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October 18, 2006

Shawn Green


Q. Is it a little bizarre that you guys could be playing for a pennant tomorrow, and you don't really know who the pitcher is going to be going for you in Game 7?
SHAWN GREEN: Yeah, I mean, obviously right now we're worried about tonight. We've got our hands full. We've got Carpenter and we're excited to be back at Shea, and hopefully we can force a Game 7. That's the goal, and when we get there, that's something we'll deal with at the time.
But you know, right now, we're confident. This was obviously a rough game yesterday, but we feel good coming back home and we like our chances.

Q. Whether it's tonight or tomorrow, you're in an elimination situation, what's the mental approach you take? I guess you don't want to be too overhyped or whatever.
SHAWN GREEN: Yeah, I think we just take it the same way we take every game. Just go out and obviously from Willie's perspective, he's the one that has to manage like it's the last day, but as players, you just have to play it like any other day.
Obviously from the managing perspective, every situation's crucial. You have to go with all your arms and do everything you can to try to force a Game 7.

Q. I guess this is the flipside of the question about the uncertainty about the pitching, do you take a certain pride in the fact that you guys have gotten this far in just kind of a patchwork rotation?
SHAWN GREEN: Well, I mean, we still have the same goal we've had the whole time, that's to win the World Series, and right now we're down 3-2. But this series has kind of gone back and forth. The rotation obviously has had a lot of injuries and guys have stepped forward and got us to this point. We feel like we can find a way to win these last two and get to the World Series. It's obviously not going to be easy. The Cardinals are playing well. They are pitching well and put some runs on the board, so we've just got to play good baseball.

Q. With a young guy like David Wright struggling, what do you try to say to somebody like that and try to just ease the pressure off him?
SHAWN GREEN: David's been great all year. You know, his last at-bat, he hit a nice double. He's fine. You know, it's easy to get caught up in series when there's 15, 20 at-bats. You know, one good game, all of a sudden he's having a good series. Hopefully that game will be tonight.
He's one of the big reasons why this team is in this position right now, playing to get to the World Series.

Q. You've come to New York as a visiting player, whether it's here or at Yankee Stadium. Can a boisterous, loud crowd affect a visiting team?
SHAWN GREEN: Oh, definitely. As a visitor, it's a tough place to play. Especially in a playoff atmosphere. The crowd I think is going to be even more energetic and enthused tonight and hopefully tomorrow.
So we have to as players, we have to provide them enough excitement to really get them engaged in the game from the first pitch on.

Q. What happens if, in fact, the crowd gets, whether it's to an individual player or a team as a whole, it actually affects their performance?
SHAWN GREEN: I think everyone talks about the momentum and I think the crowd, if, you know, the momentum -- if you can put a number on it, they multiply that momentum. If all of a sudden we have a rally going and score a couple of runs, the crowd can kind of take out the other team a little bit in the sense of feeling a little more pressure or feeling that the play is a bigger play coming up. I think that's the way it can change.
At the same time, it helps us feel all of the excitement behind us and hopefully we can ride that momentum, as well.

Q. When the series began and you knew you were down two significant pitchers, wasn't there a sort of feeling that the offense really had to do a certain amount of picking up their game, had to help out?
SHAWN GREEN: Yeah, I think any time there's injuries, other guys are going to have to pick it up. And when it's two starting pitchers, guys are going to look to the ones that are -- the pitchers that are filling in in the bullpen to lengthen things out a little bit, and of course the offense provide some more support just to make the job easier for the guys that are replacing the injured pitchers.

Q. But the offense hasn't really been doing the job.
SHAWN GREEN: Yeah, I mean, it's been kind of spotty. There's been some good offensive games and some bad ones. At this point we can't afford to have any more bad ones. We need to put some runs on the board. Especially in Game 6, it's crucial to get some runs on there and try to set the tone and steal back some of the momentum that they stole from us yesterday.

Q. Willie was talking earlier about Jose and how you cannot necessarily just run wild, whether it's on the bases or wherever in the playoffs. Do players think about changing the way you approach individual games in the post-season?
SHAWN GREEN: I think you have to change a little bit. The teams are going after guys' weaknesses, trying to prevent their strengths. So when a guy like Reyes is on the bases, it's no secret he's stolen 60 some odd bases in the season so he's going to be a threat and they are going to be extra careful.
A lot of times you'll see in the playoffs, I think guys that maybe don't steal as many bases, do things, all of a sudden sneaking them in there, because the focus is on guys like Reyes and maybe not on some other guys.

Q. So is the focus from the regular season coaching-wise is changing a little from the post-season to take way strengths?
SHAWN GREEN: I think the big thing, too, is you've got Molina being back there. So if you have just an average-throwing catcher, then they wouldn't really have much of a chance to get Reyes anyway. But Molina is one of the best in the game at throwing guys out. I think when you add that with La Russa and the other side being very aware of what Reyes' strengths are, that's when things are going to change a little bit in the playoffs.

Q. When you were a visiting player at Shea, what was it like, the noise, or the things people said, flying missiles or fearing they would come over the stands at you?
SHAWN GREEN: Sometimes you hear things, as far as, you know, maybe some vulgar comments here and there.
For the most part it's just the intensity of the crowd. It's completely different than any other park in the National League. You know, as a player -- the Cardinals, they have a lot of veteran players, so they have been around environments like this as far as World Series and playoff games. So I don't think it's going to be as dramatic as maybe a team with less experience.
But the same time, they could definitely shift the momentum should we start getting going and help take the Cardinals out of the game. That's the goal.

Q. I know it's your job to not think about things that didn't happen or things in the past but you had a couple close calls in the series. You almost caught Spiezio's ball, or maybe if the ball you hit to centerfield was a foot shorter, it's a whole different series, what are your thoughts about those kind of episodes?
SHAWN GREEN: Yeah, it's something that obviously you want things to go the right way. For me, I'll think about those plays and I'm hoping that when those things happen, I'll get another opportunity to try to make a series-changing play incident in the positive way and hopefully then I'll get the opportunity and I'll do my best and hopefully I'll be able to come through.

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