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October 12, 2011

Chris Carpenter

David Freese

Jason Motte



Q. This is actually for both of you. You've had to play from behind going back to the wild-card race, faced two elimination games against the Phillies. And now you have a serious lead. What's that like, and are you worried maybe that edge will be gone a little bit tomorrow? What's it like having a serious lead now?
DAVID FREESE: No, I think every time you're in that situation, it helps you as a ballclub. You've got to learn how to go about those type of situations, and you know, we are actually ahead in the series, and obviously that's good. It's a good thing for us, but we are not going to take it lightly.
That team over there is going to be ready for tomorrow and we have to be ready, too.
CHRIS CARPENTER: I think that our ballclub, no matter leading or behind, it doesn't really matter, to be honest with you. We have battled, for the last two and a half months, or two months, or however long it's been, and we are going to continue to play the way we are playing no matter if we are ahead, behind; we have nothing to lose. We had nothing to lose and we have nothing to lose now.
We are going to continue to do what we are doing; go out and give it the best we can. You saw it tonight, saw it the other night in Milwaukee and you saw it the first night in Milwaukee. We are going to continue to do that and see what happens.
We are not concerned about what people think and where we're at. We are here playing as hard as we can, just as we have for the last two months.

Q. Chris, you've obviously been watching Albert play on a consistent basis for a long time. Is what he's doing this postseason, for those of us who do not see him all the time, is this par for the course, or is he even on another level than usually?
CHRIS CARPENTER: That's a great question. I've been very fortunate since I came here. I think that my first year was 2003. What was his first year? 2001 maybe, something like that.
I was very fortunate to watch this guy play for the last nine years. And when you are that type of player at that level, the expectations from you, me, I'm sure his family, his kids friends, I mean, anybody that's out there, the expectation level for what he's supposed to do is unbelievable.
That being said, he continues to amaze me every single year. Every year, you can't believe the things that he does, the games that he has, pressures that he deals with, distractions that he deals with.
Coming into this season, free agent, how much money is he going to get, best player in baseball, is he going to be here, is he not going to be here; and he comes in, just like the same old Albert, and works hard in spring training, starts off a little slow, everybody is questioning whether or not it's because of his contract situation.
No, he continues to grind, he continues to play, and continues to do the things that amazes every single one of us every single day. So what he's doing right now, does that -- it's him. That's who he is. He's an exceptional player, exceptional hitter. He's got the mind of stone. Nothing bothers him no matter what situation he's in. And that's what makes him great.

Q. What kind of stuff do you feel like you had on the mound tonight? Did you feel like you were fighting it at all those five innings?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Absolutely. It was a battle all night long. My stuff was okay, but these guys worked me hard. They put great at-bats, not get ahead, they'd take close pitches, take touch pitches and get themselves back in counts. All night long it was a battle.
But you know what, that's what it's all about here in the postseason. Our bullpen did a phenomenal job to finish it out and we win, and that's what's important.

Q. In 12 postseason starts for you now, seven wins, that matches Bob Gibson for the franchise record. Can you reflect on what your postseason career means to you looking at the whole body of work?
CHRIS CARPENTER: It's exciting. It's pretty neat that -- I've always said that anything, when you as a player are put in the category or people talk to you in the same sentence or about you in the same sentence as people like Bob Gibson, it's pretty neat. And Bob Gibson, he's a Hall of Fame guy that's a super stud. I've done okay, but I'm not Bob Gibson.
The ability to go out and pitch in big games in postseason and win big games in postseason, that's pretty neat, and I'm glad I can do that for my teammates.

Q. When you were talking yesterday, you were saying how much you enjoyed the last start and took time to enjoy it. Is this one of the reasons because you never do know if you're going to have to go out there and labor for five innings?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Absolutely. You never know what game and how it's going to work out. You come there every single night, prepared to do what you need to do, confident in what your abilities are, but you never know what's going to happen.
And that's what's so fun about this game and that's what's so fun about pitching. You go out there, you have got guys on the other side grinding out at-bats, pressuring you all night long. You have a few in-field hits, a couple of broken bat hits, and the next thing you know, you're in trouble every single inning, and that's what makes it fun. You continue to battle and grind it out, and our guys did a fabulous job to pull it off tonight, and it's a big win for us.

Q. Jason, could you describe the sense of stability y'all feel in the bullpen now compared to early in the season when -- before things seemed to kind of, you know, consolidate out there and to define themselves a little bit better than they are now?
JASON MOTTE: Geez, I think it's just one of those things, all year, we've had our ups and downs in the bullpen. And you know, stuff happened early on, but those guys -- us down in the bullpen, we just went out there every single time and it didn't matter when it was or who it was. When that phone rang to say get going, we get ready to go.
So it's just been one of those things that all year, there's been different guys doing different things, but I don't think anyone down there really cares as long as at the end of the day, we get the win.
So you know, like I said, we have had our ups and downs and we just go out there and it's the game of baseball. You're going to have a good day and a bad day, but in the bullpen, you get a chance to come out the next day and hopefully redeem yourself. You just have to forget about it if you have a bad one and hopefully go out the next day and do well.

Q. The bullpen was booed early in the year, and today you had 12 up and 12 down in a big game. What can you point to as the difference? What changed for you guys?
JASON MOTTE: Like I was saying, I think as a whole, we just kind of came together, and we came to the point that it doesn't matter who it is, when it is.
We had a guy in Salas that came in and pitched the sixth inning tonight and he was closing a month and a half, two months ago, and he came in and did a great job. He came in the other week in Philly in the third or fourth inning and threw two innings for us and that was big. I've thrown everywhere from the third inning to the tenth inning myself.
But you know, when that phone rings, we get ourselves ready, we get our arms ready and we get our minds ready to go out there and pitch, and we are going to go out there and give it everything we have until Tony comes and takes the ball away from us.
I can't speak for everybody else, but I know for me when I get out there and I'm getting myself ready, my job is to get the guy out that's at the plate, and for me, if he gets a hit and Tony let's me stay out there, which sometimes he does, sometimes he has or hasn't, but you know, that guy gets on, and my job is to get the next guy out. So I just go out there with that mind-set and try to execute pitches, locate, and get the guys out.

Q. David, five straight games you guys have scored in the first inning. What do you attribute the fast start, and also, on your double, did you think Hart was going to run that one down?
DAVID FREESE: I think just focus, knowing, especially in the postseason, they are going to throw out pitcher after pitcher that can bury you if you are not ready to go.
And I think the key in the postseason is to get a fast start and kind of show the other team that you're here, and you're going to give it a hard nine.
And yeah, off the bat, kind of got off the end a little bit, and I thought Hart was going to snag it, but it kind of got by his glove and fortunate to get that run.

Q. Pregame, real cool moment when Stan Musial came out playing "The Natural" music, big reaction from the fans. Being a St. Louis guy and lifelong Cardinals fan, how did that resonate with you?
DAVID FREESE: It's unreal. Every time Stan Musial comes around the clubhouse we take time to go say hi to him. And when he gets on the field, whether it's tonight or Opening Day, all of the guys that are in the Hall come out and join him. It's just special to be a part of.

Q. What have you learned from Albert throughout your career here?
DAVID FREESE: I think the thing about Albert and kind of the other big guys we've got, I learn and I watch them like a hawk every day. I think I've had the opportunity to kind of do some things because of them.
I've learned that you've got to put your work in. Those guys will tell you that they don't wake up and hit .330 with 40 and 120. A lot of dedication and a lot of hard work, and you have to be even keel.
Sometimes I'm a little hard on myself, but you've just got to understand that it's baseball and things are going to go your way and things aren't. But you've just got to be confident and you've got to focus and be ready every day.

Q. Tony has said it's always about the players, but I wonder for you guys, he seems to push the right button at the right time to pull those right strings at the right times; maybe your thoughts on that?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Well, first of all, I mean, I've said many times, Tony is the most prepared person I've ever been around. He lives and dies by numbers, by matchups, by lineups. I mean, everybody questions at times why he throws different lineups up there. It's because there's reasons behind that. He's put his work into knowing why he's doing that.
Why does he push the right buttons at the right times? Because he puts work, he puts his time into knowing when to push the right buttons. There's a reason why he's won so many games he's won. There's a reason why he's been to the playoffs as many times as he's been there. There's a reason why his teams continue to win. There's a reason why he's a Hall of Fame manager, and that's because he puts his work in, he's prepared more than any person I've ever seen, and when he does push those buttons, he has no fear whatsoever, whether it's wrong or right, and he will answer to it if it's wrong and he will answer to it if it's right. And he's not scared about it, and that's what makes him great.
DAVID FREESE: I think he summed it up.
CHRIS CARPENTER: They are just scared (laughing).

Q. Can you talk about Lance Lynn and his meaning to this bullpen? And early did the relief core -- were you guys talking about his progress in late September, about coming back from the injury?
JASON MOTTE: You know, we had talked about it when he got hurt. He was pitching in big games for us in big situations, and when he got hurt, it kind of hurt us as a whole. But I feel like other guys filled in, which is really what we have done all season. I think we have had guys step up and come in and do a great job, and you know, in September, we were not really sure what was going on and we didn't know what was going on to have to get him on or if he was better and this and that. He was throwing bullpens, he was telling me and a couple of the guys that he was feeling better.
So I knew that he felt better but we weren't sure exactly how they had to go about getting him on the roster, doing whatever, and I still don't even know what exactly happened to get him back and do everything.
But you know, he's a big, strong guy and he goes out there and he worked hard, and he got his body and he got his arm and everything right where he needed to be and he's come out and he's done a great job for us so far.

Q. Just curious, as a starting pitcher, what's it like for you to see the evolution of the guys behind you, the bullpen.
CHRIS CARPENTER: It's been great, and you know, you guys asked questions about Motter and the situation that they were in, and he tried to answer it as politically as he could.
We went through a transformation throughout the year, and I don't know if I'll get in trouble for this or not, but when we made the trade, and you bring Rzep, Dotel, and then turn around and sign Arthur (Rhodes), and you bring a little bit of veteran to that pen, confidence to that pen. I'm not down there every night, but I've been around these guys on the plane and in the clubhouse, and it seems like they have a lot of fun together.
And I think Doti and Arthur have brought a lot of confidence to some of these younger guys to not care; to go out, not be concerned about what's going to happen. Let's go out and give it our best and see what happens. If it works, it works; if it doesn't, it doesn't, and we'll go get 'em the next day.
And it's evolved into, when I left the game after the fifth tonight, typically as a starting pitcher, you're concerned about that. You don't want to leave 12 outs for your bullpen. I was okay with it. I worked as hard as I could. I had confidence in my guys down there. I had confidence in what they were going to do. And they did it again.
They deserve a lot of respect and a lot of credit for what they have done and what we've done for the last couple of months.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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