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The Sports Daily > Fang's Bites
NLCS Game 3 Quotage

I missed so much yesterday during my visit to NYC yesterday to see my beautiful 3 week old niece. Lots of sports, but seeing the niece makes missing everything worthwhile. But I can still give you quotage and here’s what the TBS guys said about the Phillies’ blowout of the Dodgers on Sunday.

Notes from the MLB Postseason on TBS – Sun. Oct. 18, 2009

TBS’ exclusive coverage of the 2009 NLCS continues on Monday, Oct. 19 with TBS MLB on Deck at 7:30 p.m. ET followed by the Los Angeles Dodgers @ Philadelphia Phillies (Game #4) at 8 p.m. ET

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TBS MLB on Deck

Ernie Johnson, Dennis Eckersley, Cal Ripken and David Wells

Ripken on Phillies manager Charlie Manuel depending on starting pitcher Cliff Lee throughout the postseason: “(Lee) is the hot pitcher and Charlie (Manuel) is going to ride him like he rode Cole Hamels last year. If he keeps throwing strikes and working ahead (in the count), he’s been very aggressive in the strike zone (throwing) strike one to everyone. If he keeps that up, he can ride him all the way.”

Ripken on Phillies second baseman Chase Utley’s fielding errors in the NLCS: “I don’t think it’s a mental thing with Chase (Utley), I just think (the ball) came out of his hand wrong. I don’t think it’s going to continue. Like Charlie (Manuel) said, he’s going to go out there, work on it and fix it.”

Wells on Phillies second baseman Chase Utley moving past his mistakes in the field: “(Utley) is probably the hungriest guy in baseball after those two games (in the NLCS). He’s the type of guy that isn’t going to let it bother him. He’ll go out there and he’ll prevail. He’ll try to take matters into his own hands.”

Ripken on Angels’ second baseman Maicer Izturis’ error that allowed the Yankees to win Game #2 of the ALCS: “There’s no advantage to throwing to second base (in that situation). There’s already one out, you need to get the second out. The go-ahead run is already in scoring position, you just need to get that out. Especially in the cold conditions there, you need to make that play.”

Eckersley on Angels closer Brian Fuentes giving up the game-tying home run to Yankees hitter Alex Rodriguez in Game #2 of the ALCS: “(The Angels) finally got ahead in this game and (Brian) Fuentes goes out there and throws two strikes to A-Rod (Rodriguez) and finally gets a fastball out over the plate. It’s so simple to see, when you see a replay of this you think, ‘why did he do that?’ It seemed like a silly pitch, all (Rodriguez) is trying to do is make contact and he did. (Yankee Stadium) might be the only ballpark that it goes out of, but is it a bad pitch? Of course it’s a bad pitch. Anytime you’re 0-2 (in the count), you’re supposed to waste one. He probably wanted to throw that ball up and out of the zone and have (Rodriguez) swing through it or pop it up…but he didn’t. It’s Yankee Stadium and he got busted.”

TBS field reporter Craig Sager interviewed Dodgers centerfielder Matt Kemp prior to the game

Kemp on the Dodgers playing flawless defense in the postseason so far: “(We) come out here during batting practice and work hard. It starts in spring training and I took a lot of pride in my defense this year and it’s shown. Hopefully it shows again tonight.”

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Los Angeles Dodgers (0) @ Philadelphia Phillies (11) – Phillies lead the series 2-1
Announcers
: Chip Caray, Ron Darling and Buck Martinez with Craig Sager reporting

Darling on Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee dictating each at-bat of the opposition: “In this day and age where the hitters try to dictate the at-bats by taking a lot of pitches and working the pitch count of the starting pitcher….it’s just the opposite with Cliff Lee. He tries to dictate the tempo of the at-bats of the hitters.”

Darling on how a starting pitcher should approach playing in cold weather: “One of the keys you can do as a pitcher (when playing in cold weather) is to keep it really simple in the first couple of innings. Just try to get two pitches established, not all four or five.”

Martinez on how the pitcher can help shut down the running game of the offense: “The best way to shut down a running game is to throw strike one. You take away extra pitches for the runner to get a read on the pitcher (and his pick-off move).”

Martinez on hitters having trouble seeing the baseball come out of Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee’s hand: “It’s so difficult for hitters to really see the baseball when you keep your hand on top of the ball and you’re throwing it down. All you can see is the top half. It’s very difficult, especially for left-handed hitters, to really see the ball as it comes out of (Cliff) Lee’s hand.”

Darling on Phillies centerfielder Shane Victorino: “Shane Victorino is such a competitor that after he wishes you good luck, he steals your lunch money.”

Darling on how playing in the postseason can be overwhelming: “What you do your entire life when you’re a young guy, you can’t wait to turn on the television in October to see all of your heroes play. Then all of a sudden, before you even know it, you’re out there in the middle of it and it’s overwhelming.”

Darling on Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley getting away from using his fastball effectively: “What is interesting about (Chad) Billingsley is that he has such a great breaking pitch with both the curveball and the slider. They are swing-and-miss pitches and strikeout pitches. But he tends to go away from his fastball and it’s outstanding. If he got more contact from that, he would last deeper into games as opposed to falling in love with the strikeout.”

Martinez on Phillies catcher Carlos Ruiz: “The Phillies believe that Carlos Ruiz is right there with (St. Louis Cardinals catcher) Yadier Molina as the two best catchers in the National League. Game-calling, leadership and defensive skills.”

TBS’ Chip Caray, Ron Darling and Buck Martinez interviewed Phillies first base coach Davey Lopes during the game

Lopes on the top of the Phillies batting order, Jimmy Rollins, Shane Victorino and Chase Utley, being the catalysts for the rest of the lineup: “It sets the whole tempo of the game. When the first two guys (Rollins and Victorino) get on (base), they disrupt the pitching even if they aren’t running. They give them something else to think about and it allows the other hitters to see more pitches.”

Darling on good catchers being respected on their teams: “All the good (catchers) that I’ve ever met are not always the most well-liked on the team, but they are always the most respected on the team. That’s the key for any catcher who is going to be the quarterback for any good team.”

Martinez on the influence of injured Phillies pitcher Jamie Moyer to the team: “(Jamie Moyer) is a big influence on this team with the pitchers and also with the catchers. Being able to go over game plans and talk about pitch selections and setting up hittersMoyer’s experience is invaluable to this ballclub.”

Martinez on the calmness of Dodgers leftfielder Manny Ramirez: “If there is anyone w
ho is more relaxed than Manny Ramirez in a
postseason atmosphere, I want to meet him. Nothing rattles him.”

Martinez on Phillies starting pitcher Cliff Lee becoming the leader of the staff: “Cliff Lee has kind of taken over the role that Cole Hamels played so well had last postseason (as the) dominant left-hander. Hamels won the MVP of the LCS and the World Series. Cliff Lee has been nearly perfect in the postseason (this year).”

TBS field reporter Craig Sager interviewed Phillies winning pitcher Cliff Lee following the game.

Lee on his Game #3 victory in the NLCS: “It went pretty well and it helped that we scored four in the first and two more in the second, so we had a pretty nice lead. It made it a little easier on me to pound the strike zone and force them to swing the bat. It went really well and Manny (Ramirez) was the only guy that gave me some trouble, he’s a pretty good hitter. Our offense did it for us early and made it easier on me.”

TBS field reporter Craig Sager interviewed Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard following the game.

Howard on how the Dodgers are pitching to him in the NLCS: “I didn’t know what (the Dodgers) were going to do. The only thing I could prepare for was to go up there and have good (at-bats) and try to get a good pitch to hit and hopefully they would make a mistake.”

Howard on the Phillies mindset after Game #3 of the NLCS: “We are definitely a confident team. We know that our pitching staff has gone out there and given us opportunities to try and win the game. That’s all we can really ask for. As far as the (offense), we’ve had Carlos (Ruiz) contributing, everyone has been contributing and getting big hits when we need them.”

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Inside MLB

Johnson, Ripken, Eckersley and Wells

Ripken on how the Dodgers can move past their big loss in Game #3 of the NLCS: “You can take a good feeling that it’s only worth one game. It only counts as one game. Even though you get beat so bad, it’s like losing a 2-1 game. You can recover from this and (Dodgers manager) Joe (Torre) is going to say, ‘let’s strap it on for tomorrow’ and see what happens.”

Wells on what a pitcher’s mentality should be when they have a big lead: “It makes it a lot easier for you, but you have to have the mentality that it’s a 1-0 game. That’s how I handled a game when I got a lot of runs. You can’t get too happy because you can get humbled very quickly.”

Ripken on the mentality of the Angels after being down 2-0 in the ALCS: “Teams are pretty resilient. (Angels manager) Mike Scioscia has his team ready and they can turn it around pretty quickly. You can look at the positive things that happened in the game, A-Rod (Alex Rodriguez) hit a mistake (for a home run) and that tied the game up. They battled hard in New York and, yes, they are down 2-0, but there is still hope. It’s not like this is a fivegame series where their backs would really be against the wall. They are going home, they play well at home and they need to put things together and play Angels-type
baseball.”

TBS field reporter Craig Sager interviewed Phillies right fielder Jayson Werth following the game.

Werth on playing behind winning pitcher Cliff Lee: “I can’t say enough about (Cliff Lee), he’s something else. Since we got him (in a mid-season trade), he’s fit right in with the club on the field and in the clubhouse. He was a big addition at the (trade) deadline. He goes out there and throws strikes. He works fast and he’s fun to play defense behind. He’s pretty remarkable.”

That’s the quotage from last night. Viewing picks are next.