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October 7, 2011

Tony La Russa


Cardinals – 1
Phillies - 0

Q. Did you see Carp come back tonight like he did after the first game?
TONY LA RUSSA: I just think the challenge was fair; the other day it wasn't fair. And I really do think he can pitch with three days' rest. Early on, his delivery was out of whack, Dunc (Dave Duncan) fixed it and it was too late. But this was fair. Our club likes when he starts, and I really believe part of Game 2 was we were going to pick him up since he's picked us up so many times. But we had a tough call because if we had a chance in this series, he was going to pitch twice. But I think he'll remember this forever and so will the Cardinal fans, going into this game against Halladay and winning 1-0.

Q. Given the last month that you guys have had, can you just describe, put your thoughts into words right now?
TONY LA RUSSA: Probably can't. I mean, I just think the club was hit with a lot of stuff in the first four months, and we really overcame so much, and we had a winning year. We were in contention. I know talking to other coaches and managers, players, we earned a lot of respect, and then we got into August, Mo (Mozeliak) made the trade and we were a better ball clubs but we lost games. The guys just decided we're getting ready to mug all we earned, and we're just going to play it like it's the seventh game of the World Series. And they did it every day for six weeks, and then they started enjoying doing that. We were so far behind that we just thought, hey, we'll just keep it simple. And then we got closer and then we got closer, and then it was like, we have a shot, and here we are.

Q. When you were watching Carpenter pitch today, talk about what he was doing and what the ball was doing to produce all those groundballs?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, we've seen him enough. When his delivery is good, the ball really comes out of his hands, the movement to both sides of the plate, Yadi got his curveball working early, you know, he took something off because they had a lot of left-handed hitters. He's like Roy Halladay. They've got really good stuff and they don't throw anything over the middle of the plate.

Q. When you said after Game 1, after you got scored early off of Roy, you said then you didn't think that would be enough to beat him, and it didn't turn out to be that way. And this time you scored once off of him right off the bat and this time it was enough.
TONY LA RUSSA: Baseball is -- don't ever try to figure it, just enjoy it. I'll tell you, you want to figure out how great he is, there's no way even a great pitcher triple double with the middle of our lineup and we don't get another. And there at the end when you get a base loaded with Berkman; and Halladay, he gets out of there with no runs, keeps it a one-run game, that's a great pitcher.

Q. Just to follow up on the season itself, you've had more wins, you've had better seasons, but this is a great finish. Have you had a chance to even think about how satisfying, how do you compare this, how satisfied are you with the season?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, we had a chance because that -- qualifying as the wild card there towards the end, especially that last day, 90 wins, I mean, I'm not poor mouthing anything because every club goes through injury. Philadelphia Phillies have been through injuries. It's part of the season. But quite often there's your excuse and guys back off. We had a lot of goes at it and never gave in.
When we qualified, we thought, you know, this is really special because we could have given up and we never gave up. And then we had the Phillies and we had Carp.

Q. Obviously you haven't had much time to think about it, but does Garcia make the most sense for Sunday right now?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, the coincidence is that the last day in Houston, because just in case Dave and I started playing around with the Division Series, and today -- yesterday and today we started playing around just in case we qualified for the LCS. We have an idea, but we're going to spend more time to pull it together. I think you can rest assured we'll try to get Chris Carpenter as often as we can, so two days' rest four times (laughter.)

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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