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October 4, 2012

Fredi Gonzalez


THE MODERATOR:  Fredi, maybe an opening comment, and if you want to make your announcement about the lineup then we'll open it up to questions.
FREDI GONZALEZ:  We'll start with the lineup and then take questions.  I'm not big on opening comments.  We go basically the same lineup we've gotten.  We go Bourn, Prado, Heyward, Baker at third base, just in case you guys were not paying attention.  We go Chipper at third, Freeman, Uggla.  We have got to catch, Ross, tomorrow, Simmons and Medlen.
We feel like it's a pretty good lineup we're running out there.  It gives us a good chance to win this crazy one‑game playoff, which is crazy, but both teams are playing the same rules.  So we'll see what that brings tomorrow.

Q.  (Indiscernible)?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  It's one of those things it makes you feel like you have a good chance to win a ballgame.  We know defensively how well he can throw people out.  The Cardinals have a tendency to put people in motion a lot.  And with the combination of Rossi and Medlen, maybe give you an opportunity to kind of shut that down a little bit.

Q.  Is this something that you should expect going forward too with Ross the rest of the postseason, or is this more of a match‑up thing, one game?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  This is one game.  This is one game because it's a weird one game.  I think going forward, I think Mack will catch, obviously in a longer series, a five‑game series or a seven‑game series if we get that far.  We'll play the match‑ups.  You know, maybe looking forward as they start Gonzalez in the next series.  Maybe you put Rossi there, and let Mack catch a couple of next games.
I mean, Mack, it's been hard.  It's been hard.  We've been thinking about this for three or four days.  And Mack is a very important piece to our team, and he's a warrior.  He battles.  But you feel that with Rossi back there, one game is tough.

Q.  The rest of your roster?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  After the workout we'll announce it.  You know that, and we still kind of there are a couple of spots that we're debating on.  I think in fairness to those individuals you try to set up just announcing the roster and trying to work through that last spot.

Q.  How does a one‑game affect your managerial style knowing that you win and move on, lose and go home?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  I don't know.  I really can't tell you.  It's one of those things that I'm glad that Medlen's pitching for us.  We're prepared in the pitching area.  We feel like we've got some stuff covered, even if we have to go extra innings.
But, yeah, it's not like all of a sudden, you have to change your offense.  You're going to put in the bunts.  We haven't bunted all year with some of our big guys, so we don't expect that.  We'll see.  We'll see how it goes.  Obviously, every run is big.  I expect a low‑scoring game.  Lohse for them has been terrific.  Medlen for us has been terrific.  So I expect a low‑scoring game.
That being said, this game, you just never know.  All of a sudden, we run into a 9‑11 game.  So for me to sit here and tell you this is the way I'm going to manage, it's difficult.

Q.  Where is Brian right now physically?  How would you describe him, McCann?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  Mack is beat up.  He's banged up.  That's why I kind of mentioned the word warrior.  He's been banged up for a while and God bless him.  But, again, the one game series, you know, you go with Rossi.  In the longer series, he's going to play.  He's going to play.  He's not that banged up that he's not going to play.

Q.  How did the conversation go with Mack?  Did he understand?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  He did.  He did.  It was a good conversation.  I had it with him yesterday morning before the game.  It was a good conversation.  You know, he understands.  He understood.  It's tough for both of us, but he understood.  He understood.

Q.  It's sort of an unusual situation with the roster for one game versus the division.  Will you ask other guys to stay around?  How will you treat that?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  Yes, we will.  We will.  Right now what is it, 12:45.  We have nine pitchers on the staff, on the pitching staff.  But, again, that might change at 1:00 o'clock, because we're still kind of kicking those things around, and the rest of the position players.  Then going forward, it will change.  You have to, because if it's a longer series, you have to add a come more pitchers, so maybe you go with another starter and another guy in the bullpen, and go kind of a normal allotment of pitchers.
So today or tomorrow's game is going to be a weird roster looking at it.  Right now it's nine pitchers, and 16 position players, but they may go ten pitchers and 15.  We're still kicking around those two spots.

Q.  Does this feel any different than the seventh game of a seven‑game series?  Is there a different feeling to this because it's the one game?  If so, how?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  Well, it's Game 7, really.  As simple as it may seem, it's Game 7.  You can imagine, we've played six, and we've won three, they've won three.  It's Game 7.  I've never experienced a Game 7 as a manager, so I can't tell you how that feels.  But it's Game 7, really.

Q.  The final regular season weekend, 50,000‑plus every game.  Sold out crowd expected for this game.  Can you describe what it does this locker room to you to know that the Tomahawk's out there, and so supportive?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  I think it energizes the club, I really do.  I think last weekend with chipper's retirement was a nice preview.  I think it's kind of a weird starting time, a 5:00 o'clock on a Friday, but I hope the people come out.  I think I've said this enough, I'm so proud of this team to win 94 games.  I think the fans should feel the same way and come out and support us.
I think if we played in the American League, we might have won a couple of divisions with 94 wins.  Just so happens that this year that Washington got four or five more wins than we do.  They've got a good club.
But, yeah, I hope they come out and there is a good feeling when you hear the shot going.  It kind of energizes the guys, and it's fun to play behind that stuff.

Q.  How did Uggla get through yesterday's game?  No swelling in his hand, and Bourn and Chipper as well?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  Everybody came out good, real good.  That was one of our biggest goals in that Pittsburgh series after we got eliminated was to make sure everybody's healthy,  as healthy as you can be in 162 games.  Danny Uggla was the only regular who played nine innings.  And I said, hey, you want to come out?  He said, I'm staying in until I hit 20.  He's got 19, you know, so he stayed, and he's ready to play.
He's fine.  Everybody's good.  Everybody's healthy.  O'Flaherty, that inning he pitched was good.  He came in this morning and said he's great.  I don't know anybody else who was banged up or questionable.  Bourn was good.  So we're as healthy as you can be.

Q.  Getting back to the shadows.  This time of year, what is it like 5:00 o'clock start, how long does it last?  What do you see?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  It's going to be probably the whole game.  It doesn't‑‑ the sun here doesn't disappear until 7:30, more or less, so it's going to be difficult, I would think.  It may be overcast tomorrow.  Who knows.  I don't know the weather report.
But you would think that we'd have the advantage, because we take batting practice every day around 5:00 o'clock, 4:30, 5:00 o'clock.  But that's where we're kind of nit‑picking on shadows and the wind direction.  It's still about those two guys on the mound and getting every opportunity to score when we get a chance.

Q.  I know you have to win to the game to get to Sunday.  But in a strange way are you happy you're playing baseball, and not having a full three days off, four days off?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  No, I wanted three days off so I could play that five‑game series.  But it is what it is.  We're playing baseball.  I kicked around the idea of not working out today a little bit.  But these guys for eight months are used to having a baseball in their hand or a bat in their hands.  Don't change that.  Come out here and just let them have fun today and go over the Cardinals tomorrow like a normal day.  Try to make it as normal as we can for everyone, and have some fun.

Q.  In terms of your starting rotation, ideally you'd want your number one starter to go twice in a series.  But how is this new format going to change what you have to do pitching‑wise?  How does that affect you in the next round if you guys do advance?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  Well, Medlen only goes once, the next round, really, and I think that's the way they wanted to do it.  I think there were some complaints in the past that the Wild Card team didn't get penalized enough for being the Wild Card.  Or the division winners didn't get rewarded enough for them to win a division, I guess that is a better way to make the statement, so it's going to be tough.
But I feel like if we win this game, you've got Huddy going in the following, the first game of the following series, and if he's not 1, he's 1A.  You feel good about that.

Q.  Do you have a sense for how good your team is, and what it's capable of?  The reason I ask is a lot of people are going to be drawing conclusions based on one game, win or lose.  I just wanted to get your feelings?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  I think that's unfair, win or lose, draw a conclusion.  I think you judge a team over the course of 162 games, really.  The way they've battled some adversities, the critics, all the answers that that have been thrown at for the last year, really.  I think that's the way you judge a team.  Tomorrow's game, anything could happen.  It really can, a bad hop over somebody's head, a ball lost in the shadows, somebody gets hit with the bases loaded, crazy stuff.  It really could happen.  I don't think it would be fair to judge a club, win or lose, that way.

Q.  Did you have some words of advice for Kris yesterday on the plane?

Q.  Medlen?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  No, no, he's fine.  He really is fine.  I don't think‑‑ two or three weeks ago we were kicking around who would be the guy, Huddy or Medlen.  And we couldn't go around either way because of their make‑up.  I don't think Medlen's going to step on the rubber tomorrow and go, wow, I'm pitching Game 7, which that's basically what we've talked about.  We've got one game.
Win or lose, I think he's going to be the same guy.  I don't think he's going to spook, or Huddy, for that matter.  So we couldn't go wrong with either of those two pitchers.

Q.  Over time in baseball the other guys seem to have the big hits, three‑run homers.  Your guys are going to be aware tomorrow it could be anybody, any time, having the moment that makes them.
FREDI GONZALEZ:  That's what makes this fun.  Eddie Perez, what was he?  I don't know.  I'm going to give him some extra points here because I know he's listening.  What is he, 250 career hitter maybe?  In 99, he won the MVP.  Who would have thought?  There are 25 guys on Friday that could step up and maybe the least one we expect is the one that comes up with the big games.  That's what makes these formats very good, or fun.  If you end up winning them, you know.

Q.  Just to be clear, the roster doesn't have to be set till tomorrow morning though, right?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  Correct, tomorrow.

Q.  But you're going to announce it today?
FREDI GONZALEZ:  We'll see what Frank wants to talk about.  We have to talk about it after the workout, and kind of iron the last couple of spots, which way, we'll make sure.  You know what?  To be perfectly frank with you guys, I really don't want the Cardinals to know exactly what the rosters are.
I just announced the lineup.  I don't want them to‑‑ I don't think they're going to tell us what their full roster is.  So we may not fully announce it until 10:00 tomorrow morning when we have to do it.
I asked Frank on the plane, do we get to see their roster before they get to see ours?  You know, one of those.  He said, No, I think everybody turns them in at 10:00 o'clock, and whatever is in is in.  So for me to sit here and say how many, I already announced nine.  I'm not going to announce the rest.  Are they going to carry two lefties in the bullpen?  I know they have one.  I can't pronounce his name.  But they may be carrying two since we're so lefty dominant, that kind of stuff.  I'm sure Mike is not going to divulge that information until tomorrow.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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