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October 21, 2006

Albert Pujols

Scott Rolen


Q. Albert, when you come up with a runner on second, two outs, first base open, you expect to be walked in that situation?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Nope. I just go out there and just try -- don't take my aggression away. If they decide to pitch around me, I know that those guys can drive it in. I just go out there and just try to see the ball and put a good swing, and that's what I did.
It's so tough when you have a guy throwing 95, 99 miles an hour to think too much when you're at the plate. I just try to see the ball.

Q. Scott, it wasn't any secret how the Mets were trying to pitch to you coming inside. It seems like the last game or two you started to adjust to that, when did you start to feel more comfortable with that?
SCOTT ROLEN: I felt comfortable all series, actually. Mentally I had a few distractions in the series, and it was a tough series for me. It was good for me to kind of turn the page tonight to a new series, a new competition. I felt like I had a little fight in me tonight. And maybe that was lacking a little bit in the first couple of games in the NLCS. But I felt fine physically and mechanically; I felt good during the entire NLCS.

Q. Scott, can you describe that play coming around third, the Cardinal fans holding their breaths, because of your shoulder situation. What happened there and what sort of shape are you in? And Albert, is there anything better on your menu in your restaurant than the chicken and rice?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Good question. Do you want to go? What, have you ordered anything else?

Q. Yes.
ALBERT PUJOLS: Did you like it?

Q. Yes.
ALBERT PUJOLS: I like everything in there. I go in every time I can. I think the people in the St. Louis area enjoy going in there and enjoy the food.
SCOTT ROLEN: The play in the third (laughter), we were going on contact at the time. Jimmy was at third base. So ground ball, he's going to go. I'm going to third base right then. I saw him throw the ball wide left, and I'm looking to see if the ball is going to bounce back off the screen. And I looked back up and I was in mid-stride and he was right in front of me. I just kind of went over the top of him.
I'm fine. Physically I'm fine. It didn't hurt. I hit my head a little bit, I think, but I don't remember. But I'm physically fine. And it ended up scoring two runs on the play, it was good.

Q. Can you talk about Reyes' performance tonight, and not just that he got you so deep in the game, but there were times when he was so dominant, 17 straight he knocked down.
SCOTT ROLEN: He was unbelievable. The presence he had out on the mound and the confidence that he was throwing the ball with, I think, is what everybody was most impressed with. He seemed to attack the hitters tonight. He went after everybody. He threw the ball great. He never wavered at all. Everybody had a lot of confidence in him. That's a lot of expectations to throw out there on Game 1.

Q. First of all, Scott, going into the World Series you had an 0 for, and Albert, no RBIs, did either one of you give any thought to that before today's game? Was it kind of a relief when you hit today's home runs?
SCOTT ROLEN: We're human beings, I know I didn't get a hit in the last World Series. No excuses, for whatever reason, it doesn't matter. But I also don't want to be shallow to the point to think that last postseason or last World Series has anything to do with what's happening tonight. It's a completely different series. And if you can concentrate and grind from at-bat to at-bat, there are no numbers, there are no stats, there is nothing that makes any difference when you're out there competing.
ALBERT PUJOLS: Like Scott said, I don't think you can change anything that happened two years ago. That was then, this is now. What can you do to help out your team to win? I'm here to try to do my best. I don't want to put any pressure on myself, I have a lot of guys, they can help the team a lot of different ways. Every time I come to the ballpark I just try to think about what I'm going to do to help my team to win, with the defense or with my offense, and don't think about what's out there on the board. I don't care if -- we got the win today and that's what's big.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about Reyes and what you saw from him tonight?
ALBERT PUJOLS: I just think he did his job. That was probably the best game of his life going out there, the crowd being loud and getting out through that first inning, and only giving up one run, that was big. But we talked in the meeting today, our job was to score runs as early as we could, and take the pressure off of him and that's what we did. He was aggressive throwing his fastball. I didn't see anything -- any pitch that he shook off Yadi, everything he put down he was going with. Both of those guys did a great job.

Q. Both of you said there was no connection to the World Series two years ago. Before the game your manager did talk about how he tried to prepare you better after a tough seven-game series than two years ago. Was the preparation as a team in kind of forgetting or moving past the seven-game LCS different than it was -- different this year than it was before Boston?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Well, I don't remember anything that he said to us to prepare ourself. We know that we need to prepare ourself, to go out there and perform. So I don't think that -- he might say a couple of things to us, but that's private. What's said in the locker room stays in the locker room. I didn't hear anything he said.
But we had to get ourself ready. That was two years ago, this is this year, and we got one win, and we need to keep going and concentrate about tomorrow's game.

End of FastScripts...

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