How much, if at all, does your mind set change when Furcal makes that
CHASE UTLEY: Well, obviously it gave us a runner on base in scoring
position. At that point I was trying to get him over, no matter what, I was getting
him over to third base. Squared a sinker up and it went over the fence. For Derek
Lowe it was up but it really wasn't that bad of a pitch.
You guys had talked about kind of seizing those opportunities when he leaves
the sinker up a little bit, did you feel that was one of those opportunities and did
you see many of those up until that point?
CHASE UTLEY: No, he was pitching very well. He was keeping the ball
down. He had a great sinker working and slider. Everything was down in the zone.
Borderline kind of balls and he makes it tough on the opposing hitters. The pitch I
hit was probably middle of the zone in terms of height. But that's not really up.
But for Derek Lowe, sinker guy, it was up a little bit.
A lot of people thought because of how closely matched the two teams are
that Game 1 in this series might be even more important than your general NLCS.
How do you feel about that and how do you feel to get the jump?
CHASE UTLEY: I think every game is going to be important. Obviously,
today was the most important game. I thought overall we played well. Cole
pitched outstanding. He gave up a few early runs, but after that he kind of kept
them off the bases and limited the damage.
The error was good for us. The home run, obviously, that I hit put us back in the
game, but the big home run of the night was Pat's home run to give us the lead.
The crowd, I mean, the crowd is that extra player there. And I asked Cole
about being revved up a little bit. He said he was. Did you think the team itself
was overly revved up? Lowe had good stuff, but do you think...
CHASE UTLEY: Lowe had very good stuff tonight. We've played the last
two weeks in front of a crowd like this today. It might have been a little bit louder
than before, but it was definitely intense out there. It gave us that little extra
adrenalin, but again you've got to try to treat this just like any other game.
Obviously it's magnified a lot more but it's still the same game.
How important was it for Cole to get out of that first inning giving up just the
one run after the Manny double?
CHASE UTLEY: Extremely important. He's done that all year for us.
And when he's gotten into trouble, which hasn't happened too often, he's found his
way out of it. Minimizing the damage, which is extremely important. Especially for
us. We feel like we can score some runs. Maybe not every inning but we feel like
we have the opportunity to score some runs for our pitcher. So he did an
They went to talk to Derek Lowe twice before they threw a pitch to you.
Does that give you more time to think and you're glad, or are you just thinking
CHASE UTLEY: You try not to let anything affect you. You try to treat
the at bat just like any other at bat, whether they have one meeting, no meetings
or five meetings, that shouldn't really play a factor in what you're doing.
Talk about the lift that Ryan Madson has given you with the bullpen. The
guys in the bullpen have talked all year about building that bridge to Lidge, the
seventh and eighth innings which in past years may have been a problem for you
guys. But this year you have so many different options and he's another big one
for you now.
CHASE UTLEY: Ryan's been outstanding. He throws hard. He has an
outstanding changeup. He keeps you on it with a cut fastball. As an opposing hitter
I know it wouldn't be that much fun facing him. So he's done an outstanding job.
He's given up a few hits here and there. But they haven't really necessarily been
A lot of the hits he gives up are bloopers or broken bats that find a hole and you
can't really control that. But he's done a magnificent job.
Much was made in the first three games of the Milwaukee series about how
you, Howard and Pat were not hitting. How much of that -- Pat broke out in Game
4. How much of that sort of snowballs with if you're not hitting and Howard
doesn't get very good pitches to hit and on down they go?
CHASE UTLEY: Every day you try to put a game plan together. Every
team is going to approach you a little bit differently so you try to get a good pitch
to hit. If they don't give you a pitch to hit, you want to let the next guy do it.
They have been pitching us tough, trying to not let us do too much damage, which,
I imagine, that's the game plan for a lot of teams, but we have eight guys,
sometimes nine, that can swing the bats. So it's not all about one or two guys, it's
about the whole lineup.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.