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October 25, 2004

Jeff Suppan


Q. You've pitched three really big games in this postseason, how much will they help you as you go into a fourth big game tomorrow night?

JEFF SUPPAN: They definitely will help me, really all the games I've pitched in this game will help me, and in my career. I think throwing in those types of situations, being in them before, it always helps you know what to kind of expect, the adrenaline you're going to have, the excitement you're going to have and using that to your benefit.

Q. Will it help that you know the Red Sox hitters so well, having spent a lot of time with them last year?

JEFF SUPPAN: I sure hope so. We all change from year to year. We all have tendencies, though. So I've been watching them a lot, as far as video, of what they're doing right now. But I think past experience, throwing against them will definitely help me in this game.

Q. Does it seem odd, this is a team you were with last year, seeing them going through the process, and not thinking that you are one of them, and also to be actually up against them, not just being one of them?

JEFF SUPPAN: Can you repeat the question?

Q. I was just wondering, does it seem weird to you to be watching this team progressing, that you played for last year, and not be one of them, and more than that, not only to be one of them, but to be going against them in the World Series?

JEFF SUPPAN: I definitely feel part of the Cardinals organization. The fans have been great, the organization has been great. It's definitely nice for me to be -- from day one, being a Cardinal, going through Spring Training with everybody, and go through all the ups and downs of the season. I feel more a part of this team right now. As far as being a player with the Red Sox, coming up through the organization, it was actually more strange for me to go back there last year, than it is for me to throw against them this year. It was a feeling for me being there last year. I was 20 years old, 21, 22, coming up through that organization, and going back and seeing ushers that I hadn't seen forever, and whoever I hadn't seen so long, that part was strange, but it was a good experience, and it actually is helping me this year, being able to stay focused on what I have to do.

Q. Jeff, being familiar with both ballparks, what can pitchers maybe do here that they can't get away with at Fenway? Do the dimensions of the ballpark change for the pitcher?

JEFF SUPPAN: They definitely change the game, I think more for the hitter. You have the wall in the left, and Pesky's pole in the right. I think that was a factor. I think that was the first time I saw a ball hit the Pesky pole was when Bellhorn hit it. I think either ballpark or any ballpark you pitch in, the same things apply, as far as pitching inside, changing speeds, staying down in the strike zone, that always applies to any ballpark.

Q. Why do you think things didn't work out better for you the second time around with the Red Sox last year?

JEFF SUPPAN: Actually I didn't pitch very well. I think that I had a long break, a lot of excitement going back there, and I got out of that groove that I was in when I was with the Pirates. But I think it worked out great. I value all the experience I gained from playing with them to going to the postseason with them. And it's helping me this year.

Q. Were you upset at all when you got left off the postseason roster for the ALCS, and where physically were you for the ALCS last year?

JEFF SUPPAN: I believe I was left off for the Division Series, not the Championship Series. I was on the roster for the Championship Series. I was not on the roster for the Division Series. And basically what it came down to, as it was told to me that Trot (Nixon) had a little problem, and they wanted to keep Trot on the roster in case he could come back. And they felt that for me being a starting pitcher, they weren't going to need me in that round. But I was put on for the Championship Series. I didn't get a chance to pitch. But it's just how it is. You go into the postseason and there was no hard feelings. I was going to do whatever I could to help the team out. And if that was staying off the roster the first round, then I was off the roster. There's no hard feelings. I was just trying to do whatever I could in the role that I was put in to help the team win.

Q. The fact that Boston came back from 0-3 in the first round and you guys came back from 2-3, does that make being down 2-0 a little less daunting than it might be?

JEFF SUPPAN: There's always highs and lows, you know. Tremendous highs and tremendous lows. And I think that us going against the Astros, a great team, unbelievable team, and it went to 7 games, and I think that happens, especially with the Red Sox going against the Yankees, they were down 3-0 was tremendous, it was a great accomplishment for them to come back and win 4-3. But this is the best-out-of-seven, and we just have to go back out again tomorrow.

Q. When you hit five pitchers for four spots in the postseason, did you spend any time worrying about that or thinking what might happen?

JEFF SUPPAN: I didn't spend any time worrying about it because the way we play as a team, whatever role I was put in, I was going to do the best I could. If it was throwing out of the bullpen or throwing in the rotation, it really didn't matter to me. And I think that everyone threw well in our rotation. Everybody deserved a chance to get starts, but obviously numbers plays a part in it. Unfortunately Carp (Chris Carpenter) got hurt and wasn't able to pitch. So in my mind it really didn't matter, it didn't come down to that decision. So whatever role I would have been in I would have been doing my best to help the team win.

Q. That line-up or those hitters over there, they call themselves idiots and everything else. What do you think about those guys having known them and having seen them the last couple of days, what kind of approach can you take?

JEFF SUPPAN: Well, they're idiots (Laughter.) They're very relaxed, very aggressive team. They do a lot of things well. They kind of feed off of each other. They have Billy Mueller back, and that's a key, the batting champ last year. Definitely a tough line-up. I think you've got to go back there and be on your game.

End of FastScripts...

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