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10/27/05 12:12 AM ET

Phil Garner postgame interview

Manager is proud of team, players never gave up

I'd like to ask you about Brad Lidge and what you think. In five of his last six outings here this year, he was a little shaky. Do you think he just ran out of gas?

PHIL GARNER: No, I think in tonight's case a good piece of hitting by Jermaine Dye. He hit a slider where we like for Brad to throw it and he got it up the middle. All along in the series we talked about they were doing a nice job of hitting and that was a classic case of it.

I think Brad is fine. We don't get here without Brad and I thought he did a superb job. He wasn't as lights out as he was last year, but he was still lights out for us this year.

Tonight and in this series, how well did that team pitch, especially in key spots, guys on base and in scoring position?

GARNER: They did a good job. They pitched around Berkman quite well and they made good pitches on the rest of our guys. We missed some pitches that we should have hit and we expanded the zone sometimes when we probably shouldn't have. But the bottom line is they did a pretty good job of pitching against us.

Continuing on the hitting. The last eight innings last night and tonight your hitters did very poorly. Why suddenly did they stop hitting?

GARNER: Well, it's not suddenly, it's been a trait of ours all year, and we managed to win even though we hadn't done that. What you saw is some of our typical games. And we managed to somehow get through it and we just, we didn't eke it out this time. And that's unfortunate because we had been doing a pretty good job of coming up with a run here and there.

How tough was it to take Brandon out of a game like that as well as he pitched up to that point?

GARNER: He pitched very well, but I felt like Lidge was strong. He told me he was, and I felt like when he came in he was still throwing the ball good. I didn't want to do it but you've got to try to put a run on the board.

Now that it's a moot point, could Roger have pitched tomorrow night?

GARNER: I still haven't spoken with him today. I would question whether he would have been able to or not. But, again, it would have been Roger's call, and don't count him out.

It's been a roller coaster ride of a season, can you describe the season a little bit all the way from the beginning to where we are now?

GARNER: Well, we started out very poorly, about as rotten as you could be for the first 45 ballgames and then we found a way to turn it around, some players started doing real well. And our pitching was pretty solid all year long and our offense started to figure out a way to win a ballgame and we played pretty well.

I would say, as I told the team, I thought we won as a team, we lost as a team. Everybody in our clubhouse had something to do with us getting here and it's a pretty good story, dog gone good story. I'm proud of those guys. We played hard. We came together as a team, we never did fracture apart for teams that were playing as poorly as we did the first of the year. Players have a tendency little cliques form here and there, and it's a hitter's park, the defensive guys aren't making the plays, people tend to point the finger, and nobody on this team did that. We had great veteran leadership and we had players that never gave up, no quit in us at all. And it got us here. And I'm proud of that.

Last night you said it was embarrassing, how would you describe tonight?

GARNER: Well, embarrassing meaning I don't like losing. Let's go back and clarify me being ticked off.

I don't like to lose. I thought I made it clear today that I wasn't pointing fingers at anybody. I don't like to lose. Our team lost. We lost. That wasn't them and me. I'm ticked off when we lose. I don't like to lose. I get embarrassed when we lose and we're in front of our people. I'm disappointed and I'm ticked off we didn't win a game in this World Series, but I am proud of our players, and I am part of this team. So I'm not saying it's them and me. But I just don't like to lose, bottom line.

Why did you change the normal procedure of either Wheeler or Qualls and go right to Brad?

GARNER: Well, I felt like he was strong and I think he's our top reliever, that's why he closes out for us, so we went right straight to him.

You read the scouting reports before the series started. You've played the four games now. What's the best way to describe what the White Sox do?

GARNER: Well, the reports were accurate, but the one thing when you look at the stats, they had several players that didn't walk much for the season, 450, 500 at-bats, 30 walks, those numbers are not good walk numbers. And what they did in this series, they were locked in. They took pitches four inches off the plate, 2-2 counts with runners in scoring position and didn't even flinch at them for balls. They did it all the way up and down the lineup. That's what was different from the scouting reports. We were able to make the pitches where we want to. We were able to get them. Their pitchers did pretty much what we thought they were going to do. No surprises.

You had an outstanding season and you did what some would say was the impossible. What have you got planned for next year

GARNER: Come on, are you kidding me? I have no idea what's going to happen tomorrow. I've been focused on today for a long time now.

Let me say this, I congratulate the Chicago White Sox, they had a phenomenal year. My hat's off to them. They played well all year long and in the playoffs they played well and they played well against us. They deserve to be called the World Champions this year, but our team are winners, too. I want to congratulate our organization and our people. Right now I'm going to go out and talk to the best fans in all the world. Thank you all very much.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.