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October 10, 2011

Ron Roenicke


Cardinals – 12
Brewers - 3

Q. With Marcum having a poorer record at home than he does on the road, how come you decided to start him here rather than wait to go to St. Louis?
RON ROENICKE: Well, the only way to do that is flip-flop Wolf with him. And you need to decide who pitches better where, whoever goes the second game probably is going to get two games in.
So that's a decision whether to flip-flop our rotation, because this keeps us on line if we stay with what we've been doing. And if we flip-flop it you're taking guys out of the rotation and then you're giving Wolf two games and Marcum one.

Q. Is there any scenario where you could see pitching Narveson, considering the success he's had against St. Louis?
RON ROENICKE: We'll see how it goes. Marcum, you look at what happened today. He left the ball up to Pujols in the first inning, tried to come in on him. And beside that, he really wasn't hit that hard. We could have made a couple of plays for him. Things would have changed that ballgame a lot.
So we go to the bullpen. The bullpen didn't do so well, either. We didn't pitch well today.

Q. Was this similar to what you're saying, you saw this last month, a mistake here and there for Marcum?
RON ROENICKE: Right. In most cases he was down in the zone. The one like I said that Albert hit -- he was trying to come up and in, I'm sure, but left it on the plate and Albert doesn't miss too many pitches on the plate.
But other than that, balls really weren't hit that hard. It's the same thing, they hit a lot of hard balls today and they hit a lot of other balls that went right through us, where -- in between us, bloop it in. But they did a good job of really squaring up the mistakes that we made.

Q. How would you describe Albert's overall performance today?
RON ROENICKE: Well, we saw -- the last time we saw them at their place he was swinging the bat just like this. So I think he had four or five hits in a row off us.
You can't make mistakes to him. You have to hit spots. You have to keep it down in the zone. He doesn't miss too many mistakes.

Q. So is it still a question about Marcum in this series, he may or may not pitch again?
RON ROENICKE: No, as far as I'm concerned right now he's pitching again.

Q. How does that equate with your approach to Pujols when the guys are on-base ahead of him so much like Jay was tonight?
RON ROENICKE: The approach can't really change. If they have guys on-base ahead of him you have to pitch to him. The problem is if you pitch around him, the next two guys are not easy. The next two guys are two of the top guys in the League. They've got three guys in a row that are as good hitters than anybody in the League.
To pitch around Albert is fine when it makes sense. But you've got to get through the other two guys. And then after that, Freese has hurt us, Molina has hurt us.
So it's not just those guys. You're putting extra guys on base, and with their lineup, that's not a good thing to do.

Q. How much of a deflation did you feel after Rickie brought it into the double play, because it seemed as though you guys started to get something going with bases loaded?
RON ROENICKE: Big part in the game, whether he's safe or out. You guys saw the replay, that was a big play. If he's safe, we still have -- we have a run in, we have the at-bat coming up with Hairston. Big play in the game.

Q. General sense, you won one, you lost one, how do you feel going to St. Louis?
RON ROENICKE: Oh, I feel fine. It's nice to kind of get everything out of the way today. We didn't play well today. We didn't play well defensively. We didn't pitch well. I thought we swung the bats okay.
But going into St. Louis, hey, we're going to have to keep swinging the bat well. We need to pitch better. It's nice we have Yo going. We feel real confident with that. And we'll see what happens.

Q. You temporarily, at least, lose that home field advantage. How do you avoid what happened in the NLDS where you guys lose two games on the road, you guys were a better road team the second half?
RON ROENICKE: Well, it's game to game. I don't want to say it's the same thing that happened in the first series where we win at home and then we go on the road and we don't play well.
It's a different series. Different ballpark. Different team. Our rotation is different. We've got Yo going in two days. We didn't have Yo going on the road the first series. So everything is different.

Q. You saw the replay -- did you see the replay?
RON ROENICKE: I didn't see the replay, a lot of our guys did.

Q. How significant was that, do you think?
RON ROENICKE: It was big, yeah, it was a big play.

Q. Most of the production the first two games of the series have been produce by Braun, Fielder and Pujols. Does it feel like whoever can contain the best players is going to win this series?
RON ROENICKE: That's usually what it comes down to when you have these type series. Their offense is pretty deep all through their lineup, they're still the three big boys. But they're pretty deep.
Our guys, it doesn't get any better than our 3, 4 hitter. They've got to keep them off the base. We need to get our two guys in front of them on the base. If we get our two guys on base in front of them, we're going to score a lot of runs with our No. 3 and No. 4 hitters.

Q. These teams are even [inaudible]?
RON ROENICKE: I don't want to say they're dead even with us. They're a really good team. We're a really good team. I don't know if we're dead even.
Whoever executes. We didn't execute today in two big areas of the game, defensively and pitching. We didn't execute. We're not going to beat them if we don't execute in those two areas.

Q. You've obviously seen Albert quite a bit. Was there anything about him, obviously he's a great hitter, great player, was there anything about him that just seemed bigger, more a carry-on-the-team shoulders kind of thing tonight?
RON ROENICKE: No, I've seen Albert like this before. I've seen him in years past like this. He's a great offensive player. He's a heads-up defensive player. He's a heads-up baserunner. This is a great baseball player.

Q. Besides Yo and Braun, are you concerned with your starting pitching overall in the playoffs?
RON ROENICKE: Well, I'm concerned that against a good offense I know we need to pitch well. I still have a lot of confidence in all our starters, in the four guys that are going, because I've seen so many games where they've been on.
But I know we have to be on when we pitch to these guys. So it's always a concern when you're facing a good offense that you need your guys to be on.
I thought Shaun's game, like I said, could have turned around, and who knows, he could have gone on a roll and had some nice innings. But when they don't pitch well, you're always concerned about it.

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