The following are quotes and interviews from TBS' coverage of Game 5 of the NLCS, which saw the Philadelphia Phillies eliminate the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 10-4 rout.
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TBS MLB on Deck
Ernie Johnson, Dennis Eckersley, Cal Ripken and David Wells
Eckersley on reports that Dodgers leftfielder Manny Ramirez was in the clubhouse during the Phillies ninth inning rally in Game #4: “First of all, Manny isn’t really Manny this year when you look at the stats. He’s not the same guy. But he’s probably the same guy in the clubhouse. If I played with Manny, it wouldn’t bother me at all. I think they made more out of this than they should’ve because it’s Manny. I don’t think the (Dodgers) players care.”
Wells: “I was teammates with (Ramirez) in Boston and he did the same thing. I’ve done it throughout my career. The media is probably bored and they need a story.”
Ripken on Dodgers starting pitcher Vicente Padilla being the hottest pitcher in the postseason: “We’ve talked about how hot (Phillies starting pitcher) Cliff Lee has been and how he’s been the hot pitcher in the postseason. But (Padilla’s) numbers have been better.”
Ripken on Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels apologizing to teammates for visibly reacting to second baseman Chase Utley’s throwing error in Game #2: “Umpires are really sensitive about being shown up by players in the field and infielders are really sensitive about (being shown up by pitchers). It was smart of him to go to (his teammates) and say, ‘I just reacted, I didn’t mean it. Let’s get back to playing.’”
Eckersley on Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton’s mentality after blowing a save in Game #4: “It seems like nothing affects (Broxton). He seems like a quiet kid who looks like he’s afraid of the cameras. But the fire gets hotter. Guys will say, ‘give me the ball back, I want the ball.’ When you give it up and cost your team a game like (Game #4), the next time you go out there, you won’t admit it but it’s the toughest thing to do, to take the ball back and have all that pressure on you again. You don’t want to go home.”
Eckersley on the controversial call of calling Yankees rightfielder Nick Swisher out for not tagging up from third base in Game #4 of the ALCS: “(Umpire Tim) McClelland didn’t hustle to get into view of the whole play. He’s looking out at the outfielder; it doesn’t look like he’s looking at the bag. Meanwhile, this is a huge call. During the season, they never make a call like that. All of a sudden, you’re going to make a call like that in a playoff game? That’s huge.”
TBS field reporter Craig Sager interviewed Dodgers second baseman Ronnie Belliard before the game.
Belliard on if teammate Manny Ramirez is ready for Game #5: “(Ramirez) has been ready. He’s been ready since (the LDS) against the Cardinals. He’s been motivating everyone else and he motivates himself. Me and (Rafael) Furcal and everybody else go and talk to him. Keep him in the game and he’s been doing a pretty good job.”
Eckersley on expecting to see a lot of homeruns in Game #5: “There’s going to be some balls leaving the yard. It’s a matter of who gives up the least amount of bombs.”
Select Read More to see comments from Chip Caray, Ron Darling, Buck Martinez, Craig Sager as well as an in-game interviews with Joe Torre, and post-game interviews with Jason Werth and Brad Lidge. Plus, see quotes from Reggie Jackson's interviewed legendary pitcher Jack Morris
Los Angeles Dodgers (4) @ Philadelphia Phillies (10) – Philies win the NLCS 3-1 and advance to the World Series for the second consecutive year.
Announcers: Chip Caray, Ron Darling and Buck Martinez with Craig Sager reporting
Martinez on the Dodgers pitching staff having trouble getting Phillies hitters out before first baseman Ryan Howard comes up to bat: “Dodger pitchers just haven’t been able to get out of their own way when it comes to getting guys out in front of (Ryan) Howard.”
Darling on the Phillies postseason theme: “The theme in the pstseason for the Phillies: ‘Get me up to the plate.’”
Martinez on the Phillies lineup: “This is an American League offense playing in the National League. You can make good pitches; you can pitch around one guy and the next guy steps up.”
Darling on pitchers losing sleep over having to pitch at hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia: “We’ll have to check with our statistician Hal Gaalema about this stat, t I don’t think it’s scientific: More opposing starters get less sleep the night before they pitch in this park during the middle of summer than anywhere in baseball.”
Martinez on Dodgers starting pitcher Vicente Padilla struggling in Game #5: “Padilla just doesn’t have his good delivery tonight. He’s running off the mound and (when you do that) you drop your elbow and get underneath the ball. Then you try to generate velocity with a little more effort and he’s come out of his delivery.”
TBS’ Chip Caray, Ron Darling and Buck Martinez interviewed Dodgers manager Joe Torre during the game.
Torre on how the Dodgers need to control the Phillies lineup: “This ballclub (the Dodgers), personality-wise, is fine. (The series is) going to come down to how well we can control their offense.”
Darling on how Phillies manager Charlie Manuel lets pitching coach Rich Dubee take control of the starting pitcher during the middle innings of a game: “Charlie Manuel told us that when he was a minor league manager, he tended to push the starting pitchers. He said the greatest thing about (pitching coach) Rich Dubee is (Manuel) lets him run the pitching during the fifth, sixth and seventh innings, letting (Manuel) know when the starting pitcher is done and (when to) start getting the bullpen ready.”
Martinez on the most important relationship on a team: “The relationship between the pitching coach and the manager is the most important relationship on a team, (because) so much is centered around how well you pitch.”
Martinez on putting players in situations to perform well: “You can put players in situations where you expect them to perform, but you can’t perform for them.”
Martinez on the Dodgers bullpen struggling in the NLCS: “(The Dodgers) have pitched tentatively and their bullpen that was so good all year long was supposed to be the more dominant bullpen. That hasn’t been the case.”
Darling on the Dodgers losing some offense in their starting lineup with second baseman Orlando Hudson on the bench: “With (Ronnie) Belliard being so hot at the end of the (regular season) and pushing (Orlando) Hudson to the bench, it really took away one of the weapons that the Dodgers had early in the season. That was a lot of speed at the top of the lineup and the ability to generate some runs.”
Darling on young pitchers needing to define themselves in order to fully reach their potential: “The biggest problem for young pitchers is they don’t define themselves as others who watch define them. If you ask the Philadelphia hitters (about Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw), they’d say (he has) nasty stuff. If you ask the coaches, (they’d say) he’s has great potential. Until it’s in your noodle (brain) as a young pitcher, you won’t see the excellance.”
Darling on Phillies manager Charlie Manuel taking out starting pitcher Cole Hamels in the fifth inning despite having the lead: “You know what made that move (to take Hamels out of the game) by Charlie Manuel so gutsy is that in the regular season, when your ace is on the mound and winning 6-3 in the fifth inning, that move would never, ever be made. But it’s made in the postseason because every out is important.”
Martinez on potential Phillies vs. Yankees match-up in the World Series: “The Phillies can stand toe-to-toe with the Yankees and trade punches. They have that kind of offense.”
Martinez on the successful season that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel has had in 2009: “It’s been a very demanding year on (Manuel), he’s had to think on his feet and make a lot of switches. Anybody that’s a (win) away from going to the World Series, whose closer was 0-8 with eleven blown saves, has done a terrific job of juggling that bullpen. He has really managed this team effectively all season long.”
Darling on how the Phillies were able to shut Manny Ramirez down: “In his storied career, I have never seen anyone pitch Manny Ramirez one way for an entire postseason and have it work and (the Phillies) are doing it.”
TBS field reporter Craig Sager interviewed Phillies rightfielder Jayson Werth following the game.
Werth on his big night in Game #5: “I don’t know how to explain it. Big games call for big times. Hopefully we can keep it going and we’ve got four more games to win.”
TBS field reporter Craig Sager interviewed Phillies closer Brad Lidge following the game.
Lidge on what manager Charlie Manuel has meant to him this season: “(Manuel) means a ton to me. He told me every time, ‘you’re going to get there and you’re going to get back on track. I know who you are and what you can do. Just keep grinding.’ He knew I was battling through some injuries for a while at the beginning of the season. I got out of a rhythm and out of the loop. He never took the ball away from me. He was amazing for me.”
Lidge on the support he received from Phillies fans despite his struggles during the regular season: “These fans are unbelievable and the whole year they have been incredible. I didn’t have a great year, but the fans were behind me the entire time. That does a lot for someone. These are great fans, they’re very passionate and they know the game. They are smart and intense. Playing in front of them made me throw great at home and I was able to take it on the road. Hopefully, we’ll keep charging.”
Martinez on the balance of the Phillies: “We saw the balance of (the Phillies) attack (in Game #5). Even when Ryan Howard didn’t come up big in this game, it was (Jayson) Werth, it was (Pedro) Feliz, it was (Shane) Victorino and (Jimmy) Rollins. They have balance, speed, defense and now they have a hot bullpen all of a sudden.”
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Johnson, Ripken, Eckersley and Wells
Eckersley on the Phillies power continuing in the World Series: “You might see a lot of this (power) in the World Series. An extension of this game and the kind of power that (the Phillies) flexed in this game.”
Ripken on the Dodgers needing starting pitching heading into next season: “(The NLCS) showed that (the Dodgers) don’t have a true, number one ace. They tried to make (Clayton) Kershaw the ace and he’s got number one (starter) stuff, but he just doesn’t have the experience yet. I was really surprised that (Chad) Billingsley didn’t get a chance to start because he was the All-Star in the first part of the year, then he fell off towards the end. They need some starting pitching. Their starters did not perform in the postseason like they did during the regular season.”
TBS field reporter Craig Sager interviewed Phillies pitcher Pedro Martinez following the game.
Martinez on playing on this Phillies team: “I don’t have enough words to describe this team and the way they go about their business. I’m very pleased with my decision (to sign with the Phillies mid-season) and very happy to be part of this team.”
Martinez on the leadership he provides to the Phillies pitching staff: “I know that my experience will play a big role with these guys and so far they have executed great. (Veteran pitcher) Jamie (Moyer) also does a great job at teaching the younger players. We are all unified to get this done.”
TBS concluded its “The Pride of October” series for MLB on TBS. “Mr. October” Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson interviewed legendary pitcher Jack Morris.
Morris on throwing a no-hitter with the Detroit Tigers in 1984: “I had really good stuff in the bullpen and knew that something special was going to happen. I just had a feeling about it. The funny thing about throwing a no-hitter is somewhere in the middle innings your teammates treat you like you have the plague and they distance themselves. I was never one of those guys. I’m always one of those guys who’s talking some crap in the dugout and wanted to involve myself. When these guys started kind of not talking to me, I looking at my pitching coach Roger Craig and said, ‘what’s going on?’ He said, ‘Jack, you’ve got a no-hitter.’ I didn’t even realize it, this is in the sixth inning. I said, ‘Rog, relax, I’m going to get it.’”
Morris on what drove him to pitch complete games: “A chance to win. I just knew I had guys who probably played better behind me than anybody else on our staff. I don’t know what it is, if you asked all the good pitchers in any era, why did you rise to the top? I would have to credit my teammates. I know they played better behind me. I demanded it. They knew I was out there doing everything I could to win the game and I think it brought them to a level where they were going to give everything they had to help me win that game. I used to tease them, I used to shake the bat rack and my famous line throughout my whole career was, ‘get me 10, I’ve never lost with 10.’ I came close a couple of times, but I still never lost with 10.”
Source: Turner Sports
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