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10/20/08 12:25 PM ET

Postgame interview with Maddon

Rays manager talks about improbable road to the World Series

JOE MADDON: I just want to say congratulations to the Red Sox, too. Remarkable organization, remarkable group of guys. They were playing hurt, and they extended us as far as they could. You have to excuse it, I get a bit emotional at times.

Tito, awesome, and the whole group, so for us to beat them under these circumstances is really special. They're awesome.

Congratulations, first of all.

JOE MADDON: Get me back to normal here. Come on.

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A little more Four Tops going to be happening in the World Series?

JOE MADDON: We've got to go right from The Stones to the Four Tops next time. That's what I did today. And then I finished up with Bruce doing my lineup cards, so that might be the key.

What was going through your mind at Lowrie's pop up at the end there, Joe?

JOE MADDON: I had a good feeling obviously. We all did. David was in control of his emotions, which was great. I knew he was going to throw strikes. That was the big issue there. It just seemed to be the right vibe entirely.

You get to those moments I've been there in the past and you can feel it; you can taste it, you know it, and it was all there. All that stuff was present.

And again, to play these guys and to be able to do that versus the Red Sox really is actually a little bit more special based on where they've come from over the last couple years and what they've done. It's a tremendous benchmark for us to compete against them and actually win. So it was a lot of thoughts about my dad and a lot of other people.

It seemed those last couple innings that Garza was kind of right on the ledge, and you stuck with him, and he threw more pitches tonight than he's ever thrown in a big league game before. Why did you keep sticking with him and why was he able to keep getting out of those

JOE MADDON: He had great stuff tonight, he really did. And he's a horse. During the season a lot of times you monitor guys' number of pitches so that they can be fresh this time of the year basically.

I thought about it as the game was in progress, and I knew he was good for more than the normal number of pitches tonight, and actually he would have stayed in longer. The error precipitated that. I thought that they might try some different things if we left him in the game there, so I just thought it was the right thing to do at that moment to get him out. But he was a stallion tonight. He did everything he could, and I'm so proud of him and what he's done this year and how far he's come.

Believe me, when you deal with these people on a daily basis, you really understand their personalities, where they've come from, where they're at today. I'm so proud of the group in general, the fact that we have grown so much in such a short period of time.

I'm really proud of the way they've handled themselves to this entire moment. I'm talking about when they talk to you guys, too. It's remarkable.

You used five pitchers in the eighth inning.

JOE MADDON: Is that an ALCS record?

I don't know if it's an ALCS record, but I'm just wondering if you can ever remember an inning as a manager in which you used five pitchers that wasn't a blow up inning that was one where you had to basically try to get through it.

JOE MADDON: I'm sure I did in the past. Based on recently Grant's been struggling a bit, and what they've done. The other night I went with the guys all the way through, because of history, and then tonight I went the other way because of more recent history.

I felt really good about David tonight. David, when you talk about him prior to the game, this young man is composed beyond his years, he really is, and I think you've all had a chance to understand that if you've even had one conversation with him.

So it was just important to get through that murderer's row that they have there and then eventually turn it over to him. That was my thought.

And again, it was just about throwing strikes, and he's been a strike thrower his whole life.

As improbable as this whole story has been, is it almost fitting that the guy has almost no big league experience, and he's on the mound there in the ninth inning?

JOE MADDON: It's about talent, too, and it's about makeup. You're right, absolutely minimal experience. But again, I was not hesitant.

Going into this whole thing, I wanted to keep people in their regular roles based on what they have done all year, and that's always for me that's the first priority. But knowing you have this kind of ace in your back pocket.

It just came down watching how everything unfolded, and it's not just about number of pitches, it's about emotions expended, also.

Like J.P. expended a lot of emotions just getting Papi out, and then Chad Bradford expended a lot of emotion even though he walked Youkilis.

So it goes beyond just number of pitches. I believe this. This is one thing that's really become obvious to me with relief pitchers, understand the emotion that they have to expend, also.

I just thought tonight a lot of our guys had expended a lot of that, and I thought David was fresh. So it just seemed to be the right thing to do.

Just how gratifying is it Rocco Baldelli to come back and get the game winning RBI?

JOE MADDON: It's beautiful, man, it's so beautiful. Rocco knew that Lester would give him a hard time, he knew that. And Rocco studied him a lot. He did a little extra homework just based on that one pitcher. It does not surprise me that Rocco would do that.

Again, you talk to him, he's such a he's kind of a Renaissance kind of a guy, and I just love the fact that he's willing to do that kind of research in order to get that big hit against this guy tonight.

When you know your guys are prepared, it's a lot not easier, but it's a greater feeling in regard to staying with them, and I knew Rocco was ready tonight.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.