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October 27, 2013

John Farrell


Q.  Breslow has been running into bad luck lately, but if the situation is right, do you stick with Breslow today?
JOHN FARRELL:   Yes, he has been so effective for us, not only in the regular season but in the postseason.  All three guys are available here again tonight.

Q.  Can you comment on David's play at first base defensively, what your comfort level has been so far?  What you've seen from him overall in terms of how he's played?
JOHN FARRELL:   You know, not just this year, but in years past seeing him in interleague play, he is more than adequate at first base.  And there's no reluctance on our part to put him in the lineup, to keep him in the lineup and on the field at critical junctures of the game.  He's played the position for a long time, even though he's regarded and looked upon as a DH.  But there's no reluctance on our part defensively with him.

Q.  What were the possibilities in your mind coming into today for Napoli?  Did you think seriously about those or were you thinking more defense?
JOHN FARRELL:¬†¬† Yeah, just think about everything, everything that you possibly have at your disposal.¬† Still Mike at third base is probably more of a late‑inning situation, if we get into a pinch‑hit and a double‑switch type situation that keep him there for an inning or two or more, before possibly shifting him back over to first base.¬† But still as we've seen, the defense on all parts, on all parts, regardless of the position, is a premium.¬† And still trying to use that as a priority.

Q.  How tough was last night for you personally as far as the play was concerned?  And looking back on it, how do you look at the play away from the heat of the moment?
JOHN FARRELL:¬† ¬†It wasn't a normal night of sleep, I know that.¬† You know what, the call was made correctly.¬† The umpires ‑‑ Jim Joyce, Dana DeMuth, that call was made as it should have been.¬† Probably the more issue personally that I have is with the type B obstruction.¬† If there was the ability to have some measure in there in that portion of judgment, judgment on intent.¬† Because right now there is none.¬† It doesn't matter if there is intent or not.¬† When Will Middlebrooks is lying on his stomach, it's hard to say that he was intending to impede that runner's progress.
So the way the obstruction rule is set up right now, the baserunner can be the aggressor and beneficiary on both sides.  They can seek out an infielder, run into him, and benefit by advancing.  So yesterday when there's no intent, given the heightened importance of the game at the time and where we are, you'd like to see possibly the type B portion of that rule addressed.

Q.  In the craziness of the inning of the game with everybody coming out onto the field, you're obviously watching the play, you had an idea of what happened, were you able to talk to the umpires after that and get an explanation of that they saw?  Or was there not much of an interaction between you and them after the game?
JOHN FARRELL:¬†¬† No, not much of an interaction.¬† Once they mentioned and determined and explained that it was obstruction, you know‑‑ we're well aware of the rules.¬† And at that point it's not so much a judgment call.¬† It's pretty a straight‑forward call.¬† We don't like it, but that's the rule in which we play under.

Q.¬† After last night's game you said you thought you made a mistake strategically letting Workman hit in the ninth inning.¬† Is shaking off a bad decision like that in retrospect the same as shaking off a mistake as a pitcher.¬† Is it any different as a manager?¬† Obviously you felt bad about the decision you made, you spoke to it last night.¬† I'm wondering if ‑‑
JOHN FARRELL:   We had Workman at the plate rather than David Ross against Rosenthal, who was throwing a hundred.  I wish someone could guarantee it different in the outcome, based on who's at the plate.  I looked at that last two reliever situation, between Workman and Uehara, combining to give us three innings of work, and I wasn't willing to let Koji go out there for two full innings, I felt like we needed three innings combined out of those two.  And how we got there, unfortunately, was with Workman at the plate.  If we get through the inning, I think Rosenthal is obviously already out of the game.  And knowing Koji is going out for one more inning on our side, I feel like we're maybe in a little bit more of an advantageous spot.  It didn't work out.

Q.¬† Maybe I misread the comments from last night.¬† I thought you said you should have double‑switched.
JOHN FARRELL:¬†¬† Yeah, in retrospect, sure, I would have liked to.¬† Obviously it doesn't put Workman at the plate.¬† But still I wasn't going to pinch‑hit for Workman with no guarantee that Napoli drives one out of the ballpark.

Q.  You walked Beltran after the Wong stolen base.  You didn't walk Jay in the ninth inning after the Craig double.  I'm just wondering what your rationale was for that, and how you determine when it's appropriate to issue an intentional walk on the mound. 
JOHN FARRELL:¬†¬† It has everything to do with the guy on the mound.¬† In Koji's case, where he's been a strikeout pitcher, regardless of the right or left‑handed hitter at the plate.¬† We walked Beltran in a situation where it didn't load the bases, if memory serves me correct.¬† To walk the bases loaded and back Koji into a corner, where he has no room to maneuver inside a given at‑bat, didn't want to do it.
What gets lost in all this call and everything is the play that Dustin Pedroia makes, which is a phenomenal play.

Q.¬† When you talk about it being a restless night or not normal night of sleep, is it you're too amped up or second‑guessing yourself or the umpires?
JOHN FARRELL:   I don't know, you review the whole game.  You replay it in your mind.  And you learn from the experiences you go through.  I'm sure there's a number of our guys in our uniform that probably do the same thing.

Q.  Over the last ten years this franchise has had a lot of success to erase a lot of years of bad memories.  With the bizarre ending yesterday, one of the bizarre things that came out, that was the first time since 1986 that a World Series game has ended on an error.  Do you worry about if your players follow that or you see that?  And how it might affect their thoughts going into this game?
JOHN FARRELL:   No, not at all.  I think the one thing that's been a strong characteristic of this team and the leadership within our club is the ability to put yesterday behind us, good, bad, indifferent.  Once we get on the field and begin our work and the routines that will come out of our BP and the first pitch thrown, our focus and intent is clearly on tonight.  We can't go back to yesterday.

Q.¬† Would you rather have your catcher take a more conservative approach in that situation, just hold the ball, considering that it's a sudden‑death situation with that run, if it scores, wins the game?
JOHN FARRELL:¬†¬† We don't want him to throw it in leftfield.¬† You know what, I'm never going to fault a guy for being aggressive, to trust his instincts.¬† There's a difference between trusting an instinct and maybe a presence of mind.¬† Salty is out there busting his tail.¬† Will is trying to knock a ball down that's thrown into the runner a little bit; it didn't work out.¬† We all have the benefit today to sit here and hindsight is 20/20, whether it's a double‑switch, throwing the ball down the left line.¬† That's what makes this game great.¬† It's debatable, but in the moment our guys are doing whatever they can to succeed.

Q.  I was just curious sort of with Felix, he threw 25 pitches and two innings.  If the game had been different, would you have kept him in, or did you feel that was what you guys could get from Felix, two innings?  What's his availability moving forward?
JOHN FARRELL:   He's available today.  And felt like the work that he did do last night put us in a position where we would hope to be.  And that was turning it over to Brez, Taz and Koji.  So to say that we should have left him in, I'm not revisiting that one.  He did a great job for us.

Q.  You mentioned with Uehara, how long you wanted to go with him last night, are you comfortable with going more than one inning with Uehara tonight?

Q.  Jon Lester throughout his career, his postseason ERA is well under three.  Do you look at that as he's a good pitcher who's going to be good no matter where it is in the season, or could he take his game to the next level in the playoffs?
JOHN FARRELL:   Well, there's a combination of a couple of things here:  One, his physical strength and endurance is unique.  And he can maintain his stuff this deep into a season is one thing.  I think the one thing that we all recognize is that the power stuff wins in the postseason.  He's got it.  He maintains it.  And yet in addition to his physical strengths, there's a level of concentration that he's capable of maintaining that gives him the ability to execute consistently over the time he's on the mound.  And those two things combined is what's given the career performance he's had in the postseason.

Q.  Matt Holliday is one of the most experienced players in postseason on both teams in this World Series.  He also turned out to be one of the most productive hitters the Cardinals have right now.  Could you talk about how important it is to have somebody with so much experience in the postseason, and how tough it has been for you guys to get him out.
JOHN FARRELL:¬†¬† It seems like when there's men on base, he's standing in the batter's box.¬† It's one of those uncanny things, you look up and here's Holliday walking to the plate with a couple of guys on.¬† He's always been an aggressive hitter.¬† Obviously to have the success he's having, he's extremely talented, and he's in the middle of all their rallies, it seems like, so far in these last three games.¬† How we manage that and we look to attack ‑‑ what we need to do is keep the guys off base leading up to him and minimize the potential damage he might create.

Q.  What are your overall expectations for Clay Buchholz out there tonight and including the guys that you mentioned, Doubront, and Uehara, just the state of the bullpen?
JOHN FARRELL:¬†¬† Everyone is available tonight, including John Lackey potentially for an inning of work.¬† Since Clay's last start, there's been steady and increased ‑‑ or improvement to ‑‑ we're not putting him in harm's way by walking him to the mound tonight, and feel like we've got every reason to believe that what he's done the last couple of starts out there for us is the expectation going into tonight.¬† If that means we have to go to the pen or a pinch‑hit situation in the sixth inning, that wouldn't be out of the realm of possibility.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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