Yesterday early morning he gave me a call and had to get home right away. He just found out and stuff. So he flew as soon as he could yesterday morning.
You guys have played the last couple weeks with your backs up against the wall. When you talked to the guys today, did you just say, don't stress, don't worry about it, we've been here before?
You know, we talked more yesterday. I haven't really said much today about anything. I did most of the talking yesterday.
But yeah, I mean, they know what the stakes are and what they have to overcome right now, just as well as what they had to overcome about 11 days ago. So they're in no different boat now than they were 11 days ago.
Since you took the job three weeks ago, have you had any time or any opportunity to think about what happens after the season in the future, and can you just address, I assume you want to be back and be a full time manager of this team. Have those thoughts come through your mind at all?
Yeah, I mean, obviously I'd be lying if they haven't. But obviously we've got a lot more going on than worrying about it. But yeah, I'd like to manage and stay here obviously.
But to give my full attention to that would be ridiculous at this point. I've got a lot more on my mind than worrying about tomorrow or the next day. We're worrying about today and getting through today and winning this ballgame today right now.
You were saying yesterday that with [Jamie] Moyer the worst thing you could do was try to pull him and throw a lot of those dead fish pitches away. So many guys do try to pull. Can they go against their own tendencies just by you guys telling them don't do it, or is it hard for them?
Well, like I said yesterday, it's easier said than done. The guy has a lot of success doing what he does, for the fact of the matter that people do try to pull him and he gets a lot of ground balls and swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, and getting a little bit too aggressive on a guy like that instead of just waiting it out.
There's no doubt about it, we have a lineup that will have their hands full with that kind of pitcher.
Have you been impressed with the Phillies' pitching staff all year long, particularly pitching in that ballpark and having such a low ERA?
Yeah, when you're in a ballpark like that, no doubt about it, to have an earned run average that low is pretty impressive, to keep the ball on the ground like they do is very important in that ballpark. When the weather is right and it's warm, it might be as good a ballpark as any to hit it, there's no question about it.
But yeah, that's why they're here, that's why they won the division, and that's why most teams are all here. They all have very good earned run averages as well as our team, the Red Sox, you go on and on and on. The bottom line is the teams that usually make the playoffs are up there in earned run average.
Have you told your club anything to try to keep a calm, even keel because emotionally they got their back to the wall, and it's natural to be a little high and pushing a little bit now at this stage?
Like I said a minute ago, I did most of the talking yesterday individually to guys. You know, to have team meetings at this point, like I said, they're professionals, they're grown men; they don't need a meeting every single day, otherwise I would have had a meeting for the last 17 games or so. You know, they know what's at stake. A lot of these guys have been in this situation, and even the young guys have been in this situation the last two weeks.
To sit there and have meetings or keep bringing it up, you know, you can beat a dead horse only so much. These guys have been there and they know what's at stake. Their backs are definitely against the wall; you'd be lying if you said they weren't. When they're down 2-0 in a five-game series, you have to win one game at a time and see what happens the next day.
Since you've been here, have you been able to figure out when they close the roof, whether it helps the pitchers, the hitters, or anything in between? Have you been able to tell if Miller Park plays much differently when you do that?
Well, I think record-wise, I'm not sure what it is, but obviously on those one o'clock games, if the roof is closed, the hitters definitely have an advantage. When it's open, the pitchers have an advantage if it's a sunny day. The shadows are as bad as they are in any ballpark, especially this late in the season.
But we ain't going to have to worry about that today at a 5:30 game except the cold or whatever. But the commissioner's office has full control of the roof during the playoffs. That's pretty irrelevant. But no doubt about it, the hitters have a huge advantage if that roof is closed in this ballpark, especially a day game.
If things go according to the way you're planning them right now and you go with Supe [Jeff Suppan] tomorrow, what kind of confidence do you have, and does the idea that he's pitched in big games before kind of outweigh some of the struggles he's had this year?
Yeah, the guy has pitched in big games and done well in a lot of big games. When I was with the Red Sox, he pitched a heck of a game against us in Game 3, I believe it was, in St. Louis. Shut down a real powerful hitting lineup in Boston. He knows what to do, and he pitches very well when he gets extra rest, so I have all the confidence in the world with him. He shut down a pretty good Cubs lineup about a week ago at this time, so he's got to have a little confidence going into the game.
So he knows what to do. He's got to make his pitches and keep the ball down, especially against the Phillies.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.