10/23/08 1:41 AM ET
Utley, Hamels postgame interview
Teammates speak about strong performances in Game 1
By / MLB.com
This is for Chase: Chase, how do you feel about having the bunt go foul and then homering on the same at bat?
CHASE UTLEY: I guess it turned out pretty well. The third baseman was playing shortstop, I figured with a guy on first and one out, I'd try to create something at that point.
It was foul, but it ended up to turn out pretty good for us.
Chase, can you talk about what it means, being in the World Series, a dream obviously coming true. And your first performance, your first at bat you do what everyone would like to do, hit a home run, what does that mean to you?
CHASE UTLEY: Obviously it feels pretty good. Our goal was to try to score some runs early. Trying to take the crowd out of it, because they are intense, they are loud. And I thought we did a good job.
And Cole did a wonderful job, again.
Same question for Cole: And you, also, this postseason you seemed to be -- well, you're perfect, obviously, record wise. Is this the best you've ever pitched in this postseason period?
COLE HAMELS: No. I've done better, obviously, with the first game against Milwaukee. I just had everything in control that game.
This game, because every round you play a better and better team, you definitely have to be a little more focused. You can't screw up as much. And that's what I did with even a couple of pitches out, they were able to capitalize.
But it's just -- with being able to score runs early, it just helps my game out a little bit easier because it, I guess, lessens the pressure and kind of puts me at a point where I can't really do much else but just allow myself to go out there and keep pitching, and these guys will keep scoring runs.
Did you rely more on your change up tonight? What percentage can you place on how many change ups you threw out of your pitch count?
COLE HAMELS: No. I went about, I guess, the same way that I've done the past couple of games. Anytime I'm able to go out there and keep them off balance with the fastball or a change up or a curveball, I don't really count in my head how many times I throw them. But I know that with it being effective I just -- I'm going to keep going out there and doing it until they make that adjustment.
I can't really tell you how many I threw. Most of the time my games are probably half and half.
Cole, how big was the play that Feliz made in the third inning?
COLE HAMELS: That's huge. With the lineup Tampa has, they're very devastating. They can hit the long ball. And that was something I was very aware of, especially with B.J. He's the type of guy that can change a game in an instant. And being able to get that ground ball out and getting the double play, I think was definitely the kind of momentum swing into our favor for the game, just because if they can load the bases with less than two outs and not be able to score, then you definitely have the upper hand.
Also for Cole: Yesterday you spoke I think about being in the moment and not getting caught up with the idea that it was the World Series. Well, today it is the World Series. Were you able to contain your emotions or did they get the better of you sometimes?
COLE HAMELS: You know, I was. I think going into the game, being somebody else's home turf, the excitement they have with the crowd, you just have to, I guess, take a step back and know that you have a job to do, no matter how loud it gets. And that's what I was able to do. I think I'll still kind of play it slow and easy until the World Series is over, until I really kind of get excited about it, just because that's kind of the mindset I've always had, about playing.
You had time off between the games, how did it affect you? Was it a positive? What did you do to get through that time off?
CHASE UTLEY: Charlie kept us busy. We had a handful of workouts over the past week. Obviously in an ideal world we would like to play a couple of days afterward. But looking back on it, it allowed guys to rest a little bit.
I don't think it threw off our timing too much. I think tomorrow we should definitely be more back on track. But I think we have to hand it to Charlie, he did a good job keeping us going.
On the layoff, because you guys had so many days to think about this game, do you have any sense of relief getting out of here with a win tonight?
CHASE UTLEY: Anytime you can come out with a win, it was positive. I think we did a lot of things right -- we had good at bats, a lot of good base runners. I've said this before, it's better to come up empty with a lot of guys in scoring position than not have any at all.
And again, our pitching staff did an outstanding job.
When Cole's on the mound do you guys feel as a team like it's a game you have to win, there's extra pressure because he pitches so well?
CHASE UTLEY: No, we try not to put any extra pressure on ourselves. The game is hard enough as it is. We do feel confident when Cole is on the mound. You have to ask him, I don't think he had his best stuff tonight, but he kept them off balance enough. He got out of a few jams making some big pitches and that was huge.
Two things, in that at bat did you see that pitch earlier in that at bat or a pitch similar to that? This is the second time you've homered in a Game 1, those are pretty big things.
CHASE UTLEY: I try to treat every day the same, whether it's the first day of Spring Training or today. I feel it's easier on yourself to do it that way. No game is bigger than another game. Obviously we came out on top today, but now we have to focus on tomorrow. But obviously coming up with a few homers obviously feels good.
Oh, and the pitch, no, I didn't, for me, the fastball -- the one I hit was in a little bit. So, no.
How often do you see that sort of defensive shift? Do you see it at all?
CHASE UTLEY: Occasionally. Some teams do it more than others. You've got to pick your timing if you're going to try to bunt there. Obviously the more base runners the better. I thought it was a good opportunity to try to get on base.
The pick-off play, what was your take on it? Also, secondly, if you could also address the layoff, too, and how you coped with it?
CHASE UTLEY: I thought it was a great pick off play.
COLE HAMELS: Yeah, he was out. That's all I can say. Being able to get a guy out, especially on a pick off play is huge. It puts some momentum back in my shoes.
But the layoff, you know, I think for a starter it's almost better sometimes, just because it gives you more time to heal up. I've had to deal with it the whole postseason; every start I've had leading up to Game 1 I've had about six days off. It wasn't anything new to me. And I think that's a good thing going into the World Series. You don't want anything new.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.