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October 3, 2013

Clint Hurdle


Cardinals – 9
Pirates – 1

Q.  What went into your thought process with leaving A.J. out there as long as you did?  Was there any move to get somebody up in the bullpen or thought to get somebody up in the bullpen earlier given the situation?
CLINT HURDLE:  Given the situation, with A.J. and his work, we felt that we were going to give him that last hitter, Freese, get the groundball double‑play, see if we could get some balance and keep the game right there where it was.  Three feet to the left, ball is by us.  Three more runs score after that.
Please, put it all on me.  That was my decision, so as I've told you guys as to the fault at our club, when we win, give the players all the credit; when we lose, give the manager all the blame.

Q.  Was  ready before Freese came up?
CLINT HURDLE:  Yeah, I believe he was ready, yeah, absolutely.

Q.  You guys have played good defense all year.  There were a few errors today.  Was that just more of a game kind of getting out of hand early from the mound or just one of those things that happens?
CLINT HURDLE:  We had a rough game.  Game 164 was rough.  That's one of the things we've been real good at is we don't overcook things we don't play well.  We go in there, honestly self‑evaluate what we have to do tomorrow.  We're down one game in the series, and we'll move on.

Q.  When Ray went out there, was there any indication when he came back of what was giving A.J. problems with his command or control?
CLINT HURDLE:  Well, yeah, we've got some thoughts.  We don't always share everything.  We don't want to tip too many people off on what we're working on or trying, some of the adjustments we're trying to make.
But I think there was an adjustment there he was trying to get to that he wasn't able to do with much consistency today.

Q.  How good was Wainwright today?
CLINT HURDLE:  We've seen him along those lines before.  You know, the curveball plays so well.  Every once in a while they get me over for strike, then a put‑away down low, the back door to left‑hander, different angles, different options with it.  Spotted up the fastball command as well, and that's where he's been very effective.  When he throws that curveball as effectively as he did tonight, it just makes the fastball play that much better.

Q.  Knowing your team, how would you expect them to be tomorrow when they get here?  And the same thought about losing in this fashion as opposed to a one‑run game where one of those errors or one batter that Burnett faced might have been the difference?
CLINT HURDLE:  We've lost a few games like this this year, so what we've been good at is just moving on.  We knew coming in we had to find a way to win a game here.  Didn't win today.  We're really good at dealing with the reality of the situation.  We didn't win today.  We didn't play a good game.  We didn't play well enough to win.  We didn't do the things we needed to do.
We only put one run up on the board.  Only mustered up‑‑ what is it?  We finished up with four hits.  We got some good work out of our bullpen.   pitched very, very good to keep the bullpen intact.  We can go a number of different ways tomorrow along with Cole to give us our best shot, get a win and get out of here.

Q.  A lot of clubs struggle with Wainwright's curveball, but why, in particular, have the Pirates struggled this year with the curveball?
CLINT HURDLE:  It has been one of the challenges we've had, probably with the different skill sets, groups of hitters.  Good curveballs are tough to hit for anybody.  I know our averages don't play extremely well.  That's about all I've got for you.

Q.  You talked about how you thought A.J. could get out of it with just a simple groundball.  Did you think he had his stuff today?  Hindsight is obviously 20/20.  Would you be hesitant?  This is looking way ahead, is there a way you throw him out here against the Cardinals, against St. Louis again?
CLINT HURDLE:  My focus, first of all, is on tomorrow's game.  I'm not going to get out there.  There's no sense to.  We might not play a Game 5, couple different reasons why.
He didn't have his stuff today.  I mean, that's it at the end of the day.  He didn't have his stuff.  Did he have the ability to get a groundball?  We felt he did.  He got a few of those.  He got out of one inning with a groundball off Descalso's bat.  Didn't work today.

Q.  This is A.J.'s fifth start here at Busch Stadium and he struggled in almost all the starts.  What is it about playing here that you think leads to the struggles?
CLINT HURDLE:  I don't know.  He's also got some history of starts before that where he has pitched well.  It hasn't worked out well right now for him.  I do believe that he's capable of going out and throwing a gem the next time he's out, wherever that might be.  Whether it's here, back home, the same circumstances during the season.
So if you only believe in what you see, you're reporting the weather.  We believe in our guys.  We trust in our guys.  We'll continue to trust our guys.  I think he's going to have the opportunity.  We get him the opportunity again to bounce back and go out there and give us a better shot, much better shot than he gave us today.

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