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October 5, 2011

Skip Schumaker


Q. The situation you're in today, is that comparable to any situation you guys have been in at any time this season?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Yeah, pretty much all of September in my opinion. We've had our back against the wall since late August, early September. We've had must-win situations for a while now, and this is no different.

Q. The catch you made last night, was that the best one you've ever made? And how hard was it to convince the umpires to take another look?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Definitely in the post-season it's the best one. I think -- it looked, when I went and looked on replay, it was a tough call, because it did look like it was against the ground, but I know I caught it.
The main thing as a player is you want the umpires to get it right, and they got it right. I was a little hot at the beginning, no doubt about it, and Jerry (Meals) told me to relax, and I tried to relax as much as I could. But I think when they got together, which they're supposed to do, they got it right, and that's all you can ask for.

Q. A few weeks ago Roy Oswalt pitched seven scoreless innings against you guys. What was it that made him so effective that day?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: He's Roy Oswalt. He's very good. A healthy Roy is a No. 1 on any team. That's why Philly is so good, because they have four of those guys. I know he had some back issues at the beginning of the year, but the way he pitched the last game against us, it looked like he had nothing wrong, and his back was fine. It's a tough task, no doubt about it. He's got a good history in the post-season and against us, so we have a tough task ahead of us.

Q. I think we probably know most of the answer to this, but could you describe what it's like from a player's point of view not to have not just Holliday's production on a daily basis but his reputation in the middle of that lineup? And do you guys have to fight the urge to maybe play that what-if game at times like last night where there are opportunities where Matt would have been up or previous games where he would have been up and he's not there?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Yeah, it seems like we've had opportunities from Spring Training on. As you all know from day one with Adam Wainwright going down with our No. 1 starter, or No. 2 starter, out breaking his wrist, we've had injury after injury. Now in the post-season to have a middle of the order guy, All-Star Matt Holliday out of the lineup is really difficult. Allen Craig has done a good job to fill in, but Matt Holliday is a whole different bird. I think he's got a tough injury. It's not one of those things where you can just be tougher one day and all of a sudden you can play. This guy is as tough as it gets, and you know it's hurting him if he can't play in the post-season. Yeah, you miss his bat in the middle of the order, of course. It's Matt Holliday. I'd be lying to you if I said otherwise. But we'll see what happens today.

Q. You mentioned it's not the first time you guys have had a must-win situation, but what do you think has been one of the biggest factors as to how loose you've been able to stay when you've been battling through these situations?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: I think a couple things. I think it starts with Tony. He's been through it all, so he knows how to get through certain situations better than most. When you have 2,000 plus wins, I think you know how to get through some tough spots.
And the other part is our clubhouse is very good. It's a great veteran-oriented clubhouse that has been through good times and bad, and we've been through a lot of this together. We've been together for a long time, knowing each other at least. We've been really lucky. Mo (John Mozeliak) has been really good at identifying good guys to add, not just good players but good guys to have in the clubhouse, and I think that goes a long way.
I watched DeRosa comment last night on MLB Network on how big chemistry is, and people don't understand how much that plays in a full -- in an entire season, and he's right, because we wouldn't have got through September without such a good clubhouse, and Mo identified that in the off-season, and I think he did a great job at it.

Q. Sort of a two-part question. I wonder is there any way to explain a night where you guys seemingly threaten every single inning and don't come up at least a couple of times with the big hit or big inning? And have you seen a night like that carry over before to the following game to where that trend continues?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: I think we've been very good at turning the page the whole year, and if not, we wouldn't have won 90 games with all the injuries we've had. I think we're good at -- to answer your first question, all you can ask for is to have guys on base more than not and then see what happens. Unfortunately we didn't push through yesterday. That's yesterday.
And you've got to give credit to Cole Hamels. Cole Hamels did an unbelievable job with guys in scoring position, and then Ryan Madson did great also. Bases loaded, jammed, and Allen Craig hit one on the screws right to Utley, and he made a good play. I mean, what are you going to do? That's part of baseball. If you keep hitting guys on base and keep pressuring guys, eventually you're going to break through. That's why the Phillies are good, as well. They always have guys on base to see if they break through or not.

Q. This is a question that's been asked of some other guys more than you, but you're another guy whose future may be uncertain. I know now that you're here, you're thinking I want to win the game tonight, but getting up this morning on the way in, is there any part of you that wonders about if this is the last time here or thinks about what may be next or ponders any of that at all?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Not yet. Hopefully I don't have to think about that after last night's game. I did think about that a little bit in September, no doubt about it, because you never know, it's a business. I've been very blessed to come up in a really good organization with good guys and good front office all the way down to the players. I know there's a bigger name that may be thinking different in Albert (Pujols). I don't know what his thought process is, but obviously he's handled it as good as anybody throughout the whole year, so we'll see what happens.

Q. The shadows have gotten a lot of play all year. Both teams have to deal with it, but is it kind of frustrating, especially in a playoff game, that maybe you don't get nine innings of ideal conditions?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Absolutely. I think both teams definitely have to play through it, and it's very difficult. You see really good hitters look foolish on fastballs. There's something wrong. It might sound like you're complaining or whatever, but if it's just one side complaining, it's different, but you're hearing it from both ends. I know it's for TV ratings and that type of thing, but it's still really difficult to play or to hit against an ace pitcher. But both sides have to do it, and that's just what it is.

Q. Are the shadows tough for fielders, too?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: I think it's all around. I mean, you saw J.J. (Jon Jay) kind of miss a ball -- not miss a ball, but didn't get a jump on a ball because that sun is directly in your face around 5:00 game time today. So it is difficult because I think the outfielders have a disadvantage because the sun is literally right in your face in the outfield at that particular time. Yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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