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October 10, 2011

Jon Jay

Albert Pujols


Cardinals – 12
Brewers - 3

Q. Albert, obviously you guys down in a 1-0 hole. You seemed very demonstrative, very kind of emotionally into this game. Was this something -- you were particularly charged up for this one?
ALBERT PUJOLS: I'm in every game. I don't take this game for granted. Yesterday was a tough loss. And I was -- I had an opportunity to contribute, to help my ballgame. And I just thank God that today I did.
This game is not easy. This game is going to raise you high and going to bring you down. The things you need to do myself as a player, I've been in that situation before, is just let the game come to you. And the guys got on base for me, and I'm glad I contributed to help out to win.

Q. Albert, you indicated last night that you might make some adjustments. What did you do differently?
ALBERT PUJOLS: That's a secret. I can't tell you.
See the ball and hit it, that's what I did. I was able to get some good pitches in the strike zone and made sure I didn't chase any bad pitch like I did yesterday. I put my best swings tonight.

Q. Albert, you have had a lot of your games in your career, I know you only had a few minutes to take this one in, where does it rank in terms of all your performances?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Just another game. I'm just glad I was able to help this ballclub to win. Go back home knowing there is a long series. Hopefully we can swing the bat the way we did, from the top of the lineup all the way to the bottom of the lineup the next couple of games and see where we're at.

Q. Jon, in this series you got to move back in front of Albert in the No. 2 spot, what do you think about that spot and what makes you comfortable there?
JON JAY: I've been there all year. When I got the big boys behind me my job is simple. Just get on base. I was able to do that today. If I can get on base it gives them the opportunity to do what they do, which is drive in runs. It all kind of worked out for us today, it was good to get that going.

Q. What were you thinking, you got that bunt hit, that absolutely started you guys off tonight, and Albert hit the big home run?
JON JAY: I look at every situation to see what I can do to get on base. That was an opportunity for me to bunt. And I got it down and the rest -- everything else happened. And it was a great start to the game.
We played hard the whole game and we finished the game today.

Q. Both of the Brewers' starting pitchers have struggled in the playoffs. Do you see that as something you can exploit in this series?
ALBERT PUJOLS: You can't look at it like that. Marcum is really a competitive pitcher. He's pitched well during the regular season against us. This is the postseason, we play every game like there's no tomorrow, no matter who we're facing.
We have a great plan. We have a great hitting coach, great assistant here Coach Andretti, pretty much go with the scouting report and give you how guys are going to work. We just go out there and execute. We don't look who we are going to face. We just need to make our adjustment and take our game plan out there.
Because just the same way, it can be opposite. He can go out and throw you a strong inning like he has against us this year during the season.
JON JAY: Every game, we're playing out there like it's our last game. It's the playoffs, everyone knows what's at stake. We play hard every game, and today we came up with the win.

Q. Marcum has pitched very well against the Cardinals. Have you seen him enough to know what he is doing?
ALBERT PUJOLS: As a hitter, as a ballclub, that's our job, to make an adjustment. Obviously that's what we did. And I can't share with you guys the secret of what we go through in our meetings, what we talk, that's pretty much our own business.
But we were able to execute. He left a couple of balls up and we took advantage, and just got part of that, just like everybody else on the team.

Q. Obviously Albert is trying to not get too high or too low. When you see a performance like that, what are the emotions like that and what is your reaction?
JON JAY: It's great as a team. Everyone knows how good Albert is, and we've seen him do it before. It's great. We all know, like you say, you've got to ride the highs and the lows, and this is the playoffs, and we've got to show up the next game and take care of business again.

Q. Jon, more specifically for you as a younger player, knowing how good Milwaukee has been all season at home, how much does it mean to you to steal home advantage going back to St. Louis?
JON JAY: That was big to us. We're 1-1, that was big to win, just because they've done well here. But it was big for us to fight back and get a win after yesterday's game.

Q. We focus on the guys that hit behind you as protection. I'm wondering if you have a guy on in front of you, if those guys are on base, what that does for other teams in their approach to you?
ALBERT PUJOLS: You know what, I think I touched this before in the past, you know, I don't look who's in front of me and who's behind me. I take my game plan out there and try to make an adjustment during the game.
Even during our at-bat, just because I've got great hitters like Lance and Matt behind me, that doesn't mean they're going to come and throw me a pitch down the middle. They're going to make me work.
It's my job to be ready for those mistakes, and hopefully take advantage. That's pretty much how I've been. I'm blessed to have great hitters behind me my whole career. I can go from 2001 all the way to this year.
And I think part of that is you need to make sure that you don't expand the strike zone, which I believe I have this year, a lot early in the year. And I finally just took a deep breath and started looking for my pitch and had a great second half. And it's going to be like this during the postseason, too.

Q. Albert, the importance of getting that double play in the 5th inning, and getting that pitch to keep momentum tonight?
ALBERT PUJOLS: That was a great pitch. That was an inning right there that it could have gone both ways, I think.
Rickie is a great hitter. And Lance just made a great pitch and we got out of that inning. If they can score in there, obviously the game could have changed. It was a good pitch, a good -- great turn by Nick and Furky [Furcal], and we were able to get out of that inning with no runs.

Q. Even though you hit .350 in the last series, you go a week to ten days without a run. Do you feel yourself getting hungry for a home run?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Never. I let you hit out there, take ten pitches, and sometimes you don't get any. This game is so hard. When they come, they come in bunch.
And when you struggle with that, you know, I think my main job is to try to get a good pitch to hit. I know that God has blessed me with great talent to hit the ball from corner to corner. I don't have to pull the ball to hit a homer, I can just go all the way and just hit it out. I just look for a good pitch to hit.
And you know what, when you get your base hit, you don't look like you're struggling. When you don't get the hits and you're looking for the home run, and you think 0-for-10 and now if I get a home run, and I'm 1-for-11...
No, I don't think about that, I think about getting my hits, and once in a while when you're getting your hits you're going to put one out of the ballpark. And sometimes when they come, they come in a bunch.

Q. Albert, you've been here before. Jon, this is your first go-around. What's the message on combining, doing the business, keeping everything serious to go out and win, but at the same time being able to appreciate and enjoy?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Well, you know, being hungry all the time. I mean, it's been amazing where we're at. Two months ago everybody was making vacation plans and thinking that we were out. And we had 35 games left and we just told ourself, let's see how many games we can win. And we had ten and a half or nine and a half, and all of a sudden we play Atlanta and we were four and a half games. It was like, wow, we had a pretty good chance.
And it's just been great. You never know -- you have to enjoy every game, every postseason, because it might be your last one. I've been blessed to be in so many, and having a World Series ring so young in my career. And I'm just hungry all the time, every day, because you can't take this game for granted, that's for sure.
JON JAY: Well, for myself, I have all these veterans to lean on and they tell us take advantage of every opportunity you have. And for myself, even the off-season when I'm working out, I'm not just saying hey, I want to have a good season. I want to get to the postseason.
I remember watching Albert in '06 in the World Series, I want to be in those moments. Those are the goals that I have. My goals aren't hey, let's play the season, see what happens. I want to win. I want to be known as a winning player, and those are some of the things that drive me.

Q. Albert, before the game today Tony said he felt like you were going to have a big game. I know he doesn't generally say things like that. Was there anything in particular you think that either you said to him or he saw from you that gave him that idea?
ALBERT PUJOLS: Somebody asked me that question earlier in the locker room. You know, he didn't come to me and tell me. Hopefully he can say that again. Knowing Tony, he might say that again on Wednesday, he's so superstitious.
But just you learn from the mistakes that you make. And yesterday was so tough, going to bed I was just thinking some of the opportunity that I could help our ballclub to win.
But I turned that page. And today was a new page. And what can I do to help my ballclub to win the game today. And I'm just blessed to be part of the guys in the team that did a lot of damage today and win the game and go home with a 1-1 series.
Like Jon Jay said, it's tough to play the guys here. They have the record for a reason. It's not easy to pitch the lineup over there. Jackson did a great job. Our bullpen once again was huge. And we're just glad that we evened out the series.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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