10/14/08 1:31 AM ET
Victorino, Stairs postgame interview
Phillies teammates talk about their eighth-inning home runs
SHANE VICTORINO: Personally, no. It's about going out there, trying to win the ballgame. I try not to let -- my emotions obviously kind of got to me last night. But going into today's game, you turn the page and you forget about it. It was about yesterday. Everybody made their point.
It was just going out there, trying to get a win and getting one step closer to the World Series. But it's still far from over.
As I'm sure you're aware, this postseason always has some guy like you. Are you getting a sense of being that guy?
SHANE VICTORINO: What's that mean, a guy like me?
In the middle of stuff. Having big moments, big times, grand slam tonight.
SHANE VICTORINO: I guess you go out there, this is what you play for as a kid. You play for it in the Minor Leagues, you get an opportunity and try to make the best of it. It's just something, like I said, I go out there every day I do the same thing. I'm not trying to change.
Everybody is going to worry about Shane did something last night, emotions are getting to him, no, it's about forgetting about last night and getting ready for today's game. It's about winning and trying to get closer to our goal.
Matt, when you first came to the Phillies, you said, 'I'd be willing to pinch hit every day if that's the role they want me to be in.' Does that help you know you're going to be a pinch-hitter, you've pinched hit before, and does that help you with your focus; what was your plan tonight?
MATT STAIRS: For my career, .270, .280, pinch hitting, it's something I drive to -- it's something I look forward to, to get an opportunity in a situation where it's an important time in the game, and they gave me lots of notice of when I was going to hit. And I wasn't sure who I was going to hit. Joe [Torre] brought in [Jonathan] Broxton.
So it kind of changes your approach a little bit, but it's the same thing, you go up there and you have one thing on your mind, and that's having a good at-bat. And very fortunate to connect on one tonight.
Shane, can you talk about the depth on this team? You keep getting contribution from people you wouldn't consider your star players.
MATT STAIRS: I think it helps when you have three left-handers on the bench, [Greg] Dobbs and [Geoff] Jenkins and myself, and right-handers. I think the biggest thing, we all pull for each other. We've all been around for a while, and it's a situation where I know the lefties have been talking about who we're going to be facing, the type of pitching they're going to throw.
Like you said, when the big boys aren't necessarily driving the ball out of the ballpark or whatever, at least we know we have a strong bench coming off and the leadership of a lot of characters on the team that are pulling for each other.
Matt, you're on the all-time list of pinch-hit homers. What is your approach when you go out there, and do you ever think, 'I want to hit a homer?' Do you try to hit a homer, ever?
MATT STAIRS: Well, I mean, my whole career, even back in the early days when I signed back whenever with Montreal, my approach was try to hit the ball out of the ballpark. And it's something I enjoyed doing.
It carries over from batting practice. In batting practice, I try to hit every ball out of the ballpark. And I'm not going to lie, it's fun, when you're there and you're hitting balls out of the ballpark.
It's one thing, I think the biggest thing is, get up there, see how far you're going to hit the ball. I'm not going to lie, I try to hit home runs and that's it. It's work.
I guess it's an honor to be on the top of the list of pinch-hit home runs. I'm not going to hit a single and steal second base. God knows that. So I think the biggest thing is, get up there, swing hard, and elevate.
You said it's at the top of your pinch-hit home runs. Is it at the top or is it the top?
MATT STAIRS: Definitely the top. I think it's one of those things where you've been here for a month, you want to get that one big hit where you feel like you're part of the team. Not that I don't feel like I'm part of the team, by no means, but when you get that nice celebration coming into the dugout and you're getting your ass hammered by guys, it's no better feeling than to have that done. It's definitely the top pinch-hit home run of my career.
Matt, could you go through your at-bat pitch-by-pitch?
MATT STAIRS: Fastball inside. Fastball away, I guess he blew it behind me. Threw me a slider down and underneath. Threw me a two-seamer to the right. The more pitches I saw at bat, the more comfortable I felt.
And Charlie always says, throw the head and get it out there. And I got it out there. It was one of those nights where it worked out well against a great pitcher, and more times than not you're probably going to fail against him. But I just happened to barrel it and -- victory.
Shane, follow up to many times before, do you enjoy at all being the villain in the other guys' park, is any of that fun for you?
SHANE VICTORINO: Why wouldn't it be, I guess, in regards to that. That means you're doing well. Like I said, I don't change my approach at all in every game. I just try to go out there and be myself. Try to have fun. That's what it's about.
My dad always told me as a kid, and my parents always told me, always hustle. Being called a high-energy guy, I think that has a lot to do with just going out there and playing the game, basically 100 miles an hour, try to play the game hard.
I like having fun. And I think that a lot of people know it. Everybody is always saying, 'Why are you always smiling?' yada, yada, yada. I'm having fun. To have the opportunity to come out here every day, it's a lifelong dream and lifelong goal. To get an opportunity now just takes me one step closer to my ultimate goal.
Shane, considering now that all three of your wins this series have been come from behind, what is it about this team that makes it so resilient?
SHANE VICTORINO: Not to give up. I think from day one, we always talked about how we play 27 outs, I think, in a ballgame. Last year obviously, sure, we went down the wire, 166 games, finally won the pennant. This year, 161, so we got better this year, we got one extra day of rest.
Like I said, this team, it's the character, Matt just talked on it a second ago. We pull for each other. Not every night is there going to be one guy carrying the team or superstar. The team is full of them. You've got Chase [Utley], Ryan [Howard], you've got Jimmy [Rollins]. You've got guys that are MVPs, best at their positions. Like I said, it takes 25 guys collectively to win a ballgame.
Obviously, it showed tonight. We only had a few guys left to go. But we all pulled together. Matt said we're pulling for each other. When he was up hitting, I was pulling for him to do something. It's what it's all about. You play as a team and you go out there as a team and you win as a team.
You're one win away obviously from making the World Series. How good do you feel that Cole [Hamels] is on the mound two nights from now in Game 5, and how badly do you want to get this thing over with on Wednesday night?
MATT STAIRS: Who's pitching? (Laughter). We're one win away. And we're going enjoy tomorrow's off day, try to come down to the ballpark tomorrow, take some batting practices and some home runs. That's all we work over now.
We're not going to look forward to in two days. I think you have to, like they say, live day to day. We're going to live tonight and enjoy tonight and get out of the cameras and lights and go back and enjoy our teammates and get ready for practice tomorrow and go from there.
Dodgers are an awful good team. Like Shane said, we're a long way from getting the World Series, and these guys are going to come out the next day and play their asses off, too. We have to continue to play hard, and hopefully we get some breaks the last game.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.