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Tracy postgame quotes10/08/2004 2:19 AM ET
Q: Can you talk about the situation in the third inning with Eldred against Finley?
A: I think it was a very big turning point in the game, as you mentioned. The game was tied in a three-ball, no-strike count. He got a good pitch to swing at, 3-1, and then got him to fly out, but you know, that was our opportunity, and I think that that was the big key to the game is that they cashed in on a couple of two-out opportunities, and we had two opportunities, the one we're talking about. We had first and second, two-out situation, and we popped out to Pujols in foul territory. That's pretty much to me what the game boiled down to because if we could get the lead there, we put ourselves in a pretty good position because with the pitchers that we didn't use on Tuesday, the opportunity would have been there to shorten the game up.
Q: Just to clarify that, that was the fourth inning, not the third inning. Another question. Two-out hits and the two-out runs hurt you tonight.
A: Just what I was talking about. They got the two-out hits, we didn't, and you know, Mike Matheny, obviously he got two big ones against us. You know, we did what I feel was a pretty good job of controlling the big part of their lineup, but what we didn't do is if you look at it, the bottom part of our lineup did a lot of damage against us tonight. I believe Matheny knocked in four runs, if I'm not mistaken, half of their total, you know. In order to beat the St. Louis Cardinals, knowing what you have to deal with from 2 through 7, that's not a very good formula for success to get beat down in that bottom part of the order.
Q: The heart of the order was 1-for-11, and then you got burned by the bottom. Did that surprise you?
A: You know, as I just said, you can take no hitter for granted at any time, but I think that in the case of the Matheny hits, I think the base hit that he got off of Weaver, he hit a good pitch. You've got to give him credit. He didn't hit it all that well. It was a breaking ball down and away from him. He went down and got it enough to send it to centerfield. In the second or third inning when he got the two-run base hit, that wasn't a good pitch. That was a hanging breaking ball sitting right there in the middle of the plate.
Q: What was your thinking in the way you handled Weaver after you got back tied and then in trouble again?
A: Well, you know, if you look at his pitch count, his pitch count wasn't all that high. I think in the inning he threw the one cutter that hit Larry where he just pulled it, and he was trying to throw a ball inside to Reggie and the ball went up and hit him, but from the standpoint of the matchup that we had there, Jeff Weaver, in my opinion, was the guy to definitely pitch to Mike Matheny in that situation and hopefully get us out of that inning.
Q: Were you surprised that the Cardinals went to their bullpen so early and talk about how they performed?
A: I wasn't surprised. You know, I'm not certain as to exactly how many pitches Jason Marquis threw, but I know his count was up there. He had also given up three home runs, and as we were talking about with regard to the first question, to me, the complexion of the game completely changes, you know. If we have a good at bat there, we do something there in the fourth inning. As you were asking, you know, I think that Danny Haren for a young kid, he did a real nice job for them. He kind of settled the waters for them. He gave them a couple of real good innings. You've got to give him credit, and then behind him here comes the guys that you know Tony is going to use in situational pitches. You saw King against our lefties, you saw Tavarez, and he still had Jason sitting down there if he would have needed him if things got stirred up in the eighth or ninth inning.
Q: Could you talk about your situation being down two games but returning home?
A: It's a formidable task for us, obviously, but the way we have played all year long and the resiliency that we have shown, nothing has been very easy for us. We've battled through a lot of things, so you know, as I said the other day, the first team to three wins, but they've obviously put themselves a leg up by winning the first two games of the series. It's not going to be easy, that's for sure, but I'm not going to sit here and say that it cannot be done.
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