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October 15, 2005

Tony La Russa


Q. What's the condition of your third baseman?

TONY LaRUSSA: He got hit on the area just above the knee. I don't think he twisted it, so it's just a bruise. We'll see how he feels tomorrow.

Q. Were you okay with that play on Núñez and just overall, Lane's collision with Núñez and just overall, any concerns about the physical nature of your team right now, physical status and how that impacts?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, just stood on the bag and just hit it with the ball and they all three met at the same place. I don't know, I thought Larry came out of it all right. We'll see how Reggie is tomorrow, Dave can play, so physically we're in good shape.

Q. What about Clemens, you hit him hard after the first or second inning, and it seemed like you just didn't have any luck.

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, you know, I'm not sure how hard we hit him. We had some balls that we got on the barrel. Sometimes a good pitcher will let you do that with nobody on, and all of a sudden guys got on, and we didn't have a lot to hit at. I thought we did a really good job of falling behind, coming back. The two that put us down, I mean, just two, three -- at least three, maybe four two-strike, into the count and did well to get ahead and missed his finishing pitch and that was the end of the rally, just went 0-2, 0-2 and we couldn't do it.

Q. Matt Morris had two strikes on three consecutive hitters on the sixth inning and all three got base hits, can you comment on that?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, that's just what I said, that's the difference in the game. We fell behind by two and then we battled back, did a real good job of scoring the two and then we had a chance for more. We got the two to tie it and we got a lot of momentum going, the first out, gets two strikes on Lamb, and Lamb is swinging at everything, and overthrew a breaking ball and there's a double and then he got two strikes on Lane and didn't make a pitch, there's a base hit. Then two strikes on Ausmus; that's part of the game. That's part of it, getting hit and the other part is finishing them off. We just didn't make the finishing pitch and that's the two runs that beat us.

Q. You guys managed to get Ensberg and Berkman out for the most part, or at least not let them hit you hard but then the lower guys in the order, can you just comment on how that worked out?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, we just approached, all eight guys plus the pitcher, they got four runs and we got three, so we didn't get enough guys out. Then Biggio got hit, Burke hit the ball hard a couple three times. You know, Lane's dangerous and found a great time for them and a terrible time for us to get his first hit. You know, what's tough to take is that we had those, especially Lamb and Lane, they were at the mercy of Matt, and you try and make a pitch. Sometimes when you try too hard, you overthrow it and you miss your location, and they had some to hit. That's tough to take. That's a tough loss.

Q. Lidge has had such a mastery over your guys for such a long time, do you think there's any benefit to the fact that you at least broke through a little bit on him in the ninth and got something on the board?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, I think he proved he's a little human. He had pitches that he through that Grudzielanek were nasty, and the two outs, he walked a guy with a two-run lead, try and do that, then he got a breaking ball up to Mabry that he fought off with a double. And actually, I thought David had a hell of an at-bat. The one pitch, the second strike that he took was not Lidge's best breaking ball. He had a chance, he didn't swing, but he had a chance, and he put it in play, a little liner, a little bloop. I think it just proves he's human. I mean, he's really, really good, but if you compete against anybody, you have a chance to break through.

Q. You mentioned earlier that Larry came through okay, were you encouraged by the way he was moving in the outfield? And two, what was your thought process on playing Luna there, did you want to save Mabry for an at-bat later?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, you know, the guy was coming up the next inning, which was a double-switch was going to lead the inning off inning. I like to lead him off because he puts the ball in play and he runs like hell. And Maybry, we were going to kind of hold him for later in the game, righties and left, doesn't make no difference, but a bit better chance with our lefties. Luna, the tough part about that, from my angle, and I just talked to him briefly, he gets the ball, there's the runner, there's the catcher, I mean, he had nowhere to throw it and that's your first play, that's just one of those. And he came back and made a great play on Biggio. But that's why I used Luna.

Q. The 8-for-18, Lamb against Morris, is that just one of those things?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, got him in Atlanta, and it's no secret, so we know how Dunc (Duncan) operates and he had the information and he had a plan. You know, the home run was he just missed his location some, flipped it into the seats. Probably like I said, the toughest one to take was get a first pitch out on Ensberg and then he gets two quick strikes and everything he threw up there, Lamb is swinging at. So he wasn't trying to throw the ball near the strike zone, but he did and he hit a bomb. You know, Matt has weapons. Matt can get Lamb out. That's why you pay attention to the numbers. If a guy has numbers like that, he's got more confidence and he's a tougher out.

End of FastScripts...

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