Here are some of the notable quotes from around Major League Baseball this week:
"Now I think I can throw as well as I ever have -- the way I feel right now. The fastball is there, it's got life on it. The other stuff's working, too. So I feel good out there. I know myself best, and I know if I'm feeling as well as I have, I'm going to do well and contribute. That's the way I feel right now. That's the way I felt through the spring and this whole year.
"Now when I get an opportunity to pitch, I'm where I need to be to be successful. When I go in there I feel like I'm going to do well every time. It's not going to happen every time, but that's how I feel. It's working right now."
- Russ Ortiz, Houston pitcher, talking about how he feels on the mound right now compared to when he was an All-Star pitcher 10 years ago. (Houston Chronicle)
"They should give two of them out."
- Lyle Overbay after learning he was named the American League Player of the Week and not teammate Roy Halladay, who threw two complete games last week and had a career-high 14 strikeouts in one of those games. Overbay hit .533 with two home runs and eight RBIs last week. (Toronto Star)
"It's kind of nice to have Utley. I kind of like Utley. He's a special player. He's a tremendous player. And he loves to play, too. I can't talk enough about him."
-Phillies manager Charlie Manuel on Chase Utley, who hit the game-winning home run in the 11th inning on Wednesday night against the Mets. (MLB.com)
"I take every game very seriously with a lot of intensity. That's the way I approach every game. But going against the team that's at the top in our division, you don't want to lose any games to them."
- Johan Santana prior to his start Tuesday night against Philadelphia. (Newsday)
"It would be good to have Mac in there, but that's why I'm here. When something happens, I'm slotted in there. I'll try to go out there and get a win."
-Texas Rangers pitcher Doug Mathis, talking about starting Tuesday night in place of Brandon McCarthy, who was placed on the disabled list with a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram)
"Let's put this one to rest a little bit. I had a feeling this one would get some legs. He had some dry eyes, which I think we all do. ... That's all that is. His eyes are pretty good."
- Boston manager Terry Francona, talking about designated hitter David Ortiz after the Boston slugger had an eye exam in which his vision checked out "very well." (Boston Herald)
"That was one of my better swings of the year, and it shows I'm going in the right direction. I'll keep playing defense and let my hitting improve. That's how I'll help the team."
- Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado shortstop, talking about his line-drive home run to right-center field on Monday against St. Louis. (Boston Globe)
"I don't have a problem with it at all. When you've got a talented arm like Soriano, you use it. We've done it three times, and every time it's been successful. You don't second-guess that."
- Mike Gonzalez on Bobby Cox's decision to use him in the eighth inning and Rafael Soriano to close out the game. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
"That's something hopefully my kid will think I'm pretty cool for some day."
- Brett Carroll, Marlins outfielder, on getting his first Major League home run off of Randy Johnson. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)
"Tired. Hungry. Great."
- John Lannan, Nationals pitcher, describing how he felt after his first complete game in the Majors, a 7-1 win over the Mets on Saturday. (Washington Post)
"The bullpen [session] I threw today was absolutely horrible, but, for some reason, when that happens, you usually throw well."
- Gil Meche, who struck out a career-high 11 batters in seven innings during the Royals' 9-0 win over the Indians on Wednesday night. (MLB.com)
"You can make it through half a season or a whole season where you don't come up with the game-winning hit. To get the opportunity two nights in a row, it's such a good feeling."
- Andre Ethier on delivering game-winning hits in consecutive games. (Los Angeles Daily News)
"Next thing you know, it's the seventh, and he's still out there. I thought tonight really showed how he's grown as a pitcher. He could have caved in early. But he battled through it, settled down and got rewarded."
- Giants manager Bruce Bochy on starting pitcher Matt Cain posting a win on Tuesday night. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"It is a privilege and an honor to share the mark with these legendary players."
- Bobby Abreu on becoming just the fifth player from Venezuela to record 2,000 hits in the majors. Abreu joins Luis Aparicio (2,677), Omar Vizquel (2,676), Andres Galarraga (2,333) and Dave Concepcion (2,326). (Los Angeles Times)
"I saw Andrew at Wagner College, and the way the ball left his hand was special. He was a guy I really wanted, because I knew he had a chance as a starter or a late-inning guy."
-A's scout Jeff Bittiger on Andrew Bailey. Bittiger was also responsible for the club drafting Vin Mazzaro and Brad Ziegler. (San Francisco Chronicle)
"Some hitters shy away from this ballpark because it plays a little tough. But, if I end the season having a good year, I'd love nothing more than to have the chance to come back here and keep playing."
- Russell Branyan, a free agent at the end of the year, on the possibility of remaining with Seattle. (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
"I was basically trying to do one thing, and that's tie the game. I was able to swing hard enough to do that."
- Jason Kubel, who came off the bench to hit a pinch-hit home run that tied the Twins game against the A's on Wednesday night in the eighth inning. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
"I take a start-to-start approach, and I try not to look too far ahead. You have to focus on what is right in front of you. So all I'm focusing on is my next start."
- Chad Billingsley, on how he has helped the Dodgers become the first to win 40 games this season. (MLBPLAYERS.com)
"It's hard to describe how well he pitched -- just absolutely tremendous."
- Tigers manager Jim Leyland after watching Justin Verlander throw a complete-game six-hitter on Wednesday against the White Sox. (MLB.com)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.