10/01/08 6:28 PM ET
Dale Sveum postgame interview
Manager felt they had a good chance to win
By / MLB.com
DALE SVEUM: Yeah, obviously one little hiccup there, whether or not it cost us or not. But obviously got to another hitter that obviously busted the game open at that point.
So, unfortunately, we went from having a guy at second base thrown out to first and second and nobody out. So it was an unfortunate little hiccup right there.
You had players going back to the dugout after facing Hamels. What was it that he was doing? Was it the breaking ball?
DALE SVEUM: Well, obviously his power changeup is as good as there is in baseball from any left hander. And he had a pretty decent breaking ball, even though he didn't throw it a lot, but it's probably the best breaking ball we've seen in a while from what we've seen in our scouting reports and stuff.
But, I mean, that changeup is as good as I've seen before and obviously he had everything working today.
It's not often that you would think that you guys might be happy to see a guy who is perfect in 41 save opportunities. But how happy were you at all to see Hamels out of the game and see a fresh arm even if it's Brad Lidge?
DALE SVEUM: I think not too many times you can say you're happy to see a guy get out of the game and happy to see Lidge come in. I don't know if anybody said that or not. But it was kind of the way the game unfolded there. Obviously we really didn't hit any balls hard off Hamels pretty much the whole day. Craig Counsell, one of our lefties that I double switched for got one of the hits, and other than that we didn't really put together anything else.
I think he walked maybe one guy, I think, but, I don't know, nine, ten strikeouts I'm sure. But it's not -- sometimes it's a sigh of relief sometimes to see somebody else come in that's dominated a game like he did.
Dale, if you had known before the game that you guys would hold the Phillies to just one extra base hit, what would you have thought your chances would have been?
DALE SVEUM: About 100 percent (Laughter). No, but obviously they got a very good slugging percentage team. Home runs, the whole thing. And when you hold them to that, you feel like you've got a really good chance of winning the game.
It was really just one inning. They beat us. They had a bigger inning than we do. You win about 75 percent of the games when the team has a bigger inning than you do.
I've got a three part question for you. Number one, obviously in the third inning, walking Howard was the thing to do. But how do you feel in a situation like that when Gallardo walks the next two guys and the strategy kind of like backfires on you?
DALE SVEUM: I mean, that's the risk you take. It's obviously the right thing to do. You're taking a bat out of a guy's hands who can get two runs on the board with one swing of the bat. Unfortunately, we happened to walk a couple of guys. And then got Utley to the plate. But the fact of the matter was that we had a chance of closing that inning out.
Were you guys -- kind of in the third and fourth inning looked like you were starting to take your time a little bit to break the rhythm of Hamels as he was getting you guys out. I think it was 14 in a row at one point. Looks like you were trying to slow it down. Is that correct? Was that a strategy at that point?
DALE SVEUM: No, I think the guys were kind of just -- whether it was a strategy or not, I think it was kind of the time of the game and trying to sit back and gather ourselves and not make any quick outs is what they were trying to do.
And then finally you're back at the point here where, again, Sabathia has an almost must win game for you because you don't want to go back to Milwaukee down 2-0. This is like the fourth time in a row on three days' rest.
DALE SVEUM: Obviously, we're down one game right now with the best pitcher in baseball pitching tomorrow. So obviously we feel good about ourselves, but obviously we've got to swing the bats better and score more than one run.
You hold the Phillies to three runs, you know, a lot of times you feel like you have a chance of beating them if you hold that team to three runs.
In addition to the one intentional walk, was it your strategy to pitch around Ryan Howard for you guys today? Was that just unintentional?
DALE SVEUM: No, it was unintentional. You're going to try to go after the guy and you're going to do everything you can to make pitches to keep them in the ballpark. You don't want to be stupid. When that guy can change a course of a game around with one swing of the bat, for what he's done in the last month, you do everything you can just to keep them in the ballpark is what you're trying to do.
Talk about how your starting pitcher performed today?
DALE SVEUM: Well, I mean, besides the walks, I think he had decent stuff. He felt pretty strong. Obviously he threw 31 pitches in that third inning, and you like to see the difference if we didn't have that hiccup defensively. Because he came out throwing strikes, doing a good job.
And the weather and the rain, you know, whether that had an effect, all of a sudden out of nowhere that wind and weather came out of nowhere. But that young man battled and did a fine job for us and kept us in the ball game.
Did you think the ball to Cameron should have been caught? Looked like he didn't take a direct route to the ball but may have carried more than he thought?
DALE SVEUM: If it isn't caught, nobody can not catch it except Mike Cameron. So I never question anything he does in center field. He's as good a center fielder as I've ever been around in my 27 years in the game.
If it was supposed to be caught, he would have caught it. He came within inches of it and at that time that wind was blowing about 30 miles an hour and so it probably got knocked down to even give him a chance to catch it off the end of his glove.
If he doesn't catch it, there's nobody that can catch it.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.