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NLDS Game 2 postgame interview: Manuel

Q. You always talk about the home field advantage in this park. How much of that came into play in the 7th inning when their defense seemed to come apart and your team was able to take advantage in that big inning?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, the park is different. It's different from theirs, and there is a way that you play. Obviously different teams play different especially in the outfield. Tonight they made a lot of mistakes, and we finally started cashing in on some of them. It took us a while. But our ballpark, you know, the mistakes they were making, to me, was pretty basic mistakes.

Philadelphia Phillies

Q. Your team was always known as living and dying by the long ball. But the latter part of the season and into the playoffs you've won quite a few games without the long ball, playing small ball. Just wondering if you can comment on how that's changed.

CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, I think it's changed. A lot of it has to do with the way the pitch is. I think Arroyo showed you that tonight. You know, like the way he approaches it, he throws a lot of soft stuff, and his command was good. Plus, you know, like we were having a hard time with it.

Couple two, three years ago, most teams would have looked at us and they would have said we're going to make the top of the lineup, first two hitters hit fastballs and then we're going to work on Utley and Howard. From there on down, we're going to mix them up, throw them a lot of breaking balls and stuff like that. And they pitch us different.

If you know how to pitch us, then on a given night, you can be very successful.

Q. Dusty said he didn't think Utley was hit by that pitch. What did you see?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, he got hit. Yeah, he was hit, yeah. He got hit.

Q. How bad was he hit?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Huh?

Q. How bad was he hit?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Bad enough to take his base. So did Francisco, so did Chooch. Chooch might have gotten hit the worst.

Q. For a few innings here, it looked like Chase, might end up talking about him under different circumstances. Can you talk about him as a baseball player beyond the power and all the other stuff?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I don't have to say a whole lot about him. Anybody makes mistakes in this game. You know, when he makes mistakes, I don't worry about them because, you know what, I know there's nobody in the world that's going to work any harder to correct them. That's what I think of him. I don't have to worry at all. If he makes mistakes, and especially errors and stuff, there is nothing, nobody out there trying any harder than him; and I'm not going to bench him. How about that (smiling). Yeah, I'm too old to fight, too?

Q. Roy seemed out of sync tonight. What did you see from him?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Basically I saw his stuff was good. When you say he's out of sync, Phillips had a pretty good night on him. Phillips swung the bat good. But he was aggressive. It was just one of those nights that he gave up what, he gave up a couple home runs and doubled to Phillips. So that ended up being one run. Then Ut made a couple of mistakes and that was their other run.

But he was all right. They scored some runs on him, that's all. I mean, you know.

Q. Coming into the series, Chapman was kind of billed as an X factor for them. All of the runs he gave up today were unearned. Do you think you guys chipped away at his invincibility, and if you did, how beneficial can that be in the balance of the series?

CHARLIE MANUEL: I think he's got a big arm. I think I like him. He's going to be real good. Of course, he lacks big league experience, but at the same time he's got a high ceiling, and he throws hard and his breaking ball. But at the same time I think of him and when I watch him, to me, and I watch our hitters, he is tremendously good, but at the same time he's also a big challenge for you.

He's also a guy that I would say that you should want to go up there and see if you can hit him. Kind of like Nolan Ryan when he was in his prime. He had real good stuff, and I always thought it was a feather in your hat if you could hit him. But I didn't hit him too good.

Q. A lot has been made of the experience factor in this series. Do you think that kind of showed itself tonight? You guys were able to weather an early storm and take advantage of their mistakes down the stretch.

CHARLIE MANUEL: I think some of their mistakes could have come from experience. But you know what, at the same time, they're a much better team than that. But for four or five innings tonight, they were a good team. I mean, they just started making some mistakes and it caught up with them and the game cost them.

But at the same time they are a good team. They had 92 wins, they won their division. They've got a lot of talent. And you might we can go out there two days from now when we play them, and they might play a perfect game as far as defense and stuff, because I've seen them play good. They can turn double plays as good as anybody in our league. They can play defense.

Q. How is Ruiz?

CHARLIE MANUEL: He's fine. He's okay. He's good.

Q. Get him like right on the kneecap?

CHARLIE MANUEL: Yeah, it's three foot from his heart. He's okay. No, he's okay, really. He's all right (laughing).

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