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October 9, 2011

Tony La Russa


Q. You add Lynn to the roster, was it him and Sanchez, Sanchez in it at all?
TONY La RUSSA: Sanchez has thrown in one. We just thought that -- the toughest thing was Westbrook. And the most compelling reason is that he's our protection during the series if the starter has an early problem or if you go extra innings, and in that role you're available every day and you can't stay in shape.
So we just said we have three relievers that are eligible to come off that are healthy and ready to go, Lynn, McClellan and Sanchez. And we took two of the three. It's not smart to pitch Sanchez back-to-back, and that was the big difference. And now Westbrook will just be throwing every two or three days, in case we need him.

Q. How do you anticipate doing second base?
TONY La RUSSA: Well, it comes down to Punto and Theriot, so Theriot gets a nod today. I looked ahead a little bit, I can see a game coming up where Nick would play, so I think we're in good hands with either guy.

Q. How much consideration did you give to Tyler or the position player for the extra position player for the series?
TONY La RUSSA: That was the call. 14 and 11 and the guy would have been Tyler. We just looked hard at -- when you've got talent like Lynn and McClellan that you can put on the roster. We play the season with five extra guys. It's nice to have the 6th guy. But the Brewers are basically a right-hand hitting team. And we felt the extra pitcher, there were days that you play -- you play three in a row if it goes that way, you'd rather have the pitching depth.

Q. Do you feel like you can use Lynn just like you did before he got hurt, is there any caution with him?
TONY La RUSSA: When I watched him throw to hitters, and from what they say he's throwing in the bullpen. If there's a chance to give him an outing with -- I don't think I'd use him before Salas or Motte. I'm not going to hesitate beyond that to use him.

Q. At this stage how healthy is Holliday?
TONY La RUSSA: You know, he had those games against some really tough pitching and he took a lot of swings. No setbacks. So unless -- if he tweaks it and becomes a problem, he's in there. He's feeling fine, or playable.

Q. With Edwin Jackson tomorrow start, when you added him, how have you seen him kind of improve during this time for you and how essential has he been to how the rotation has rolled over? And also, the game that he had here that was really a slog for him, how do you think that set you up for the run you were on and how important was what he did that evening?
TONY La RUSSA: Well, I think there were relievers that got saved. I think there was a game shortly thereafter that if we had burned the bullpen, we couldn't have won it.
It's not unusual, I think just about every starter on every club takes a slump one time during the first five months of the season, that was his time. And it was very identifiable why he was taking his lumps. He was in the middle of the play, he didn't have good command and they're a good hitting club.

Q. In a broad sense, a lot of upsets in the Division Series, a lot of the highest payroll teams are gone, some new faces. Do you think it's a good thing for baseball that the four teams we have right now left, what we've seen so far in this postseason?
TONY La RUSSA: I think we all should understand that if you're good enough to get in, any of the 8 teams can beat any of the other 7. There's no doubt in my mind. It's been proven over and over again.
What that means, I think if you're in uniform, you can't get caught up in what the ratings are going to be if this club or that club would draw more TV ratings or more interest. It's a competition, if you're good enough to win you move on. And I think MLB wins any way you go. I don't know, just keep it simple. You play a club, you try to beat them.

Q. I know I asked you about this a couple of days ago, you anticipate doing 4 or 5 like you've got them now, going forward here or as Matt gets back into it do you turn that around?
TONY La RUSSA: You mean games?

Q. Yes.
TONY La RUSSA: I think Lohse will pitch 4.

Q. The 4 and 5 spots in the lineup.
TONY La RUSSA: Have they announced their 2 and 3 yet? Gallardo is 3. Have they announced who is tomorrow?

Q. Marcum.
TONY La RUSSA: I've got to believe the day Wolf pitches that Matt will hit 4th. But it's -- I don't think there's a big difference. Berk's been in there every day, and he's got his timing and it makes sense to give Holliday, as long as you've got Yadi, he's got protection, he's one of the toughest hitters in our club.

Q. You mentioned the first thing was Ryan and Nick, does Descalso factor into or what he's doing at third base as a defensive replacement so important?
A. He could factor into it if you want to, but if you've got Theriot -- he's had a really good year for us production-wise. He's playing second base well. You've got Punto -- there's no reason to not just keep -- Descalso may start a game. The fact that he can come in and give you a Gold Glove defense at third. There's no reason to make it three-way instead of two-way.

Q. With having one last position player, Skip not being in there, does that change how you might use Adron?
TONY La RUSSA: It changes the game. The game dictates who plays, when they play. He is our bona fide outfielder. But I would not hesitate to send Punto to play defense in the outfield. If you watch him in batting practice he's tracking things down like Jim Edmonds. But we try to avoid using Adron until later. But if we need him sooner for some reason, use him.

TONY La RUSSA: If you're an infielder, you go out there and you read the ball, you do fine. Tyler, that's what -- we put Tyler out there. These guys are all the same as Tyler as far as infielders.

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