10/24/10 12:05 AM ET
Interview with Manuel after NLCS Game 6
By / MLB.com
And they deserve to move on and I hope they go and win it. I felt like it was a good series but they played us real tough and they earned everything they got and I want to congratulate them.
Before you asked me questions, I would like to acknowledge our fans. I looked up there in seventh and eighth inning they were standing up and they were, they backed us all year long and for about the last four or five years they have been really special.
And we appreciate them coming out and giving us support like they do and like they've been great.
Q. How upsetting is it you get into their bullpen in the third inning and you can't score a run in the sixth inning against all their relievers?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Sometimes the way the game goes and the way you play and things happen, we had chances, we just couldn't cash in on them. We couldn't get the big hit. I talk about it every night during the season. Every night I say basically the same thing about like the team gets the big hit or makes a pitch or actually makes a play, especially late in the game where the games are tied or one run game or things like that, those are usually the teams that wins. Tonight the game was traveling there. And what's his name, the shortstop, he hit a home run there on a fastball out away from him, looked like a fastball and that was a big blow there late in the game. And that stood up.
We had a chance, felt like Ruiz made the line drive and turned into a double play, but that's something that's baseball and that's the way it goes and it's hard to explain sometimes. Yeah, it was a good game, but at the same time we come out on the short end of the stick and they deserved to win.
Q. How disappointing is it when you look only two runs on the board and this has been a problem all year and going back to Spring Training you had high expectations with seven All Stars in the lineup.
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think everything was right. I know our guys and I know we can hit better than that. And we definitely got to improve on it next year, and actually come back and play like basically hit like we can. We're capable of putting up more runs and having higher on base percentage and the whole works, our numbers are down.
We had injuries and things like that, but there again, excuses are in this game that don't hold up. Like we've got to put we've got to do it, we've got to do what we're capable of doing. And I think when you look back at our team, that would probably be probably the downside of our club this year. We were very inconsistent in our hitting, and at times we didn't score enough runs.
Best pitching that we've had, and we've got we got a bright future for us. I see a big future. I mean, we still I think we're right in the period of two or three years, like we definitely should compete and like always have a chance to go where we want to go.
Q. Oswalt in and out of trouble most of the game but got out most of the time, could you talk a little about his performance, putting you in position to win the game?
CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, I feel like start of the game he threw a lot of fastballs. And I felt like by the third inning, they started kind of looking for him and putting wood on him. I haven't really gone back and looked at the game. Looked to me like he got some balls in the middle of the plate. I felt like the pitcher that like got that was a big hit at that time. And then all of a sudden he kind of settled in, started mixing some change ups and breaking balls in and he had good stuff.
But at the same time they were very aggressive with him and they were definitely sitting on fastballs. But he did a good job. He took us to a good actually a real good place in the game. You know, the Giants are definitely they've got a better offense than what people think. They're scrappy and they've got some experience, more experience than you realize. And I'll tell you, they played us tough. And when the games are close like that, they're good in those games and their pitching's good.
Q. You guys had the best record in the majors. Is there an emptiness that you will not be able to kind of validate yourselves in the World Series?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think, yeah, I think it is. I think that our ultimate goal, of course, was to go to the World Series and win. And like we did not get there. And I just left our clubhouse, and you could tell without a doubt I know every guy in there and they were they were disappointed.
But at the same time, too, like that can also work for you sometimes. Like we come back with the idea that you'll be more determined and work harder and improve and I think we're capable, like I said, for the next two or three years of reaching our goal and definitely accomplishing what I think we can do.
Q. You had a lot of injuries this year, and the guys did come back. How much did those injuries, when they came back, really hurt them?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think we never actually, what I call, getting our offense clicking. Although I've seen signs of Utley and Howard and Rollins, some of those guys that were hurt, I've seen them at times look like they're going to hit, like be themselves and hit like they can, but for whatever reason we could never get our offense clicking.
It always went up and down. We hit a hot streak, especially after Houston a couple of years swept the series from us, and from that period on we started winning a lot of games. We weren't blowing people out and we weren't really like hitting like we can. Although, we got hits at the big time in the game. I felt like we played really sound baseball.
But there again, like it seemed like we never put up runs like I know we can.
Q. Did you think the ball was out off of Uribe's bat, was opposite field? Did you think it was out?
CHARLIE MANUEL: You know what, when that ball goes up and I saw I saw Jayson Werth go toward the fence with his back to me, I go: Oh, no. That's what I said. I go: Oh, no. That's kind of what happens.
Q. If Jayson Werth doesn't come back next year, what was it like managing him and watching him develop over the last few years?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think when he first came here he came here with a lot of talent. Pat Gillick always liked him, and he definitely was the one that kind of like wanted him and kind of persuaded him to like to come with us.
It took him a while to really, I think, adjust to our team and really kind of get things going. I think that he was like he needed to play. He hadn't played in like a year, year and a half or something. And once he got started, he earned a spot and he actually beat Geoff Jenkins out of right field, and like he earned a spot to play. And he definitely enjoys playing here. And he's been a solid player for us. And he's got a ton of ability.
Q. A couple of times tonight you had runners on second, nobody out, obviously bunted Ibanez over there at one point. But to not get those runs home, what does that do for a club over the course of a critical game like this?
CHARLIE MANUEL: What happens in a game, it takes it kind of takes its toll on you, and you start actually you start trying. And you start trying too much. You start trying to do too much. And you get tense at the plate, and it becomes even harder, I think.
I was a player and I know. And it's kind of how I look at it. But at the same time I think I look at all of our players and I know how much they want it. And for some reason it just didn't happen for us.
We had a big season, and that definitely cannot go overlooked. I feel like we played as hard as we possibly could all year. But we just didn't generate the offense that I know that we're capable of.
Q. The organization obviously made a long term commitment to Ryan Howard this season. He was very productive again. But how concerning are all the strikeouts going forward, tough in a lot of strikeouts this series, the World Series last year? Is that something that's correctable for him?
CHARLIE MANUEL: I think we always probably I think when you look up, I think the production, if the production is there, you can tend to get away from strikeouts. But I feel especially after Ryan got hurt that he didn't find his swing. I feel like I know that he's a better hitter than what we saw at the end of the year.
And I kind of looked at that like somewhere along the line somebody was going to pay Ryan Howard. For as good a hitter as he is, he'll be okay.
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