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Phil Garner postgame quotes
10/16/2004 8:17 PM ET
Q. How did it feel to finally get to Lidge with a lead and change things up a little bit?

PHIL GARNER: (Laughing) Well, it felt good in the eighth inning. I was beginning to worry towards the ninth inning. I looked at him struggle a little bit. I think it was good that he was in the game and that he got to get in the game. I think he was amped up a little bit in that ninth inning.

He got the job done, that's important. He got in the ballgame, that's important, too. And we won it; that's the most important thing.

Q. Was there something about getting seven strong innings from your starter? It's been a while.

It was good to get seven strong innings out of the Rocket. What you saw today was exactly what he's done for us so many times. Just bent a little bit, gave up a couple runs. But we got the three run lead and he holds it right there. He got stronger in the last couple innings. When he knew he was close to the end, he got stronger. He didn't get in trouble, he got them out. That's what he's been doing so well for us right there, is just stopping it and not letting it go any further and giving us a good, solid ballgame.

Q. Part of your success at home is Roger and Oswalt, but your hitters love this place, too. What is the key in your mind to why you're playing so well here?

PHIL GARNER: Well, I think it's a number of things. Number one, we're comfortable with the ballpark, quite obviously, because we play well here, our pitchers have done well here also, Roy, the Rocket and Brandon Backe have all three pitched well here.

I think probably the fans have a lot to do with it, too. They've stuck with us this summer and they've been absolutely fantastic. The place was deafening tonight in the ninth inning, or even in the eighth, too, when Lidge came in the ballgame.

But you could tell such a big difference when somebody would foul a ball with two strikes, they'd foul the ball off, it would go to a sudden hush. All of a sudden it would pick back up again.

I think that helps the players. The fans are definitely into it. The players feel it, and they perform better here.

Q. If you could expand on what you said before about Roger and getting stronger. In your opinion, what makes him get stronger? Is it his adrenaline, his conditioning, his confidence?

PHIL GARNER: Well, I think all those are factors, and I think it's also what you define a winner, a champion. You've got to, I mean, that's it right there when you're looking at him. When they can see that finish line, nobody's going to cross it ahead of him. I think that's what he does so well. And even at times when I've seen him just in one or two ballgames struggle a little bit, he's still that's just what he does. He finds a way to get it done.

He struggled a little bit in the early part of the ballgame today, but he found a way to get it done. He found a way to get stronger as the game went on. When he could smell that finish line, nobody was going to get ahead of him.

Q. Optimistically, Roger will come back and pitch again, but it's possible that was his last game. Any such thought cross your mind after he struck out that last hitter there?

PHIL GARNER: You know, somebody else asked me that question in the Division Series. I hadn't thought about it and I hadn't thought about this one either today, in all honesty. I don't think this is the last game he's going to pitch in this stadium, and I didn't give it any thought.

Q. Do you have any plan in mind yet for when he will pitch again?

PHIL GARNER: Yes (laughter). I'll let you know as soon as you need to know.

We'll wait and see how things go. But we have several things in mind (smiling).

Q. Did he want to stay in when Palmeiro pinch hit?

PHIL GARNER: I think he was done. He had given us all he had and I think that was it. It was time for him to come out.

Q. Considering the number of pitches Lidge threw, how will that affect his status for tomorrow?

PHIL GARNER: Well, I never know for sure until the next day, and I always wait to see how they feel once they go on the field.

But I'm sure he'll be OK. I'm sure he'll come back and tell me he's just fine. I might not be able to use him in the seventh inning, but I'm sure he'll be fine for tomorrow.

He's not been overused and he's been strong down the stretch. I think that he's shown resilience, he's bounced back very well. He's been extended today was I think about the longest pitch count he's had down this stretch here. So we'll see. He'll be OK for some, I'm sure.

Q. Could you talk about Carlos Beltran, seven home runs already in the playoffs.

PHIL GARNER: Well, I think I've said all the good things you could possibly say about somebody. He just continues to amaze you. I think what was said this morning, in this morning's press conference was the more you watch him, the more you just like the guy. I think that's exactly what you're seeing. You're seeing what a true talent as a baseball player he is. We know him more personally, and he's certainly a wonderful guy. But he is just some kind of talent. You're seeing what he can do.

I think if he keeps hitting the wall out there, he's going to cause a little structural damage to the stadium. He's hitting the ball extremely hard, and he's done it now for quite some time.

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