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October 13, 2002

Kirk Rueter


Q. Is this start going to be any easier than in St. Louis when you are not quite so close to home?

KIRK RUETER: I don't know. I like going home, so, you know, it's not hard there. Like I said last time, everybody that I talked to or that I leave tickets for, I talk to every week, anyway. So it's not a big distraction when I go back to St. Louis.

Q. Will it be any different for you, whether it's tied up or whether it's 3-1?

KIRK RUETER: I mean, not as far as me doing anything differently. I just want to go out and whether we're up 3-1 or it's tied 2-2, I want to help my team win. I don't think I'm going to go about anything differently if we're up or if it's a tie game. We still need to win the game no matter what.

Q. Dusty said when your arm is tired your sinker tends to be more effective; is that to your advantage?

KIRK RUETER: Oh, yeah. Some games during the year, for some reason, I don't know if I work out different in between starts, but sometimes I'll throw a little harder than I normally do, and my ball tends to straighten out when I'm throwing harder. So, hopefully this time of year I should be getting tired, but I felt a little stronger the last couple games. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get in that rhythm and have my sinker working.

Q. How did you feel about your Game 1 performance?

KIRK RUETER: I felt good. We got the early lead and the big lead and I think when you're a starting pitcher, you don't want to go out and give them a huge inning to get back in it. I'd like to take away the home runs, obviously, that I gave up, but I just went out there, didn't want to walk people and give them a big inning. Like I said after that game, it might have been -- I threw probably too many strikes, trying to get through innings where we got up by six and we got up by six again after I gave up the first two-run homer and the Cardinals are not a team that you want to throw a lot of strikes to, because they can hurt you in a hurry.

Q. Is pitching here going to be more to your advantage? Obviously, this is a much better pitcher's park.

KIRK RUETER: I don't know. The weather has kind of changed a little bit since the regular season, obviously. It's been a lot warmer here the past couple of weeks and the ball seems to be carrying a little more than it did during the regular season. You know, I don't know if it will be to my advantage or disadvantage. I take the same philosophy here or on the road. Even though this is more of a pitcher's park, you still have to make your pitches because, I mean, this park has proven that you can give up home runs. I mean, obviously, Barry hits a lot of them here. You just have to go out, try and execute your game plan and make your pitches.

Q. Often times here, you're able to get away with fly balls, maybe when it's not quite so warm, does that change your plan of attack at all?

KIRK RUETER: Not really. There's a huge right centerfield, and I think you see a lot of balls -- there's a long way out to hit that. I think as a pitcher, being a pitcher's park, that's what helps you the most, that big right-center and the ball does not carry as much out from center to right. Being a pitcher's park that way, I'm not going to go and try to change because it's a little warmer and think that I have to do anything differently.

Q. Does it benefit you or the Cardinals to see each other in such a close span of time?

KIRK RUETER: I don't know. With the way the schedule is set up in the regular season, I think I probably start it five times; four, five, six times this year back-to-back against the same team, because you play the teams in your division so often. You know, I don't know what I did in the second start compared to the first, but, you know, I still go out, I don't try to do a lot of things differently the second time if I face them back-to-back. I don't know what kind of advantage either of us have.

Q. Speaking of that, is there anything from the first game that you plan to change for tomorrow's start?

KIRK RUETER: Hopefully not give up the two home runs. (Laughing). But, no, I mean, as far as pitching, I try and do the same thing most every start, make my pitches with location and let my defense play behind me. So, you know, I don't plan on changing that too much.

Q. Since the last time we talked to you in St. Louis, can you explain your dominance against those guys? Even when you were not at your best, you still were able to come up with a victory.

KIRK RUETER: I don't know. I mean, our guys scored a lot of runs the last game. That definitely helps. You know, like I've said, going back to Busch Stadium, baseball-wise, I have no idea why I've thrown good at Busch Stadium or even against the Cardinals in San Francisco. They have had great teams and I definitely have been hit by them over the years. But it seems that our guys scored more when I got hit so, I can't really explain the baseball part. I just feel comfortable when I go back to St. Louis just because it's home.

Q. Everyone knows about Dusty's contract status. Is that something that gets talked about in the clubhouse?

KIRK RUETER: No, not really. Dusty, he won't let it be a distraction. You don't hear him talk about it much and it's kind of just that we are going to try to get everything accomplished that we want to and let things fall where they may at the end of the year. You know, I think everyone knows how the players feel about Dusty, and that obviously we would want him back no matter what happens. Nobody has really brought it up. And like I said, Dusty would not let it be a distraction anyway.

Q. Have you even thought about the fact that you might be the pitcher to send the Giants to the World Series?

KIRK RUETER: If we win today. The Cardinals are a great team and we have to win today before I would even get that chance. So, you know, I really haven't thought about it that much. I will, probably, if we can get the job done today. It would be exciting to have that opportunity. You know, they are a great team and they are not going to just let us go out there and win easily. So, tonight, if we happen to win, then I'll probably think about it.

Q. How many tickets did you end up getting in St. Louis?

KIRK RUETER: The people there did a great job, actually. All of my family and all of the Shed boys there when they found out I was pitching Game 1 went to Busch Stadium and tried to get all of the tickets that they could so they would not bother me. So I only ended up leaving probably about 15 of my own tickets and there was probably 50 or 60 people that were there that I knew.

End of FastScripts�.

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