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October 14, 2011

Tony La Russa



Q. Can you talk about taking advantage of some of the errors they had, the second chances they gave you guys?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, the errors are a part of the game, and I know the shortstops put on a clinic in this series and it just shows you, they are not routine balls, the ball is jumping all over the place. And competition that's this close, if you can take advantage of one of those or two of those, it could be the difference.

Q. Going to Dotel there, was that as much Dotel against Braun as it was Garcia struggling a little bit at that point?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, there's a lot of conversation about Game 1 and how quickly they put some runs on the board. We just notice, I don't know, I'm not sure exactly what it is, maybe it's just a long season for a young guy, but when he starts to elevate the ball and get it in the middle, he does recover at times, but as he gets some innings in him, it's harder.
Dotel, one of the things he has done really good is the inherited runners. He comes in in the middle of an inning and he has been outstanding doing exactly that.

Q. Back to taking advantage of their mistakes, that's something you've done really well the last six or seven weeks; when a team opens the door, you take advantage of it.
TONY LA RUSSA: Like I said, the competition is so close that a lot of times what makes the difference is if we make a mistake, which we have, and they have beaten us. That's part of the game. It's not always just heroics.

Q. It was a group effort tonight offensively.
TONY LA RUSSA: Yeah, I thought Punto had a solid game at the bat, too. We beat a guy that's a top-notch pitcher. So it was a real good effort. Jaime gave us a lot of outs and then the bullpen was outstanding, and our hitters just competed.

Q. Not a big play in the grand scheme of things, but the Carlos Gomez pickoff in the second, Albert has such a great angle on that throw. Is that a set play that you run on the pickoff?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, you are kind of guessing and you don't want to keep -- stall the game. That was the third in a row. They have an aggressive style, which is the same style we have. You want to try to push; there's two outs, and a lot of times you would rather make the out doing something aggressive, and you just start fresh with a guy that's on deck.
But the guy, he got a real good jump, he's very fast and Albert's ability to jump out, take the throw and give him an opening, an angle to make the throw, I mean, that's Albert's Gold Glove-type abilities.

Q. You often see teams shift the infield around against a left hand batter, but I'm not sure I've seen it very much against right-handers like I do against Albert, and I know they have done it a lot to you. Have you seen it very much against right-handers, and do you see -- doesn't really seem to bother Albert at all. Can you tell anything with that?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, a lot of times, when you see that, it gives you an idea how he's going to get pitched. If they make their pitches, it's hard to hit the ball over the right side of the field, although Albert probably has, if he really tried, because he's a magician, but just like sometimes you pitch a left-hander away and you play everybody, shade it to the left side. I mean, it gives you an indication of how they are going to get pitched, but it doesn't mean it's any easier to hit.

Q. Is that chance that he gets Fielder there, the second time he's got him, can you talk about he's developed into that role and performed well?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, he's exciting because you can leave him in there and let him face right-handers, too. He's got a lot of live stuff. His fastball has got life. He's got a breaking ball, got a changeup, so he presents a problem. If you look, there's not a big difference with Fielder. He's hitting left-handers like he hits right-handers. But he has not seen them much and if he makes a pitch, it's tough. Another 10 times, 15 times that Fielder sees him, then he'll have a better shot.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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