October 12, 2001
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI: Game Three
Q. Tony, what was the situation with Kile? Did you think he was out of gas at that stage?
TONY LaRUSSA: Yes, he gave us all he had. And when I went out there and took him out, he said that's all I had. And it was a lot, he gave us a great ball game.
Q. Talk about some of the missed opportunities in the 8th and 9th.
TONY LaRUSSA: Well, as it turned out, that was one of the real keys. You know, we didn't lose our spirit when we gave up the four. Came back and got one right away, and got the lead-off hitter to second and couldn't get him over and in. That makes it a one-run game. And you get two guys on the 9th and we didn't bunt them over. Then Mac is not the double-play guy, you can at least get to Vina. For a club that's fundamentally very correct, we had a couple of hiccups in the 8th and 9th, and ended up losing a two-run game.
Q. Did you have the men up there that you would like to get with Edmonds with the bases loaded and McGwire, with two on?
TONY LaRUSSA: When we got the guy to 2nd playing at home, Vina hit a bullet to center field. He pulled it a little bit. After we didn't get him over , then it got exciting when Edmonds put a great swing and just got under it a little bit. Matheny is one of our best bunters, evidently Kim is tough to bunt.
Q. You had a matchup of Matthews and Counsell. Did you just leave it out over the plate?
TONY LaRUSSA: That was by far the biggest at-bat of the game. And you know Mike is feeling very low, but he came in and made a nice pitch on the bunt, got out of it with Womack. I mean the game is there, a blooper by Colbrunn, he really threw the ball well, but he went 2-1 and you've got Gonzalez on deck. He threw him a fastball down the middle and Counsell unloaded. Counsell is hitting over .300 against left-handed pitching. So he's a tough out. I give him credit. He had a pitch to hit and he hit it.
Q. Did you consider taking Matthews out before he gave up the home run since he was struggling a little bit?
TONY LaRUSSA: I'm wondering where the struggle is. He got behind Miller 2-1. He got a base hit. Colbrunn is a blooper, made a great pitch to get Womack out, I don't think it's -- I mean, I think he's got to get Counsell. He just fell behind. When there is only an open base with Gonzalez on deck, he came after him. And Counsell won the contest. If the count's 1-2, he can do more things. He threw a fastball down the middle. He didn't miss it.
Q. Are you sticking with Bud Smith tomorrow as a starter?
TONY LaRUSSA: Yes.
Q. In the 7th did you think about bringing Timlin in to face Colbrunn in the 7th?
TONY LaRUSSA: I think what you're looking at there, it wouldn't have been Colbrunn. They had Dellucci. They had Durazo. So Timlin is going to face a left-hander, and then they've got Womack and Counsell. Where is your edge? I mean, as it turned out, I thought Matthews, you know just about got us out of it. I didn't think bringing Timlin to face all those left-handers was a better situation for us.
Q. What's your overall feeling
coming out of this game being down two games to one?
TONY LaRUSSA: I think when you saw in the bottom of the 7th and 8th, and 9th, the spirit we've played with, we've had our heart broken a few times this year. We'll come out tomorrow like gang busters. My feeling is there was a game there to win, they won it. I'm confident we'll come out very hard tomorrow.
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