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October 10, 2009

Skip Schumaker


Q. What do you know about Padilla with respect to today?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Not many of us have faced him, so we're going to have a hitters' meeting right now and kind of figure it out. I know Holliday has a few at-bats against him, and I know he has a good fastball. He's done well for the Dodgers this year since he's been traded. We have to stay on the fastball and then see what happens, how he adjusts from there.

Q. Just your comments on the first few games, tough losses obviously both of them, but what's the morale of the team and where do you think you guys stand now after two tough losses like that out there?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Yeah, two tough losses. We had really good starting pitching. Bullpen has done a good job, and our offense has actually hit, I think, better than the Dodgers so far. But it doesn't matter because we've lost both games, and at the end of the day that's what counts.
Morale is fine. Nothing has changed. We had a good meeting yesterday with the Skipper, and he's talked about no team has come back from the 0 and 2, and it could be us hopefully, but one game at a time, one pitch at a time, same thing we did in LA, and take our best chance.

Q. A lot obviously is talked about with regard to Chris and Adam when they start games. How about Joel? What is his confidence when he starts ballgames for you?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Yeah, he's been really under the radar this year because Carpo and Waino have done so well and pretty much overshadowed. But he's 200 innings and 15 wins and probably could have easily had 17 or 18 wins. You know playing behind him, you're going to get a lot of ground balls. Guys put the ball in play, he's not a strike out kind of pitcher, he doesn't walk too many guys at all.
The defense, we're always on our toes, and it's a lot of fun playing behind him because there's always a lot of action and he pitches to contact. That's fun for us behind him.

Q. Is the 0 to 2 deficit sort of intimidating or is it kind of a motivation to say, wow, continue opportunity to become the first team to do it?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: You go one game at a time. Our backs are firmly against the wall right now. This is obviously a must-win the rest of the way. You can't look at it as we have to win the next three. We have to win today. This is our biggest game, and then figure out what happens tomorrow and the next day if we do get to that point. Obviously this is -- like De-Ro said, we've got to play with our hair on fire, that type of thing, and either we go home or we move on. That's just the reality of it. I think we just have to take this one game at a time and not look too far ahead of ourselves.

Q. How has the team responded to Matt after what happened in the ninth inning in Game 2, and how has he responded to your feelings towards him?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Yeah, I don't think anybody feels worse than Matt does. It could have happened to any one of us. I've lost the ball in the lights before. In '06 it hit me right in the head on the ESPN game. It's the worst feeling in the world. It happened to him, and he feels okay. At the time it was a bad, bad feeling, it was a long plane flight home. Luckily his family was there with him. He got a lot of support back home and from his teammates. We know we wouldn't be here without him.
But I'm pretty sure he's going to be in left today, and our best chance is with him in left field. It's just an unfortunate thing you don't want to happen to anybody, you know, friend or other side, opposing guy. I think even the Dodgers felt for the guy. It's a bad thing that happened, but you turn the page and hopefully move on.

Q. This is like a common sense obvious question, but how important is it to get a lead early today and get the crowd going for you and good a get feeling going early in the game?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Yeah, you really saw the home-field advantage side of the playoffs. I've never seen that being a player. I was always a cheerleader on the bench, and rah-rah guy. But when you're on the field you really see the effect of a home-field advantage.
The Dodgers fans were standing up, waving the towels for nine innings straight, and hopefully we get that side of St. Louis. I'm looking forward to it, that's for sure, and looking forward to not playing with the crowd on their feet against us and for us, so it should be a lot of fun.

Q. You know these fans as well as anyone. Tony said yesterday he hopes the fans just go crazy when Matt gets introduced at the start of the game and in his first at-bat. How do you look at that situation as far as how they'll react?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: I agree with Tony. I hope that's the reaction that Matt gets, because he deserves it. I mean, like I said, he's been nothing but unbelievable for us for the first 70 games or whatever he played for us, and for one hiccup -- I know it was a big hiccup in everybody's mind, but he deserves a loud ovation, standing ovation from everybody. I don't think Tony had to say that because I think that's what they were going to give him any ways.
Matt is going to be fine.

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