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October 15, 2000

Tony La Russa


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Tony LaRussa.

Q. Was Kile unable to throw a curveball for a strike tonight?

TONY LARUSSA: Well, I think his stuff was good. His location was off. I thought his location was off more than his fastball. He couldn't get a called strike on a curveball. There was some dispute about whether his curveballs were strikes or not, but it changed some counts around. They don't usually say that, but I believe it. But it made some important count change. I mean he had good life on his fastball but he really didn't locate his fastball very good.

Q. Was the mood somewhat tempered, the way the crowd was reacting in the second inning? It was 7-2 at some point.

TONY LARUSSA: I mean, did you watch us mount a come back? We got it to two runs. So no, it was exciting out there. The crowd was into it, but so was our ballclub. Very good starting pitcher, couldn't get to the fifth inning. I had no faults with our club.

Q. If there's a Game 7, does Kile's troubles today change your plans to go with him in Game 7?

TONY LARUSSA: Well, I think first thing's first; we got to find a way to win the game tomorrow, get to St. Louis. So we'll take care of that bit of business in plenty of time for the rest of it.

Q. Could you tell us what happened with (Steve) Rippley and (Dave) Duncan?

TONY LARUSSA: Duncan asked a question, and Steve thought he was yelling at him. It was as simple as that. He said, "You don't usually yell at me." He was asked a question out there, his loud voice. That's really what happened. But Steve thought he was yelling and he banged him for it.

Q. Did the questions have anything to do with the strike zone?

TONY LARUSSA: I think that's the question he wanted to ask. I think that's probably the question he asked Darryl when he went out there. I mean, we don't have as good a view as the home plate umpire, more of the side. There were some curveballs we thought were strikes, and it's tough to pitch without him. But, and I'll say it real clearly, that was a couple hitters where the count changed. They unloaded on a bunch of fastballs. That isn't why Darryl gave up as many runs as he did. That wasn't the umpire that caused Darryl to give up those runs. There's a couple counts that changed. His location was off. It's been so great, that it was unusual.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Timo Perez, he seemed to be all over the place.

TONY LARUSSA: I mean he looks to me like a complete player. He's very exciting in the top of the line-up. I usually don't enjoy talking about the other side when the other guys beat you like that, I'm sure the Mets will be out talking about him. I'll just give credit where credit is due. He's a complete player, defensively, offensively, running bases. Very impressive.

Q. Can you talk about your decision in the middle of the ball game to bring in (Mike)James and (Mike)Timlin early in the ball game? You thought you had a shot to come back?

TONY LARUSSA: Oh, yeah. I mean, we knew our ballclub. We were alive and playing. When you got that many outs left, we could put a crooked number up there as well as anybody in baseball. The one inning, James had one inning. The pitcher was going to hit. So we didn't want to double switch while we had to the second game. And then after that, Timlin was fresh and ready to go. Probably I mean the way the game was played, the two spot that they put up in the sixth, leadoff walk, slipped on the bunt, that was right back to him. Third base missed plays. That's a tough two to give up. We couldn't overcome it.

Q. What was your thinking on not hitting Mac (Mark McGwire) in the eighth?

TONY LARUSSA: In the eighth? When we were down by four? I was going to wait to until tying run came to bat. If the tying run came to bat, he was in there. If the tying run didn't come up, so...

Q. Was the sixth too early to use him?

TONY LARUSSA: No. He was on deck. I mean, (Fernando) Tatis after (Ray) Lankford, going out for Tatis the tying run, I didn't think that was a good spot. (J.D.) Drew, he's the tying run. You want to do it there. Yeah, I felt like we'd get one more guy on base, there wasn't going to be a way to avoid him. Probably the only time I thought in the game realistically, that was the place to take the shot. He was on deck.

Q. In the first inning, as hard as they were hitting Darryl(Kile), it didn't appear you had a seventh game of the World Series type of philosophy. Did that change because you have to use (Britt) Reames later on? Are you planning on starting him? What was your thinking?

TONY LARUSSA: Well, what did they get, four, three? How many did they get? Four?

Q. Five doubles.

TONY LARUSSA: They got five doubles. I look at his stuff, his stuff is good. Every one of the fastballs was over and out over the plate. That's not where he was trying to throw it. I had that philosophy, but I don't know that we got nine innings of bullpen today. Reames was not available, not going to pitch him, not going to hurt him. So Matt(Morris), for one, you start counting innings, starting pitchers gives up four, the three the next inning was tougher to take. Then you give up -- there were two outs when all that crap happened in the second inning, so you send him out for the third, trying to get a few outs. No, I mean the attitude was there, and he should not have been taken out after a few of the doubles. We were not that deep with anybody in the bullpen.

Q. You mentioned his command wasn't great. Do you think that had something to do with the three days' rest?

TONY LARUSSA: It's interesting. It's probably the opposite of what you expect. Normally, you pitch every fourth day, you get a better feel for the baseball, you got better command, he may not have as much stuff. I mean he was firing, but they were elevated and they didn't miss him. Usually that's the kind of stuff you get when you got a couple extra days' rest, you're real strong, then you can't zero.

Q. Do you think all the talk about the three days' rest plays on the pitcher's mind at all?

TONY LARUSSA: It's an interesting question, probably going to be an individual thing. You'd have to ask Darryl. He's going to stand up here and tell you no. But can you read his mind? I don't know. I don't know. I think he's probably aware -- I know he's aware he hasn't had a great history with three days. But he's a different pitcher in the year 2000 than he's been for some of those other efforts. It's a good question. You'd have to ask each guy.

End of FastScripts....

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