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October 17, 2006

Tony La Russa


Q. Would you say Jeff Weaver was huge tonight?
TONY LA RUSSA: Especially you think about that first inning, guy gets on, he's got to get Delgado and Wright out. That was one of the real keys to the game. He pitched so well. To repeat that after what he did in Game 1 after they had already seen him.
The biggest key to our win was the way he pitched.

Q. Could you talk about the trio of guys that have made such a big contribution, Kinney and Duncan, well, those two guys in particular, but also what you think those guys have contributed? And Preston Wilson, also, there's another one, didn't start the season with you but contributed so much.
TONY LA RUSSA: I gave Walt credit, he made the move for Belliard, got a base hit today, important hit, and Preston. You look at those guys come up in the Minor Leagues, they do a good job in the Minor Leagues to prepare these guys for the big leagues.
Kinney, got his feet wet, he's been okay, came back, he's been nails. Chris is so much fun to watch get better and better and better; right-hander, left-hander, I mean he's got no fear. Randy Flores got a huge out for us. Adam Wainwright, he's got so much composure in the toughest situations, so we've gotten a tremendous lift from those guys.

Q. I realize you have to get to four to win the series, but knowing that the next two games are in New York, how critical was it to get this one, and not having to go to New York and win both?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, you know, we're playing at home. We got an edge. So we hope the edge would give us a series edge.
I mean, what you do is you just play it. We played it, and if we'd have lost, we'd have been ready for two, and now we may be ready for two as well. But that's a very tough environment to play well, but our club responds to something like that and I know the Mets will respond, so it should be another game like today.

Q. How impressive was Jeff Weaver in the sixth inning getting Wright and then the three left-handed hitters after that?
TONY LA RUSSA: When you replay that game, and you see the outs that he got, and also, the innings against a club like that, he doesn't have an easy inning where he can just flip it up there. I mean, the more you think about what he did, the more credit he deserves, the more impressive he was. I talk about the first inning because, you know, they can pitch behind, put a crooked number there and you're going against Glavine. He did it the whole time he was out there and the sixth was a great example. They really set up, by him being able to finish the last three innings, our bullpen gave us a better chance.

Q. What does it do for the entire club to have the bullpen come out after a rough game a game ago and come out and perform so well? What does it do for the attitude of the whole team?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, everybody's realistic. Guy gets a base hit with the bases loaded, strikes out the next time. This is a tough game. Nobody is automatic. Nobody does it 100% of the time. We've got real good depth and a lot of different weapons in our bullpen and once in a while, you give the other side credit. That's what we did a couple of nights ago, we tipped our caps to the Mets. A lot of confidence in the guys we have out there.

Q. How big was that out by Shawn Green in that sixth inning?
TONY LA RUSSA: That's an example of why -- we trust that coaches and managers have been watching, I think he's been a Gold Glover this year, he's played defensively so well and in a lot of clutch moments. That's a good example, big play for us.

Q. You said before the game that Albert Pujols could still hit a line drive out of the ballpark, he made you a prophet today. How important was that home run?
TONY LA RUSSA: We all had visions of getting shut out again by Mr. Glavine. He was working us over. You know, Albert just got enough of it, and you get something going -- I actually think, and I know Albert and right now, Glavine is as effective as he's ever been. He's doing more things to get hitters out.
You know, we were sitting on zero and that got us going and really perked us up. Give Albert a lot of credit and then the guys who came behind to tie it.

End of FastScripts...

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