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October 6, 2009

Chris Carpenter


THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for Chris Carpenter.

Q. What does it mean to you to take the ball in Game 1 after all you've been through physically the last couple of years?
CHRIS CARPENTER: It's exciting. This is what it's all about. This is why I do what I do. I work hard to get back and have the chance to play. This opportunity, this is a good team that we're about to face. But if you don't want to pitch in this situation, you need to go home.
This is where it's all about. I'm excited about it. I'm glad that I get the opportunity.

Q. I know you love questions that are not about you. So I'll treat you to one here. Last time we saw Adam Wainright he was in the post-season of course he was a reliever. What role do you think his having pitched so well in '06, the at-bats against Beltran and Inge, what role do you think they've played in his maturation as a starter over the past three years?
CHRIS CARPENTER: I would say probably an important one. In that situation, pressure situations, big time situations, but that being said, relieving and starting is totally different. Have you to be able to mentally control yourself and control yourself throughout the whole game and Adam has turned into someone that can do that consistently and do that well. That's what has made him have the type of season he's had.
I definitely think that it has helped those situations. But starting is totally different.

Q. I know you've had a lot of success against all the teams this year, but specifically against the Dodgers, you have pitched well. What has made that such a good match-up for you going up against those hitters?
CHRIS CARPENTER: It's about executing pitches. It's about being prepared and having a game plan and going out there and executing. And I've been able to do that both times against those guys.
They really have a nice lineup, a tough lineup. But you prepare and you put a game plan together and you go out and pitch and execute. If you're able to do that, you should have success.
So I'm looking forward to tomorrow night and going out and executing my game plan. That's what it's all about.

Q. Mozeliak went out and made the trades you're aware of that kind of bolstered the offense. Down the stretch the offense struggled quite a bit. What's your expectation of the kind of runs support you're going to receive and just in general whether the offense will fire up again?
CHRIS CARPENTER: I've said it all along, that's not my job. My job is to go out there and give up the least amount of runs. Their job is to go out and score runs. They're going to be going against good pitching. These guys can hit. These guys are professional, take professional at-bats, I think we'll be fine.
I think we've got some solid guys, real deep, deep lineup and I think we're going to be fine.

Q. Do you think in a way it was a little bit of an aberration that because you guys wrapped up so early maybe the edge wasn't quite there, in terms of the hitters?
CHRIS CARPENTER: I don't know. I can't speak for them. But we're going to be just fine. Like I said, we've got some serious professional guys over there that know how to play this game and played this game for a long time. And I think we're going to be just fine.

Q. How comforting for you is it that Manny Ramirez, who most pitchers would fear in the post-season, has had a lot of problems at the plate the last month or so?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Well, first of all, if you ever take Manny Ramirez for granted, you're crazy no matter what he's swinging. I've been facing him since he was in Cleveland. He's a professional hitter and he can hit at any time.
So you don't take anybody, no matter what their situation is or what they've been hitting for the last month or anything like that, for granted. You go out and you continue to execute your game plan, that's it. I'm not concerned if Manny is 0-for-50. He can hit. He's a professional hitter. He's done it for a long, long time.
So I don't concern myself at all with that.

Q. Taking into consideration the team has been so successful all throughout the decades how much did it hurt to miss the playoffs last year and how much has the team grown since?
CHRIS CARPENTER: I think I understood that right, how much did it hurt to miss it last year, me personally or the team?

Q. The team in general.
CHRIS CARPENTER: Again, I'm not going to speak for other people, but I know since I've been here '04, '05, '06 the years I was healthy I was able to go and pitch in the post-season, and when you come to spring training -- and even forget that. When I start working out in the first of November to prepare myself for the season, you're doing it for a reason, and that is to give yourself an opportunity to be in this situation, and then you need 11 wins.
We were lucky enough and fortunate enough to have a chance in '04 and we were fortunate enough for me and as a team to get back in '06. Some people never get there. I said that before, and I had an opportunity to come back and win it.
So your goal is to do that. And I think this year coming into spring training, there was some expectations there. There's no question about it. With me coming back healthy and the things that Kyle Lohse and Adam Wainright and Todd Wellemeyer did last year, there were some expectations to go out and have a successful season.
About the team growing, I think we added a few key things there in the middle of the season to make our club that much better. And, again, Frankie pitching and starting and all that stuff has really had a nice year.
And you need to do those things to be successful and we were able to do that all year.

Q. Can you be objective about something like this, when you look at the situation that you and Adam have created, you've seen people like Oswalt and Clemens, Clemens and Pettitte, when you have two dominant guys and then you compress them into a short series, is there any way you can kind of quantify the value that the team that possesses that has, one potential you or Adam could be making three, four starts this series, potentially?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Well, it's all fine and dandy what we've done all year. But this is where it counts. And there's no question on paper, when you throw me and Adam, you can go through them, things that Wolf and Kershaw have done. You can go through any club, Cliff Lee with the Phillies and Cole Hamels and the things they've done, it gives you an advantage.
But this is a totally different season, what we've done all year long turns into a real short season. And this is what matters. And on paper it shows an advantage to you guys. There's an advantage -- I think that people look at it. And there might be an advantage, but we still have to go out there and execute, just like we did all year long.
And if we don't, it doesn't matter.

Q. Another question about Adam. How has he matured as a pitcher since '06? What has evolved for him to the point where he pitched so unbelievably well this year?
CHRIS CARPENTER: One, experience. Two, I think that -- I've said it many times when he came over here, he was my locker mate in AAA when we were in spring training and things like that, the year he went to AAA. He was a young kid that had a ton of talent and ability. He just needed to take that next step to figure out what you need to do as a professional to get yourself through a season consistently or to be consistent at whatever takes.
And the great thing about him is he's able to work and he wanted to learn and he would listen to anybody and anything that anybody had to offer. And that made him grow.
So I've watched him grow since '04, not just since '06. And he continues to get better. He does that because he wants to be. That's myself, him. You watch Albert. The reason why Albert does what he does he wants to be better. He tries to learn.
I don't care how small a thing it is. You try to learn every single day to get better. And Adam does that. And I think that's what has turned him into this consistent pitcher.
He was doing the same things last year when he hurt his finger. He had a great second half and he had expectations coming into this year.
And the great thing about it is he likes that role, I think. Watching him, I think he likes that role. I think he likes taking on the responsibility of having to go out there and having an expectation to win every single time, and he's going to have to, because the way he's been pitching, his expectation is going to be there for a long time.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Chris.

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