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October 12, 2006

Chris Carpenter


Q. Did this change your preparation at all, I assume you found out when you walked in, have you done anything in the past few days that you have to recover from?
CHRIS CARPENTER: No, this is my normal day. Especially at this time of the year, you know, you've got to be ready for change, you've got to be ready for anything. And my preparation is the same every time, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow.
You know, I had an idea last night that he came in to me and mentioned to me that he was thinking about it. At the time last night, he was thinking of keeping it the same, but he said he might change so just be ready tomorrow in case you come in. But I'm going to sleep on it and we'll see what happens and he let me know when I came in this morning or this afternoon, and I'm looking forward to it. It's going to be a great time.

Q. Any difference going on the road in Game 2, as opposed to home for Game 3, and what are your thoughts about being able to pitch in Game 6 instead of 7 if it comes to that?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Home and road, no, there is no thoughts. You're going to pitch no matter what. Obviously their decision was to pitch me in Game 2 and Game 6, if 6 gets there. We're going to need all of our staff and all of our players. It's a team game. We're going to have to step it up all the way around to go out and play. It's not going to be just me pitching 2 and 6. We need Jeff to come out well and we need to play like we did against San Diego and I think if we do that, we'll have a chance.
Again, the road and the home thing, 2 or 3, it's not a big deal. It's my regular day and I'll be prepared to pitch tomorrow.

Q. Two questions. One is when did you throw on the side, and two, your ERA was a lot better at home; is there just an extra comfort level there, or why do you think this season there was a big difference there?
CHRIS CARPENTER: I'll answer the first one. I didn't throw a side. I haven't been throwing sides for a few weeks now. You get to that time of the year where I'm really not working on anything. My stuff is there, I'm strong, I feel good. I'm saving my bullets, and you can prepare just as well off the mound as on it.
The road and home ERA, I don't know, there isn't a difference in the way I feel. I think it might have got skewed a little bit from the couple of games in a row there where I didn't pitch real well on the road. There was one against Kansas City and then against Detroit where I gave up six or seven runs. But I don't feel any different, no matter where I'm pitching. I prepare the same way and I prepare to come out and compete and do the best job I can to give my team a chance to win and I plan on doing that tomorrow.

Q. For last month in the regular season, Trevor Hoffman inserted himself into the Cy Young race that you are a big part of. Some people, writers, don't believe relievers should be up for Cy Young; that's more of an everyday thing; maybe MVP. I wonder what your thoughts are about that and the possibility of Trevor being in there might change the voting.
CHRIS CARPENTER: To be honest with you, I'm really not concerned about the Cy Young right now. I've got Game 2 of the Championship Series tomorrow against the Mets.
You know, all year, last year and this year, people talking about Cy Youngs; my thoughts are I'm going to go out and pitch the best I can all year. And November, whenever the date is they announce it, we'll see what happens. I'm not that concerned about it. If I win it, it's great. If Trevor wins, it's great. I'm preparing to pitch against the Mets tomorrow and you can ask me that question in a month.

Q. From a pitcher's standpoint, what kind of problems does Jose Reyes present to you at the plate and also on the base paths?
CHRIS CARPENTER: At the plate, obviously, he's a phenomenal player, no question about it. You watch him play -- I didn't pitch against them this year, home or here, but watching him play, he does everything, there's no question about that. He's definitely going to be one of those guys that you have to bear down and execute.
This whole lineup is phenomenal, so if you don't execute pitches, you're not going to be successful. You have to keep him off the base paths.
With the ability of Yadier throwing and me throwing runners, I think we make a nice combo. That will give him a little less advantage. Like I said I'm going to try to keep him off the base paths and keep him from running on me, just do the best I can.

Q. How much do you rely on video before you go out and throw?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Video is a huge part of my game. I have video back-dated for maybe 20 or so -- 25 at-bats of each guy, similar pitchers to myself that are facing them. And I study it, I study it for a few hours and go over it again and pay attention to some of the things that they got hits on, some of the pitches they didn't get hits on, trying to just see what some of the other guys are doing. I really pay attention a lot, so it's a big part of my game and it helps me prepare and helps me prepare and get my game plan to what I want to do that day.

Q. Since you've been here, you've been -- just a little follow-up on the Reyes question, you've been really successful at controlling the running game. What are the keys to that for you, is that something you've always done well, and what goes into the success you have, aside from having Yadi, what goes into the success you have of controlling the running game?
CHRIS CARPENTER: I've always been a guy, and there's been times in my career where when I was with Toronto they tried to slow me down because they thought I was too fast.
I've always been a guy that's never had a big leg kick, always been quick to home, and so it's never been a concern of mine to be honest with you. I was always fast enough to home to get my catcher a chance to throw the guy out and then you get a guy behind there like Yadi that's probably got the best arm in the League and helps you out even more.

Q. You're closing out on 200 innings for the second straight year. How do you feel physically at this time this year; is it any different from how you felt at this time last year?
CHRIS CARPENTER: No, I still feel good. I still feel strong. My body feels good. Everything feels good, and I think once you get to this point in the season, it doesn't really matter to be honest with you. You find a way, and the adrenaline when you get out there, it takes over. I feel good and I feel just as great as I did last year.

Q. Your comments about Yadi, not a whole lot of players in the Major Leagues can affect the game, and can be a big force defensively, and it seems like he can. How does he do that? What sort of defensive force is he?
CHRIS CARPENTER: He's phenomenal. Not only talking about video; Yadi watches as much video as I watch. Before every series, he prepares himself, watches the hitters, understands what they are doing, and he's almost like a pitcher. He goes up and sees weaknesses and sees strengths in different hitters. So he has an idea before we go into the meeting of what he wants to do and listens to what I have to say and listens to what Dunc has to say. So that's one thing that he does defensively to help a pitcher.
Just watch the series against San Diego when he picked Piazza off at first. He's done it numerous times this year and you'd think at some point in time the opponent would realize that, you know, you don't want to take too much on first. He continues to do it. He's got a quick release and obviously a strong arm and he really prides himself on being a good defensive catcher. You watch him block balls, he learned from the best in the game, Mike Metheny what he was here. He blocks them where nobody can take advantage or get that extra base. He prides himself and works so hard at being that guy to block the throw. He wants to do those things that has made him what he is, and it's a pleasure to have him behind home plate because he helps you out every single night.

Q. How has Looper helped you out in the set-up role?
CHRIS CARPENTER: You take him from being an ex-closer and throwing in front of Izzy and now in front of Wainwright, you basically have two closers doing the job.
When I was a kid in Toronto, you had Hinky and Ward, you look at the Yankees when they had Rivera and Wetteland. Just to have those two guys at the end, you know, really solidified the last couple innings and make it a six or seven-inning game for the starter, which is nice.

Q. Have you noticed in post-season games the scouting reports are obviously in, that guys will stray a little bit from what you think is the normal first-pitch swingers pull back, and you as a pitcher, can you go away from your norm when you know you're playing a playoff-type roster?
CHRIS CARPENTER: I don't think that guys stray. I mean, you'll have an occasional person or hitter that, you know, in certain situations, do different things.
But for me, I see, I watch, I see strengths, weaknesses, what you're going to do, but ultimately this is my stuff and this is how I pitch. If I execute pitches and make pitches, you're going to have to hit them. I'm not going to stray away from what I do, if it makes me consistent and what makes me successful. Just because one guy is swinging early, I'm going to go in and pound the strike zone and make quality pitches. If you're making quality pitches and be aggressive and these guys are more aggressive, it's hard to hit a pitch that is down and away and in the block. If you end up making quality pitches, you get early in the counts and it helps you, saves your pitch count and does a lot of good things for you as a pitcher.

Q. Has it been your normal routine to stop throwing between starts at the end of the year, or is this year any different in that way, or that's not a result of the last couple years?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Not at all. To be honest with you, I don't know what other people do, but I can see that around the league, there's a lot of guys that towards the end kind of back off and, you know, again, if it's something that I need to go and work on my curveball or work on my sinker or whatever it is, I'm going to go and get on the mound. But my stuff's good, I feel comfortable with my stuff and I don't need to get on the mound and work on it, so there's no need to get up there and do it. It's just save them, go out and play catch and do a lot of flat groundwork and I get my work in on flat ground. I did it last year, too. I wasn't throwing at the end last year, either. So I'm not -- it is -- anyways, yes, the last two years, the last three years, it's been a part of my program.

End of FastScripts...

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