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October 19, 2006

Tony La Russa


Q. So much talk about the Mets this season, what does it say about your team that you beat them, and what does it mean to you guys to go on to the World Series now?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, first of all, the Mets, 97 wins, they have an outstanding, balanced club. We just felt, you know, getting there towards the end of the season, you know, we thought we were going to get in and then it got a little shaky. But we kept telling ourselves, if we get to October, we'll be a dangerous club to play.
No matter who we play against, the Padres were good, they were leading in ERA and you have the Mets with all their weapons. But we felt we would be dangerous to play and we were just going to play. All of a sudden, best-of-seven, the club that wins 83 can beat a club that wins 97. Tough club to compete but very exciting.

Q. Talk about the difficulties of winning a seventh game on the road in front of a hostile or very energetic crowd for the Mets.
TONY LA RUSSA: We went into this thing in 2004 and we had the other advantage. We were the Mets, coming down one game and we had our fans. So I know what it meant for us to get that adrenaline pumping, and their fans are so vocal.
We had to overcome that and the way to overcome it is for a guy like Supp to pitch so great that you didn't have to do much offensively to win. It was really in my opinion a classic game. You know, they had some great plays. Chávez play, that will be replayed forever and then you had the bottom of the ninth. The only thing that, I'm not a humorous guy, but my attempt at humor will be to get all over Izzy because that's how Izzy gets saves and Adam had not been getting that way and Izzy had been talking to him and telling him to put a little excitement in the bottom of the ninth, so that was very exciting.

Q. Momentum is such a big thing, especially in these games, did you worry when Chávez makes that catch and then they get up and put some runners on, that maybe they had it right there?
TONY LA RUSSA: We talked about that with the home crowd, you get that adrenaline pumping because the crowd is going nuts. He makes that play, the place is on fire. Right away, they get a break, and the break is the ball slipped, the grass was wet and Scott had to hurry and made an error. It happens.
But, yeah, that was one of the real key turning points of the game because Supp kept his composure, made great pitches and got out of it. The game could have gotten away right there. You have a combination of Chavez' catch, and they capitalize, with their bullpen, but it didn't happen.

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