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October 15, 2006

Willie Randolph


Q. How good has Carlos Delgado been in this LCS and how impressive is it that he doesn't try to pull that ball away from him, he just hits it hard to the opposite field?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: He's been for a long time one of the best hitters in the game and part of the strength and beauty of what he does as a hitter, he's a power hitter who will go the other way and take what you give him for the most part. Very, very rare, very unique to see a hitter like him who can turn on you and pull the ball and then can just stay out there and just serve the ball the other way.
I used to watch him and Shawn Green in Toronto years ago, just play Home Run Derby the other way in batting practice. He's accustomed to doing this. He's been doing it a long time. He's just a great all-around hitter and I'm just glad to see, and I said this before, that the world or the country is seeing him on stage like this, showing what a great, great hitter he is.

Q. Does a game like today kind of scoff the notion of what momentum might mean in baseball --
WILLIE RANDOLPH: That's always overblown. Momentum is as good as the next day pitcher and how you feel about yourself coming into the game.
Sometimes a little luck is involved. Sometimes you just feel better a particular day. So I don't get caught up in a lot of the momentum and all that stuff. You can feel it sometimes, you can feel a change, but it doesn't always stay true to form.

Q. The weather forecast for tomorrow is pretty brutal. Would you prefer to get that extra day's rest for Glavine at this point?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: No, we'd prefer to just play. Tommy is ready to go. He's chomping at the bit and we're all ready to play, so I'm hoping we get a game tomorrow. We're ready to play.

Q. A couple of questions: Perez, was it your confidence in him that you had that pinch-hitting situation there where you could have piled on some more runs in that inning that you sent him up to the plate?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: No. He was going to stay in the game. He was pitching well. We had a three-run lead at the time and I think it was still in the bottom of the fifth. He was going to go back out. He was throwing the ball out.

Q. And likewise, Beltrán, what you said about Delgado, I mean, the guy has seven LCS homers now in 11 games.
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Well, again it's no secret, he's one of the best hitters in the game. He's done it before, he's been on this stage before and he seems to rise to the occasion when the big games come around, we saw it in the WBC this spring, he had a different type of swagger to him, a different type of attitude and went out and played. You make a mistake with him, he'll make you pay for it. I love it.
That's what big players do. A lot of the two, three, four hitters on our club are outstanding hitters and we need them to do what we need them to do for us.

Q. Were you close to getting Perez after the Eckstein home run and did he show you something with those two strikeouts that followed?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: No, not really. Everybody was available and ready, but he did show me a lot, he beared down, he didn't really bend. I wish I could remember what inning it was, but I remember saying to my coaches that he got out of the inning nicely and didn't panic. It was nice to see him keep his wits about him and not overreact and not get away from himself. That's one thing he's improved on and gotten better at since he's been here, he's been able to keep his emotions intact and channel his energy and get through some potential big innings or whatever. Again, I don't remember which inning it was, but I guess around the third or fourth he got out of a bit of a potential jam.

Q. You say momentum may not be a key now in this series but you've got to feel good about what your team did tonight and obviously going into what is now just a three-game series.
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Yeah, you do feel great, but it's like yesterday, I think someone said, is it the biggest game of the year. Not necessarily, this is only 2- 1 at the time and we get a win tonight, get back going again.
But any time you can start from a clean slate after being down by one, we're going to play this series, possibly go to seven games and just take it one day at a time like we always do and get this back to New York, which we will anyway. It will be nice to get a win tomorrow and get a nice off-day and get back home.

Q. What do you think the difference was with you guys being able to get to the Cardinal bullpen tonight? They have been extraordinary throughout the post-season. What do you think the difference was tonight with them?
WILLIE RANDOLPH: Just swing the bats like we can. We have an aggressive, offensive ballclub, it's just a matter of everyone making solid contact and taking advantages of mistakes they might have made. We've been pretty consistent all year long, attacking and putting our offense in gear. Tonight is going to be different. There are going to be games where you might get shut out and you turn the page and get out there the next day and hopefully you find a few holes and you get good quality at-bats, get the pitch count up, turn the page, man, it's totally different. We look at the game in small increments and we try to just forget about what happened yesterday and go out and focus on the day we have to play and we did a great job tonight.

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