Matheny’s Quick Hitters – Wednesday, 5/20/15

Summarizing St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny’s comments before his club’s third game in New York and other tidbits.

Pre-game remarks

On playing Randal Grichuk over Peter Bourjos in center on Wednesday: Randal’s good night (Tuesday) was a decision-maker. Look at matchups, take advantage of pitching, but what he did yesterday was pretty rare. Keep him in positive direction.

On Sam Tuivailala: (Like when Grichuk had five strikeouts on Monday) “You’re gonna’ have some bad nights, but it doesn’t mean we lose hope in you.” That confidence in the player “is the only reason I hung around” (as a major leaguer). The manager is “aware how hard this game is. We are “guilty of perpetual optimism.” Faith leads to optimism leads to success.

On Jaime Garcia starting Thursday: ”We need somebody to come in.” “We are on a good run with Lynn, Lackey and Wacha last night.” The last rotation spot is available. No stated pitch count, but he is built up. Will keep an eye on him during game. Looks much better. Has all pitches going.

No one took job and ran with it. Need someone to go deep into game and shine. Tim (Cooney) and Tyler (Lyons) didn’t give all needed. “If it doesn’t work, then the next man.” When you get the opportunity, make the most of it.

Did not watch video of Garcia's rehab starts, but could have. Instead relied on reports from coaches. “When he is out there, he is good. Expect that tomorrow.”

On Marco Gonzales’ good start with Memphis Tuesday night: It took a while to get it all going again when down a little while. You don’t go from last year and spring training to what we saw recently. “Before the season is over, I believe he could be successful in multiple capacities.”

On perception of value of wins: Analytics have undervalued wins, but I thought wins are our purpose. Lackey just wants to pitch – stay out there until 14th inning. Young pitchers cannot express themselves so freely.

On Pete Kozma and Matt Carpenter changing positions: Discussed it when the players came off after one inning. Would play Kozma anywhere, especially on infield. Has great hands. Maybe (playing at first) takes a little (load) off Carpenter.

On Bartolo Colon: Saw him with Cleveland. Power arm came right at you. Admire the adjustments he has made.

Post-game remarks

On Randal Grichuk’s defense early: ”In the bases-loaded situation, if the ball had gotten past him, who knows what would have happened?” He was still going hard in the late innings, too (making a nice catch in left field).

On getting rest for players: Big, especially for the pen. Couple of guys will get off tomorrow. Good to get Jhonny (Peralta) and Holliday off for a couple of innings.

On Carlos Martinez (four hits in 6 1/3 innings): Carlos was good today. He had it all working. Controlling focus and consistency are key.

On Jason Heyward: Hit that ball (fourth inning solo home run) to the deepest part of the park, then hard single up middle and covered a lot of ground in the outfield.

On perception of value of wins: Analytics have undervalued wins, but that is our purpose. Lackey just wants to pitch – stay out there until 14th inning. Young pitchers cannot express themselves so freely.

On leadoff success the last two days: Doesn’t want to tie productivity to who is leading off, but appreciates results.

On Matt Adams: ”That ball was killed.” (three-run home run in fourth inning). Overall positive for Adams today. “Batting him fourth instead of fifth was a message. You will be a big part of the offense.” Showing confidence, faith in him. Today one of those days.

On closing outfield defense of Grichuk, Bourjos and Heyward: ”Impressive.” “Would be hard-pressed to find a better defensive outfield.” Ground covered, arms, etc. Pittsburgh’s every-day lineup is highly athletic, impressive.

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Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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