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October 27, 2011

Skip Schumaker


Q. I assume to some extent being back in the outfield is sort of like riding-the-bicycle thing, but what's that been like for you? And also given the uncertainty of the start of the Series what's it like to actually be in the lineup here?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Well, yeah, I was excited to be on the roster just because of what happened in the previous series last game against "Doc" Halladay, so I didn't know if I was going to be able to be ready, so being on the roster was obviously a bonus. I didn't know how it was going to play out. So yeah, being back in the outfield has been -- I think I've logged more innings in my career as far as Minor Leagues, college, whatever it was, in the outfield more than I have at second base, so it's more natural to me obviously.

Q. How is it they always pick you as the designated player? Do you like this?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Um, it doesn't bother me too much. I'm okay to sit at a podium during a World Series. I'm all right with that.

Q. There's a lot of talk obviously about Albert, is going to get pitched to, making other guys beat him, but how important is it for you and Furcal to get on base ahead of him so they have to pitch to him?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Yeah, we have to occupy first base. That's the No.1 goal for me and Rafy because of how they do pitch Albert. Obviously last game shows that they are not going to pitch to him at all, even with guys not on base. It's probably pretty smart; we're talking about the best hitter in the game.
I've led off in front of Albert the last three or four years, whatever it was, three years, and the main goal is just to occupy first base, so we have to do that. You know, we're all confident in Matt and Lance to drive him on in, so if Albert -- if they don't pitch to Albert, I think we have as good a chance as any with the guys behind him.

Q. Could you just talk about the team's psyche after everything you've been through, to have to win two games, whether it sounds daunting or not, after everything you guys have been through, how you approach the next two games?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Yeah, I mean, we had to face "Doc" and Roy Oswalt to win the Phillies series when we were down, so I think that was as tough as anything for us, and we pulled through with that one. We've been backed into a corner for the last two months, and I don't think this changes at all, and luckily for us, we have been backed into that corner, so we know what it feels like.
You know, this is the type of team that's pretty resilient. I've never been on a team like this before, and I'm just real happy to be a part of something like this and hopefully it can continue. I don't think anybody is feeling any added pressure because of Game 6, and a chance to go home because of the situation we're in, because we've been in this must-win situation before.

Q. Can you say a break like this, a lull since not playing on Monday, do you think that can break a rhythm that maybe Texas got into?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: I hope so (laughing). I'm not sure about that. I think this is the type of offense that you're not going to see any breaks. If there's a week off -- they're very good top to bottom. We have very similar offenses, and that's why this is a very intriguing matchup for us, because we have very similar lineups.
So I hope it slows them down a little bit, but they're as good an offense around, and we'll see what happens.

Q. You didn't bat against Colby, the rest of the guys did. How much does that help for them having seen him one time through?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Well, it helps a lot. I mean, any time you see a rookie pitcher usually come up, it's tough to hit against him the first couple times around just because you've never seen what kind of movement he has or velocity, if he's sneaky, whatever it is. So it is more difficult the first time around, no doubt about it. So hopefully that was to his advantage the first time and hopefully we can get him the second time. But obviously he's an established pitcher the last few years, and he's done very well this postseason against teams that he's faced many times. We have a challenge ahead of us, and hopefully we're up for it.

Q. When you bat in front of Albert, how much of a difference does it make in terms of the quality of pitches you see?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: Big difference. You know, if I'm hitting second, which I am tonight, usually they're not trying to walk you, I know that. Because they don't want that base to be occupied, and that means they have to pitch to him. It's a different spot in the lineup. It's usually a place where Tony puts guys to get hot during the season because they see more pitches to hit. And if you've seen throughout the years, Jim Edmonds hit there plenty of times and it usually gets guys going.
You get pitched differently, I think. They still stick with a game plan on how to get you out, but I think they're definitely not trying to walk you, especially with scoring position and that type of thing, they'd rather have me up than Albert. So I think you're going to see me get -- well, I don't know how they're going to pitch me yet, but we'll see what happens, but usually the 2 hole gets pitched to a little bit different with Albert behind you.

Q. To piggyback on a previous question, is the identity or personality of this team a little bit different than any team you've been on?
SKIP SCHUMAKER: I think it's definitely different. Mo, our GM, Mozeliak, did a very good job in the offseason of identifying some issues we had in the clubhouse, and I think the first thing was getting guys like Berkman in our clubhouse and Theriot, Punto. There's a lot of great additions, and even on the trade market, when we got Furcal, I had no idea what kind of guy he was. And this guy is unbelievable for us on and off the field and in our clubhouse he's hilarious, and Dotel and I could go on and on with the quality of guys we've got in our clubhouse. And that was a huge thing for us.
We've had talent since I've been here, but we've never had the chemistry like we've had this year, in my opinion. And that's a huge credit to Mo. He took a lot of heat for that trade early on in the year but there's no way we'd be here without that trade, so I'm just happy to be a part of it.

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