October 14, 2001
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Game Five
Q. Would you talk about the last at-bat there by Womack.
TONY LaRUSSA: He had a heck of a day. He's the kind of guy that you can fear the most when a guy is in scoring position to put it in play somewhere. I go back to the start of the inning. I tell you, Matt Williams is having a tough series. Bob Brenly said earlier that he thought Matt Williams is going to make some contribution. I thought that was classic. You have to give credit where credit is due. That fit the whole series.
Q. Can you talk about what Matt gave you today?
TONY LaRUSSA: I'm not a betting man, but 16 innings, two runs, and you would have thought he would have won both. He was great. That's exactly what I meant. I thought he was great.
Q. Tony, in the playoffs you've had a lot of pitchers respond Stewart, when you were with Oakland; Morris, here. Would you comment?
TONY LaRUSSA: Well, believe me, it was a real bitter defeat for our club. We really felt we were going to move forward. But in Game 1 and Game 5, to be sitting on the bench and watching Curt Schilling and Matt Morris, I mean, that isn't Major League, it's a league above this one. It was really a privilege. When a guy does that kind of job. The loss is easier to take. I take my hat off to him. I was thrilled to watch those guys. I wish our guy had gotten one of the two. He deserved them. And we deserved them.
Q. Was there any thought of walking Womack to load the bases?
TONY LaRUSSA: When you think about it, I just didn't think it was a real good play. You walk Womack, you load the bases, Counsell, coming up, even if you pop him up, you get Gonzalez, so you go after Womack. It was an aggressive call. We were thinking how were we going to pitch the 10th inning. That's what we were thinking. I wasn't going to walk him.
Q. The home run in the 8th to tie it up, a lot of times that changes the momentum. Talk about that.
TONY LaRUSSA: I thought it did, then Jim gets a lead-off single in the 9th. I thought it was the right thing. It's more fun to think something fun is going to happen.
Q. How tough was it for you to pinch hit for McGwire?
TONY LaRUSSA: In that situation. I tell you, if the guy had been off 2nd base, I would have let Mac hit. But we were going to try to do something to advance the runner. We needed one to win. We were going to play hit and run. I just don't think the way that Schilling was gearing up, and the little extra for Mac, that we had a real chance to advance the runner. Believe me, if this guy doesn't play anymore, and his last at-bat was a pinch-hit, that is not -- it would be my lowest moment as a manager, unless we had won the game. My heart was pure. I think I owe that to our club. I was just trying to win a game.
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