10/03/2002 10:56 pm ET
Cardinals post-game quotes
Tony La Russa, Cardinals manager
In a game when runs are at such a
premium, how much is a successful sacrifice
Two games here, that
hasn't been the easiest play to make, especially
when you have guys with real good stuff like the
four pitchers. So Mike did a good job of getting it
How are Finley and Rolen?
We all thought it was
the blister, but it was not. You know, like right
here, that little muscle, it was cramping on him, just
got fatigued. I think he'll be all right.
Rolen, I don't think it's probably too smart
to say anything too definite. He's definitely got a
sprained shoulder. He's going to get a scan
tomorrow. I mean, I'm sitting out there thinking
about it. My heart is really warm about the way
we're playing and I'm sick to my stomach about
It's not really he is a just good player, but
he's really excited about the post-season. He
played at such a high level.
You know, news is probably not too good.
The way this unfolded, especially
with that injury, is that another tribute to your
My opinion, we already
passed those tests. I'd just as soon we not keep
getting tested. I mean, that's just the game of
baseball. On the professional side, I mean, guys
get hurt. I just saw Mr. (Luis) Gonzalez walking. Guys
get hurt. We'll go out there.
I feel worse for Scott than I do for us.
Runner interference on Cintron, do
you think that was a case of inexperience? Do
you think Scott could have made the play?
The back half of that is
easy. Scott could make that play. This guy is
incredible. I think the guy on second, he's trying to
tie the game. He just hauls tail. You know, he's
trying to run to third, get there as soon as he can. I
think it's one of those unavoidable collisions that
ends up being a really tough break for us.
Trust me, if he wouldn't have interfered,
the inning would have been over and we would still
have a third baseman.
Talk about Finley's performance.
Cannot give him
enough credit. Coming in, he was one of the keys
to our chance. First couple innings, he made great
pitches, then he started pitching even better. We
were working into a tough call. Guys winning
one-nothing, how far do you push him? He
showed up so big for us. I'd give anything for
playing JD deeper, catch (Quinton) McCracken's ball. But
we got the win. It's postseason. He was great.
Beating Johnson and Schilling back
to back, how big is that for you?
You need three wins in
this level of series, right? The win is the critical
thing. To get two ...
I knew our club, there wasn't one guy that
worked out yesterday, wasn't one guy came to the
park thinking that "We got one." I mean, we were
going to play, keep playing the way we've been
When you stop and think about it now, you
faced those two guys, I mean, nobody respects
Randy and Curt more than the St. Louis
Cardinals. We competed against them. We
ended up, when the day was over, to have two
wins. Yeah, it adds something to it. The wins is
what you look for.
Can you talk about Cairo and his
ability to deliver in situations like that with a lot
That's why I was so
glad he was called into the interview room. I
wasn't really glad he wore shorts because we have
a fine about embarrassing the club when you have
ugly legs (laughter).
I mean, you've seen it all year long. You
look at his pinch hitting record, he's right at the top
in the league this year. He has gotten so many
huge pinch hits, just like today. Drive in a run, start
of the rally, middle of the rally. I think it's a tribute
to how hard he works. Keeps himself in shape.
He's a very smart player.
Would you talk about the mood, the
confidence, in the clubhouse after winning
these two games?
I think if I had to
describe it, it would be excited. But we have done
an excellent job for a long time at not getting
carried away. I mean, this is a three-out-of-five
series. We know who we're playing against, the
defending champions. We have total respect.
We're really excited that we've got two.
But, trust me, there will be nobody that's
half-stepping on Saturday because we know how
dangerous the Diamondbacks are.
Are you legitimately concerned that
Rolen has a Luis Gonzalez type injury?
Well, I mean, here
again, this is not my area. I just talked to our team
doctor before I came over here. I don't think the
severity is like Gonzo's, where he had surgery, his
tendons, whatever. But I do think that his
continuing to play for sure in this series is very
questionable. We'll hold our fingers crossed
through tomorrow. I think there's a chance that he
might have played his last game.
Miguel Cairo, game-winning hit
Most of your success has been as a
pinch hitter, even though you came into the
game. Did you treat it as that?
Yes. I always get ready
to pinch hit. Today I got the chance, the
opportunity to go out there. I was just looking for
fastball to hit somewhere hard. I get the fastball
right in the middle, a little in, but I tried to hit it to
the middle. I got lucky today.
Would you tell us what it means to
you to be here, getting hit today?
You know, I just am
blessed right now. I'm in the best organization in
baseball. Since I've been here, it's been so good
for me. You know, they've been treating me so
well. You know, today, the base hit, was make it
most better. You know, what a beautiful day today
for me. It was good.
What does it do for the Cardinals to
come in here and get these two games off
Johnson and Schilling?
You just facing the best
two pitchers in the National League and
American League. You face Randy Johnson, he
might win the Cy Young award. When you come
over here and you face those two guys, you know,
you win two games here in Arizona, it's kind of
hard, you have 50,000 people rooting against you.
It feels good. It feels really nice to come
here and get two. Now we going to go home and
try to finish over there.
Do you consider yourself mostly a
first pitch hitter when you only have one at-bat
I try to look for a ball to
hit. When you pinch-hitting, you just going to see
one good fastball. I try to go out there and trying
to look for it, trying to hit it hard somewhere, you
know, hoping that I get lucky at-bat. Sometimes
you going to miss, sometimes you going to hit it.
Chuck Finley, starting pitcher
How is your hand? Will that keep
you out of action for any length of time?
Chuck Finley: Well, what happened
was after that inning where I ran the bases, my
hand started cramping up. My index finger kind of
started shutting down toward my palm. I couldn't
get it to relax. When I was facing that first batter,
after every pitch, it would kind of lock down. I
would try to move it back up.
No, it was fine. It was cramping. I couldn't
get it out of there.
With the base running involved, did
you land on your hand?
I don't know if I was out
there running and it got to a point in the game
where I might have started to fatigue. I know when
I came in from standing on the bases, my hand
started cramping up. I went out there, wasn't in
any pain or anything, but every time I would relax,
my finger would shut down. When I would throw a
pitch, it would do the same thing.
I felt at that point, I brought the trainers
out, they might be able to massage it or loosen it
up. Tony was going to take me out if somebody
got on anyway. That was a smart move.
You appeared to be getting better as
the game went on. Is that true?
Well, I started getting all
my pitches over. As I got strikes on guys, I was
able to expand the zone and keep a lot of my
pitches below the hitting zone. I was throwing
them over the middle of the plate. They were kind
of dropping down after that. Started mixing in my
curve ball a little more, started throwing my fast
ball in more.
I just kind of got into a little bit of rhythm
the third and fourth inning. I know the first couple
innings, my pitch count was up there. After that, I
kind of got some quick outs which kind of helped
One of those games where the longer I
stayed out there, seemed like the better my rhythm
progressed through the game. That's what I really
needed to do.
There was a lot of talk about Randy
and Curt coming in here. Would you talk about
coming in here and out-dueling both of them?
If you would have told
me we were going to put 12 runs up against a
game that Randy Johnson pitched, I would be
very surprised. I would be pleased, but I would be
surprised. I thought that was a little bit of an
extreme. I knew today's game was going to be the
type of game where I didn't think that type of run
production would exist.
You know, this team, the whole year, most
of the time that I've been here, we've been able to,
you know, if you want to slug it out, we'll slug it out
with you. Two-to-one, three-to-one, we'll do that,
Our team has been able to adjust their
style of play, the way we play. We seem to answer
the question every night it's presented to us about,
You want to pitch well, one or two runs will get it, or
slug it out.
To answer your question, a split would
have been good for us. Obviously us coming out
of here 2-0 looks very, very good. But going back
to St. Louis and playing two games at Busch, it's
going to be very exciting for us.
We're in a good position, where we want to
be. This is what we dream of doing, coming out
here, 2-0. (Going back to St. Louis at) 1-1 would have been good, but 2-0 is
very exciting for our team.
Can you talk about the emotional
shift late in the game, when you lose the lead,
Rolen gets hurt?
I felt that was -- for us
to come back and regain the lead after Scotty got
hurt, we had a little bit of an emotional letdown
because he didn't look very well when he came off
the field. We came back and Edgar Renteria, who
has been doing huge things for us ever since I've
been here, and Miguel Cairo has been getting
clutch base hits, we pushed that run across. It
seems like that was going to be a big, huge part of
our game. When bring the back of the bullpen in
with Isringhausen, it's pretty much lights out with
The emotions were very high. I mean, the
bench is as high strung as I've seen it in quite a
while in this type of atmosphere. We persevered
and poured it out. It was going to come down to
one or two mistakes. Whoever made them was
going to lose the game. Fortunately enough, we
didn't make quite as many as they did.