10/25/06 12:33 AM ET
Chris Carpenter postgame interview
Cardinals right-hander executes game plan
By / MLB.com
CHRIS CARPENTER:I'm just out here pitching. I don't think the weather matters. I was just out here trying to execute a game plan and trying to make pitches and I was able to do that tonight.
Your team is coming off a loss, you
come in here and give them eight shutout
innings, really knock guys down. Do you think
at all coming into the game about how
important of a lift that would be for the whole
team, not just getting a win, but the way you
kind of delivered that win?
CHRIS CARPENTER:You know, my job is to go out and pitch and compete. I was looking to come into this game and try to do the best I can and try to give my team a chance to win. And we sat down before the game and came up with a nice game plan, me, Dunc, Benny and then Yadi, and the key is to be able to go out and execute, and I executed. I went out and kept the ball down, kept the ball on both sides of the plate. My breaking ball was good, my cutting ball was good, I made my changeups. Just a few pitches were left in the middle of the plate, and one was hit for an out. Ordonez early on in the game, I was trying to go down and away and I threw a fastball that came back down the middle and he lined out to right. They got that base hit up the middle there, and a couple that came back on Casey. But besides that I was on the corners and making quality pitches all night long. And when you do that you have success.
Chris, all three of the starters for the
Cardinals have done a good job with Polanco,
Ordonez and Pudge, of course. What's been
the key to silencing them and how important is
it to silence those guys?
CHRIS CARPENTER:Making good pitches. Obviously these guys have a great lineup, there's no question about that. They wouldn't be here if they didn't. If you go out there and execute, I'm sorry I can't give you anything better than that, but if you execute pitches, you're going to have success, and I was able to execute pitches. We've been able to execute pitches and Anthony was able to execute pitches. When you do that, it's tough to hit.
How special is it, Chris, to come
through with an effort like this when you didn't
get a chance to pitch against the Red Sox two
years ago? Were you left empty there and
does it fill a void for you to have this kind of
CHRIS CARPENTER:Missing '04 was big. I obviously wanted to be a part of it. I was a part of the team all year long and unable to pitch in the postseason. But again, I'm not looking back at '04, I'm looking at tonight's game, and leading up to tonight's game I prepared myself physically, mentally and I was able to go out and do the things I know how to do and make pitches. It feels great, obviously, but we've got a long way go to. That's just No. 2. We need two more against a tough, difficult club that will throw out a guy tomorrow that has great pitches and great stuff, and hopefully Supp can come out tomorrow and do the same thing.
The problem with your hand in the
seventh inning, did that just go away, was that
a quick thing? Also, when you were allowed to
hit in the eighth and it looked like you were
going to get a chance to complete the game,
what were your thoughts then? And when you
found out that you weren't going back out?
CHRIS CARPENTER:The hand thing, my second at-bat he threw a couple of balls inside on me. The second one I got jammed and popped up, and it didn't feel real good. And it felt kind of funny there for -- from that point on. And I get out there in the seventh and I think what they're thinking is I just got jammed and I don't know what muscles or tendons or whatever are in there, but it felt kind of funny. It went away pretty quick and I didn't have a problem the rest of the game. I was looking forward to going out there tonight and finishing it. The long inning, they came up and said they're not going to send me back out. That's not my decisions to make. My job is to go out and pitch and they make the decisions. If they take me out, they take me out.
Your numbers at home this year
were ridiculously good. How comfortable are
you pitching in this place?
CHRIS CARPENTER:Very. It's a nice place to pitch, especially in front of our fans. But I've said it before, the home or the road thing doesn't -- I don't know why, I think last year I pitched better on the road than I did at home. Who knows? I was just able to come out and throw a nice ballgame tonight and it's a nice park, like I said, nice park to pitch in, no question about it.
In the last series you weren't even
the best pitcher on your staff, and you're going
into him tomorrow. Do you expect this run of
starting pitching, it's been good starting
pitching in every game of the series, from one
team or the other, do you expect it to keep
growing here as we go deeper into the series?
CHRIS CARPENTER:I hope so. Supp is a professional guy that goes out, he does the same kind of things, he prepares himself mentally and physically and he's ready to go out and compete, and he can execute, also. I've seen that in the last two series. I'm looking forward to him going out and pitching. It's going to be a fun night. Again, this is a tough lineup that you need to execute pitches and make quality pitches on. If you can do that, you can have success and hopefully Supp will do that tomorrow.
After your struggles in the
Championship Series, was there any
heightened intensity, enthusiasm on your part
in regards to coming out?
CHRIS CARPENTER:Not at all. I go one start at a time. I scuffled in Game 2. I came out in Game 6 and I felt better about what I did. My curveball was getting better and better as the game went on. Unfortunately, you know, we're down 2-0 and we needed to get some runs. At the end of the sixth we had a chance to score some runs so they pinch-hit for me. I felt confident about my start in Game 6. Obviously tonight I came out and my stuff was even better and I was able to locate better. So this makes it nice and this is a big win for us and I'm excited and looking forward to tomorrow night.
Obviously as a teammate of Jim
Edmonds, do you all expect him to turn it on
and play much better in the postseason and
with how he's struggled this year, being gone
for a month, how nice is it as a team to see him
do so well so far?
CHRIS CARPENTER:It's great. I've known him since I've been here. He's been a great player. And he always seems to step up when the time is needed. And he obviously had a big hit tonight. It's fun to watch him play. He's the best center fielder I've ever seen play. And he can hit, no question about it and he's done it so far this series. It's fun to have him on my team.
There's been a lot of talk about the
Cardinals' way of playing baseball. And first of
all, what in your mind is Cardinals' baseball
and was tonight kind of a textbook example of
CHRIS CARPENTER:No question about it. We pride ourselves in coming to the park every single day and battle, grind, take one pitch at a time, one at-bat at a time, and never stop, play hard nine innings, go out and play from the first pitch to the last. And as long as you can go home and look at yourself in the mirror, that you did everything you could and played as hard as you can, the outcome doesn't really matter. It's a goal of ours to go out and play has hard as we can every single day. We've been able to do it for the most part in the postseason and when you have a club that comes here every single day, a professional club that comes out and grinds and battles and battles and battles and never gives up -- two nights ago in Detroit, it's 30 degrees, and we're facing a great closer and we're down three and we've got some quality at-bats, had a chance to win that game and unfortunately we didn't. So we pride ourselves on that. It's fun, like I said, fun to be a part of.
It seemed like you pretty much
suffocated them tonight. Were there any point
tonight where you felt like you were in a very
tight spot or a difficult jam or there was a
sequence or a pitch or batter where you felt like
you really needed to come through with
anything? It seemed like you were pretty much
CHRIS CARPENTER:No, there wasn't. That's the key of being able to execute and being able to execute your game plan and make pitches and go one pitch at a time, all that stuff around you that's going on doesn't get in your head so you're not even thinking about it. My job is to go one pitch at a time and that's all I can control. I can't control what's going on around me, and if you do that, you can have some good success. And all night I just -- I mean, I literally was focused on one pitch at a time all night long and I was able to make pitches.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.