10/03/07 6:56 PM ET
Atkins postgame interview
Third baseman talks about Rockies' Game 1 performance
By / MLB.com
GARRETT ATKINS: You know, there were some changeups and curveballs through the first four pitches and you try to throw a fastball up and foul it up and he kind of went back to the changeup, left it out over the plate. At that point I'm trying to hit it somewhere and it was a double and then the inning just kept going from there.
To be able to put those runs up early with this crowd and the atmosphere in Game 1, how big was that? And second, Matty, when he hit the homer late, what was your reaction when he hit that?
GARRETT ATKINS: Well, you know, any time you can get runs for your starting pitcher, you know, that's huge, especially on the road. Once we got that for Jeff, you know, he ran with it for six innings and then kind of kept the crowd down until he hit those back to back home runs and they were back at it giving us a hard time again.
But that's what you expect. And as far as Holliday hitting that home run, we are all pulling for him and know he's going to be a big part of our team in the playoffs. A big hit in a big moment, it's nothing new for us.
In this ballpark do you feel pressure to put up a lot of runs; do you feel you have to get a lot of runs to win here?
GARRETT ATKINS: I don't know about that. I think it just depends on the pitcher. I think Jeff did a good job tonight and Cole did a good job as well. Tomorrow it may be the same thing or it may be different, you don't know. You know that the Phillies are never out of it, so any time you can get as many runs as you can, that's what you need to try and do.
What did you think of Jeff's performance on the mound?
GARRETT ATKINS: I thought it was great. He struck out the first four batters. You know, that was huge. He did a great job, again, but it's not a surprise to us. He's been pitching great for the last four months of the year and been our most clutch pitcher and our best pitcher for the whole year.
Torrealba picks up the single in the second inning. Just describe what a lift that was for you guys and the role he played.
GARRETT ATKINS: Well, he's been a huge part of our team the whole year. It seems like once he took over the everyday catching duties, we kind of took off. He did a great job of handling Jeff tonight and he'll do a great job the rest of the way.
That was a huge hit and we need as many runs like I said and the Phillies, they are never out of it. It was our second run and we added a couple more and it proved to be the difference.
When the lead off guy walks off Brian, are you thinking -- you've got to be on edge at that point.
GARRETT ATKINS: Any time the tying run comes up to the plate, you're not too excited about it. But he's done a great job for us all years and he settled down after that, that was a huge pop up that we got Jimmy on and after that he settled down and pitched great.
Talk about Manny real quick.
GARRETT ATKINS: Corpas, he's done great. Him and basically we have two closers. If we can get it to the eighth inning, we feel like we have a pretty good chance to win.
Talk about the approach against Hamels, you were able to make him throw about 40 pitches in the second inning and that changeup is always a good two strike pitch that he usually gets guys to go out of the zone a little bit to chase.
GARRETT ATKINS: He had a good changeup today, too, just wasn't locating it as well as he liked to and maybe not locating his fastball as he wanted to but just that one inning. After that he settled down and cut the corners with his changeups and was kind of what we expected looking at the tape and stuff.
Were you surprised how well Jeff handled Chase today?
GARRETT ATKINS: I know that any time it's left on left, it's going to be tough for a left handed hitter but I'm not surprised. Obviously I didn't expect Chase to strike out four times in a game. I don't know if he's ever done that before. He faced Francis and you know those guys are tough on lefties, and Jeff was keeping the ball down, working his slider on them and he's tough.
I know it's not basketball, but the fact that you're able to sort of keep the crowd, keep a lid on that, how key was that?
GARRETT ATKINS: It was huge, it kind of let us settle in a little bit. Once we got those three runs they didn't wake back up until Rowand hit that homer and Pat followed right behind him.
You know we expect them to be ready to go tomorrow.
More than anything, late --
GARRETT ATKINS: Late in the game? You know, we've played here before and obviously it's a different atmosphere here tonight. They were in it and they were ready to go. They were waving their towels and it's a tough place to play with all that.
Do you get a kick out of the boos for Matt?
GARRETT ATKINS: I think it's pretty funny. I think obviously they both had great years and you know, they got the MVP chant going here, too, and I'm sure when we get back to Colorado, they will have maybe some boos, but we'll see when we get there.
In the previous game that they played here in Philadelphia, a lot of the players were talking about the shadows in the late hour in the afternoon. Tomorrow's game is going to be, again, starting later. Did you see any problem with the shadows out there?
GARRETT ATKINS: Well, the shadows obviously were not ideal hitting conditions. I felt like I saw the ball all right those last couple at bats. It's just guys pitched well today and it will be the same thing tomorrow. I wouldn't mind if there was a cloud cover tomorrow, but we'll see what happens.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.