LA RUSSA: We kept talking to him, watching the way he
was throwing. He threw the same as he did before he got hit, so
we just talked to him, watched him and in that one inning, got him
How did you keep him loose the whole time? Were
you afraid at all that he would tighten up or that arm was --
that something would go wrong there?
LA RUSSA: The way I saw it get hit, I would have
thought, you know, maybe a couple outs, maybe another inning or
two. I didn't expect him to get into the seventh, but he would
get off in between innings and he would get -- I'm not sure what
they were doing, whether it was hot or cold. They were treating
him, and we watched him through. He wasn't altering anything. He
was throwing good stuff.
Tony, the Padres felt good about their last
series today. How important was it for Mark to put up zeroes
LA RUSSA: Well, as you can see, we had a lot of respect
for Pedro Astacio, so we thought the way the game had to be
played was for Mark to really hold them down. I mean, we got
some runs. We didn't really do very much, didn't string hits
together, so I think the first key to the game was Mark and then,
you know, you get a guy on base and turn a double play.
Tony, David seemed to think that after Mark got
hit, it actually seemed to calm him down just a bit and his ball
was sinking a little better. Was that your observation also?
LA RUSSA: He's playing behind him. He's got a better
view than I do. I mean, if he says it, as smart as he is and
honest, I don't think there's a BS bone in his body, so I think
that's probably -- he had a better sinker. That's a difficult
way to improve your sinker, though. It's not -- he needs to try
to work on his mechanics next time.
Tony, some baseball people theorize as steroids
go out of the game, small ball will come back. Do you think that
there's going to be a renaissance, and do you think the way your
team played today is kind of an example to be followed?
LA RUSSA: Well, I don't -- I don't think there was a
whole lot different today versus other years. We have always
been taught to play the scoreboard. We play the scoreboard.
Only thing is that sometimes, you know, if David is at the plate,
you might think about a squeeze. If Reggie's at the plate,
you're going to let him swing, but you know, we try to have a
bunch of weapons. We try to play the scoreboard, and that's
been true, you know. I was taught about it a long time ago, and
it was true before I heard about it, and it's going to be true,
so I think there's always a place where runs are hard to come by.
You're facing quality pitching and you're going to have to do
something to create an opportunity.
Tony, your game on Saturday night on the West
Coast is 10:00 St. Louis time. Do you think that's a disservice
to the fans here in St. Louis to have it so late?
LA RUSSA: No. Our fans are here at 12:00 on a weekday,
right? They're going to be there if they would play at midnight,
1:00. They're going to watch it. I mean, Sunday's a day off, so
my biggest concern is that gives Friday night, the off-day in the
Gaslight District. I may have to have curfew. I'm going to see
how many wives are on that plane so we get some rest.
Tony, three double plays in Game 1, four today.
How important have those been in getting to where you're at so
LA RUSSA: It's part of what I said earlier in Spring
Training. I really liked what I was seeing in the middle in the
field, because you watch the drills. I mean, Dave gets to the
ball, he feeds it quick. Mark's real quick releasing it, a
strong arm and vice versa, and they both have no fear, so it's
the way we played all year long. I mean, the total was there,
and you know, our pitchers are not afraid to pitch to contact
and hopefully get a ground ball.
Tony, Randy Flores getting that last out, key out
late in the ballgame. He's really come on late, hasn't he?
LA RUSSA: It's an important role. He had some issues
coming into this thing, and we had to get them resolved in our
favor. You know, Mark Sweeney is one of the best pinch-hitters
in the game. That's a tough out. I just watched the replay of
the strikeout pitch. That situation will come up a lot. Our
condolences to Ray. Ray's father passed away today so we weren't
going to use him, but both those guys we're going to need, and
that was a big out just like Tavarez, you know, getting Klesko
out. That's a three-run homer waiting. He looked solid all the
Tony, it's not obvious that you're relaxed more,
going to their place?
LA RUSSA: We're not real fond of relaxing and being
comfortable. I heard David's comment about home-field advantage,
you know. We're going to their ballpark. Their fans are not
pulling for the Cardinals, they're pulling for the Padres. We
expect very difficult competition, and one of the things I like
the best about our team, they're very solid between the ears.
There's nobody will take anything for granted and celebrating.
Woody Williams; we know all about Woody. He's going to be out
there battling with everything he's got, so you've got to win
three to get to the next level, and we know the Padres and their
ballpark expect a real tough ballgame.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.