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Finley, Green postgame quotes10/10/2004 12:03 AM ET
Q. Shawn, coming back here with your experience in St. Louis, how much effect did the crowd have on you in?
SHAWN GREEN: Coming back home, down two games to none, you didn't really know what to expect. But the crowd was excited as if we were up two games to none. I think that helped us a lot to come out there and relax and have the kind of fire that we did. Obviously, the way Lima pitched, the fans and Lima both fed off each other.
Q. Steve, talk a little about your at bat that was obviously your biggest at bat since the grand slam. Then, Shawn, if you would talk about when in the season you felt you were coming back from your shoulder surgery.
STEVE FINLEY: We had the bases loaded with nobody out. Morris made some good pitches to get out of the jam right there. First pitch I missed I think it was a curve ball, leapt up in the zone. At that point I'm just trying to put something out there and give us a chance.
He threw a cutter that kind of backed up a little bit, but it still got enough on the label to break my bat. I just had good placement on it.
SHAWN GREEN: For me, obviously I started off slow, had a tough first half. Coming off the shoulder surgery, I expected it to take a little while just to get the feeling back and the confidence.
I can't think of an exact at bat or day where it started coming along. Actually, I can. It was against the Giants in mid season. I had a good game and started feeling the confidence again.
SHAWN GREEN: Here. Jason Schmidt pitched. Home run and a double. That kind of got me back on track. The second half has been much better.
Q. For each of you, you've seen what this lineup can do with your two games in St. Louis. Would you put that in perspective to what Lima did tonight.
STEVE FINLEY: Lima in the clubhouse before the game, he said there's no way he's losing the game tonight. So he was really focused. He was ready when we got home at 3:00 in the morning the other night on the bus. So he was really prepared for this game and went out there and pitched with a lot of emotion.
Like Green said, he fed off the crowd and they fed off him. He pitched as good as he could pitch against the most dangerous lineup in the National League. To throw up nine zeroes, it's really incredible.
SHAWN GREEN: Yeah, he is a guy you want on the mound in the big games. At least for us this year, he's done it for us. The last week of the season, we needed a big win, he stepped up.
You know, the Cardinals, it's no secret they have the best lineup in the league, maybe even in all of baseball. So to be able to shut them down early on, let us get a lead, then just keep throwing zeroes up is a pretty incredible feat.
Q. Would each you of you talk about the way the team was able to execute tonight and what that did for the team.
STEVE FINLEY: In the playoffs, you have to execute. You don't want to give the other team extra outs or make too many mistakes. You might be able to get away with one here or there, but eventually they're going to come back and get you.
Tonight we played a flawless ballgame. The defense was great. Lima was throwing strikes. When he pitches, the defense is always on its toes because they're not going to get a whole lot of strikeouts, the ball is going to be put in play. He did a great job of doing that tonight and we played great defense. Pitching and defense is what put this club where it is right now.
SHAWN GREEN: I think for us, we played a lot of close games this year. That's been kind of our trademark, coming from behind, winning a lot of close games. The first couple games got out of hand pretty quick. It's hard to really go up there and concentrate on moving runners, doing things like that when the game's out of hand.
But tonight with the way Lima pitched, he obviously kept the score down to zero, we were able to get the lead with Finley's clutch double there. That was really all Lima needed. He relaxed after that even more and kept throwing up the zeroes.
Q. Shawn, it took you a long time to get to postseason, 10 years. Did you have an extra feeling that you didn't want to be out of it quite so soon? Steve, would you talk about how you felt that you had a bases loaded at bat in the previous games, how did you feel when you came to bat tonight?
SHAWN GREEN: When you wait 10 years to get here, you don't want it to go away too soon. You never know when you're going to get another chance. I wanted this thing to last as long as possible. You know, our goal is to come out tomorrow and obviously try to tie the series up. We feel like if we can do that, it puts a lot more heat on St. Louis, even though we'd be going back there to play.
STEVE FINLEY: Yeah, you know, I felt like in St. Louis I had some good swings, just didn't get any results. But I've learned in this game that you can't harp on an at bat you've already had, you've got to put it behind you and look to the next one. There was no residuals from any of my other at bats. I just focused on the job that was in front of me and fortunately I came through right there.
Q. Steve, with all your experience in postseason with the Padres and Diamondbacks, how does that come to roost here?
STEVE FINLEY: I think it helps you be a little more relaxed. You realize it's still the same game; there's just a little more focus probably out there on the field, every single pitch, every single play, every single at bat. You know, it's heightened awareness, if you want to call it. At the same time, you have to play relaxed.
You know, my first post season, I remember I was a little nervous, didn't really know what to expect. It was a good experience to go through. It really helped me throughout my future post seasons.
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