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Jim Tracy postgame quotes10/06/2004 12:55 AM ET
Q. Were there signs early that Perez was not going to be pitching well?
A. As a matter of fact, Mark, you know, I think that the most disappointing thing about the game today was the fact that they scored five runs after two were out and nobody on base. We got Williams out. We got Womack out. We made a bad pitch to Walker that was hit out of the ballpark, and you know, the other things followed, and Edmonds ended up getting him for two more, but you know, I said yesterday that one of the things we have to do is stay away from the big inning, and you would like to think that, you know, when you have two out, nobody on base, you can keep them from putting a five spot up there. You take away that situation there, obviously it changes the complexion of the whole game. It becomes much more interesting if we put that inning down right there.
Q. Is this the kind of game where the Cardinals lived up to their power reputation and got six good innings from Williams?
A. They did, and yet as I just mentioned, you know that with the lineup that they have, the capability is there of hitting the ball out of the ballpark, and you know, that's not really a discouraging thing when you consider that, you know, there were a couple of solo home runs that were hit, but as I just mentioned a moment ago, the key to the game is the fact that we were unable to put an inning down when we had two out and nobody on base, but they hit home runs, and you know, solo home runs are not going to beat you, but you know, when you let some of the things unfold that we allowed to happen in the third inning, that is going to beat you.
Q. Could you comment about Woody Williams' pitching?
A. Typical Woody Williams game, in my opinion. I think that, you know, one of the things that we did very well offensively was that we had built his pitch count up. We took some very good at-bats against him in the early part of the game. Unfortunately, as I've been mentioning, we created a nice cushion for him. I believe he threw 116 pitches in six innings. If those are a little bit more stressful due to the fact that it's a 3-2 game or a 2-0 game, I think it changes the dynamics of it a lot, but as I said, the five-run inning really hurt us.
Q. Talk about the addition of Larry Walker to the Cardinals during the season.
A. It's a pretty interesting piece to add to the two spot in your lineup, I can tell you that. You know, what he did was just add additional depth to what already was a very good offensive team, and you know, there's not a whole lot more to it than that. Knowing Larry Walker the way I do, there's a lot more to Larry Walker than what he does just with the bat. He's a terrific defensive outfielder. He's as good a baserunner as there is in our league, not from earlier in his career when he could and would look to steal a lot of bases. His ability to go from first to third and recognize where defensive players are when the balls are hit, he's about as good as it gets in situations like that.
Q. Can you talk about what the addition Jayson Werth meant to your team?
A. He's meant an awful lot to our team. Not only in the run that we've had to win our division but also, you know, what holds in store for our ballclub in the future. He's a special player, in my mind. He's a five-tool player. He's 23 years old. He has a lot of ability. He's done a lot of great things for us. He can play any one of the three outfield positions adequately well. It was a tremendous pick up for us at the end of Spring Training. We brought him along slowly. The opportunity was there to insert him and find out a little bit more about him, and he's made tremendous progress as an offensive player.
Q. What's your approach going to be now with the day off and down one?
A. We won't change our approach a whole lot. Like I said, if there was one thing about today that I would like to have back, it's to put a zero up in the third inning and see where that would have taken us, but you know, our momentum can be recreated beginning on Thursday when Jeff Weaver goes out there. I just really feel like if we get adequate starting pitching, you know, we have a good chance to hang in the series for quite a while and possibly win it, you know. Being down one game is not something to feel distraught over or think that you can't come back and win the series. It's the first team to three that wins, and however you go about doing that, it doesn't matter. You just have to get the three before the other guy does.
Q. How did you feel personally today being involved in your first postseason?
A. Well, obviously, Mark, it was a very special day, and something that we have worked very hard for for four years in trying to get to this point. There was absolutely nothing out there today that took place that was overwhelming. I thought that our club handled themselves extremely well. You can't defend home runs, that's for sure, and they hit a few of them today, but as I said in some of the other questions that I answered, you know, you look at the way we approached our game offensively against Woody Williams, you know. We took good at-bats. We had a couple of offensive opportunities early in the game that we weren't able to cash in, and then once again, you go back to that third inning. It changed the game.
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