10/13/05 7:52 PM ET
Abraham Nunez pregame interview
Infielder discusses stepping up at third base
By / MLB.com
ABRAHAM NUNEZ: Well, I knew they have got a pretty fast runner at the plate and Ensberg is one of fastest guys on their team, so I assume if he got a ball hard hit to me I would try to get the guy on third so. When I went to get the ball, I saw that I had a good angle and Jarrod was giving me a good target so, I went for it, it was a do or die play.
How much different is it now in the playoffs filling in for Scott compared to the regular season?
NUNEZ: As I said, it's big shoes to fill in. I just want to go out there and do what I did all season long and do my best. He's one of the best third basemen in the game and it's tough to compare anybody to him, so I just go out there and try to be myself and try to get an out.
How did you make yourself or make the transition from a middle infielder to a third baseman under a lot of pressure?
NUNEZ: Well, being able to play in the middle infield, you play there, you pretty much can play anywhere else.
The angles are different and it's something that I have to work every day because I've been in middle infield and not that much third base, maybe ten games at third base so it's an adjustment that I have to make every day.
Did you play third base in winter ball?
NUNEZ: Yes, I did. But this is not the same. You have a lot of guys playing and we rotate, maybe five or six games in winter ball. And in winter ball you have to play a little bit at third -- I play it more than any other position in the infield.
Have you ever been in an interview room like this before?
NUNEZ: Never have. This is my first time. (Smiling) I've never been in a position like this before and I thank God for this opportunity because it's been a blessing and I hope to continue for it to be like that.
NUNEZ: Well, I've never been here before, so I played for a couple years in Pittsburgh and we never made it close to the post season. This is a big stage for me and this is something that I really enjoy and make most every day because it might be once in a lifetime.
You guys had such a commanding lead in the NL Central throughout the season; how did you guys as a team manage to stay so sharp and focused and not let up toward the end of the season?
NUNEZ: Well, you've got to remember one thing, you just can't play just to play 162 games. You prepare yourself through the course of the whole season to go to post season. It's like practice. You practice, so when you come to the real game you can perform. You can't take this game for granted because you're a couple games up in the standings, you take it for granted, it maybe can come back to haunt you. You can't take this game for granted. You have to play, every game time you get a chance to go out, play hard and hopefully a good result will happen in the end.
You look real comfortable at the plate and we touched on this earlier in terms of the different intensity during the playoffs; have you thought about that much, has that struck you at all as you've played here last few days, seeing the media and all that?
NUNEZ: Playing for this team is like a playoff situation every day. Because once I make the team and we break camp, we were like supposed to win, but we had a good chance to win. I don't say that it's easy, there are a lot of players but you just have to go out there and be yourself and do the little things that you normally do and I don't try to do too much up there. I'm seeing the ball good right now and hopefully I can continue to do that.
Knowing that you can be a productive everyday player, now that you've filled in for Scott, could you ever be content or satisfied being a backup again?
NUNEZ: This is a thing that I, man, I'm just enjoying this time, you know what I mean. I've been back up months and months in my career and I have an opportunity this year to play more so we'll see what happens. We'll see what the future brings and I just try to concentrate and try to get it done as far as we're in the playoffs right now. That's all I'm thinking about is to try to win.
Has there been any movement from the Cardinals side? Have they discussed a new contract or anything yet?
NUNEZ: Not yet. We're just focusing now like I said. I haven't heard anything and we haven't talked about anything. We just try to get this thing done. One thing will follow the other, so if we can take care of this, I would think you can't be worrying about that stuff, that stuff will take care of itself.
Did you get a chance to see what happened in the ALCS last night with the ninth inning and the disputed third strike there?
NUNEZ: I wasn't really paying attention to that. I won't make any comment about that because I really shouldn't.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.