Tony La Russa's comments
On Suppan Sunday
"I thought he was outstanding. He made three mistakes in one inning. That was a heck of a piece of pitching. Walked the lead-off guy and he got a ball up and in the middle and that's two runs. He was outstanding."
On Suppan's consistency this season
"That's the Jeff we expect to see."
On the team's hitting
"The game I watched – it was hard to have better at-bats than that. We had outstanding at-bats. We made more contact than one run. We had three balls brought back into the ball park and still… Our hitters had a really good day. It's baseball."
On whether the walk in the sixth inning hurt more than the hit
"We walked a couple of times, too. We hit the ball hard. The second baseman hit a ball hard to centerfield, hit a ball hard to the first baseman and turned a double play. We did all we could. So, I feel like we had a really solid game. Only one run goes on the board. I think our starting pitcher was really good. I think our position play was very good. We got beat."
On Kevin Jarvis, who pitched a scoreless eighth
"In a one run game, as far as getting outs, he did a really good job."
On whether the three one-run games were indicative of the two teams' strengths
"If you looked at the beginning of the series, where we were pitching and where we were hitting, we were real close in a lot of categories."
Jeff Suppan's remarks
On whether the walk or hit was worse
"I think it boiled down to a lead-off walk and a really bad change-up. Smoltz was throwing the ball well and that's what happens. Two runs was enough for them today. You've got to take it inning-by-inning when you're going up against a pitcher like him. Unfortunately, I gave up two in the sixth here and they came out with the win."
On whether he would undo anything in the sixth inning if he could
"I feel, the walk. I was going after him (Wilson Betemit), not trying to walk him. If it comes down to me, that change-up I threw, leaving it up, above the zone to a guy like Furcal, that's what I look at."
On whether he felt they had a shot if they had gotten a double play
"I always feel like we have a shot. It's not like however many runs you give up, we're out of the game. I think that with the lineup that we have that we're always in the game."
On whether he had an easier time than Smoltz, as it seemed
"Put some baserunners on, but made some good pitches to get out of the jam. There's really not much more to say about it."
On the Cardinals' starting pitching this series
"I think we threw the ball well. It just came down to a pitch here or there and at-bat here or there. It's just one of those things."
On his consistency this season
"Every game is a little bit different. Today, I was able to throw a lot of curveballs, which I wasn't able to do earlier in the year. In my previous starts, I wasn't able to feel that pitch. It really goes back for me to going out there and taking pitch by pitch, out by out, inning by inning - keeping it small like that and throwing the ball like I can. That is how I kind of approach every game."
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.