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Garner postgame quotes10/10/2004 6:49 PM ET
Q. Would you elaborate on your decision to make a double switch
PHIL GARNER: I've been doing it for a long time. When you get later in the ballgame, I've made the double switch in that situation. I do it in the tie game, I do it when we're ahead. I don't do it when we're down.
Q. Could you talk about the decision to remove Clemens at the time, and what you were thinking.
PHIL GARNER: Well, he was at the end of his road. As a matter of fact, he was on pure fumes. He got us through it. He had us in a good situation, we just couldn't stop it. You know Qualls has been outstanding for us, gives up a three run home run. But Roger did his job today, got us to the fifth inning, we had a lead. We had some momentum, we had the lead. We let it slip away.
Q. After the base was stolen, was there anything about walking Drew to get to the right handed hitter?
PHIL GARNER: Not intentionally. We gave him way too good of a pitch to hit.
Q. Did you consider making the same kind of double switch with Kent in the bottom of the seventh?
PHIL GARNER: Yes, I did. I wanted Kent to stay in the ballgame. I turned to our bench coach and said, "Kent will be a factor in this game." We had him in the situation.
Q. Could you talk about the job the Atlanta bullpen did.
PHIL GARNER: Well, they shut us down. Our objective was to score early and score often. We scored early but we forgot to score often. We didn't put anything else really the rest of the way. We hung around until they got back in the ballgame and we didn't do anything else.
The problem is, when you get Smoltz in a ballgame, he's awful tough. He's been tough against us since he's been in the bullpen. So we needed to score something before we got there and we didn't do it, obviously.
Q. Did you consider letting Lidge hit in the eighth?
PHIL GARNER: Well, we had an opportunity, and the way I did it, Palmeiro had some success off of Smoltz. So if I designed an opportunity to win a ballgame off of Smoltz, I've got Palmeiro in a situation to do it. You have to give them credit for making a fantastic play. Giles could have easily thrown the ball a little bit wide, a little bit low, something. Smoltz could have hesitated one second to get over there, but they made a nice play.
Q. Was there a conversation with Roger Clemens where he indicated he was about done?
PHIL GARNER: Yes. I spoke with Roger after the end of the fourth inning. He was running on fumes then, but he obviously was tired in the fifth inning.
Q. Would you talk about the disappointment of not closing it out here and what you face in going back to Atlanta for the deciding game.
PHIL GARNER: Well, we would have loved to have done it here. The crowd was really into it. People were excitable and exciting. The place was rocking. We didn't close it out, but we've been doing things very unusual for the last couple of months. I don't know if it's going to be it, certainly is going to be difficult, but that's what we've been doing, difficult things.
Now we have to go to Atlanta. Obviously they're feeling pretty good after this today. They won two ballgames on us, late in the ballgame. We're going to have to tighten up our belt. We're going to have to play a little tougher tomorrow.
Q. Do you think Roy might be able to go longer than Roger did today, or are you looking for another five inning performance?
PHIL GARNER: I have no idea. I think that Roger labored a little more on his last outing than normal. Today he labored early through the ballgame, innings two, three and four he labored quite a bit. I would think that if Roy runs into difficulty, then I don't know what will happen.
But Roy didn't have as much trouble the last outing. I took him out a little bit earlier, so we'll have to see. I don't know.
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