BRANDON PHILLIPS PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT 10/8
Brandon Phillips today met with the media in the Citizens Bank Park press interview room…here’s the transcript…
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Brandon Phillips.
Q. Kind of a weird question, but I’m just curious, does the Halladay no hitter seem like a long time ago because, you know what I mean, as far as mentally?
BRANDON PHILLIPS: Tell you the truth, when did it happen? I mean, you know, it’s in the back of our heads right now. We’re not really worried about that. When we left the clubhouse, that’s when it was over. It’s only Game 1. So, how many teams have come back from losing Game 1 and still won the series? So that’s all we’re looking at right now.
Q. What’s it meant to have Joe Morgan around the ballclub, second baseman, Hall of Famer that played in Cincinnati? I saw him in the dugout working with you yesterday just on some things he saw. What has that meant to you in your game having him around?
BRANDON PHILLIPS: Oh, it’s an honor. A Hall of Famer, Joe Morgan playing for the same team he played for. Just having him around, he was in the playoffs and how they won the championship so many times. You know, just having him around and going around, talking to certain people just go out there and get in key situations, and it’s not all about what you did during the season, it’s about what you do right now.
You know, just his presence period, it’s a good feeling. He knows baseball, and it’s an honor to have him around during the playoffs.
Q. What is it in particular about Bronson Arroyo’s approach that makes you think he’s the guy who is well suited to help you get out of town with the split?
BRANDON PHILLIPS: Well, I mean, he’s been here doing that plenty of times. I mean, he’s the type of pitcher that you see off balance. When he’s on, he’s on; nobody can really hit him. That’s just like any other great pitcher out there. And Bronson Arroyo, he has the curveball, the big curves. He has many pitches that can really keep the great hitters off balance.
You know, we really look forward to Bronson doing his thing today, and we have a lot of confidence in him and he has a lot of confidence in himself. You know, we’re looking forward to going home with a split.
Q. The first few days of the playoffs you’ve seen a lot of really good pitching performances and that mimics what you’ve seen over the season. Have you seen over this season a lot more high quality pitching performances? I mean, you guys are the best hitting team in the league. But have you seen the pitching improve this year compared to previous years randomly?
BRANDON PHILLIPS: Well, I’m going to say I can say yes. I mean, you know, when you do the interleague you see different pitchers that you’ve never seen before. Like King Felix, I think he was the nastiest pitcher we faced this year, period. And then we never really faced Halladay until he got traded over here. So stuff like that. You know, the pitching is a whole lot different. A lot of people say bats are different, a lot of people say it’s different things.
You know, the pitchers have always been there, but feel like the pitchers have been much smarter this year and they’re hitting their spots. And they’re really keying down on themselves and really learned a lot about themselves as pitchers, period. And you know, it’s up to us position players to really go out there and hit their mistakes. Because if a pitcher doesn’t make that many mistakes, he’s going to do what they did to us in the very first game.
Q. You guys made a lot of steps forward this year. Double digit improvement in the win column, going from a losing season to a divisional championship. How much just in terms of the progression and the confidence, and the ability of this team getting to Oswalt twice like you guys did, considering he was something like 23 1 against you guys lifetime coming into the season?
BRANDON PHILLIPS: Just bringing the right guys into the clubhouse period, Scott Rolen, Miguel Cairo, and Orlando Cabrera, having those guys on the team, going out there and teaching us how to win. We’ve been competing ever since I got over here.
So, you know, just getting on Oswalt, it was all about just learning from mistakes and from the previous 20 times or whatever, you know, he started to make mistakes for us. We were keying in on it a little bit more. He’s a great pitcher. All we did is make mistakes. The more mistakes we make, the more success we’re going to have, you know, as a team or whatever. I just feel like in spring training I just knew this team was made for greatness.
You know, we just believed in ourselves and we just proved a lot of people wrong. It’s been a great ride, but our ride’s not done yet.
Q. Talk a little bit about what Dusty did for this club this season and what it’s like to have him in a situation coming off a tough game the other day, somebody who has been through the wars in Philadelphia in previous postseasons.
BRANDON PHILLIPS: I mean, Dusty Baker is like a father figure to me, period. You know, he really knows the game. He’s been around the game for so long. Just having him as a coach, he’s like a player coach, and everybody who has played for him has had nothing but great things to say about him. What he did to our team, he brings leadership, and just a little swag to him, you know, he’s got the tooth pick and the wrist bands and things like that.
It’s a lot of things that Dusty brings to our team that a lot of people don’t see in the clubhouse. It’s like when we got swept during the Phillies during the season, he just had like a two minute meeting, he said the right things at the right time. He’s great for that. A lot of people just really sleep on the type of manager that Dusty Baker is. He’s a great manager, and I’ve been blessed to play for a manager like Dusty.