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October 10, 2011

Tony La Russa


Cardinals – 12
Brewers - 3

Q. You've seen Albert do a lot of things in his career, but where does this rank tonight? This was pretty incredible?
TONY La RUSSA: Yeah. Well, it's one great thing, our fans are so attentive and knowledgeable, they've been watching for 11 years. And he does it. Maybe not all the time, but almost all the time. His hitting is the most obvious thing, but his defense, his base runs.
If you watched his batting practice today, Mark and Mike were commenting and I paid attention, he was fine-tuning his stroke. He really wasn't trying to hit the ball out of the park, he was just thinking about how he could have better at-bats. He's such a pro, so smart.

Q. How much does he take it personally, where he had a situation yesterday where he could have come through and hit a double play, he comes back the next day and has a big game?
TONY La RUSSA: You probably made a key point. He takes it personally. That's why he hasn't changed, no matter his success or how much money he makes.
I think he has a very strong responsibility system. He's responsible for himself, his family. He's got a very strong faith, so he's not going to let any of those people down. Excuse me, I said "people," but all those things, whatever.

Q. When you have a performance like that, there are other guys that have good nights, too. What does that do to the team, the dugout is going crazy, I guess just translates to everyone on the bench?
TONY La RUSSA: When your big guys play big, I mean that's -- I always heard that so much in basketball, because that's where -- everybody else is on their coattails, but when your big guys, just like their guys yesterday, three and four hitters, I mean, that just gets everybody excited and everybody just contributes rather than having to carry it.
But we got -- it's one of our strengths. You have 3, 4, 5 in the middle. They're all legitimate producers, and it gets you excited when they get going.

Q. What about Jay specifically, him setting the table a couple of times?
TONY La RUSSA: One of the key things. I mean, you get guys on base enough for the guys in the middle and we're going to score some runs. Jay had -- he had every bit as good a day as Albert did.

Q. It's been Pujols, Braun and Fielder having most of the production in the first two games.
TONY La RUSSA: Well, they're -- there's nobody in the game more dangerous than those three guys. But we had a lot more -- like I say, Jay, Matt came through with a big hit. David Freese had another big game. We played well defensively. But the guys play big. And their two guys in the middle, they did a lot of damage today, too.

Q. You've still got a lot of work to do, but your state of mind as you go back to St. Louis, you knew you were going to have to win one game in the series, how satisfying is it to go home 1-1?
TONY La RUSSA: Realistically, our attitude was -- it's not as bad as if it's a five-game series, like we were facing in Philadelphia, especially when they have the home field advantage at the end. I just -- our attitude was we've got to win a game to make it a series. We want to make it a series and be competitive.
Our attitude is so simple. We don't get bogged down with distracting thoughts. Play hard, compete, the reality is if you want to make it a competitive series, winning a game here, that's a big step in the right direction.

Q. There were a lot of runs scored today. I'm curious, what did you think was the key point in the game, what was one of those turning places?
TONY La RUSSA: We had some really good at-bats on pitches where they had -- like we did yesterday, got the ball in the middle of the plate. We also had some balls that were mishit that found holes. Dave and I were talking about that thing, it's a misleading score, because the game was very scary up until that four extra runs. It was a scary game because they've got so much potential there. And the combination of we were taking some relentless at-bats, they made some mistakes, and we also mishit some balls and got a couple of breaks.

Q. I think you referred to the "happy flight" phrase. [Inaudible] this is 15 in a row now that you have both gotten on a plane. I think August 3rd was the last time this happened. Can anything be said for guys staying focused with a getaway flight coming?
TONY La RUSSA: It's a neat kind of reminder, let's finish off whatever it is, whether we're finishing off a game at home or on the road. We've won games on days we weren't traveling, either.
But it's just -- you've got these grown men and they're like -- I don't even think fraternity, they're too old. They're like summer campers or teenagers, or maybe preteens. They're just like kids. And it's enjoyable to listen to "happy flight" things. Our fans were yelling when we got in the dugout, have a happy flight. It's silly, but why not?

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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