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October 23, 2004

Tony La Russa


Q.. Were you surprised that both pitching staffs struggled, I guess, do you still think it's a carry-over from both very difficult series?

TONY La RUSSA: Well, I don't look at it that way. In this league you do or you don't. People don't look for excuses. I think we did a couple of things we usually do, we play nine and give ourselves a chance. We did some things we don't usually do: We walked guys to set up innings and I think two or three times they scored, that's kind of not how we play it. But I give them credit, we opened the door and they capitalized just about every time.

Q.. Do you have an update on Tony (Womack)?

TONY La RUSSA: Very sore, but the first X-ray they took was there was not a break. Hit him right on the collar bone. I guess it wasn't a real clear X-ray but it didn't show a fracture but he's a sore guy.

Q.. Can you talk now that you've seen them live, just the Red Sox lineup and how deep they are one through nine.

TONY La RUSSA: Well, you know, you don't have to see them live. Watched them on TV. I said in here yesterday the four teams that got into the finals, you can't choose between the four lineups. There's a lot of danger in every one of them. Sometimes you make a mistake, you know, we made a couple of errors, they opened the door for us, walk a couple of guys; unless you pitch really good, you're going to get damaged.

Q.. Can you talk about Woody's (Williams) performance tonight and your big three, Rolen and Pujols and Edmonds?

TONY La RUSSA: Well, Woody, that first, I didn't think it was that bad of a pitch Ortiz hit out; that's three runs. You know, he's like most really good starting pitchers. Sometimes early on, they struggle, they keep you in the game and then all of a sudden they crank out four, five, six innings. But he gave up three in that third inning. Just, he was up. He was up a lot. You could see the target was down. He had been trying to throw a sinker down and Cabrera ends up hitting him. One of those nights where he's up. That's either you do or you don't. I don't know what the explanation was. He wasn't locating well and a lot of times he gets into a groove; he never got into it.

Q.. Your team has obviously been pulling them out late a lot of times, the late runs, do you see the Red Sox as that same kind of team, just a real scrappy kind of ballclub?

TONY La RUSSA: Yeah, I think it's real clear that both of the clubs, you're used to playing nine innings and you know you send danger up there every inning, so you never feel like you're out of the game. I mean, that's a pretty big deficit to come back from today but that's how we play it. Sometimes the pitching needs to be picked up and we're ready to do it. Other times, the hitting is not there and our pitching picks us up. I didn't answer the question, the gentleman asked me about the big three. I didn't see them miss a lot of pitches down the middle. I just think they got pitched tough.

Q.. How tough is it as a manager to face this kind of lineup and then to give that many baserunners with eight walks and a hit batsman? I mean they are already a potent lineup as it is and then you give so many runners.

TONY La RUSSA: They have a nice lineup. We don't concede anything in their lineup. Our lineup is real dangerous, too. It's the same game that we were both going to face. You make good pitches and get outs. You open the door, however you open it, and guys are going to score. They have a nice lineup, a real good lineup. We have a real good lineup, as well.

End of FastScripts...

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