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October 9, 2002

Woody Williams


Q. Would you talk about how similar the various injuries to your left side have been this year? Are they all the same or have they been different?

WOODY WILLIAMS: It's kind of been weird, where it's hard to fingerprint at any one time where exactly the pain was coming from. It's kind of moved all the way around from my back to the front throughout the year. Right now, I kind of -- what I had been feeling was on the side when I really reached over to finish my pitch, it's kind of a grabbing sensation that was not allowing me to complete my mechanics.

Q. Is there a number of pitches or number of innings that you will be allowed to go?

WOODY WILLIAMS: I'm going to start with one, hopefully. (Laughs). They have not said, but I know there's going to be some kind of restraints. As far as what that is, I don't know.

Q. The scores have been way up in the post-season. Any thoughts on that?

WOODY WILLIAMS: I'm not really sure. I know we have a good lineup, as well as the other teams do, too. But bottom line, try to keep the ball off the middle of the plate as a pitcher and try not to walk guys. If you put guys on by walks or errors, usually they are going to score.

Q. You talk about restraints, does that apply to you swinging the bat?

WOODY WILLIAMS: I would think so. But I'm begging him right now. I don't know if I'll win that battle.

Q. When it came right down to it, did you have to do a lot of convincing to have the start tomorrow?

WOODY WILLIAMS: Not really. I just tried to maintain my confidence and just did all of my treatment and stuff with the trainers. I was just hoping that before the playoffs were over, I would get my chance and they felt I was ready, so it was pretty much their decision.

Q. Tony talked about how you are good at pitching without much preparation; is it awkward having this much rest between starts and what goes into being prepared for tomorrow?

WOODY WILLIAMS: I think a lot of it is just the type of pitcher I am. I'm not overpowering. I'm a pitcher that tries to hit the corners and can use more than one pitch behind in the count. So I think that has a lot of effect on my success with not having rehab or having missed that much time. I missed six weeks the first time I was injured this year and seven weeks the last time. Both of those times, I was able to come back with fairly good success.

Q. J.T. Snow was in here and said that you were a thinking-man's pitcher with what you do with the ball. Do you think that's so or do people just not give you enough credit for what you have?

WOODY WILLIAMS: I'm not ever looking for credit for what I have or what I don't have. If that's the way he wants to see me -- that is a big part of my game, is trying to stay one step ahead of the hitter. I don't have the overpowering fastball like most guys do. Like Matt Morris tonight and Jason Schmidt tomorrow night, they have outstanding velocity and movement on their fastball and are just able to overpower guys. I have to nitpick a little bit and hit my spots with different pitches.

Q. I know you're not going to give away any strategy, but just in general, the whole idea of how you deal with Bonds, do you buy into the idea that you don't let that particular guy beat you; that you make somebody else hit get the big hit?

WOODY WILLIAMS: With no disrespect to him, their lineup is pretty solid. I think if I personally give too much emphasis on one player, then the other guys, they are going to get the better of me. As far as I'm concerned, with pitching to him, you just have to try to keep the ball off the middle of the plate. You have very little room to work with. I'm not saying you will get him out if you make those pitches. He's an unbelievable player and a player that doesn't come around that often. I know it's going to be a battle, and hopefully, I'll be able to make my pitches to him.

Q. You've talked about how strange the injury is. When you go out there tomorrow, is it hard to know what is going to happen with your side or how it's going to feel? Are you going to have any concerns?

WOODY WILLIAMS: Well, I think maybe warming up I might have some concerns. But once I make it past getting loose and getting ready for the game, there's no way I can have my focus on my body or my side. I've got to be out there prepared and focused on making pitches.

Q. It's amazing, the kind of changes that pitchers that come to the Cardinals go through under Dave Duncan. Can you explain what happens?

WOODY WILLIAMS: I think a lot of it is they get the same type pitch of pitcher and I think he had very good success with Todd Stottlemyre. Dave is not one to try to sit there to try to change everybody or try to mold everybody to be the same type of pitcher. He takes what they have and works within their strengths. With me, he's taught me a slider and it's been something I've been fairly consistent with. As far as preparation, I think that's where they excel more than most teams, or any team that I've been on. They have books and books on each team, each hitter. It's a lot easier to go out there and pitch when you know what you want to do and you will you have to do is execute.

End of FastScripts...

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