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10/23/08 1:34 AM ET

Joe Maddon postgame interview

Manager says dominant pitching was star of Game 1

Do you think the story of that game was one bad pitch by Scotty, a few good pitches by Hamels?

JOE MADDON: They beat us with the first home run in the first inning. The throw to the plate by B.J. was pretty big. The double play Feliz started with B.J. hitting was big. Our bullpen did good. They got us early and held up.

What kind of explanation did you get on what you thought was a balk?

JOE MADDON: Tibbie told me that he had stepped a bit towards first base, and my response was that may be true, but he also stepped towards home plate. And I thought it was clearly a balk, and obviously you can't argue a balk.You get kicked out arguing a balk. What I did was even inappropriate. I had to take that chance right there, because I was adamant that I thought he had balked.

To what extent did you think it was an issue not just the walks, but also the deep counts? Seemed like Scott had to really work hard. They didn't really capitalize but it seemed like there was a lot of hard work for him.

JOE MADDON: I thought Kaz did a really good job. That was probably the best command he had in a while. They had some hits, they were pretty good with two strikes. The thing I noticed about them today, having seen them for the very first time, is they're really fundamental, and I thought they had some really good two strike at bat. Little softies, use the opposite field, which is good. Good stuff.

I really thought Kaz pitched great. I was pleased I thought he had probably the best slider he's had for a couple of months. Velocity, maybe not throwing mid 90s, but much better command of low 90s, which I would prefer anyhow. I though they did a good job of their at bats, but I thought Kaz was really good today.

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A lot of people pitch around Howard a lot this year, but Utley puts up some of the better numbers in the big leagues, too. Is he nearly as dangerous as Howard is?

JOE MADDON: If you look at the overall breakdown, he hits righties and lefties pretty much the same. Coming into the series, I go off what I read and off the video. I don't see them enough to have a strong opinion. Howard can put them in the stands and so can Utley. He's got a good approach. The way they ran the bases was excellent. I thought they played the game properly, and I liked that. So they're both very good. Pick your poison.

I mean, Utley had a pretty good day today, but I was asked the same question last series when Papi was struggling. You don't trust those guys. They could pop up at any time.

How big was Hamels' change up and did he throw more than you anticipated?

JOE MADDON: His change up was very good. It's so good because the arm stroke really resembles his fastball. He repeats his delivery well, regardless of the pitch that he's thrown. So it was as good. The number does not surprise me, because this guy could -- from what I saw tonight, this guy could basically choose how he wants to break down his pitch selection, regards to percentages. His command of all his pitches were that good. When you have that kind of good command, you can pick and choose. Even his breaking ball command today was better, compared to what I had seen video wise.

He was on top of his game. He's a very impressive young man. But with the overall break -- the thing was he didn't make any mistakes. He didn't have any hanging change ups, they were where he wanted to throw them. More power to him, he had a great game.

How do you compare Hamels to guys in the American League, particularly Lester who did a pretty good job again in the last series, but now you lose to him today?

JOE MADDON: I think they're similar, but then again they're different. Lester is more what you would call -- Hamels has a power change up. And I truly believe in the concept of the power change up. I've thought about that for years, and he's got a power change up. Lester throws harder. Lester will cut the ball in your hands. Hamels gets in, but it's not a cutter.

You're talking about a guy like Lester, probably a bigger breaking ball that he throws more often with cut action on the fastball. Hamels is probably the best change up, one of the best change ups in all of baseball. You look at Santana or whatever, but this guy is really good. Plus you have to factor in the command. He was very impressive tonight. Lester, they're similar but they're different. And even Danks, I'm a big Danks fan.

It was early in the fourth, did you seriously consider bringing the infield in there or was that not a ...

JOE MADDON: They're second and third, that makes a difference. If there's a runner on third base, only I would have brought the infield in. When you have two runners that out there could potentially score if the infield is drawn in, you don't like that nearly as much.

So I mean, it definitely would have been in had there been a runner on third base only. Once you get second and third, and you draw it in, the potential for two runs scoring is not nearly attractive.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

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