10/04/07 3:06 PM ET
Manuel, Myers pregame interview
Manuel says they have a task at hand to go out and win today
By / MLB.com
BRETT MYERS: Well, I think it's been a pretty good year. I just switched roles and I think I adapted well, working out there with J.C. and Flash. They really kind of helped me adapt to the role.
You know, it's been fun for me to get to go out there and pitch every day.
Mr. Manuel, could you please tell us about the changes in your lineup today and the thinking behind it?
CHARLIE MANUEL: There's only one change but weather in right field, took Victorino out. I've been doing it all year long, that's basically how we play, you look at Victorino, his speed, top of the lineup, the way we use him, good defense, good arm of course. Hitting, actually the numbers, if you look at them, Victorino is hitting .291 against righties, second half of the season I mean lefties, and second half of the season his average has really came up.
Werth was hitting .375 or something like that and there's about 40 at bats' difference; home runs are the same. Victorino has got more doubles; he's got one triple. You're talking, why did I do it; got Werth in the six hole and he's a little bit more patient hitter; and moved Pat Burrell up in the third hole, and that separates our two left handed hitters. Howard and Utley, to me, gives us better balance, takes some of the speed out and maybe a little bit defense out.
But at the same time, Jayson Werth is a more patient hitter, walks quite a bit and he's got power and in our ballpark; he's probably more apt to hit a home run or extra base hit. Putting all that together, with the ball of our lineup, that's our plan today.
All year long when you absolutely need a win your team got it; Do you expect the same today?
CHARLIE MANUEL: That's been our slogan all year long. If some team beats us, we come back the next day with the idea that we're going to win the game and concentrate as hard as possible and we concentrate day to day. Yesterday we came out with the idea that believe me we're going to win the game today. That's been kind of what we've gone by all year long; and we've gotten beat 13-0 and we've gotten beat 15-5 or something like that and we'll always -- seem like we always rebound and we're capable of hanging the same kind of loss on you the following day.
We got beat yesterday, and I think today will be a great day to just follow that trend and look for us to come out and play a good game.
Was there anything you said to your hitters yesterday after yesterday's game, was it just a case of, okay, let's kind of go back to square one and all that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think basically, the things that we talked to them about was individually and I think you've got to give Francis some credit because he did pitch a good game and we hit him twice this year and he made some adjustments and he was prepared and he had better command and he used all of his pitches.
We were, you know, it's one of those days where we didn't hit. Actually we did not hit the ball hardly at all. We got two home runs and outside of that, we only hit two or three other balls hard. And when we do that, it's like the chance that we're going to lose are very good and we got hit better than that today. And how we're going to attack this guy today, we've got to be patient and make him throw the ball over the plate; he's young, throws hard and we like hard throwers. Only trouble is -- it's good when we know him, seems like we are more disciplined that way. And we have to be disciplined on that guy today because he's got a good breaking ball, changeup. His command definitely can be his problem, and we've got to make him throw the ball over the plate.
The fans in the parking lot, the consensus is they are panicking but it's panic with a "P." How would you level the measure of urgency in the clubhouse?
BRETT MYERS: I don't think it's real big. No reason to panic right now. We are down one game, but I think the time to worry about that is when we're down 2-0. If we tie it up today, we're back to even, so I don't think anybody is too worried about it. We know we have a task at hand today to go out there and win a big ballgame. We've been doing it all year. You know we are just going to go out and have some fun and try to win this one.
Do you have any reaction to that mysterious liquid apparently that Manny Corpas put on his jersey? There was a report that he spilled something on it and kept going to that spot on his jersey yesterday when he was pitching. Have you heard anything about that or have any reaction to that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't have too much to say about that really. Makes no sense for me to comment on that.
Can you talk about playing in Colorado, the stadium, the altitude; anything you can tell me about playing in Colorado since you have to play two games out there?
BRETT MYERS: You know, I don't think it's too much different from playing in this park. I mean, they say they are both hitter's parks, but you know if you keep the ball down in any park, you're going to be successful.
You know, I don't think that it's going to be a huge difference from playing here or playing there. We played there in the past, so you know, if we just make good pitches as a staff, then I think everything will be fine for us. You know, the key to pitching is keeping the ball down and hitting your spots.
CHARLIE MANUEL: Ball carries good in Colorado. It's a bigger park. Of course, deeper alleys, but the ball carries good, the infield, it's big and spread out. Although it's slow, the grass part of it is slow and slows the ball down, I think defensively, balls fall in front of you a lot of times and you definitely have to have a good defensive outfield. I think that helps.
Outside that, I think as far as the hitting goes, they say the fact that they what do you call it, what do you call it, the humidor, they say that helps the ball. I don't know, I used to take BP at Colorado Springs, like to take it in Coors Field; I'm getting old now, but I'd still like to hit there and see. (Laughter.)
I know the ball care he's there, and actually games are real interesting and they are exciting because usually you do score a lot of runs. But it's not a whole lot of difference.
Kind of piggybacking off the question that fans react one way to one loss, and they observe from the outside and you live and breathe this all the time. Is it a lot different in a way, you're human, too, so you can do the math; but is it really a lot less critical that they will make up one loss to be --?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think of course when you're playing five games, that you don't want to go two down. One more, you're eliminated.
But at the same time, I look at it as you don't panic. You stay your course on what got you here, and you play the game out and you never know. Just because that you've got to win two or three in a row, I mean, you still keep your head up and you still stay patient and you still stay relaxed and you still do everything that you've been doing and things will work out for you. You know, what the hell; don't worry about it, just keep playing as good as you possibly can play. You know, it will take care of itself.
Brett, you pitched here in late afternoon had the shadows would be an issue. How have you used it to your advantage?
BRETT MYERS: Well, I don't know. I mean, I'm not up at the plate knowing how bad the shadows are but the hitter will come up to me and tell me in certain situations, it's hard to see a breaking ball or it's hard to judge the velocity on a fastball.
So they have kind of let me know a little bit, but I've got to get out there and pitch the same way what's got us here and the same way that's got me here. I'm not going to change anything different just because there are shadows. I've just got to go out and make pitches and if you don't make pitches, anybody can hit them.
This is for Brett and Charlie. Brett can answer for the pitchers and Charlie I guess for the hitters. We were talking about what it's like to play in Colorado with the stadium and the dimensions of the stadium. But how about the altitude, do you notice anything when you're pitching out there; Do you get more tired, is there a physical factor in that?
BRETT MYERS: I don't think so. I mean, we're pretty well conditioned athletes. The starting pitchers run at least 30 minutes after they start. So, you know, relievers usually have one inning, so I haven't relieved there but I've started there in the past. I've just noticed that the only thing you cannot try to over throw your pitches or breaking stuff or it is going to be flat.
I think if you just go out there and stay within yourself and make your pitches, in that particular ballpark, you're going to be fine. So if you try to do anything more than you're capable of doing, you're going to find yourself in some trouble?
CHARLIE MANUEL: The only thing, like I said, I managed there in AAA baseball about four years, and a lot of times when you get real tired or something, might be a little bit tougher to breathe or something. But I think as far as a complete game, games being played, things like that is correct I don't think it's much difference.
I think that what I'm talking about is when you go out there conditioning wise, run about so many sprints or something like that, you know, I don't think it's a whole lot difference. I think it's about the same.
BRETT MYERS: I think one other key is to really hydrate when you're there because you will get dry mouth or cotton mouth, so make it a lot of point to hydrate and drink a lot of water so that you're able to compete.
As a hitting coach, look at Chase Utley right now, do you see anything in his approach or mechanics that are a bit off?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yesterday the only thing that I see, and every now and then, it looks like at times he kind of gets caught in between and he might not be ready. But at the same time, this is a guy that works on his hitting every day and knows a lot about his hitting and this is a guy, ever since I came into this organization he's also a guy, I don't have to say a whole lot to him about his hitting; and I know Milt doesn't either because this guy, he knows a lot about his hitting and he works on it. But at the same time, if there's anything, like he needs to get ready a little bit and he needs to load up maybe a little bit sooner.
But outside of that, Ut had a bad day yesterday and I look for him to bounce back today. I tell you something, this guy, he's one of the greatest hitters he's one of the greater hitters in the game. He had a bad day. Just goes to show you, anybody can have a bad day.
Last night, speaking about your hitters in general, the hitters that did not have a particularly good night, they said they might have been a little uptight or trying too hard. You're around these guys every day; what is their demeanor today and how concerned are you that that carries over after Game 1?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I said that they could have been a little bit uptight. Let me tell you something as a hitter, went out there today, a couple guys hit the ball right there on the nose, you hit a couple balls good early, that will take care of all that. That solves everything. I mean, right there, that's exactly what it takes. I mean, if you see somebody on our team today, if one of our first three or four hitters, if they hit a ball hard, it might not be a hit or something. But things like that, those are definitely things that get you going.
I think we're going to hit some balls hard today.
Obviously you don't want to go gown 0-2, but if you do, do you have alternative plans for a Game 3 starter that might go to Jamie Moyer or anything like that?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Right now we've got Jamie Moyer listeded as our number three starter. I like his experience. I like everything about Jamie. He's also been one of those guys, it seems like when we call him to pitch a big game for us, with who he is, he handles that real good.
You know, like right now, that's exactly how we're going and you know, we're not planning going down 0-2, but if that happens, we'll be ready for it and we'll play just like I just got through telling you guys.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
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