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October 13, 2015

Mike Matheny

Chicago, Illinois - Pregame

Q. Mike, there are two lineups circulating. One has Cruz in it, the other one has Molina in it. Could you compare and contrast which one you might go with and give us the reasons as to why?
MIKE MATHENY: So, as we left last night and the conversation I had with Yadi was let's wait and see how things progress overnight, some of the treatment or some of the things the doctors were able to do would allow him to be in there were most likely going to have Yadier Molina in the lineup. So went in with the idea that he was pencilled in and it was wait and see this morning. This morning there was still a considerable weakness in his thumb, so we made a scratch and added Tony Cruz to the lineup.

Q. Randal Grichuk is in the lineup. Talk about that decision and the importance of the power that he brings to the lineup.
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, I think Randal is just an exciting player, and any time we can find a fit, you look at the numbers, you look at the previous at-bats against any particular pitcher, and we have some options. If you look at the flexibility we have to put different guys in to either the outfield or at first base, just kind of build off of what we've seen here in the recent past, and hope that some of the success that we've seen from a Randal can continue.

So each day, it's kind of been that way all season long. We look at the guy whose swing looks right and the matchup is favorable and we'll give him a chance, and Randal is a guy who can be a difference maker once he gets in there and gets right.

Q. There was a lot of story lines going around right after the game so it was kind of frantic, but a day later can you explain the decision to keep Wacha in as late as you did?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, we were at that point to either make a decision -- we had just finished fourth. It's not like we were trying to get him to go nine. We're still in that game, and everything is pointing in a direction where I actually thought he got better as he went. His fastball command improved as he got deeper into the game, and with his fastball command also comes efficiency and the effectiveness of his changeup. We were happy with how he ended up in the fourth which led us to allow him to hit second in the fifth. Had we had a man in scoring position, you would have probably seen a hitter in that particular situation, but as he finished up the fourth, I thought everything was pointing in a good direction to at least let him start out with the fifth, which he did, gave up a hit to Soler. We had one out, and really he was at his last hitter, and after he faces Bryant, most likely Siegrist is going to come in if he does lose Bryant and then we're at first and second, Siegrist is going to come in against a lefty which ended up not working out in our favor anyhow. It was pushing him as far as we could push him, and feeling like trying to get our matchups right.

Q. On the pitching side today, do you have everybody but Wacha available to use?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, we've got a full boat. It's all hands on deck, and the guys are ready to compete.

Q. Coming in on short rest, is there a pitch count for Lackey at all?
MIKE MATHENY: It'll be more on what it looks like. We don't have an exact number. But how he feels, which I'm sure he's going to feel fine, and more importantly than that, if it doesn't look right or something is pointing in the direction we need to make a move earlier than what we normally would, I think we're going to have our -- I think we're going to have our antenna up for that right from the start. Right now he feels good, he's ready to go, so we'll watch him and make adjustments as we go.

Q. How significant does this thing come with Yadi. If you're able to force a Game 5, is he an uncertainty then for Game 5, uncertain for going forward?
MIKE MATHENY: Actually he could still come in and catch. Catching isn't the issue. With the splint he has, catching-wise, he's able to come in there. If something happened in this game and we needed a catcher to come in, it would be Yadi and we'd be all right with that. As everybody saw, it was a swing that got him, and when that happened, it just really took away the opportunity for him to swing as we moved forward, so we had to make a move and go ahead and pinch-hit for him.

This is an injury that really relies on rest, and after the season, everything will be kind of addressed to the severity, but at this point the doctors are comfortable if he can tolerate it, but it's just really difficult to swing the bat, and if we get an opportunity to play beyond today, a little bit of rest, a couple days of rest may do wonders and we see him back.

Q. If for some reason Cruz would need a backup, who is the backup catcher behind Cruz if you were to get to that point?

Q. And were you encouraged at all, I think the first time all season, six runs and a loss for you guys? Did you take some encouraging signs out of the way you hit the ball?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, I was happy with how the guys went about their at-bats yesterday. I thought we were right on cue with what we talked about doing. We had to come in and grind out at-bats against a very good pitcher, and I thought the guys did that. They took the walks when they could get them, had some loud outs at times. I thought they had a nice approach all day long, and you know, we had them -- one of the top pitchers in the game up against the ropes really at one point, and that's not a situation this team has found themselves in very often when he's on the mound. So I felt like we were in a good spot to continue to put the pressure on. Unfortunately for us, they kept the pressure on offensively, as well.

But all things being said, I think most people were expecting maybe a different outcome for our offense, but we were in a situation where we got the cleanup batter on deck in the ninth inning, an opportunity to make something happen, and just fell a little short.

Q. If it gets to a Game 5, who would be the starting pitcher?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, we'll address that at another date. TBA.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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