Post-NLDS Game 3 Interviews – Carp/La Russa

From Busch Stadium, Cardinals Game Four NLDS starter Chris Carpenter and his manager Tony La Russa fielded questions in preparation for Sunday's contest, which starts at 7:05 p.m. Central and will be televised on FOX.

Chris Carpenter

Carp, how does it feel to have your second chance to face the San Diego Padres tomorrow?

It doesn't feel any different than any other game. I mean, I need to go out and execute my game plan. I'll go home tonight and think about what I'm going to do and come in tomorrow ready to go.

Chris, it will be your third start in a row against the same team. Have you ever done that before and is there any pluses or negatives to that?

I don't think I ever have. Not that I can recall. And you know, again, I think that no matter what game it is and, you know, how many times you've seen 'em, the goal is to execute pitches and execute your game plan. And if you can do that, you'll have success. If you can't, you won't.

So you know, I don't think there's any advantage. I don't think there's any disadvantage to it. I know they're going to be ready to play tomorrow, and they got a guy going out there that's very competitive in Woody, and a great pitcher, and I'm going to be the same way.

About Woody, he's one of your ex-teammates, one of your friends on the pitching staff. Tell me about the friendly rivalry going up against him.

It's going to be fun. The thing about Woody is he's a professional. He's going to come out and battle. He's going to come out and be prepared. And he knows how to pitch. So I'm sure he'll have his A game tomorrow, and you know, I'm looking forward to a good game. And hopefully we can go out and get some runs off him. And I can do my job and shut them down.

Despite having success in San Diego, explain the importance of doing well and sealing the deal here at home.

You know, again, tomorrow we're still -- we're still at the advantage. They gotta win both games, we have to win one. So tomorrow is a big game for them and, like I said, if I get prepared and come out and treat it like I normally treat it, and that's, you know, go out and execute and be prepared and compete, you know, hopefully we can do the things that we did the two games in San Diego, get a couple runs and pitch well in the bullpen and do a good job and play a good game and win and celebrate at home with the fans.

Can you talk about the dilemma or challenge and maybe some challenges of facing a team as much as you have in this few of days against the Padres?

Yeah, I just answered that. I don't think there's any advantage or disadvantage. Like I said, you've established a game plan and you have to go out and execute. If I do that I'll be successful. If I do that I will be successful. And if I don't, I won't.

Chris, this Cardinal team kind of came in as an underdog in this series. Can you talk about playing that role as opposed to the last two years when you guys came in as one of the favorites?

You know, I said it earlier at the beginning of the series, no matter how you get here, you're one of eight teams and anything can happen.

You've seen that in the past with some of the teams that have won. Other teams coming in that are supposed to be the teams that are going to win, end up not winning.

But, you know, like I said, you get a couple of guys throwing the ball well in the bullpen, couple guys swinging the bats, you don't know what can happen. Anything can happen. We played two quality games there in San Diego and came out on top. We had solid defense, solid bullpen, good starting pitches, scored some runs there, enough runs to win. Today we didn't do it. Like I said, we're in a position to win tomorrow and clinch it in front of our fans and hopefully we can go out and play a quality game and do that.

Tony La Russa

Tony, how would you say you felt about Supp's outing today?

He competed as hard as he could. Tough lineup for him. But he worked really hard. We had a great defensive inning the first inning, and they had one mark. I thought we pitched and defended as hard as we could. But you just gotta take your hats off to the way they pitched against us.

Tony, the play by Yadier in the first inning to throw out the runner at first?

Defensive first inning is a thing of beauty. Fired us up. But just couldn't break through. They pitched very well against us.

Tony, at this point will you for sure be going with Chris Carpenter now tomorrow?


You talk about your bullpen, Tony, keeping it a tight game, going in late, giving yourselves a chance?

They had several chances including a runner on third with less than two outs. And Supp's bit it. All the relievers. It's a big plus in the game. I mean we really kept pitching and defending, but just had a hard time breaking through.

Tony, what was Chris Young doing out there that made him so difficult to hit today?

What he's been doing all year. He's deceptive. He works all parts of the zone. He'll throw any pitch any time. It's really quality pitching. Really tough for guys to get on him.

Tony, obviously with Carpenter going tomorrow, you got the guy when you're in a big game like that that you want out there.

Well, I mean I think Chris is as good as anybody in baseball. So we always think we have a chance, a good chance. I'm not sure they're going to pitch. But you take care of your own business first.

And with Chris, we're going to give it a best shot. It's a game we hope not to have to play but you try to wrap it up as soon as you can.

They've got to win. They're a tough club. We beat them 2-nothing the other day. All the games have been there for both of us. So I think very even series and we'll give it another chance tomorrow.

With the past five, six weeks here what Rolen did today has it been different from what you've seen from what he's struggled with since like September, or is today just a whole nuther ball game?

What about the other Guys? We had two other guys get most of the hits. It's tough. I know there's a question about how he feels. He says feels fine, he's taking a ton of extra hitting. It's an indication at the feels strong and fine. He's working to get his stroke right.

In light of Chris Duncan's few missed in left field, you'll be starting a right-hander tomorrow. Are you still going to have him in in the lineup?

This happened earlier in the year, and the last inning we played, the eighth the ball was lost by the shortstop. He came in and caught it. He had the toughest balls you can have in daylight when there's errors and reflections. He had line drives that, I mean, he didn't ever have an easy play. But you saw he came fighting, just like he did last time. The last time we played him the next day he made a catch over his shoulder that saved the game. So I don't know who he's going to pitch so we'll see. If there's a change it will not be because concern about Chris's defense. He's got a lot of great competes.

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