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October 16, 2013

Skip Schumaker


Q.  Would you say that one of the big differences in this series so far has been fundamentals and that the Dodgers have had those mistakes at the absolute wrong time?
SKIP SCHUMAKER:  I mean, there are a few ways to look at it.  I know that we've had a lot of guys in scoring position, and if we had that one big hit I think you could overlook a few of those things.
Postseason, so many things are magnified.¬† I know which plays you're talking about, but I think the bigger story is their pitchers have made big pitches at the right time.¬† This series could have been turned around.¬† It could be the opposite of 3‑1 in our favor with a couple of key hits with men in scoring position, and we just haven't come through yet.

Q.  When you look at all the postseason, and really during the season you see pitching has really, especially young pitching, has really elevated from a few years ago.  What is the difference between the young pitchers you see now and the ones you might have seen earlier in your career?
SKIP SCHUMAKER:¬† Well, the velocity is crazy.¬† I remember first coming up in '05, going through bullpens, and there's maybe one guy throwing 95, and now their starters are throwing 95.¬† In a series like this, it's tough because there are so many new faces on the Cardinals.¬† I know a lot of the guys are looking to me for scouting reports, and I haven't faced them.¬† I don't even know who they are.¬† It seems like they're coming up one after another throwing 95‑plus.¬† When you don't have too many at‑bats against certain guys and going into a postseason, it's very difficult.¬† The match‑up is tough because you don't know what they have.
They're riding some very talented kids over there in Martinez and Siegrist and guys that none of us have really faced too much in big spots.¬† They're throwing 100 miles an hour with decent off speeds.¬† So it's a credit to‑‑ Derek Lilliquist has done great taking over for Dave Duncan.¬† They're here for a reason.¬† It's because those young arms are very talented.

Q.¬† You mentioned the unfamiliarity, but now that we're seeing a starting pitching match‑up that we already saw in Game 1.¬† Is this basically a game of adjustments?
SKIP SCHUMAKER:  It has to be.  We've seen Joe now two times, and hopefully we can make that adjustment against him from Game 1 to now.  We've got a pretty good pitcher on our side going, so hopefully Greinke can at least match what Joe did to us in Game 1.
I tell you, I know Joe a little bit.  Not only is his talent there, but he's mentally very strong, very confident, and I really liked him when I was over there.  There is a reason why they keep handing him the ball because they're confident in what he can do.  So we have a tough task, no doubt about it, but hopefully we can adjust from what he did to us in Game 1.

Q.  You played with and against Yadier Molina.  Can you talk about what he means to a team from the perspective of playing with him and then also playing against him?
SKIP SCHUMAKER:¬† In my opinion, not only is Yadi the MVP of that team, but the league.¬† What he means to them defensively, commanding the game, shutting down the running game almost completely.¬† If you watch him really closely during the game, he's moving in outfielders, telling infielders take a step right or left.¬† He's one of the smarter baseball people I've been around and maybe thee smartest.¬† He makes the team that much better and makes those young pitchers so good because they know they can trust him and not have to shake him off at any point.¬† That is a really good thing to have confidence‑wise when you're a young pitcher.

Q.¬† What made the difference for the Giants last year against the Cardinals when they came back against you from 3‑1 down, the inspiration you can take from that?
SKIP SCHUMAKER:  Well, yes, I've seen it happen.  That's what I'm hoping happens on our side is we have our pitchers lined up, and if St. Louis does beat us, they beat us against our best guys going.  We feel confident in who we have against them with Greinke, Kershaw, and Ryu going.  If we can just get that key hit, I think that would change the momentum as far as scoring position and hopefully try to run the table.
But I've seen it happen, so I know it can be done.¬† There is a reason why it's a seven‑game series, and I thought it was going to be seven games in the beginning because it was so evenly matched, these teams.¬† So I'm hoping I'm right.

Q.¬† When that happened last year, there was such a debate about whether momentum really exists in baseball because of the nature of the starting pitcher and all of that.¬† But when that was happening last year, how much could you feel it being a matter of momentum or was it just a separate one‑game series every time?
SKIP SCHUMAKER:  I think there was a little bit of momentum on their side because they just won with Zito on the mound and they had their two horses going at home.  So I think they were excited with where they were at.  I feel like you have to go one game.  I know it's cliché, but you have to do it that way.  You can't think too far ahead.  We like Greinke going today, and we know what we have going forward.
But we really like what Greinke is going to, we think he is going to give us today, and he's going to give us a chance to win.  We feel like that with every pitcher, and especially with Zack going today.  So I think for us especially, you have to think of it as today and obviously we're going home, so we have to win today.

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