10/19/10 8:16 PM ET
Postgame interview with Charlie Manuel
By / MLB.com
Q. Will Joe Blanton still be starting Game 4 for you tomorrow?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah. He's starting. Yeah, he'll be pitching tomorrow, yes.
Q. In 2008 and 2009 you guys had big wins in Game 4 with the Dodgers and it really seemed it turned the tide of the series. How big can tomorrow be in terms of a swing game, either evening it or going down 3 to 1?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I would say tomorrow is the biggest game we played so far. Today was the biggest game, but tomorrow becomes bigger. That's how I look at it.
Q. Charlie, what did you think of Cain tonight, and basically Cain and Lincecum did what they were supposed to do in this series?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I thought Cain was too good. He didn't give us any runs. No, I thought he pitched real good. You've got to give him credit. Even though like he hit a couple of batters, he had three walks. When he got in trouble he even got better, seemed like. Made good pitches.
Like we always talk about, he made the pitch at the right time to get people out. And we couldn't score on him. We didn't hit him. We didn't hit many balls hard. Did a real good job. Mixed his pitches well. He was aggressive.
Q. Your lineup, starting lineup in aggregate came in with great numbers against Cain. Did he look different to you than the last few times you faced him?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Actually, I think today, from what I've seen of him in the past, he used to be -- he would get kind of aggressive with his fastball. And today he used all of his pitches and his command was better today. But he pitched a real -- he pitched a super game.
Q. You said Blanton's pitching, was there any discussion after the game to change that up at all? And also what did you think of Utley's defense today. The second run was close. The third one was originally scored an error and then changed, do you think he could have made those plays?
CHARLIE MANUEL: What's that?
Q. Utley's, on the third run where Utley, the ball went off his chest, originally scored an error but changed. Do you think he should have made that play and the second one was a runner just got by him, too?
CHARLIE MANUEL: The one you're talking about where the ball -- Sanchez hit the ball and it hit in front of him. Sanchez didn't really hit the ball that hard but at the same time he got caught. He got caught up and the ball made it hop like real close to him. And that was a tough play.
Could he have made it? From what happened, where he was at the ball, he couldn't. I don't know if he could have -- he couldn't have definitely probably couldn't have come in more because he would have felt that way.
But it was a tough play for him.
Q. On Blanton, was there any discussion to change it up after the game at all or not?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I didn't see any use in discussion. Did you? Whatever. No. No discussion.
Q. Ibanez is I think 0 for his last 15 and you have a lefty, Sanchez -- or Bumgarner going tomorrow. Is there any chance you may put Francisco in left there?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He's been hitting lefties good the second half of the season. I'll think about it. He's got some big hits off lefties. Francisco hasn't played since we left Washington at the end of the season. I'll think about all that. But at the same time it's getting kind of late to be trying to make moves, isn't it?
Q. So much has been made about the good pitching in the series, but are you concerned at all about the team's lack of hitting?
CHARLIE MANUEL: We don't score runs, I'm always concerned. We came in the series and everybody built us up as a pitching series and so far the three games, that's what we've seen. I mean, it's definitely been pitching. That's what's dictated the game.
Q. You said it's getting late to be making changes, but at the same time do you ever just make changes just to make it look different, just for changes sake?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Just to make one just to see if it's any different? Yeah, sometimes.
Q. Can you talk about Hamels in that fourth inning, three perfect innings and the fourth inning when the Giants scored the runs what happened with him, first inning he had to pitch out of the stretch?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I thought Burrell, when he walked Burrell, I thought that was big. But at the same time Cody Ross has been hot, and I don't know where the pitch -- looked like Cody -- looked to me like it was a pitch down. It looked like it was down and might have been in a little bit, and he smoked it into left field. He's been hot.
And then in the same inning there, if you notice Huff did some really good hitting. The ball was out away from him a cutter or fastball and he hooked the hole over there and that's exactly how he's supposed to hit.
He did a good piece of hitting there. But Hamels, he definitely -- he could have got out of the inning. But Ross, he's been hot and he got a big hit off of him.
Q. Do you see anything going on with Chase's swing right now?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah. You know what, we talk about the pitching. The pitching might have something to do with their swing. Our guys are trying. I mean, it's just like, really, it's not like -- they might be trying too hard.
Look, when you don't score no runs, you don't get no hits, it's hard to win the game. But I don't know what we're going to do about it. I can sit here and talk about it. I can go in and talk to them about it, but when the game starts tomorrow is when we can do something about it.
You know, when the game starts, that's when you're supposed to hit. Now, if you don't hit, that's kind of -- you're kind of on your own when you leave a dugout.
Q. Following up on that, do you kind of maybe going into tomorrow think about being more aggressive, trying to do hit and run or get out in the base pass?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, we want to run, like I said, before the game. But actually today we didn't even get -- we didn't have any chances to run. Yeah, we had some guys on base, but as far as like the opportunities to run and everything, no we did not have that today.
That's kind of how you stop a running game. When you pitch good and you can get everybody out, it's pretty hard to run, especially where the situations are at and who is on base.
Postgame interview with Cole Hamels
Q. The at-bat to Cody Ross, what was your thinking going into the at-bat and then the pitch that he hit, do you think that was a good pitch or did it go where you wanted it to go?
COLE HAMELS: You know, he's definitely hot. I think you can't take anything from it. He's been battling and hitting pitches that most normal people can't hit at this time. If he can hit that through the regular season, we'll be very impressed, but that's what happens when guys are hot they can hit anything.
And the sequence of pitches that I threw to him was kind of the right type of sequence, and just trying to go fastball down away. I felt like it was exactly where Chooch put his glove, and that's what I was trying to hit. And unfortunately -- I don't know too many guys that can lift that up over a third baseman; most guys normally hit it into the ground.
You have to tip your hat. That's kind of the way baseball plays out sometimes.
Q. After that, on the Ross hit, it was quite noticeable you shouted. Was it more in frustration that he hit that pitch; you were happy with the execution?
COLE HAMELS: I was very happy with the execution, because it's down. And most guys, when a pitch is down and especially the -- the way that I threw it, I think I was kind of more surprised than anything. Just the way of how and where he hit. Either most guys take that or most guys hit it right to the third basemen.
Q. Earlier in the inning there were a couple of pitches that could have gone either way, did that take you out of your rhythm at all?
COLE HAMELS: No, I felt like the umpire did a phenomenal job for both sides. It was very, very fair. And that's just kind of baseball because I was able to hit my spots really well and sometimes you kind of just want to take it out an inch or two away from the plate to see if guys are going to chase and they're not.
Then to see if you're going to get a call. And it was very fair.
Q. Looked like you had Burrell pretty overmatched than the other two at-bats. Could you talk about the walk? And I know it's a pet peeve of yours.
COLE HAMELS: That's the hard part where when you play with a guy and especially Pat, because I've had quite a few years and he's played behind me, he kind of knows the sequence of pitches that I'll throw. I think he knows sometimes certain pitches that I'll go to.
And I think he just guessed right. I thought I threw a few really good change-ups, but he didn't go for them. And you just -- it shows the patience that he really has. And sometimes when that happens, you kind of just move on to the next hitter, especially because it didn't hurt me in a way where I walked in a run or put two guys on third or second in scoring position.
It's just kind of one of those things where you kind of move on to the next guy, and unfortunately I wasn't able to get the next guy.
Q. These last couple of months, you've been pitching not only better than you have all season but some people say better than you ever have. Your velocity is up. To what do you attribute this?
COLE HAMELS: Just working out and keeping -- getting in better physical condition and obviously mentally preparing for games a little bit better. And then making pitches. I think you have to make pitches when you can. And when you're not able to make the right pitches, then you get hurt. I think I've been able to really execute pitches down and away. Unfortunately, today it didn't work.
Q. Renteria's hit to lead off the inning looked like a decent pitch. Looked like a real good at-bat. And aside from that, just the approach they had, they seemed to be pretty smart. Maybe not the fastest bats in the world, but veteran guys who know how to have a good at-bat.
COLE HAMELS: They do. And that's -- with Renteria it was the type of pitch I wanted. I didn't think he could catch up to the pitch, especially kind of up and in. Most of the time he hasn't been able -- at least what I saw in video he wasn't able to catch up to that, certain guys. But you do. You try to make that sort of pitch, and sometimes it goes your way and sometimes it doesn't.
I think I wouldn't have changed any sort of pitching sequence to him just because I felt like I had him set up the right way. Unfortunately, that's baseball. And he was able to really fight off the pitch and get it off into the outfield.
Q. You were talking about Cody Ross and how hot he is right now being able to hit pitches that guys don't normally hit. How do you game plan for a guy who is hitting differently than he usually does?
COLE HAMELS: Hit him (laughter). I'm just kidding. No, you have to battle. Hope he doesn't hear this. No. You do. You have to just keep battling, and you have to throw a few pitches out of the strike zone. Hopefully he'll chase. You have to change it up. Or you just move on to the next hitter behind him.
And I think, though, with the type of pitching staff that we have, we like to challenge guys and we like to go after them. So it's not like we're going to give up on a guy, especially if they're doing very well. It's more of a challenge for us to prove that we can get him out.
You just have to battle, and unfortunately sometimes they'll get the best of you. But with the game of baseball the hitters aren't supposed to succeed as much as pitching so you wait for the time where he goes 0 for 4 in a game.
Q. Their second two runs scoring against the ground through the right side and then the kind of knuckler to second base, do you chalk those up as bad luck for your team, and how tough are outings like that to swallow where you pitch well and you just don't get the outs?
COLE HAMELS: In the game of baseball, you're going to make great pitches and you're going to get lucky a few times with guys hitting it right at guys. And then sometimes you make the right pitches and they're able to find the hole.
Unfortunately, though, in order to win a game you have to score some runs, too. I think that was the situation was Matt Cain pitched a phenomenal, phenomenal game. And it's one of those games where it's very enjoyable to be able to pitch against a guy like that just because it's a challenge.
And you really have to battle every pitch. And I think that kind of keeps the intensity up. Unfortunately, when a guy has that game, the first person that really kind of makes that one mistake or gives up that one run is pretty much going to lose. That's what happened today.
Q. He might not be getting as much press as the other big three, but Joe Blanton is going to start in maybe your guys' biggest game of the year so far. What kind of confidence does the team have in him?
COLE HAMELS: He goes out there and he battles. He puts in innings, and I think that's something where, when you have a guy that's going to put in some good innings and make some really good pitches you definitely have high hopes, especially with Joe, because he's done a phenomenal job for us ever since he's been here. Especially in the postseason.
I know last year he's been able to get some big games in there and come through. So it's another game. I definitely have I guess all three of us have good faith in Joe, and he's going to go out there and give it everything he possibly can. And I think our offense is going to have to turn up a notch.
Q. You've certainly seen over the years with this core Phillies lineup has been able to do. Are you surprised at all to see them struggling with the bats a little bit right now?
COLE HAMELS: When you go up against the type of pitching staff that the Giants have, that's probably what's going to happen. It is. It's the first person that kind of gets the big home run or the big key hits in those situations. This sort of series is pretty much shown on the pitching staffs and what the pitchers can do. So you're just trying to squeak out as many runs as you possibly can or at least knock the starter out so you can get to the bullpen.
But we've definitely been through some challenges, and I think we can overcome it, because the reason I guess they call us the Fighting Phillies is because we play until the very last out of the very last game. That's what we're definitely going to do.
Q. You obviously never want to put anyone on base, but was it tougher to pitch out of the stretch when you've thrown your first 55 pitches out of the windup?
COLE HAMELS: I wouldn't say yes just for the fact because that's kind of what we -- every time you get a bullpen you throw from the stretch. That's what I do. I start from the stretch, because those are the key pitches that you need to make. When you're from the stretch that means guys are on. It's crunch time. And you just work and focus on trying to do the best you possibly can.
But I do, I feel like I did a very good job of making the right type of pitches, keeping the sequence. Just didn't have the type of luck.
Q. You talked about how good Matt Cain was. What made him so good today?
COLE HAMELS: He's a true competitor. He goes out there and he knows how to throw the fastball by you. He knows how to locate that fastball. And then his slider. It's a very good pitch. He was keeping it down in the zone. And then just when you thought a certain pitch would come, he would throw in a change-up. That's what it really takes. I think he's been able to do that time and time again and year after year.
Every time we've either played against him or watched him, he really knows how to pitch deep into a ballgame and definitely knows how to put up the 0s.
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