RYAN MADSON: Yeah, definitely. When he was having his struggles everybody was willing to step in and do whatever it took, and say we're fine and we'll get it done. But the ideal situation is having him in the ninth, just what he did last year and what he's done his whole career. He's a guy you can trust when the game is on the line, and that's what our team wants, and that's what our team needs in the ninth inning.
We're all happy to have him back and put everybody back in our slots where they're comfortable. Very fortunate to have him back throwing the ball well at this time.
Q. Did Cliff give you any kick backs for wearing the shirt?
RYAN MADSON: I asked Cliff if he had any sponsors that he needed to...
Nah, I was just joking around. They gave me this shirt, so I wore it. Of course I wouldn't turn that down.
Q. What is it about the personality of this team, the way it plays, that you think makes it easy for fans in this city to connect with it?
RYAN MADSON: I think we're just ordinary guys that just do extraordinary things. We have a vision of winning, as sure as the fans do, as well. We believe that we can win, as sure as the fans do the same.
I think those two things alone right there connect us with the fan. Keep the excitement, playing hard, and you never know what you're going to get at the end of the game. We've done a lot of comeback wins this year. Every one of them has been exciting. That's just the way we are. We know if we keep our team close, we'll give them a good shot at winning the game.
Q. You've closed and you've pitched in the eighth inning. Is there a difference? Is one harder than the other, given expectations and all that goes into it?
RYAN MADSON: There's two aspects of it. There's definitely the mental approach of throwing the ninth inning. Obviously everybody's whole game, two and a half hours, three hours, whatever you're playing, is kind of riding on you, what everybody has done everything right up until that point. So mentally there's a little more challenging there because you have that extra added on, hey, we've done everything right, we're just relying on you to get it done for us.
But physically it's the same thing. I've said this many times: You still have to get three outs, you don't have to get four or five, which is a good thing. Physically it's the same, just make your pitches. But the mental part of it is really big, and that's sometimes where the struggles come in.
Q. You guys obviously know your starting pitchers really well. As you're watching a game get going, particularly with a guy like Hamels, can you tell in the first inning, okay, he's really got Hamels stuff tonight or he's going to have to work through some things? And with Cole in particularly what are the keys that you might look for?
RYAN MADSON: Sometimes early on in games, in the first inning or so he runs into a little bit of trouble, but once he settles in you could tell it's either going to be a long game for him or he's going to be struggling the whole game. Usually it's the first. He might have a little struggles or he might come out hot and he's hot all game. Usually it's just some little struggles in the beginning, and if he can overcome them and not get too angry with himself, keep composure out there, he's usually pretty good.
Q. Is it stuff or location generally?
RYAN MADSON: I think it's definitely location. At times he's struggled, he's just been over the plate. Maybe just up. If he could hit his spots, his stuff is always good. Whether he's throwing 90 or 95, 96 like he was in LA, his stuff is always good. He always has that good separation with his change up, throws his fastball in really well. I don't think it's ever stuff wise for him.
Q. Charlie admitted in Denver that in Game 4 he actually had some doubts in the ninth inning. He wasn't necessarily sure you guys were going to pull it out. In all honesty did you have any of those, even if they're just kind of fleeting thoughts?
RYAN MADSON: No, actually before we started scoring and all that, and Lidge wasn't up there, I was surprised. I don't think he was throwing yet. I was surprised. I was like, hey, how come we're not getting them going or stuff like that. And then he finally got up there.
I had no doubt. Once this playoff thing started, he had a good attitude. He was like -- he put everything behind him, and he did every time during the season, too, but it was just something different. The way he was throwing the ball just looked so much different than during the regular season when he was struggling, and I think his confidence was there.
Just like I said, it's mental. A lot of it in the ninth inning is mental, and he finally got on that good mental track, and hopefully he continues it the rest of the post season.
Q. Do people sometimes maybe expect too much from late inning relief pitchers? Maybe just from having watched some of the great closers over the years, but you guys have a tough job, especially knowing how good some of the hitters are you have to try to get out?
RYAN MADSON: I don't know if they expect too much. They expect good things. Most of the time they get that. I think sometimes when fans run into problems is they expect perfection, and I only saw one guy do it ever during the season, and it was Lidge last year. But he still had an ERA; he still gave up some runs, but he never blew a save. I think sometimes fans get in the mode of perfect, and that's just impossible. I think that's the only time the fans could realize, hey, nobody is going to be perfect, but as long as they're consistent and you can trust them for the most part, that's as good as you're going to get.
Q. Brad I guess started messing around with that cutter towards the end of the year. And I know you added that to your repertoire a few years ago. Do you see it doing some of the same things for him that it did for you?
RYAN MADSON: I didn't even know until the game in Colorado that he was throwing a cutter. It's one of those things, like you said, your stuff kind of gets stale, hitters start timing your breaking ball or they start seeing your fastball really good. It's one of those things, they make adjustments, too, and you've got to make up some pitches sometimes to get them going, oh, is that a cutter right there? And it gets a little bit of doubt in their head, instead of throwing fastball or slider, fastball or slider. Now when it's sometimes that cutter, it puts that extra pitch in there, puts that little bit of doubt. And when he runs a four seamer in there, it's by them, they're late on it or it didn't move like the cutter did. It just adds a little more. It is a good pitch for him, as it is for me.