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October 24, 2006

Jim Leyland


Q. How tough is it to have a game like this when it seems your pitching and defense, which was such a strong point for you, has let you guys down these three games?
JIM LEYLAND: I don't necessarily agree with that. Basically our offense got three hits. So we made a couple of mistakes defensively. I thought we threw the ball pretty well, I thought Nate did, too. Joel threw the ball away, and he made a fundamental mistake. The ball took him that way, Inge broke for it, he saw Brandon, he made a bad fundamental play. But we can talk about that.
But to be honest with you, two of the games that we lost, we had four hits in one and three hits in another. So I think No. 1 you credit Chris Carpenter, and No. 2, we just got a few guys that aren't swinging a bat very well right now.

Q. You said yesterday, you said Pudge may be trying too hard. Are you worried that there are several guys in that stage right now?
JIM LEYLAND: I don't know, the first day, yes, and then you win the second game, so everything is okay, and you don't notice those kind of things, then you lose tonight. So certainly you pick up on those things again. That's a possibility and I'm sure you guys -- that might be a good question for them.
I don't really know the answer. I don't think so. I think that, you know, we're pretty zeroed in on what we're trying to do. And like I said, tonight you've got to credit Chris Carpenter and I also credit our pitcher, Nate Robertson. I thought he did a good job.

Q. Jim, earlier it looked like Carpenter was having trouble throwing his breaking ball for a strike. Are they not recognizing it out of his hand or overanxious?
JIM LEYLAND: It may not be a strike, but it's got that tight rotation and tight spin. It's a pretty good breaking ball, obviously, and it's just not that easy. So I would never do anything to take anything away from Chris Carpenter's performance tonight. It was outstanding and obviously, like I said, I will add that obviously you also have to get some hits now and then off good pitchers. If you don't, you're in trouble.
But it was a combination, we didn't swing real good. But you have to tip your hat to Chris Carpenter, and I tip my hat to our starting pitcher.

Q. In the fourth inning, was Inge's decision to go home with that ground ball a concession with how difficult it was going to be to score runs off Carpenter?
JIM LEYLAND: I think it was definitely the right decision. I don't think there's any question about that. He knew there was a good chance that runs would be stingy tonight. And like I said, it wasn't like they really knocked the ball all over the ballpark either, but they took advantage of things. We made some mistakes. And you've got the wild pitch to get another run. And things kind of fell apart. When you get two or three hits in a game you always look bad, that's just the way it is. You look bad.
But like I said, they took advantage of a couple of opportunities. Edmonds got a big hit. And we helped them a little bit. We had a double play ball that we turned into two runs for them.

Q. The first three games of the series have been dominated by starting pitching. With the rest of the guys going in the series, do you expect this to continue throughout the series?
JIM LEYLAND: Normally when you get to a World Series, there's good pitching on both teams and that's certainly the case here, that's the way it is. And you talk on how do you get to the World Series? You get there with good pitching. And these are two teams that have very good pitching and we've had it all year. And the Cardinals, because of some injuries from time to time have been a little shaky, but obviously Weaver picked them up, Suppan has been tremendous, and Carpenter is always tremendous. They're on a roll right now with their staff, and we've pretty much been on a roll all year with our staff.
There's one common denominator, if you get to the World Series, you have to have good pitching and you have to beat one to win.

Q. In the regular season when a team is slumping you can do certain things lineup-wise and stuff, can you do anything in the World Series or is it just what it is?
JIM LEYLAND: I'll tell you what, that's a very good question. I'm going to sleep on it, I'm not sure who's going to play tomorrow. I don't know what it's going to look like, and I'm certainly not going to talk about that. I would obviously talk to a player before I would ever maybe play someone else or give somebody a rest or try something else. So obviously I wouldn't give that information out tonight, but it's a possibility.

Q. You had two outstanding defensive plays by the Cardinals in the seventh inning, by Pujols and by our right fielder. How did that affect you?
JIM LEYLAND: Wilson made a pretty good one, too, in the last inning. I think if you've been listening to my press conferences, I said all along they're pretty good.

Q. In a series like this, teams come in 1-1, how important is the third game? Is it sort of a turning point in the series or not?
JIM LEYLAND: No, I don't think so. Everybody has their different philosophies on that. I've seen where somebody said if you win Game 1, they'll win most of the time, that percentage. I read an article today where Joe Torre said he thought the most important game was Game 2. Basically what this means is that the Cardinals went up 2-1. If we don't swing the bats better they'll go up 3-1. That's as simple as it is. But at the same time when I say that, I think we'll swing the bats better. We're certainly not conceding anything. I think this is a great atmosphere. It's World Series baseball and it's fun to be here and we need to grind it out. But we do need to swing the bats a little better, obviously.

End of FastScripts...

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