10/10/08 1:11 AM ET
Chase Utley postgame interview
Infielder thinks game should be attacked like any other game
By / MLB.com
With the way you hit the ball tonight and everything, do you feel like you're kind of getting it back? Seemed like there's been -- you started off the year hot and then all of a sudden there was a low period. Are you starting to find it again?
CHASE UTLEY: Yeah, it's all about trying to put some hits together, trying to have good at bats. So, yeah, any time you're having a good at bat and the results work in your favor, gives you that confidence to build on.
How much, if at all, does your mind set change when Furcal makes that error?
CHASE UTLEY: Well, obviously it gave us a runner on base in scoring position. At that point I was trying to get him over, no matter what, I was getting him over to third base. Squared a sinker up and it went over the fence. For Derek Lowe it was up but it really wasn't that bad of a pitch.
You guys had talked about kind of seizing those opportunities when he leaves the sinker up a little bit, did you feel that was one of those opportunities and did you see many of those up until that point?
CHASE UTLEY: No, he was pitching very well. He was keeping the ball down. He had a great sinker working and slider. Everything was down in the zone. Borderline kind of balls and he makes it tough on the opposing hitters. The pitch I hit was probably middle of the zone in terms of height. But that's not really up. But for Derek Lowe, sinker guy, it was up a little bit.
A lot of people thought because of how closely matched the two teams are that Game 1 in this series might be even more important than your general NLCS. How do you feel about that and how do you feel to get the jump?
CHASE UTLEY: I think every game is going to be important. Obviously, today was the most important game. I thought overall we played well. Cole pitched outstanding. He gave up a few early runs, but after that he kind of kept them off the bases and limited the damage.
The error was good for us. The home run, obviously, that I hit put us back in the game, but the big home run of the night was Pat's home run to give us the lead.
The crowd, I mean, the crowd is that extra player there. And I asked Cole about being revved up a little bit. He said he was. Did you think the team itself was overly revved up? Lowe had good stuff, but do you think...
CHASE UTLEY: Lowe had very good stuff tonight. We've played the last two weeks in front of a crowd like this today. It might have been a little bit louder than before, but it was definitely intense out there. It gave us that little extra adrenalin, but again you've got to try to treat this just like any other game. Obviously it's magnified a lot more but it's still the same game.
How important was it for Cole to get out of that first inning giving up just the one run after the Manny double?
CHASE UTLEY: Extremely important. He's done that all year for us. And when he's gotten into trouble, which hasn't happened too often, he's found his way out of it. Minimizing the damage, which is extremely important. Especially for us. We feel like we can score some runs. Maybe not every inning but we feel like we have the opportunity to score some runs for our pitcher. So he did an outstanding job.
They went to talk to Derek Lowe twice before they threw a pitch to you. Does that give you more time to think and you're glad, or are you just thinking let's go?
CHASE UTLEY: You try not to let anything affect you. You try to treat the at bat just like any other at bat, whether they have one meeting, no meetings or five meetings, that shouldn't really play a factor in what you're doing.
Talk about the lift that Ryan Madson has given you with the bullpen. The guys in the bullpen have talked all year about building that bridge to Lidge, the seventh and eighth innings which in past years may have been a problem for you guys. But this year you have so many different options and he's another big one for you now.
CHASE UTLEY: Ryan's been outstanding. He throws hard. He has an outstanding changeup. He keeps you on it with a cut fastball. As an opposing hitter I know it wouldn't be that much fun facing him. So he's done an outstanding job. He's given up a few hits here and there. But they haven't really necessarily been good hits.
A lot of the hits he gives up are bloopers or broken bats that find a hole and you can't really control that. But he's done a magnificent job.
Much was made in the first three games of the Milwaukee series about how you, Howard and Pat were not hitting. How much of that -- Pat broke out in Game 4. How much of that sort of snowballs with if you're not hitting and Howard doesn't get very good pitches to hit and on down they go?
CHASE UTLEY: Every day you try to put a game plan together. Every team is going to approach you a little bit differently so you try to get a good pitch to hit. If they don't give you a pitch to hit, you want to let the next guy do it.
They have been pitching us tough, trying to not let us do too much damage, which, I imagine, that's the game plan for a lot of teams, but we have eight guys, sometimes nine, that can swing the bats. So it's not all about one or two guys, it's about the whole lineup.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.