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October 12, 2011

Ron Roenicke



Q. In that first inning, after the first couple of plays did, it look like Yo got a little bit unglued, he started walking guys after that and getting in trouble.
RON ROENICKE: Yeah, I think he lost his command there. I don't know what the reason was, but first batter he left a ball up to Furcal to get the base hit and Jay's ball that fell in there was a decent pitch, fastball in.
Pujols hit a great pitch, nice curve ball down in the zone and he drives it to left-center, and after that, I thought Yo lost his command. Maybe it was because he was throwing some pretty good pitches and they were hitting, I don't know. May have started to try to paint too much. But his command did get off there.

Q. What was your view of Jay's ball to center in the first?
RON ROENICKE: We were playing him slightly to pull, and you know, he hits it perfect. He didn't hit it that well. He hit it perfect in between the two guys, and you know, we couldn't run it down.

Q. Is that a ball that, for instance, Gomez would catch?
RON ROENICKE: Well, Gomez is going to catch it. Gomez catches everything that's out there. He is a great defensive center fielder.

Q. You guys have had a number of tough first innings recently. Did you feel after the first tonight that you played a pretty good game?
RON ROENICKE: Yeah, I thought -- obviously concerned after the first inning, not knowing what we were going to do offensively.
Bounced back nice in the second and third inning. Thought we had real good at-bats off Carpenter and I felt real good. When we got 4-3, I felt good. I thought we were going to score some more runs.
Yo got a little better. Still had to battle through his innings, but I thought he got better.
And our bullpen came in and did a nice job, but their bullpen did a great job, too.

Q. This St. Louis team has played from behind for so long in the wild-card race and now they are leading. Do you anticipate seeing anything different tomorrow as far as mind-set or anything?
RON ROENICKE: No, whether we are down 2-1, I still feel good with our club. This is a good club we are playing, and you know, when you make mistakes like we did the first inning, they were going to get their hits. They are going to score some runs. And I expected offensively, I thought we were going to be able to come back, and we were not able to do it.

Q. The Cardinals were extremely vulnerable in the bullpen, especially in the first half of the season; how would you describe what you're seeing come out of their bullpen?
RON ROENICKE: When you see 96 to 99 coming out of there with nice sliders, I think it's really good.

Q. You said over and over how you have an aversion to the intentional walk, but is Pujols kind of an exception to that, just how hot he's been in this series?
RON ROENICKE: I think so. I think when it really makes sense, we'll do it. I don't want to just put him on to put him on. You saw we put him on with a guy on third base. Next thing you know, it's second and third instead of first and third. They get a base hit there, they are scoring two runs instead of just one.
We are going to pick our spots where we think we need to do it. If it comes up, you know, where it makes sense, then we'll try to put him on. But you know, he's scary when he's hitting everything, and we make good pitches and he's still hitting them. He's done a lot of damage against us.

Q. You know Pujols and Holliday and Berkman and Garcia and Carpenter, but their bullpen in the two games they have won has been so critical; has it been even better than you anticipated?
RON ROENICKE: We know their bullpen is good. I know early in the season they gave up some runs there. But like I said, when you have guys that are coming out and throwing that hard, they don't walk people, they have got good sliders, and they are not -- their arms are exactly how we thought they were. They have got tremendous arms, they are throwing the ball well now, hitting spots. They have done great job for quite a while.
We got to them a couple of games a month ago, but they have got good arms.

Q. As you said before the game, when Kotsay is in the lineup, good things happen, and he homered. As you just said, Gomez probably catches that ball in the first; is that in a one-run game something that will keep you up tonight, or will you think that at all, or --
RON ROENICKE: Not at all. No. It was going to be neither Nyjer or Kotsay out there.
Gomez is a fabulous center fielder, but you also have to look at trying to score runs and trying to figure your offense and where you slot guys. Not so much that maybe one guy is better than the other, but how does he fit in your lineup. When we take Nyjer out of there, sometimes it's hard to slot that guy in the second spot. So there are questions that it's easy to look at afterwards and say, Gomez would have caught it. But Gomez, I didn't think he was an option for today's game. I like him out there any time I can get him out there, but I didn't think that was a good choice today.

Q. In the first inning, you guys had Carpenter on the ropes, two on, and then Prince hits that liner in the gap that Jay chases down and doubles off Kotsay. Was that just a tough read for Mark? Is that in No Man's Land there?
RON ROENICKE: Yeah, it's a tough read. Got off probably a little farther than he would have wanted to.
It's also, you know, when you're playing every day, your instincts are sharper than when you don't play every day, and Kots, we have not started him for a while, and I don't think your instincts are always as good, maybe got off a little farther than he wanted to.
But it's a it tough read. He wants to score if the ball drops. Jay makes a nice play on it. You know, it's a tough one to get doubled up on.

Q. The Freese double in the first, did you think Hart had a chance to catch that? Did he break wrong there?
RON ROENICKE: I didn't see how he broke. I thought he had -- when it was hit, I thought he had a good chance to catch it. I didn't see what kind of jump. By the time a ball is hit and you look at it as an outfielder, it's hard to tell whether a guy gets a good jump or not.
I know it was hit well. I know Corey, when he gets that good jump, I think he's got some pretty good range out there. I don't even know, did it go off his glove, or did he just miss it? Went off his glove? So like I said, I didn't see the jump. I thought it was going to be caught when it left the bat, but he hit it good.

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