10/02/08 3:45 PM ET
Charlie Manuel pregame interview
Phillies skipper addresses media prior to Game 2
By FastScripts by ASAP Sports / Special to MLB.com
CC pitched his last year in Cleveland. Like we did have a little success on him. We scored some runs. CC, he's good.
And he's a competitor. And he's going to get the ball and he's going to mostly come right at us. And he's not afraid, definitely he's not afraid of things. And he'll control his emotions and everything and he'll be focused on what he's doing.
And we're going to get balls to hit. And it's kind of up to us to make sure we score some runs on him.
They've run him out, CC, now a couple of times in a row on short rest. Do you expect that will catch up to him eventually, or do you think that he'll be the same guy he's been the last couple of starts, just pretty good?
I do think that they've pitched him a lot. And I'm kind of anxious to see when the game starts, when he goes out there, like, his stuff. Like I'd like to see his stuff early and see how he's throwing. And right away, I can tell if he's going to throw as hard as he used to and whatever.
But this guy's got a tremendous feel for a pitch. He's got a changeup and a slider, and he can bury a slider in on righties and he can also when he wants to, he can reach up and go up and get a 95, 96, like with something on it.
And he's very much in control of himself. Like I said, we will get balls to hit.
What is it about starting pitchers that makes them be able to perform on three days' rest that other guys can't really handle throwing on three days' rest?
I think in CC's case, I think it's his size and his strength and he's definitely in better shape than you think he is.
As a matter of fact, to me, he's lost some weight. And I think his conditioning, also this guy loves to pitch. This guy, he absolutely loves to pitch. And he likes to compete. And I think if you ask him to throw on two days' rest he probably would.
Is there a temptation with the short rest issue with CC to take a few more pitches and make him throw more pitches?
I think at the start of the game will dictate that. I think if he's going to want to start, I think starting the game he's going to try to throw strike one. But that's how he always pitches. And most of the time that's going to be a fastball.
You guys have beat the Brewers all five games you've played them here. And they've only scored 11 runs. Are you surprised that you're -- certainly not to insult your pitch, which is very good -- but are you surprised that their offense has not performed better against your team here?
Yeah, in some ways I am surprised, but at the same time, like when I look back, I follow baseball every day, National League and American League, when I look back and see things that happened this year and the way that our team, our hitting just kind of went south all of a sudden.
I remember we were in St. Louis and writers were asking me about scoring 1,000 runs, and we were on the pace to score over 1,000 runs, and I said why don't we just not talk about that, let us score as many runs as we want to, or can.
And like all of a sudden went about five, six weeks and didn't hit. You look up and we ended up scoring like 800 runs, and we were definitely on pace to score anywhere from, I'd say, 900 runs or better.
And what I'm trying to say is, I've seen the St. Louis Cardinals, I've seen these other teams who would be hot and playing good, all of a sudden they had trouble scoring. And actually, you go through streaks like that. It's hard to explain.
I don't know the answer. But I think in Milwaukee, it just happened in September. They had such a great August, and I think in September, for some reason, like all of a sudden like they haven't been hitting as good.
As a follow up to that, is the scouting report on the Brewers that if you keep them from hitting home runs you'll beat them?
No. I think in some ways you can say that, but at the same time, I think it's how you pitch 'em is like is what comes into play in the scouting report. Because they have guys who can hit the ball out of the yard. I think that it's just a matter of executing pitches. It's like Jamie Moyer says, when I ask him sometimes when he gets a homer on the left-handed hitters and they go a long ways, he says, 'Charlie, if I make my pitch, I put the ball where I want to, hey, I'll get him out.'
And I think that's, if a pitcher follows our scouting reports and things like that and works on their weaknesses or whatever, I think he's more apt to pitch good against him. But at the same time, every day is different. And the Brewers have good hitting. And they've got some good, young looking hitters and they've got power. They can score more runs than they've scored here in September.
You said a lot about CC today is how he goes in that first inning, how you approach him at the plate. How much would be dictated with how Brett [Myers] throws on the first inning, on how you approach the rest of the game?
I think the first two innings are important for Myers, too. I think if he gets his rhythm down and he's moving his fastball, if he can locate his fastball in and out, I think he'll be able to handle his breaking stuff.
Myers has to work both, his two big pitches have to work for him. And he's got to be hitting, his breaking stuff has to be on the outside part of the plate to these right-handed hitters. If his command is good, then he has a chance to pitch a real good game.
You were mentioning earlier how both you and the Brewers have kind of gone through offensive funks at times this season. Is that sometimes due to the fact that both teams have quite a few guys who strike out a lot and how much impact do strikeouts have in a short series like this?
I think we get into the postseason, I think especially strikeouts show up a lot more because I think the guys try harder. And by trying hard, they swing whether they realize it or not, they're not totally relaxed. They're not a Manny Ramirez that goes up there what I call tension free.
Like most guys, you know, they're thinking about hitting and they are wanting to do good. And that's only natural. But at the same time, whether you realize it or not, you're a little tight and you over swing.
And you've got to back off and have control. Actually, control your adrenalin. I talk a lot about that during the season, when we're talking about hitting and playing. The biggest thing is control your adrenalin. You can't let your adrenalin get away from you. If you do, everything becomes fast. Therefore, you've got to slow down and do the same things as you do when you're hitting the ball good or playing good.
A lot of guys get caught up in it, and they don't know how to handle it. And that creates strikeouts and that, like taking pitches or taking good balls to hit or whatever.
Jayson Werth did a good job for you this season, but it seems like this last week or so he's been struggling at the plate. Yesterday, I think he struck out three times. Have you seen anything in his swing? Is he tiring at all? What's kind of going on with Jayson?
Jayson is swinging real hard right now. He's not staying on the ball. Yesterday, he cut down on his swing, hit a home run. The ball traveled a little bit, got deep on him. He put a pretty nice easy swing on the ball and the ball jumped up and went over the right-field fence.
But right now, he's trying real hard. He's striding. He's striding quick and he's swinging hard. And he's got to slow down and gather himself together and keep his rhythm and balance at the plate.
Your bullpen, most of the key parts besides [Brad] Lidge, I don't think have pitched in four days. They kind of wore down a little bit as the season went on. How much do you think this rest will benefit them, whenever it is the [Chad] Durbins and [J.C.] Romeros and the guys like that get back in the game?
I think it's really going to help them. I think Durbin definitely needs a rest and J.C. Romero. I think Scott Eyre, he was pretty good. But at the same time, it doesn't hurt [Ryan] Madson to help. I think our bullpen right now is in very good shape.
During your time in the league you've seen the Brewers rise from a team that struggled, got toward contention and now into playoff contention. What have you seen that's helped them reach that level? Move forward and become a playoff team? From the opposite side of the field, what have you seen them do better and how have they achieved that, just from your viewpoint?
My attitude, chemistry kind of guy, especially if you've got talent. And I always say I'll take the talent and deal with the attitude. But at the same time, when I see the Brewers, I see a lot of young guys and they've got personalities. They smile and they have some life to them. And they've got some energy and you can tell that they like to play.
They like to swing and they like to play the game. And I think that's one of the biggest things that I notice about them is the fact that they definitely are going to give you everything they've got. And I think they have a chance to be a very good team. I mean, they're dangerous right now. And they can win some games. Things have to fall in place for them just like us.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.