Recap: Phillies Starting Pitchers Press ConferencePosted on February 2, 2011
Don’t ask Cliff Lee about the details of his trade back to the Phillies. Ã‚Â Don’t call them any nickname with the number four. Ã‚Â Don’t talk about the 2011 World Series.
The Phillies’ 5 starting pitchers have only a few things on their mind: spring training, playing fast and aggressive, and preparation.
As Cliff Lee said,Ã‚Â ”We haven’t thrown a pitch yet, so it’s premature to call us the best pitching staff ever.”
This team is focused on the end goal – win multiple World Series championships. Ã‚Â Cliff Lee said that he felt his best chance to win championships is with the Phillies. Ã‚Â For Roy, the biggest thing left to do in his stellar career is win a ring. Ã‚Â Amidst trade rumors, Blanton is focused on facing the other teams’ lineups (not their number 5 pitcher) and winning another championship. Ã‚Â Hamels notes that all starting pitchers have post-season experience – a great feature to have.
But all know the long road that lies ahead: 162 games, a 7-month season, and playing games with all 25 guys.
Preparation was the buzzword of this conference. Ã‚Â Oswalt mentioned that preparation was the best thing he picked up from Pettitte and Clemens – and he even picked up a few technical tips from watching Halladay pitch last year. Ã‚Â Lee said that the season’s success depends on the whole team’s preparation: “if everyone comes prepared, good things should happen.”
Fast, aggressive – that’s how all five of these aces pitch. Ã‚Â All have post-season experience. Ã‚Â Hamels notes they all share the same values. Ã‚Â They certainly are the best of the best – but no one aims to be the best of this group.
“I want to play my best, put up as many zeros as possible. Ã‚Â I’m not competing against these guys, I’m competing against the other team. Ã‚Â I’m going to go out and play my best, regardless of what the guy ahead of me did,” says Lee.
They ignore any talk of the Fantastic Four, the Four Aces. Ã‚Â They’re a starting lineup of 5, and will welcome any nicknames that include big Blanton. Ã‚Â Despite rumors, Blanton has one thing on his mind – winning. Ã‚Â ”Winning is the biggest part. Ã‚Â I like where I’m at. Ã‚Â And I’m focused on winning another World Series with the Phillies.”
Humble, focused, and determined, these pitchers also credit their fans. Ã‚Â A lot. Ã‚Â Lee notes them as a contributing factor in his decision to return to Philadelphia. Ã‚Â Hamels recounted how they’ve kept up with his career as a Phillie, from his first pitch at Citizens Bank Park to his 2008 World Series MVP title. Ã‚Â All pitchers agree that the fans will come up with a suitable nickname that embodies these five aces.
These guys are itching to throw their first pitches and get the 2011 season underway. Ã‚Â And we fans can’t wait to watch the magic.
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