10/7/2013 7:12 P.M. ET
Oct. 7 Michael Wacha postgame interview
By / MLB.com
Q. Michael, you appeared to be in command throughout the entire event. Was there ever a time when you were tense, nervous, anxious? And if not, why not?
MICHAEL WACHA: I think it was a little bit of anxiety before the game, just sitting around, waiting for the game to start. But once I was out there, once I threw the first pitch, all the nerves kind of went away. I tried to stay locked in with Yadi right there.
Q. Yesterday after the game Neil Walker said that Marlon Byrd is the most professional hitter he has had as a teammate. Byrd just said about you this kid has impressed me since Spring Training. I knew then he was going to be the next Adam Wainwright. When you hear that resonate following a game like this, what does it mean to you and is that somebody after whom you've patterned your game after?
MICHAEL WACHA: That's an incredibly nice thing for him to say about me. He's a tough guy to pitch to; that's for sure. It's a lot of fun playing these guys. And just him saying following Wainwright's footsteps, that's unbelievable.
That's one of the guys I look up on the team and try to pattern my game after, the way he attacks the zone, the way he finishes guys. And it's real fun to watch him play as well.
Q. Michael, after the walk, David Freese talked to you, and then after the homer, Molina took a slow walk out and back. Can you kind of recount those moments for me?
MICHAEL WACHA: Yeah, after the four pitch walk, it got pretty rowdy in there to start off an inning. So Freese came up there and he said, "Hey, take a couple of deep breaths. Keep attacking the zone like you have been."
I kind of listened to him, took a couple of deep breaths. I was able to get out of the inning pretty smoothly.
And then whenever Yadi came out there after the homer, I dropped behind in the count, he was trying to say the same thing, just keep attacking the hitters and coming at them.
Q. You now have kind of a little bit of experience taking hitters deep into games. I wonder if you've learned anything from the first time around?
MICHAEL WACHA: Yeah, I just kind of took the confidence from the last start into this one. And then whenever I went back and looked at the film, I was able to see some of the positives from the game, and one of them was just getting ahead of the hitters and being able to make my pitch, instead of making their pitch. I kind of took that into this one and just tried to get that first pitch over for a strike and start in a pitcher's count.
Q. Michael, was it disappointing at all when you lost the no hitter? Was it a case where the game was so close you're maybe not thinking about it maybe as much?
MICHAEL WACHA: I wouldn't say it was a great feeling. Yeah, I was just trying to keep go out there and throw up zeros. That's my job is to go out there and try to win ballgames and keep our team in the game.
No, I didn't like giving up the home run. That's a little too close to comfort for me. But Carlos came in and Trevor came in and shut the door. It was a lot of fun watching them.
Q. Michael, not that being 19 overall in the draft is a bad position to be in, but you're viewed as a tip below some of the top in the college arms. Any adjustment you made to ramp up that little performance?
MICHAEL WACHA: Not really. I feel like I'm pretty similar to the pitcher that I was in college, maybe throwing a little bit harder. But I feel like I'm the same, and I just try and go out there and attack the zone with that mentality and just try and pitch to contact.
Q. Were you conscious of the 40,000 people chanting at you?
MICHAEL WACHA: Yeah, definitely.
Q. How did that go for you? Obviously didn't hurt you.
MICHAEL WACHA: Yeah. I just tried to use that it kind of brings me I kind of like it. It kind of gives me adrenaline. I kind of use it in my favor. Just to try to stay locked in with Yadi and it worked out pretty well.
Q. I was talking to Lilly after the game, and he mentioned before the game in the bullpen he asked you something about what's the biggest game you've ever pitched. And I want to make sure I get the story right. Take us through it. You had been in a very pressurized a couple of big games like that College World Series or to get to the College World Series. Before today what was the biggest game you think you pitched in?
MICHAEL WACHA: He asked me that in our pitcher's meeting, starter's game. I told him the culture's series or equally big was the game to get there at Florida State in the super regional. It's a hostile place. The game before we had just gotten beat 22 9. They were feeling pretty good about themselves. And it was an elimination game. So that was pretty nervous that one.
Q. Do you recall what you did?
MICHAEL WACHA: I pitched pretty well. We had won the game and going to the World Series.
Q. Michael, to kind of piggy back on what you were saying about Adam, can you speak to the level of confidence that you guys have going to Game 5 with him on the mound?
MICHAEL WACHA: It's unbelievable. You saw what he did in Game 1. He's just a great pitcher. He's mentally tough as well. Not just a great pitcher, but a great guy. And he understands the ballgame. It's going to be a lot of fun watching him pitch out there.
THE MODERATOR: Congratulations, Michael. Great job.
MICHAEL WACHA: Thank you.
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Oct. 7 Mike Matheny postgame interview
Q. Can you even begin to describe how good your starting pitcher was today?
MIKE MATHENY: Not very well. I don't know what else we did a lot of gushing about him before we even got him out there today, and I think everybody sees why. I don't know if you can put a kid in a tougher spot. He came out and just made pitches all day long. He just got he's just got a knack of getting up there and very business like getting the job done.
I'm not going to go on too long, because I would like to see him throw a couple more times this year.
Q. Mike, I know you touched on it a bit before this game, but now that you are going back to St. Louis, can you just describe your confidence in Adam and having him another chance to throw?
MIKE MATHENY: We're always excited to see Adam Wainwright on the mound. He's the ace of our staff. These guys, they get a lot of energy every time he has the mound.
So we'll have an excited crowd, I hope, back in St. Louis to greet us, and hopefully the guys just keep playing just gutsy baseball.
Q. Is it fair to say with Wacha, more astounding than his talent is the poise. 40,000 people screaming at him, no problem?
MIKE MATHENY: I would say that's very accurate. You have to have stuff to go along with it. But when you have that combination of poise and presence and then you mix in the ability to take the distractions we talked about it before the game, his last start and what it meant to us and what it meant to him to have that kind of pressure down the stretch. And once again you put him in the situation like it was today.
This place was loud. My ears are still ringing. The kid stayed the course. He trusted himself. He trusted his catcher and the game plan. And then it comes down to execution. And it was impressive to watch how he executed today.
Q. Mike, I doubt you want to get too philosophical. Can you describe some of the traits of your team that allowed your guys to have some success recently in elimination games?
MIKE MATHENY: I look at it as what we have seen all season long. And I said this before, I think you take high talent and high character people that are motivated and support each other, and they don't give up. That's a tough combination. And they've bought into playing the idea of playing this game in a way that they got no regrets about. And it's just an honor to watch them do the thing day in and day out. And it's just buying into a culture, it's buying into an expectation of playing this game the right way all the time.
Q. You went out to speak to Rosenthal. What was your message there?
MIKE MATHENY: I don't normally give all the details, but it was it was basically just an opportunity to breathe. Made a couple of light comments, and then reinforced to him the fact that he's got a whole group of guys behind him that have all the faith in the world in him, and just trust himself, trust the team behind him, and he's going to get us through it. And he did. He did a great job.
Look it, we also leave out Martinez, another kid in there comes in in a big situation and does a terrific job. You look at the three young players we threw out there in situations that they weren't real accustomed to and how they produced. It's pretty impressive day for them.
Q. Mike, how important was Yadi's throw there after the home run when they tried to steal with Harrison in the eighth?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, it's something we've seen him do on a consistent basis. It takes the air out of the opposition, out of the stadium. It did get quiet real fast. He's so good at controlling the running game. One of the things he does better than most that I've seen is he takes so much pride in how he calls the game. He's not calling the game to eliminate the running game. He's calling the game to make pitches. He knows he has a base stealer on there. His priority is his pitcher. And ends upcoming up with a big throw to get us out of the spot.
Oct. 7 Matt Holliday postgame interview
Q. Matt, did you feel maybe not they were pitching around Carlos to get to you, but at least that they were giving you opportunities with the couple of walks that Carlos had in the couple of chances you had coming to the plate?
MATT HOLLIDAY: I would be surprised if they were pitching around him with no outs. Maybe. I don't know. You have to ask them.
Anyway, we were looking for ways to get runners on base. I don't take that personally or anything. I'm glad Carlos was on base. Get a chance to if I can get on base, we've got something brewing.
Q. Matt, your club does some of its best work typically with their back to the wall. Is that a matter of talent? Is it will? What goes on?
MATT HOLLIDAY: I think that a lot of us have been in situations like that, which is always helpful to have experience. But for Michael to come out and pitch like that in his first time pitching in the postseason, I think that's a testament to him personally.
Since he got called up, he's carried himself extremely well for a guy that's not far out of college and to come out on the stage like this in a game where your back is against the wall and to pitch into the eighth inning, allowing such little against a really good hitting lineup at home. I think a lot of that goes to him. But I think our team has handled these types of situations in the past really well. I think the organization and is passed down as players. To become part of this organization, you expect to be in these situations and go out and perform.
Q. Clint Hurdle just announced when he was in there that Cole is going to pitch Game 5 on Wednesday. Does it help a lot or a little or how much does it matter now that you've had a chance to see him pitch one time and hit against him at once?
MATT HOLLIDAY: It helps. Obviously, he's got that kind of stuff, it doesn't necessarily make it easy. But at least you've seen his pitches. At least we've had some at bats off him now. You know what his fastball looks like. You know what his slider looks like. So I think that does help a little bit. It's still going to be a battle. It's still going to be you have to go out there and execute and have good at bats. But it does help us hitters to have at least seen some of his pitches.
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