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Matt Morris workout day quotes
10/08/2004 11:25 PM ET
Q: How are you going to use that terrific game you pitched here earlier in the season as fuel for your game tomorrow?

A: I'm going to watch the video, of course, try to duplicate some of the same pitches. But I know in today's game, with all the videotape, that the Dodgers are going to be watching it as well, making adjustments to what I did. I'm going to have to be careful. I'm not going to be able to do exactly what I did. But if I can execute pitches, I think I'll be okay.

Q: Give me a take as a pitcher on the Cardinals' lineup?

A: I think the key as a pitcher on our team is to get out there early and get a couple zeroes right off the bat. It's no surprise that our lineup, one through eight, can put up a bunch of runs and do all the little things, big two-out hits we've been getting. If I can get some zeroes rolling right off the bat, I think our team will make a push to get some runs early and then that way L.A. has to play catch-up a little bit.

Q: Is it as good a lineup as you've ever seen?

A: Yeah. This is the best Cardinal team I've ever been a part of, on the field and off the field. Great guys in the clubhouse. We all know what they do when they're between the lines.

So happy to be on the team. Lucky to be on the team. Besides swinging the bat, they all play defense pretty well, too. It's just about going out there and making pitches, keeping the ball down, keeping it in the ballpark. I think our offense will do the job.

Q: What was it like back at Busch Stadium feeling the excitement of those first two games since you clinched early?

A: It was nice. Towards the end of the season, a couple guys were a little beat up. They healed up. I don't think we were playing our best ball going into the opening game of the series. But just like our lineup has done all year, they came out swinging the bats. Woody pitched a great game. We were able to get a 1-0 lead.

It was a little different for me because I was watching it from the sidelines, so I was able to enjoy it more. You know, the fans there are unbelievable. You know, it's a pleasure playing in St. Louis.

Q: Tony alluded to taking tomorrow's game as if it were a Game 7 of the World Series. Do you take that approach even though there is a little room?

A: Yeah, now I go out there with the mentality of this could be the last game that I pitch this year. So it's a little different for pitchers. I know the position players can go out there and really battle and fight. But for a pitcher, it's good to know the situation, also take a deep breath and execute pitches. I think being too revved up sometimes doesn't do me or most pitchers any good.

So I'm just going to relax and make pitches. There is a little leeway. But I'm looking to do the right thing tomorrow, play the game hard, you know, let our offense do what it's been doing all year.

Q: You have a good track record in postseason games on the road. Anything you do and does that serve to help you this year?

A: There's really nothing different that I do. You know, I know the importance of the game. I enjoy coming into the opposing ballpark and trying to put up zeroes, trying to keep the crowd a little quiet.

It's going to be tough tomorrow, I know. Dodgers play well at home. Lima is going to be out there fired up. You know, he's done well at home, as well.

Their backs are to the wall, so they're going to be fighting a little harder than normal. If I can use that to my advantage, some of their aggressiveness, you know, change speeds and make pitches, like I said, get some zeroes early, hopefully we can put a couple runs on the board off Lima, let our bullpen take care of the rest.

   Matt Morris  /   P
Born: 08/09/74
Height: 6'5"
Weight: 220 lbs
Bats: R / Throws: R

Q: Who is the toughest guy in their lineup for you and why?

A: I haven't faced Beltre that much. But, you know, we all know how dangerous he can be. He's hitting the ball better than he's ever hit swinging the bat, driving the ball into right field, out of the ballpark. You have Shawn Green, who is always dangerous, we saw that yesterday. I think Steve Finley is a clutch hitter. He's been in this situation before. Great pickup. He's meant a lot to the team the couple months he's played here. He's a big out in my mind, a big weapon for them. You know, if I can make pitches on him and be smart, not let him beat me, get to some of the other guys, I think that will be the route I'll take.

Q: Since last Thursday's game, where do you feel you are physically?

A: I feel good. You know, it's hard not to feel good right now. You know, we put ourselves in a great spot. Physically my shoulder feels good. I had a good bullpen session. Like I said, though, I don't rely too much on the bullpen sessions. It's a long season. Sometimes you're going to be more sore than other times.

You know, I'm excited about going out there tomorrow. I'm not worried physically at all. It's just about executing pitches and having the right frame of mind when I'm on the mound, you know, thinking a little bit, just a little bit. I don't want to think too much. Get the ball out front and make some pitches.

Q: Last year the bullpen didn't work out for you. This year the bullpen has been a big addition to the team and a big help. How do you compare what it's been for you this year, even compared to two years ago?

A: Well, I think Izzy being healthy is the mainstay in our bullpen. It allows King and Kline to have some match ups with the lefties. It allows Tavarez to pitch the eighth, if we need him. Eldred has been nails all year coming in in the middle innings, sixth and seventh, just trying to get us into the setup and closer role.

You know, I'm not afraid to hand the ball over. I'm not going to worry about my pitch count tomorrow. I'm not going to try to conserve anything. Like I said, it could be the last game that I pitch. So if I have a hundred pitches through six innings, as long as they're quality pitches, I'm not scared to give the ball to the bullpen.

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