. He came out of nowhere, and like I said, today he actually took that job away from Castro. And Castro's a pretty good infielder, and now Wilson Valdez has had a big year for us. He's a tremendous defensive player, and he can get a big hit for you. He's got a great arm.
Q. Did you get a good look at that last out? Did you think it was going to hit the bat?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't know. I saw Chooch kind of drove in for the ball, and I was kind of pulling for him to pick it up. If I had been catching, I would have probably picked the ball and the bat up and threw it (smiling).
Q. After a night like tonight, would you prefer to get right back there tomorrow or are you kind of relieved that there is a day off?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Actually, I like when we play, like I like to keep playing. But at the same time, the off day, we can use that in a way. I mean, that doesn't bother me, but at the same time I like to keep playing, especially when you have something big or good happening for you. I like to get out there and just keep getting in the flow of it.
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