10/03/11 12:40 AM ET
A postgame interview with Charlie Manuel
By / MLB.com
Q. I know anything can happen in baseball, but when Cliff had the 4-0 lead in the second inning, what's your confidence level?
Manuel: Well, we felt real good about ourselves. You know, we got [Chris] Carpenter out of the game early, and we felt real good about ourselves, and we were trying to get into their bullpen. What came to be the big problem was that their bullpen held us. What did we get? One hit? We got two hits, two hits after that. I mean, basically, their bullpen held us.
Q. What changed for Cliff as the game went on? What happened?
Manuel: Well, they had a lot of baserunners. I mean, they had baserunners on base most of the game, and I felt like in the sixth with two outs, the ball that [Jon] Jay rolled into left field was a big hit. That's what tied the game up. But at the same time, they had a lot of runners on. He had, what, nine or 10 strikeouts? He was throwing pretty good, but they had a lot of runners on base.
Q. You had a 2-0 lead with runners on the corners and nobody out in the first inning. You only ended up adding one more run. Was there any thought at the time that you let a couple opportunities get away, or did you think that was enough?
Manuel: Well, basically what it was, when we scored the three runs, [Raul] Ibañez, he hit a single to left field, knocked in a big one. That became a big run for us early. That put us up by three.
But also, we had a couple chances there, if we could have got a big hit, blow-out hit or something, we definitely could have scored more runs. But at the same time, when we score four runs early like that and we get into their bullpen, I was pretty much thinking we were going to score some more runs.
Q. Tony apparently voiced some displeasure on the broadcast and to Jerry [Meals] about his strike zone. How did you see the strike zone tonight? It looked like Cliff was frustrated.
Manuel: He threw a couple close pitches, but again, I'm not able to see location; I can see height and things, but as far as where the ball is at, in and out, it's hard to see over there. But you can tell height-wise.
I mean, it looked like there were some good, he threw some good pitches. They were talking about it in our dugout. That's kind of -- I'm not blaming it on the umpire. I mean, they outplayed us. They outhit us and they scored more runs than we did.
Q. Your evaluation of your bullpen, [Antonio] Bastardo and [Vance] Worley, please.
Manuel: Our bullpen did fine. I mean, they did very good. We got some big outs there, and we got a big double play after we loaded the bases from [Ryan] Theriot, and they did fine. [Ryan] Madson was good at the end, of course. But they ended up scoring one more run than we did.
Q. The Ibañez throw to the plate, at the time, seemed like a pretty pivotal play. Did you feel that could have been a game-changer, considering the pitcher went out and had a 1-2-3 inning next inning?
Manuel: I was hoping that that throw to the plate would definitely shift momentum to our side, because once they started scoring runs, the momentum of the game definitely shifted. Like I said, they got a lot of hits and they had guys on base a lot. They had chances to score and they chipped away at us. They stayed on us and they caught us, and took a lead and we couldn't get them.
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