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October 24, 2004

Tony La Russa


Q. Matt Morris seemed to have good stuff but poor command, is that an accurate description? And he looked like he was surprised when you came out to take him out.

TONY La RUSSA: Well, I think Matt did a heck of a job. I thought his stuff was good. I mean, you look at it, he gives up four runs on two swings with two outs. He walked the third and fourth place hitters, both guys are dangerous, just barely walked him. I thought he did a great job. Threw a changeup and Varitek got to it. The other one, you know Bellhorn same kind of deal, curveball got away, hits the hitter. I thought he was outstanding. At that point, to me, in that inning, he was starting to force it and on three days' rest, I got him out because I think this we're pushing it too far, he might hurt himself and that's what I told him. I said, "Matt, you've given us enough. It's crazy to go any farther."

Q. How frustrating is it to have a team make eight errors against you in two games and you still can't win one?

TONY La RUSSA: It's more frustrating because it's something that we can control. I thought we had a bunch of terrific at-bats. We did enough offensively to get more than two runs. Now, they did enough to, to get four, so we lose 6-4, I'm not saying we win the game. But I thought our guys took terrific at-bats from one to ninth inning, hit some hard balls and the inches went against us. Overall, we would not have won the game if we had the inches, but we look more at what we do, not the things that they don't do.

Q. Do you feel that the Sanders miss of second base changed the culture not only of that inning, but possibly the early innings of the game against Schilling?

TONY La RUSSA: You know, I've said many times, you know, I think we are one of the best baserunning clubs I've ever seen. He just missed the bag. That's only happened one other time this year and Larry Walker did it. I said, "who else have you been working with?" He said Reggie is the only guy. I don't know, we had some chances and Schilling made really quality pitches when we had a chance for more, so it's first and third, would have liked to have had the opportunity. But, you know, that's not the way it worked.

Q. They scored all of their runs with two outs, is that just a sign of a really good clutch-hitting team, or did your pitchers miss a couple of spots when they shouldn't have?

TONY La RUSSA: You know, you go back to that last series and also against the Dodgers, you remember what our numbers were with two outs? They were great. If you get the two-out hit and if you can stop the two-out hit, that's one of those formulas that will win a lot of games for you. I thought the pitch to Varitek was down. He went out and got it. The pitch to Bellhorn, the ball was up, not exactly where Matt wanted it. The other two-out hit, he threw it up and over the plate. So they hit pitches they should have hit. You can pop those things up, but they didn't.

Q. Can you just discuss the designated hitter play on both sides and how much it changes to go back to St. Louis, or does it change much to go back to St. Louis?

TONY La RUSSA: I just agree with what the Red Sox have said. It changes their club. That's how we play all year long. The DH for us, I mean, I don't think it -- I like sending an extra hitter up there if that's the rules, whatever the rules are. We're used to playing without it. Whatever it does to them, we'll see. They are going to lose one good hitter.

Q. Can you talk about the performance of Curt Schilling and the job he did tonight for Boston?

TONY La RUSSA: Well, I thought early on, you know, like the first two or three innings, he wasn't quite as sharp and we put a lot of hard balls in play. That's where I thought we deserved better than we got. After that, whenever we even got a smell, he made quality pitches.

Q. Can you talk about the home-cooking in St. Louis. You haven't lost a game yet in the post-season at home and obviously in the regular season you had a dominant record there, how important is it for this club to be going home now and what you can do there?

TONY La RUSSA: It's hard for me to do -- whether it's me or the whole club, we're really into today and right now we're disappointed we lost two games here. You know, I'll have to take a minute to think about going home. Just, you know, you want to wait a minute? Probably don't want to. (Laughter.) We like playing on the road. We love playing at home. So like versus love. Our fans are going to be crazy and look to give us a boost. But we are disappointed we didn't get a game here or more.

End of FastScripts...

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