An Interview with Tony Pena

Q. Can you talk a little bit about your bullpen and who has been the most impressive individuals and overall as a collective unit?
TONY PENA: I think I keep saying since day one that our bullpen was the root for this team. I can't name any specific one. I have to say the whole entire group has done a great job. Name it, Cedeño pitched only one batter so far, and he struck him out. Everybody has been able to contribute so far great. Fernando Rodney doing a great job, Octavio Dotel, Strop, Casilla. There's not one guy you're going to point to and say he did a great job. It's a great job what they have done.

Q. About the fans, last night the Dominican fans were tremendous and everybody knows. Does this game mean more to the Dominican people and the Dominican players than maybe the United States?
TONY PENA: It means a lot to us. We want to win, and whenever we go outside the Dominican Republic to play against the United States and we saw the response with our fans, that was unbelievable. I mean, we saw so many flags, so many Dominican flags over there in the stands, it was unbelievable. And that was the extra energy that helped our ballclub win.

Q. The game against the United States, for you which was the determinant moment that determined the victory for the Dominican Republic?
TONY PENA: (From Spanish) I think the first inning was determinant, so after the first inning when he struck out eight batters, he found his curve, and he was around the strike zone. I think that was the key point.

Q. Are you going to change your rotation since you have qualified for the game tomorrow and the first game in San Francisco?
TONY PENA: (From Spanish) Yesterday I said I was not going to have Wandy Rodriguez as pitcher. I sat down with William Castro, the pitching coach, and we determined to have Wandy Rodriguez tomorrow because then he was going to pitch with too many days of rest. So we want to keep the order the way it is because what you have to understand is that we are in training, and those young men, no matter how much we want to win, we still have to think of them. So we have to pitch them on their regular days so they are in optimal condition.

Q. What is the importance of Saturday's game, and is there a hitter in your lineup that you feel is close to breaking out just from what you've seen so far?
TONY PENA: Tomorrow's game will be very important because that one gives you the seed where you're going to be, who you're going to face. I know that my players, they'll be tired. I have played almost the same nine guys every single day. Probably tomorrow you will see a little bit of change in the lineup where I might play two guys and give two other guys some time off because they need the time off. And we'll just go from there.

Q. Do you know which guys?
TONY PENA: Not yet.

Q. Miguel Tejada batted for Aybar, and the benefits of having a right batter against a knuckler, there will be changes in that lineup? You said something in English, but can you say it in Spanish?
TONY PENA: (From Spanish) Since the beginning, I've been playing I played Hanley in third base, Tejada for one game. But I keep those four men. I keep them playing. So yesterday I had to make the decision that Hanley was going to play. But he also gives me the strength of having a man on the bench when I am not playing Tejada. I have Tejada as a right handed batter and the other one was a lefty, so there is a balance when I need to use them in certain rotations. That's why I had the emergent batter. Maybe tomorrow I will have Santana rest. He needs a rest, and then he will give a chance to the other young men. Let's see who is more tired.

Q. Tomorrow's game is important because it will define who you will face, but at the same time you have your guys rest. And so how much of it is to play the game and face Holland or have him rest?
TONY PENA: (From Spanish) When we classified in Puerto Rico, I played all the guys in the last game. Nobody was left without playing. When I'm talking about resting, for certain guys it's not that I'm going to have the whole team rest, but I haven't specified anything.

Q. (No microphone).
TONY PENA: (From Spanish) We are not going to face it. I know there is a bitter taste in the past against Holland, but you cannot think that way. We have to play I like to play against the best, and we are in the group of the best.

Q. If it's Puerto Rico on Saturday, talk about the rivalry you guys have with Puerto Rico.
TONY PENA: That was great. That was great. Whoever we play against, they're going to be great. There's two islands going at each other. They play their best, we play our best. And the fans, they are great for both of those countries because they want to win.

Q. As a Latin American, as a human being, how do you value the support by Venezuelans, Nicaraguans? How do you find your support? You are ambassadors for all of us.
TONY PENA: (From Spanish) I think that we Latinos always push one for the other. I want to thank all Latinos that united yesterday because they gave us a lot of energy. FastScripts by ASAP Sports