TONY LA RUSSA: Well, he's very, very
talented. You saw -- he went through a lot of our
really good hitters. The only way you beat a guy
like that is you have to -- everybody goes up there
has to really try to fight their at-bat and make him
work for everything. And maybe he makes one
mistake, somebody runs into something. But it's
your only chance.
If we had given in because he has the stuff
that he has, we wouldn't have had a chance.
Not just for Game 4, but how
important have your starters been not just
throughout the World Series, but really
throughout this whole entire playoffs?
TONY LA RUSSA: I saw some place
where we were hitting .200 as a team. I think
we've only had one or two games where we put
together a lot of hits. A lot of that has to do with
the postseason pitching you face. But our pitching
beginning to end has been the most consistent
thing, and that's what wins, when you start playing
good teams, anytime of the year, especially
Jim talked about how it's just
baseball, the close plays, the pitching,
throwing errors and the ball off the glove. You
talk about how it's the small moments that
sometimes can make a championship run.
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, I'm not sure the
ball was wet when Rodney picked it up, who
knows. But I think it's the one thing that our club
has done really well. Here in this series we've
been doing it the whole time, is tuning out
distractions, just trying to play the game. We're
just trying to play really hard and really well and
that's why we're in this position, just trying to play
And we did some good things together
advancing runners, got clutch hits, Preston's hit,
Rodney is walking right through it and he gets a
clutch hit. We did some really good things and did
enough things to come through in tough situations.
But in the end it's just baseball, that's what it is.
Your team came into the playoffs
with the least amount of victories of all the
teams, but you're having the most success.
What are you doing now that maybe you
weren't doing consistently during the season?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, I refer to Jim
Leyland made a comment, if you look at the key
guys that missed a lot of playing time, that's why
he didn't disrespect our 83 wins. We went through
a lot of issues this year, it was a very difficult year
in a lot of ways. The biggest thing, most consistent
thing we had was heart. But all of a sudden we go
to San Diego and there's Jim playing center field
and David is playing shortstop, and Scott's playing
third. So our team was more intact. When we put
that team out there, we're capable of being a very
Could you please talk about all the
clutch hitting with two outs.
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, I think I brought
the card with me, but how many runs did we score
that were not with two outs, any? All four were two
outs. I mean, that's one of those formulas, recipes,
guys on base against you with two outs, if you can
get the out you've got a better chance to win. If
you get the hit it's a real momentum swinger, four
against you, and today it swung for us.
How gutty of a performance would
you say that was out of Supp tonight?
TONY LA RUSSA: Typical Supp, in the
sense that he's going to give you what he has. I
thought early on probably didn't feel like he was
real sharp and had the same kind of stuff he's had
lately and try to be more careful with it. He got
more aggressive and he got us into the second
half of the game. So give him all the credit he
How much do you feel your team
will draw from its experience to not get too
excited being up 3-1 and being able to face
adversity throughout the season to get itself to
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, when the game
was over and Jim was passing out the game balls,
right after the game balls, that's the comment that
was heard most often, we're just close. We have
too much respect for the Tigers and get ready to
play tomorrow and take our best shot and see what
happens. That was exactly what happened.
I'm sure Red Schoendienst was
thinking of 1968 when Northrup hit that ball and
one of the best defensive Cardinal center
fielders in history, Curt Flood, slipped. And I
wonder what your thoughts were on that play?
It was somewhat of a payback for all those
Cardinals fans that were here.
TONY LA RUSSA: I think the final
payback would be if we get that fourth win. But
that was a break. Granderson covered so much
ground and it ended up being an important run.
But you get to '68 and the same situation, 3-1. We
know the history and we know how good the Tigers
are. Just come out tomorrow and play as good as
you can, hard as you can, and see what happens.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.