Inside the Dome caught up with outfielder Chris Emanuele after the game. Emanuele went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run while batting in three. He also scored three times himself in the Lugnuts' 8-3 win.
InsidetheDome: Once again, you had a very good offensive performance like last night. Did you do anything differently the last two nights or just going back to the basics?
Chris Emanuele: Getting ready, really. I just put in a little more work before the game getting ready. Came in seeing good looks and the pitchers did an awesome job for us, again. I keep getting hits and we're going to win a few baseball games.
InsidetheDome: You had a very nice catch in left-center during the second inning. Did you get a good jump on it? What happened out there?
Chris Emanuele: Yes, I got a really good jump on it. Left-handed hitter, pretty good hit, but just was able to run it down.
InsidetheDome: You have yourself in a nice offensive groove as of late. Do you see yourself continuing your routine to make sure you stay hot?
Chris Emanuele: I hope so, I started the season terrible. I just want to work and try to get better and better. Hopefully I just stay like this and we keep winning these games.
InsidetheDome: What have you been doing to try and get ready for these games as of late?
Chris Emanuele: Just coming in a little early and taking some extra swings and getting the extra stuff done.
InsidetheDome: Is it easier for a hitter to know that you are going to get a great pitching performance?
Chris Emanuele: Absolutely. You just go up there and relax. Tonight we scored some runs in the first inning because we just went up there and sat back, relaxed, and have some fun with it.
InsidetheDome: You have held the opposition to three runs or less in eight of the first ten games. What have you been doing as a team so well?
Chris Emanuele: You just try to go up there and make all the plays. Pitchers just do a good job trying to keep the ball on the group and the rest should take care of itself.
Chase Lirette was the starting pitcher tonight for the Lansing Lugnuts. In the win, he went 5 and 2/3 innings giving up one run on two hits while walking two and striking out three. In the first two games he has only give up five hits now to go with the one earned run. He also showed great control on his fastball tonight throwing it consistently in the high eighties.
Insidethedome: You've given up five hits in your last two outings. What are you doing that is being so successful?
Chase Lirette: I'm just trying to stay within myself and throw the ball over the plate. Basically it's really not me, it's God. God's behind me every time I throw a fastball. He's with me every pitch I throw and without him none of this would be possible. He's the one that is guiding the ball. I just let it go and he puts it where he wants it.
Insidethedome: You seemed like you were getting good movement on your fastball tonight and basically just throwing the ball really well. Does it help you mentally to know that you have a great defense behind you?
Chase Lirette: I've got a spectacular defense out there behind me. I have no doubt in my mind that when a ball is hit, my guys are going to make a play for it. This might easily be the best defense I have ever had in my life. We've got guys at every position that can make big plays.
Insidethedome: So with this defense, do you feel like you can take more risks on the hill going after hitters?
Chase Lirette: It gives me a lot more confidence to go after hitters knowing that if they put the ball in play I've got eight guys that can get them out. It definitely takes a load off my shoulders and everyone else on the staff knowing we have good defense behind us.
Insidethedome: What happened in the sixth inning when you got into some trouble? Did you just run out of gas?
Chase Lirette: I don't think I ran out of gas. I think I was rushing the ball a little bit and trying to do too much with it, instead of staying within myself. If I stay within myself a little bit longer maybe I could have got a ground ball earlier and gotten out of the inning. I was just trying to be too fine and trying to put the ball in pin-point locations, instead of just letting them put it into play.
Insidethedome: You usually like to work quickly on the mound. Do you think that may have had something to do with it in the later innings?
Chase Lirette: Definitely. The first couple of innings I thought my tempo wasn't that good. I was leaving the ball up in the zone but once I fixed the tempo problem, everything seemed to go a little bit better. Everything was down in the zone and I had most of my pitches working. I think it kept the defense on their feet too. When a faster game is going they are more likely to be on their heels, and that's what you want as a pitcher. So, it is a very good thing to keep good tempo.
Insidethedome: As a team, you're getting more runs as of late. Does it help to know that the runs are starting to show up?
Chase Lirette: The last few weeks the weather has been cold making it hard for the hitters to hit. We have good guys behind us that can swing the bats. We've got good offense so getting run support is no question; I know we are going to do it. It is the pitchers job to go out there and throw strikes and get the other guys out.
Insidethedome: You said it was colder weather, but now it is starting to transition to a little bit warmer. Does that affect you at all and how you throw the ball?
Chase Lirette: Not really, you have to take the same mindset to each game. The weather is going to be the same for both teams, so just go out there and do your thing.
Thursday's Postgame Quotebook (Lansing)
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