10/14/05 7:43 PM ET
Matt Morris workout day interview
Game 3 starter discusses keys to beating Houston at home
By / MLB.com
MATT MORRIS: I'm not sure the status of Reggie. He looked good today. He always looks good in a suit, so he was walking on the plane, big old smile. I'm sure he's got some aches and pains, but I have a good feeling he'll be back in the lineup.
You obviously pitched in these games before and you've been around a while; is it any more intimidating to pitch a game in Houston against Roger with the atmosphere that's going to be around tomorrow and everything that goes along with it?
MORRIS: I'm familiar with the atmosphere. I'm sure the bees will be buzzing and the crowd, the noise levels is pretty loud.
As far as pitching against Roger, I've never faced him before. It seems exciting, it's intense. He's going to go out and try to dominate the game and my job is to do the same and try and keep up with him. He's a heck of a competitor and it's an honor to be pitching against him for one, but, two, we've got a bunch of guys that want to win the game. So if I can go out there and put up some zeros and we get to him early, that's our best chance.
In regard to Houston, you faced them a lot, what do they present for you coming up tomorrow?
MORRIS: You've got to keep the top two guys off the line, off the bases. They have got Biggio and that Taveras, Berkman and Lamb have power, Ensberg is having a great year, so it looks like Ausmus is swinging the bat well.
The bottom line, especially at this park is try to keep the ball down and try to keep the ball on the ground. The fly balls here, some of them tend to go out of the park and we have to keep the ball on the ground and look for some double play balls. This is a good, spirited rivalry but a lot of respect both ways. Yesterday's game was a battle but you have to tip your hat to the other side, Roy pitched a great game and they came up with some big hits. We're not kicking ourselves about it and we're going to go out and compete tomorrow.
How much do you rely on Pujols? Even though he has had great numbers for several years have you seen development from him even off the field over the past couple of seasons?
MORRIS: He came into the league like he was around for 10 years. So as far as his play is concerned, off the field stuff, I know he's involved in a lot of charities, I don't know much more than that. He's heavily involved in the St. Louis community, but on the field, he takes every at bat seriously and wants to hit a home run and wants to do the right thing and win the game.
As a guy who has pitched for a long time, can you imagine pitching when you're 42, 43 at that level?
MORRIS: No chance. That's unbelievable. He was born to do this. Twenty years, still throwing the ball as hard as he is and in as good of shape as endurance wise as he is, he's just phenomenal. We all look at him and marvel.
You know, I get a good opportunity tomorrow to go out and compete with him, so I'm looking forward to it.
Kind of a strange topic, but you guys are getting a new ballpark, new radio station, sort of an end of an era for the Cardinals and such a traditional baseball town; how do you think St. Louis is going to react to that?
MORRIS: I'm not sure. They will be faithful no matter what I think. If we can send Busch Stadium off with a World Series title, it would be the cherry on top.
So that might quiet the crowd a little bit, but I'm sure when the new stadium is up and ready a little bit, there will be just as many people at the park and looking forward to the next season.
From a pitcher's perspective, Brad Lidge has great numbers against your guys and it's been a long, long stretch. When you get in a guy's head and you've got a little bit of an advantage, how do you make that work for you long term and how do you play into it a little bit?
MORRIS: I think in his case, he's going out there and attacking our guys, he's got great stuff, and he's not fooling around, he's not picking at the corners. He's getting strike one and he's got a nasty breaking ball. He's saying, here it is, hit it, and so far our guys have been not been able to hit it. One of these days it's going to happen. It's baseball and right now he's going strong and he's a great pitcher. We're hoping we don't get to Brad Lidge, that's our goal.
How does a pitcher make that goal work for him in general though?
MORRIS: I think you just stay aggressive, you just keep coming out there, being aggressive. I think the more times you get certain guys out the more confidence you have, and not that it becomes easier but in your head it does, and sometimes you make a mistake and it's popped up in that situation instead of not being as aggressive and making the same pitch that gets hit for a base hit or a home run.
So he's staying aggressive, he's attacking us, he's got confidence, everything is on his side right now.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.