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October 8, 2006

Chris Carpenter


Q. Chris, first inning to the second inning, what were the differences for you?
CHRIS CARPENTER: You know, I came out in the first and, you know, I think I was trying to do a little too much. I wasn't attacking the strike zone, wasn't getting strike one, trying to make perfect pitches on the corners, and that's not my game.
Fortunately I was able to get out of it with two runs and we popped two runs in the bottom there to make it a whole new game. And second inning I just regrouped and went out and started back in the strike zone. I was going to be aggressive and make them swing the bats.
And, you know, worked out all night.

Q. The last couple of weeks were a struggle for you guys in the regular season. Do you think that helped you at all into the post-season? Did it spur you on?
CHRIS CARPENTER: I don't know. You know, I think that, you know, I've said before that no matter how you get here, you're here, and then once you're here, you got the chance. I mean, that's the goal from spring training: Get a chance to play in the post-season and be one of eight teams to have a chance to win it all.
You go one game at a time and play as hard as you can, nine innings as hard as you can, and give it everything you've got. If you end up getting beat, you get beat. But you know, I think this club has a lot of talent. I think we've shown that in this series, especially defensively.
I know we've made some huge defensive plays this whole series that have saved pitches for our starters, for our relievers, saved runs.
You know, you look at the way we play defense and it's been phenomenal, and all of a sudden we start coming up with a couple of two-out base hits and some hits together like we did in game one against Peavy, and we've been playing cardinal baseball, been playing the way we know how to play and it's been great. Bullpen has been great, starters have been great.
It's just been, like I said, Cardinal baseball, coming out from first out to the last out, playing as hard as you can.

Q. Chris, do you think that that game one kind of set the tone and changed the tone from what you had in the end of the regular season because of what the bullpen did and stringing the hits, getting timely hits?
CHRIS CARPENTER: I don't know. I know it gave us some confidence in what was going on. You know, we struggled coming into the end, but we made it. And all of a sudden we had game one against a tough opponent that we just faced and beat us two out of three, and facing a tough guy in Peavy. And you know, I go out and do my job.
The bullpen did a fantastic job, and we got some big hits against Peavy in that one inning to string them together. And there's no question, it all of a sudden sent a message to us that, you know, we can do it. There's no question about it. If you go out, try as hard as you can during the, like I said, first out to the last, we've got a chance.

Q. Chris, tonight a lot of players that weren't with the team last year like Spiezio, Belliard, Encarnacion, came up big for you guys. You had a big makeover from last year to this year, what's been the key to make you mesh so well?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Bunch of grinders. Bunch of grinders. We go, understand the game. We're a bunch of professionals also. They're guys that come ready to play and, you know, if unfortunately we lose that game, they're not sitting in their lockers with their heads and their shoulders hanging over, and they're getting prepared to come back the next day giving it all they've got to win.
And like I said, they just continue to battle and continue to grind. And that's the group we've got.
Like I said, Cardinal baseball guys are professional players. They come out and play as hard as they can every day.

Q. Chris, Tony took a lot of guff for holding you for game one, but he said that if he could get one more win out of somebody else, he figured you would have two wins in this series. That's a lot of confidence from the manager, isn't it?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Absolutely. I mean, you know, to do that and say, okay, we need to hold off and so we can have you throw game one and four, if we get there, you know, obviously it shows a confidence he has in me, shows the confidence the organization has in me to go out and do my job. And it obviously worked out.

Q. Chris, the umpire seemed to have a very tight strike zone tonight. How much did that affect you?
CHRIS CARPENTER: It didn't at all. And I take pride in I don't argue calls. I don't concern myself with if the umpire misses a pitch or doesn't miss a pitch.
I thought Greg was great tonight. I've had him before. Greg is a very honest guy that calls the strike zone, that doesn't care: He takes grief from both sides about called strikes, noncalled strikes, and doesn't faze him a bit. He's a professional guy behind home plate, does a good job. Doesn't want to argue with you. Just calls his game. You know that. And I thought he did a fine job tonight, to be honest with you.

Q. Chris, this is your third straight start against the Padres. Do you change your the approach on the third or does it stay the same?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Again, I came in the first inning and I tried to establish a game plan last night and today went over it with Duncan and the catchers. It's tough. There's no question about it. When you're facing three times in a row, they've seen everything you've got, everything you can throw at them. And that's where it goes out, you have to start pitching.
And basically, you know, after the first inning, I was able to throw the ball down and away and sinking the ball down the way, both sides of the plate. My cutter was so-so, but I made a few good pitches with it. And my breaking ball was good. I was able to get a strike one with it.
So it was a battle in the first, and then I got back into my game plan and just see where it goes. Here it is. I'm going to -- found the strike zone, and you're going to have to hit it and see what happens. And it worked out.

Q. How huge would you say Ronnie Belliard was in this series?
CHRIS CARPENTER: There's no question that's the Ronnie Belliard that everybody knows, defensively, offensively. I mean, he had a phenomenal series. Having him there, making some of the plays he's made and coming up with some of the hits he came up with, that's the guy we need. And he did a phenomenal job the whole series. And, you know, I'm proud to be a part of his team.

Q. Chris, when you were back in the dugout there in the eighth inning and you were watching the Padres try to mount a rally there, what did you think of Josh Kinney's work?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Josh Kinney, it's funny. Me and Josh go back a long way. When I was rehabbing in '03 when I first signed with the Cardinals, I met him in Florida. He was on the same league team, and I moved up there to do some of my rehab starts in triple A. By the time my last rehab start happened, it was in double A. He got moved in double A.
And I really thought that Josh, from the time that I saw him in Florida to the time that I saw him in AA, that he had the stuff to pitch in the Major Leagues. No question about it. He had the mind to pitch in the Major Leagues.
He's done a phenomenal job and, you know, like I said, talking to him back then in '03, I really enjoyed spending time with him. And I was really proud to see him get called up earlier in the year have this opportunity and I'm really proud to see him do the things he's doing in the playoffs. He's been great.
MODERATOR: Congratulations, Carp. Thank you for your time.

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