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10/08/05 11:32 PM ET

Bobby Cox postgame interview

Manager talks about bullpen struggles; Hudson in Game 4

What's your starting pitcher for tomorrow?

BOBBY COX: I think Huddie. [Tim] Hudson will go tomorrow. Even if we won tonight, I was still leaning that way.

Bobby, to continue on Hudson, he said he's ready to go. Is that enough for you?

COX: No, easily. He had a week seven days off and he went five plus. He's fine. He's absolutely fine.

Did you feel fortunate to survive most of those extra base hits until the seventh inning? They had five doubles and a home run before the seventh and you were still in the game?

COX: We called Sosa "Magic Man" all season long because he seems to get out of jams. I thought he pitched an incredible ballgame tonight, he really did. He left 3-2 against a great pitcher in Oswalt. I thought he pitched fine. We just couldn't hold them in the seventh inning.

Bobby, obvious situation to pinch hit for Sosa. But then how difficult is it for the bullpen not to hold it?

COX: You've got to pinch hit. It's the seventh inning. You've got Lidge in the ninth. You've got literally two innings to do something. You've got to give Lidge some credit, we might get some runs off of him but you're not going to get a bunch. We had to try to make something happen. [Kelly] Johnson hit a ball hard.

It was disappointing in the seventh we didn't hold them. I thought we could do that. We were trying to get [Lance] Berkman turned around, get a double play or a strikeout, and that didn't happen. First pitch was right down the middle.

Bobby, after they got Oswalt the lead back on [Mike] Lamb's home run, did you see a different Oswalt on the mound than the first and second?

COX: I don't know. He's a tough cookie. You know, it looked like he may have run out of gas when Phil went and got him, yeah.

Did you ponder using [Julio] Franco to hit in the eighth before they had Lidge in the game?

COX: Well, I could use Julio anytime. You mean for Johnson? No. I don't know who you mean for. Yeah, we could have.

But Jordan has been swinging good.

The bullpen has struggled twice now in three games. Is there anything else you can do?

COX: Well, the very first game, you know, [Chris] Reitsma didn't struggle that much. He gave up some runs but he wasn't hit hard. You know, the bullpen is what it is. It's been fine for most of the year. We still have confidence in it, and that will get the job done.

If Hudson is coming back tomorrow, would it have been standard to follow that Smoltz would come back on short rest in Game 5? The other day you were saying you weren't sure if he could do that.

COX: I don't think so. John does feel pretty darn good, and I think he's got an inning or two in him for Game 5, not tomorrow. But I doubt very much if he would start Game 5. It would either be [Horacio] Ramirez or [John] Thomson. We still feel good. We've got Huddie going tomorrow, and that's a good thing.

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