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October 16, 2005

Tony La Russa


Q. If you could just discuss your ejection.

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, I'm ready to discuss anything about the game. Anything involving umpires, you know, there's nothing you should say after, next day, next week, next year. So I have nothing to say about that.

Q. Edmonds' ejection was part of the game because you had to bring in a pinch-hitter there so I'm going to ask you about that, again, how you thought about that play.

TONY LaRUSSA: I believe Major League Baseball is here in force, I know what they tell us about certain latitudes you get in post-season play because you're supposed to be emotional and try and win this. See what the explanation is allowing Jim to get thrown out for the little that he did and the little that he said. I don't think he cursed anybody from what I understand. But that's for the higher-ups to take care of.

Q. You can't talk about the umpires; can you talk about what made you angry?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, I thought our club used their strength for two-thirds of the game. It went too far. I mean, you can fish around all you want to, I'm not taking the bait. We didn't do enough to win the game.

Q. Jeff Suppan didn't face the Astros all season long in the regular season, talk about how that factored into your overall game plan today.

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, it's just the way it worked. You know, when you play the season, we just roll our starters over it. Wasn't anything we tried to avoid. It's just the way it worked. I mean, there's a lot of things that are maddening about this game, but that's one of them. The job that he did, the way our club responded, I mean, everything, we did so many good things. But, it starts with Jeff, to pitch that well with that extended amount of time between starts, I mean, it was really extra special. And Jason came in and he did a really good job, as well. We dodged some opportunities but we need to go to tomorrow and win the game.

Q. Can you talk about Larry's very heads-up play going into third but are you disappointed that Reggie did not follow suit and go to second?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, I'm in the clubhouse, so I didn't really see. But my guess is that Reggie is running by first base, Larry is at second and he's got it wide open in front of him and Reggie is hustling, I don't believe he just ran to first and stopped. Probably didn't make a turn. That's just, that will go down as believe it or not, two-strike hits from Albert and Larry at first and third, and we put the ball in play, if we punch out, but Reggie put the ball in play. John with two strikes. There was really a lot of great things and we get a zero. This game, there's some real great things about it and there's some things that absolutely stink.

Q. How do you compare Brad Lidge to some of the other relievers you've faced in post-season baseball?

TONY LaRUSSA: Post-season, regular season, spring training, he's right there with the toughest. He ranks up there with the best that I've had the experience against.

Q. How frustrating is it that the Astros have struggled with runners in scoring position yet they keep coming up with ways to beat you guys?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, normally when you miss some chances like they had the last couple of days, it normally comes back to haunt you. That's why I say on the end, our organization does a great job of playing against the other side. We don't play against the umpires. Come hell or high water are we going to play against the umpires? Normally when you have chances like that and they don't capitalize, you steal a game or however you describe it.

Q. Is it a question of you guys just seeing really great pitching or do you feel like your offense is struggling somewhat here?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, I think it's really good to great, but we have a really good to great offense. So I think it's a combination. They have done some really good things, mixed their pitchers or patterns up. But we had so many weapons, and we've been caught enough times where we take the strike that's there to swing at and chase something that's not as good to hit. So we're kind of in between, and I think no matter how good you pitch, we've got so many weapons, there's a way for us to break through and we haven't. So I think mostly it's pitching and more that we could do, because we're good enough to do it.

Q. Was there any thought in the ninth of the squeeze with the tying run at third and the go-ahead run at first to try that?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, I'm in the clubhouse. Whether it's Joe or Jose running it, you're not going to squeeze with Reggie. I wouldn't have squeezed with John, either. First pitch, he got behind in the count, so there goes your count. No, I think we played it the best we could. They turned a double play there at the end that was clutch.

Q. As well as you've pitched in this series, where does that leave you down 3-1? Do you feel like you have a legitimate shot if you continue to pitch this way the rest of the series?

TONY LaRUSSA: Well, we thought if we evened the game today, it would swing in our favor. And so we didn't get it, we do a real good job of separating the games. By tomorrow, this loss will be behind us and we'll come out fresh. I know Pettitte is punishing, we've got Chris, we want to get back home to play a game. So we'll turn the page by the time we get here tomorrow.

End of FastScripts...

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