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October 11, 2011

Ron Roenicke


Q. Tomorrow obviously is a turning point in this series, a big game, but how much of it is a turning point because you've got Gallardo and they have got Carpenter going as kind of the key pitching matchup?
RON ROENICKE: Yeah, a big pitching matchup. You would think it would be a low-scoring game. You never know. But we expect to be able to have to scrap out a few runs to be able to win the game. Hopefully Yovani continues to pitch like he has been, and we know Carpenter is going to be ready. So yeah, should be a good pitching matchup.

Q. Obviously Zack made a couple of comments about Chris the other day, but I guess my question for you is, do you think that at all reflects what the Brewers feel or think about Chris Carpenter?
RON ROENICKE: I don't worry about too much what's being said. You guys know Zack, and you know what he's going to say when you ask questions. It's no big deal. There's a lot made out of it that really isn't there.

Q. Is there any way to explain why a really good pitcher such as Gallardo is 1-7 against this team?
RON ROENICKE: No, there's not a good reason why. You know they have a good offense. Sometimes an offense matches up better against a certain type pitcher. If it's a power pitcher and you have an offense that really handles the fastball well, that could be a reason. And same on the other end. If offenses match up really well against guys that have the off-speed, slower stuff -- and I don't know what the case is with this, but I know we expect him to pitch a good game.

Q. Talk about the importance of bullpen in the post-season, and you use the bullpen a little differently in the post-season.
RON ROENICKE: I don't think we'll use our bullpen any differently. I think we have had a good combination during a season. Our starters, not too often, will they go nine innings, unlike maybe Philly starters or maybe San Francisco starters who go deep into ballgames, a lot.
So our bullpen has always been used, always ready. Even when we have a great outing from our starter, usually our bullpen is coming in to finish out a game. We are real comfortable with going to them, whether it's in the sixth inning, the seventh inning, we feel good.
Any time you have a starter that doesn't go that deep and we are putting in our long guys, usually it's because we are in trouble. We have got two young, long guys in Estrada and Narveson now and hopefully we don't have to go to those guys too early.
But that's part of the game and it's part of when you're facing a good offense like these guys have that once in a while, that happens.

Q. I know last night you said you would not hesitate to bring Marcum back. Curious if your rotation plays out the same the next couple of days. And what adjustments do you now make to minimize what Albert Pujols can do at the plate?
RON ROENICKE: I don't know how many adjustments Albert makes during the course of a game. Certainly he's capable of doing that from pitch to pitch.
We have to make good pitches. Even Albert, as good a hitter as he is, if you put the pitch exactly where you want to, he's still, percentage-wise, he's still going to have a tough time to continue to hurt us like he has. But we have to make better pitches to him.
As far as needing to adjust to him, it's hard to say we need to it adjust when we try to make a certain pitch and we keep missing with it. If we miss, we're in trouble. We'll try to just make better pitches on him, and we know what kind of hitter he is. I've said it before, there's not too many holes you can find in his swing. We hope we get it to a better spot and we hope he misses.

Q. Pujols is obviously getting a lot of recognition and attention, as he should, but the Cardinals scored in the first inning in four consecutive games; how important is that and how important is it to stop Furcal, that they have been able to establish that?
RON ROENICKE: Real important to stop Furcal. He's hit us well, since he's come over to St. Louis, he's hit us real well, not just base hits but he's driving the ball. He's hit a lot of homers off us. He's hitting doubles off us. The guy has been a big key to their success against us, as well as some other people, and he's also playing fantastic defense.
So we need to keep them off the bases. When you have the three guys they have in the middle of their lineup, those first two are really important. We need to keep them off the base.
And I always talk about, a solo home run, you know, it's only one run. But when you hit two and three-run homers, they really hurt.

Q. People talk about Carp and how he can be intimidating on the mound. How important of a trait is it for a pitcher to have and how does that enhance how he is on the mound?
RON ROENICKE: You talking about Carpenter? I don't know as far as intimidating. No, he's got good stuff. It's like Gallardo, I don't know if you call Gallardo intimidating. I don't know if that's his demeanor or if you talk about his pitches, if they are intimidating. Stuff-wise, they are both intimidating. Yo's got a great fastball, great curveball, great slider, and the same thing with Carpenter. He's got a great fastball, great cutter and that big ole curveball.
So stuff-wise, they are both intimidating. As far as the other part of it, you know, I don't know if that comes into play that much.

Q. Last year, the Giants rode a strong rotation to the World Series title, looking at the four teams that are left, they are probably better known for their offense and bullpens and maybe don't have that great rotation. Is this another example, maybe not just a trend, but there's not a perfect formula?
RON ROENICKE: Well, you're right, I don't think there is a perfect formula, but I don't think you can win this thing without good starting pitching. I think that the St. Louis starters, the last month of the season, through the playoffs have been very good.
Our starters, that's why we are where we are today. Our starters have pitched great all year and our relievers have been great, too. Our starters are the ones that get us to that bullpen and that's why we have been so successful. The playoffs, we have not pitched as well with our starters but if we are going to win this thing, our starters need to pitch well. That's the four of them. We can't get by with just one or two pitchers.

Q. Do you worry about a carry-over effect, especially for your bullpen?
RON ROENICKE: Last night's game, if it was a closer game, I would have been more concerned about it, because I thought of all the mistakes that we made in that ballgame. It was just a bad game all around. Didn't pitch well, didn't play good defense. Offense I thought was pretty good. I think I would rather lose it big like that than to lose it by one or two runs and think about all of the plays in the game that caused us to lose that game.
Yesterday was a bad game, no matter if we would have made those plays or not. We played a bad game, and their offense was very good. So we are pretty good at forgetting these games. We have had them once in a while. Pretty much everything went wrong yesterday. And I think it's easier to forget about that and move on versus if you really lose a tough ballgame, close ballgame, and now you're dwelling on the one play that seems to be a lot bigger. But we weren't in the game yesterday. We were for a while. There's a couple of things that could have turned that game around but that was earlier in the game.

Q. The first couple of games of the Arizona series, Lucroy had a couple of key hits but you said, if I'm correct in the last five, he's only got one hit. Is he tired from the grind of the end of the season and would you consider Kottaras a game when Wolf isn't pitching just to get off his feet?
RON ROENICKE: No, I think there's enough off-days in playoffs that he doesn't need to get off his feet. Luc has squared up on some balls and that's more important to me than how a guy is swinging, because if he's squaring up and swinging, I know he's going to get some hits sooner or later versus if he's going up there and striking out more and having overall bad at-bats.
Luc has gone through different streaks during the season and you guys know that follow him, he gets on a nice streak where he goes for a while and then he'll have one where he'll struggle. I don't think it's part of fatigue but part of being a hitter. Most hitters go through streaks, up and down, but he's not swinging the bat that bad right now.

Q. Are you likely to use the same lineup tomorrow that you used last night?
RON ROENICKE: We may make a change or two. We'll have to see what happens. But I think we'll probably stay the same, but we'll see.

Q. Is one of the changes you're contemplating in center field, I wondered if you expect a real low-scoring game, do you want Gomez out there for better defense?
RON ROENICKE: Well, it's something that we have talked about. We talked about it right before I came in here and we'll talk about it again. But you're right, I think it's important to try to score as many runs as we can against a very good pitcher. And sometimes you try something a little bit new, but if a guy isn't swinging the bat well, you may make a switch. But sometimes you stay with a guy, too, expecting him to come out of it.
So those are the decisions that I'm looking at every day, I'm looking at match-ups, trying to figure out who matches up best. When you're in the regular season, you know, you wait out things. You know that that guy is going to be your guy and you say, okay, it's the season, and he's in a week-long slump, and the playoffs, sometimes you can't have that week-long slump. You can't stick with it.
You're going to stick with it with Ryan Or Prince, but the other guys, sometimes you need the guys that are hot. That's why Jerry Hairston is in there now, he's hot and as long as he's hot he's going to keep playing. I think when you're in the playoffs, you look at it a little different.

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