10/21/10 11:37 PM ET
NLCS Game 5 postgame interview: Polanco
By / MLB.com
PLACIDO POLANCO: Excuse me?
Q. Your hits have been counted. You have five RBIs. Could you talk about how things have been going for you in this Championship series?
PLACIDO POLANCO: It's not about me. It's about the team. But to be able to drive in runs in key situations, of course, it's a good feeling. But most important, win a game and take it one day at a time. And today's over now, turn the page and focus on the next guy that we're going to face, which is not going to be any easier than today.
Q. I was curious when you or the rest of the guys knew that Roy had injured his groin and how impressive his performance was considering he apparently did most of it with a pulled groin?
PLACIDO POLANCO: To be honest, I didn't know. I didn't even know. I mean, the guy's just a tough guy and he didn't show it. He didn't tell anybody. So I didn't know.
Q. The throw from Werth, did you have a good sense that it was going to end up being what it was, that it was on target or, no, did you have to wait to see?
PLACIDO POLANCO: You know, he has a pretty good arm. I knew he was going to go for it. He's a pretty aggressive outfielder. I'm glad we got him out. It was a perfect throw.
Q. Obviously you'll take a win at this point any way you can get it. But is it somewhat building momentum that it wasn't a blowout, it was a close game in the way the Giants have been playing in the close games to turn the tables on them, maybe it switches the momentum in the series?
PLACIDO POLANCO: Maybe. I hope so. We were able to score some runs on some errors they made. And that's what good teams do. You cannot give good teams four outs, and we were able to take advantage of that today.
Q. Can you take us through your at-bat against Lincecum in the third? No error there, obviously. What were you trying to do? What did you think you did?
PLACIDO POLANCO: With two strikes, I was aware of the slider and the changeup, which are two pretty good pitches that he has. But at the same time I was ready for a fastball. I always look for a fastball and I try to adjust to anything off, and he threw me a fastball and I was able to hit it good.
Q. When you say aware, so you got all the possibilities, but what did you think he was going to throw?
PLACIDO POLANCO: I looked for a fastball. That way it gives me more time to adjust for the slider or the changeup that he has.
Interview with Manuel after Game 5 of NLCS
Q. You all had not been playing all that crisp and the Giants sort of had. Did you feel this turned a little bit and the breaks in the game went back in your way a little bit?
CHARLIE MANUEL: We did exactly what we had to do. We won the game. Going back home we have Oswalt going the first game and Hamels the second, and that's kind of how we got it, and you're like we're going to have to like it. I do like it.
I figure if we get back home and the way we play, I figure we definitely kind of changed things around a little bit.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about the Halladay bunt? It looked almost like it was a foul ball and he didn't run. What happened there?
CHARLIE MANUEL: First of all, I think he didn't know what the umpire called when the ball was close to him. And from where I was at, it kind of looked like it got right out in front of the plate, but I don't know what it hit or nothing. I know it hit the bat, but it was hard for us to tell. It was close to the plate there, but it was kind of looked to me like it was kind of off to the right here a little bit on the plate.
And I didn't know exactly what it hit. I mean, it hit something and died, whether it hit the plate or the dirt or whatever.
Q. Ryan Madson threw 32 pitches last night, strikes out the side, the heart of the order tonight. How good was he and how big were those outs in the eighth?
CHARLIE MANUEL: It was big. We needed that. And Madson was able to go in there and pitch, like you're right, he's been working a lot. And like we've had to use him.
Q. I'm not sure I totally understood you. Are you confirming Oswalt will be Game 6 starter?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, he'll be the Game 6 starter, yes.
Q. Halladay wasn't as crisp as he can be tonight. But seemed like he really battled his way through. Kind of your impressions about his performance.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I felt like I feel like I've got to tell you; somebody will say something about it anyway. Second inning, Halladay, he had a mild groin pull, his right groin. And he pitched like of course, he stayed in there. He was determined he was going to stay in there. Once he got up to 108 pitches and once he got us to a place where I felt like our bullpen could definitely have a chance of saving him, that's when we got him out.
I don't know if you noticed the velocity on his fastball kind of fell off and he was having a hard time pushing off the mound and he used a lot of change ups and cutters.
Q. What play did he hurt it on, and did you ever think about taking him out?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He wasn't going to let us take him out. He wanted to stay in. But he said that he hurt it when he tried to really hump up on Posey in the second inning.
Q. He came right to you guys?
CHARLIE MANUEL: He came to the dugout. Dubee and trainers. He went to them. He was determined that he was going to stay in the game. He said when he came back he said he wanted to try it. He said he wanted to keep going. And we kept kind of confirming with him between innings. Once we got to the sixth, I took him out. Or through the sixth.
Q. Is that why you had Contreras warming up in the fifth? And considering that, how would you rate the performance by Halladay?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think he gutted it out. And I'll tell you something else, not only that, but that was really big, and we needed him to. That was very big for us.
Q. Just back to Halladay, does he have a prognosis going forward? And if you needed him out of the pen in Game 7, would he be available?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I said right after the game I was kidding with him, I said: When are you going to be available, next year? He said: Five days.
Q. Will he pitch in Game 7 if you needed him to out of the pen?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Maybe. Yeah.
Interview with Werth after Game 5 of NLCS
Q. Was there any sense in the dugout during the game that Roy had hurt himself in the second inning and how impressive it was that he pitched on basically one leg, I guess?
JAYSON WERTH: I wasn't aware that anybody knew that happened, really. I mean, I don't know what they told you guys. What did they tell you?
Q. He said he pulled his groin in the second inning.
JAYSON WERTH: So, yeah, there was a sense of that something wasn't entirely right. But when we went back out there I mean, guys get dinged up all the time and stay in the game and have things going on.
So the fact that he went back out there kind of told me that it wasn't that severe. But at the same time looking up at his velocity I knew that he wasn't throwing as hard. Just kind of watching him. You could tell there was something bothering him.
But he's a man. He goes out there and competes and he definitely wasn't going to give up.
Q. Your throw in the fourth, I mean, flags at the top of the stadium were going in different directions. Can you tell me what it was like at field level and did you know it was a strike or did you have to wait until it landed with Polanco?
JAYSON WERTH: I was just catching it. And I assumed Cody was going to tag. I caught it and let it fly. The thing I was worried about the most was probably maybe hitting the runner or skipping away because there's nothing back there behind third base to stop the ball.
So that was definitely a concern that I've had since we started playing here; that on throws to third, you need to be fairly accurate. You don't want something to skip away, you don't want it to go into the dugout or the camera well there.
When I let it fly, it felt pretty good coming out and waited for the umpire.
Q. Wind a non factor?
JAYSON WERTH: The wind? On the throw? I don't think so.
Q. Very few home runs have been hit by right handed hitters to right field in this park. So when you hit a ball like that, I mean, do you think it's out? Do you have any idea whether it's going out?
JAYSON WERTH: I hit it good. But I've hit a lot of balls good here to right field and they've gone nowhere. So when I saw it heading towards the line, I thought that was probably its best chance. The park gets short over there.
So I knew I hit it well, but, again, I hit a ball the other night, I hit it up in the air, but I hit it pretty good. I think Cody was playing right. He caught it on the grass. So you just never know here.
Q. How big did that run seem, as you're going around the bases?
JAYSON WERTH: That was definitely a good run to have especially after last night, them coming back like that. So just a little insurance.
But we were up so Brad was coming in, either way.
Q. I know you talked about the mindset I'll stop in a second I know you've talked about the mindset of your team in games like this. You guys talk all the time about one game, tunnel vision. How important is that, when you're playing a game that means what this game meant?
JAYSON WERTH: I'm assuming it's fairly important. For us it's just how we do things. The old cliche, one pitch at a time, one game at a time, all that kind of really holds true. We don't get too out over our skis, if you will.
We just kind of play in the moment. I read somewhere the other day where Howie (Kendrick) said his motto is no panic. And I think that's pretty true for our whole team. I mean, we've got a bunch of guys that are professionals and know what they're doing. We needed to win a ballgame tonight, we went out and did it.
Q. Charlie said during his pre game press conference that he'd probably walk through the clubhouse, chat with each guy, look them in the eye, maybe not even about baseball. What was it like when he did that?
JAYSON WERTH: If that happened to me, I think it would happen outside. I didn't see Charlie before the game. But people are going everywhere, but that's pretty normal. Charlie comes through and talks to everybody almost every day. I mean, he's pretty -- he's kind of chums with everybody, I guess you could say.
Q. Did the thought go into your head anytime today that this could conceivably be your last game as a Philly?
JAYSON WERTH: No. No. Thanks for reminding me, though.
Q. Knowing how big your hit was, just talk about the sense of urgency you guys had in winning a game like this, where you knew you had to win to keep the season going?
JAYSON WERTH: I'm sorry. You're talking way too fast. Can you say that again?
Q. Talk about knowing the importance of winning this game and what it meant to you guys to keep the season going.
JAYSON WERTH: That's kind of an obvious one. If we don't win, different mindset on the playing tonight. I think that was pretty much that was in anybody's mind. We were focused on winning the ballgame, and really it was just another game. I mean, I didn't notice anything different in the clubhouse or it was just another day in there.
Q. And, finally, what's your mindset going I know you guys are looking ahead to just one game, but just talk about what that means to have like a good pitcher on the mound for you guys and being back home.
JAYSON WERTH: I mean, obviously we play good at our ballpark in front of our fans, and kind of regained home field advantage a little bit. This is really good for us to get back there. Obviously we needed to win one game to get home, we did that, and we'll head back to Philly. We'll take the day off tomorrow and we'll come out ready to play the next day.
But we're a focused bunch, and we've got some professional guys in there and some really good players. And we still know what we're doing.
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