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March 11, 2023

Adam Wainwright

Phoenix, Arizona, USA

Chase Field

Team United States

Postgame Press Conference

USA - 6, Great Britain - 2

Q. You've played in so many postseason, World Series-type games. How is this similar? How is it different?

ADAM WAINWRIGHT: It's pretty close to playoff baseball right there. I mean, I thought it was like probably the most exciting game I've pitched in a long time, honestly. It was so fun.

The crowd was rocking early on. We had the USA chant going. It was -- man, that was a special day for me and our team. But I've been waiting a long time to do it. I'm glad I did.

Q. Did it surprise you in that way? Or was it what you expected?

ADAM WAINWRIGHT: I don't know what I expected, honestly. Goldy and Nolan, they told me it was pretty intense. And man, it was. I've pitched in a lot of games, like you said, in the postseason. And the first inning I went out there and I was still kind of amped, and I was all over the place. I had to kind of settle in and hone in after that first inning. Luckily we did it.

But it was those big games like that, even if you've been through it a lot of times you still have to really keep track of your emotions and keep them in check.

Q. You talked yesterday about how being cut from Team USA 20 years ago is still kind of bothering you. Do you feel redeemed after this?

ADAM WAINWRIGHT: Not yet. Not yet. It's a good start. But not yet. When we're hoisting one of those gold medals, a gold medal up on the podium, that will be a full redemption.

But it was certainly nice to make the team, put the USA on, go out there, represent the country and actually perform. I'll remember this for the rest of my life, honestly.

Q. Now that you've spent some time with Arenado, do you ever take him for granted? Some of those throws, the three hits, just the complete package almost every day?

ADAM WAINWRIGHT: No, I don't take it for granted. I mean, I try not to break character. I try to stay like really focused and locked in while I'm playing.

And he makes me laugh sometimes. He made three or four plays for me last year that I've just never seen anything like it. Those throws he makes from the other dugout all the way across, perfect -- and he always throws it perfect every time. It's really amazing.

I've played with some great fielders. I don't know if I've ever played with somebody behind me like that. I've played with, I feel like the best defensive catcher of all time, and I had Scott Rolen at third base. Not a shot at him, but Nolan Arenado is just a special, special player that's really, I don't know if you can compare him.

Q. Knowing Nolan and Paul so well, what difference do you see from them, like, playing in your normal team environment versus playing here?

ADAM WAINWRIGHT: I wouldn't say a whole lot. I'll tell you this, both of those guys have, since they've been a Cardinal, have each year been more and more comfortable leading a little bit, speaking up when they needed to and taking the opportunities to teach our young guys. And they've been doing such an incredible job of that, leading our team.

And I see that here. I mean, the first day we got here as a team, Goldy spoke up in front of the group. And he never ever would have done that four years ago. I feel that's him growing and maturing as a man, as a leader, as a teammate, as a person. He's just really comfortable in his own skin right now, and it's infectious.

Q. What did he have to say in that message?

ADAM WAINWRIGHT: He echoed what Adam Jones said a few years ago about how we could go out and just play and have fun as a team or we can go out and try and win. We're here for a purpose. And that really hit home for all of us.

We want to stand on the podium with a gold medal. That's what we want. That was just a really good challenge from a really great player.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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