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October 9, 2011

Ron Roenicke


Q. Can you tell us about the decision to go with Marcum for Game 2?
RON ROENICKE: Keeps him online better with everybody. Yo can't do it. So we've got him Game 3.
It will be between he and Wolf. And Marcum stays online better.

Q. How about keeping the roster the same, was there much discussion with the lefties that St. Louis has with going with Josh Wilson?
RON ROENICKE: Yeah, we talked about that yesterday. Just felt like that it probably was going to come up more often that we'd need the left-handed bat more often than the right-handed.
Today won't because of Casey being the only right-hander on the bench. But normally if they've got a right-hander starting that day, then we'll have Gomez and Casey on the bench and we like both of them.

Q. Did the fact that Wilson just really hasn't played much over the last 4 to 6 weeks play into that, too?
RON ROENICKE: A lot of it, I think. He went down while we were in Arizona, went to instructional ball and got a few at-bats over there. That plays into it some.
To make a change, I think there would have to be a really good reason why we'd do it.

Q. If it were Philadelphia with their left-handed starters, would it be Wilson?
RON ROENICKE: Then it comes into play where we would have had to talk about it a little bit differently.

Q. When you talked to Rick Kranitz about Marcum, and maybe just from your own observations, what have you guys thought about why he has not been as good the last three or four weeks the way he was the first five months of the season?
RON ROENICKE: Well, we do talk about it. I don't know, I don't know if the 200 innings this year throws the command off a little bit. I don't know.
I had a conversation with him yesterday. He says he feels strong, shoulder is strong. So I don't think the last whatever games were as bad as what people think they are.
It's been a bad pitch that's been a three-run homer or grand slam, but I don't think it's been as bad as -- if you look at all the hits that he's given up, there are more cheap hits given up from him than anybody else. He may give up a jam shot for a base hit, a ground ball for a base hit, and all of a sudden he'll make a mistake and somebody will hit a home run.
It's not like they're just driving balls all over the ballpark, that is not happening. So I don't know why that happens now, or lately, his last, whatever starts, but it's happening more now than it did early in the season.

Q. How do you integrate what your advance guys are telling you about the way the Cardinals played in their first series, and what they did over the last two weeks, perhaps, into what you saw in 18 games against them?
RON ROENICKE: I don't think there's that much difference. Same team. They've been maybe a little more aggressive in the postseason. Their bullpen has been better in the postseason. But as far as something new, there's not really anything new.
Same thing when they're looking at us, there's nothing new. They know us real well. We know them real well. And it's whoever executes better.

Q. They got better over the course of the season and against you, as well, did you see any fundamental changes in their club, front to back?
RON ROENICKE: You mean as far as why they started playing better?

Q. Yes.
RON ROENICKE: No, we thought early in the season they were good. We were surprised when we were able to pull away like we did. But they're a really good team. We always have said that.
The lineup offensively, outstanding. I think their pitching -- their pitching had to get better for them to do what they did the last month. So the pitching, I'm sure, is better.

Q. How did Berkman maybe change their lineup? Did he help their lineup, that's a left-handed bat, that's a veteran guy, how do you put him behind Albert?
RON ROENICKE: I don't know if it's being left-handed -- this guy can hit. He's a guy they took a chance on, from the year that Berkman had last year. Berkman has been healthy this year. And he's the guy that everybody has seen in years past. This is a great hitter. He knows what he's doing at the plate. He's patient and he does not miss mistakes.

Q. One little tweak you made with your lineup today from your past couple of lefty lineups was moving Gomez ahead of Lucroy. Was that a function of him having such good at-bats in recent games?
RON ROENICKE: I think it allows Gomey to do some more things when here's on base versus in the 8th spot. Sometimes you can't run as much. It frees up Gomey a little bit.

Q. Does he look, the last few weeks, the way he looked in Spring Training? Has he somehow gotten back to that?
RON ROENICKE: That's what he looks like. He's locked in. Hopefully we can keep him that way for a while. But he's been really good lately.

Q. Rafael Furcal really hurt you late in the season, it seemed like every game, just a hot stretch for him or did you change your approach for a player like that?
RON ROENICKE: Well, he was hot. He hurt us last month of the season. Whether it was him being hot or whether it's us making bad pitches to him. But he really swung the bat well. And defensively this guy is really good. He makes plays that there's not too many shortstops in the game that can make.
St. Louis picking him up, huge move for them.

Q. The first three innings in Game 5 Friday Ryan was really fighting the sun. The left fielder seems like he's got it worse than anybody. This is an hour earlier. Do you see that being a factor, where somebody is going to get a bad break and the ball is going to hit the wall?
RON ROENICKE: It can definitely happen, yes. 3:00 game here, tough start. 4:00, not too bad when we had it the other day. We had two or three innings there at the beginning, and then it was really good. But the 3:00, there's going to be some shadows.

Q. You seem to prefer the closed roof from the previous series, is that still the case?
RON ROENICKE: I think with the way the day is today and the start time, I don't think it will make that much difference. As long as it's a nice day, where it's not real windy, obviously the cold, but it's such a nice day today and not much wind, I don't think it's any different.
Shadows maybe the first couple of innings maybe in the left -- deep in leftfield there will be some sun there. But today it's going to be the sun coming through the panels from the south.

Q. Do you think that that's something the club should look at for the future, trying to do something about the windows?
RON ROENICKE: I don't know. I don't know -- until you get in the postseason, you don't have these weird start times. The game that we usually play here, a 1:00 game or a 6:00 or 7:00, it's not an issue. I think the 1:00's, when we have that roof partially closed so they don't have shadows between the home plate and the pitcher, I think it plays great.
So it's just postseason. And so hopefully we're in this for a long time in postseason, and maybe they can do something then. But during the season it's not an issue.

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