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Jeff Suppan off-day quotes
10/15/2004 8:04 PM ET
Q. Have you guys, as a staff, discussed an approach to Carlos Beltran, maybe changing that, pitching around to get to Bagwell?

JEFF SUPPAN: Carlos is a great hitter. I played with him for four years in Kansas City. He's a much better hitter now than he was then; he was good then.

We're always constantly talking about how to pitch guys. His name usually comes up.

Q. How many times have you faced Roger (Clemens) before as the opposing pitcher, if any?

JEFF SUPPAN: Maybe four or five times.

Q. How did it go?

JEFF SUPPAN: Roger's a great pitcher, a future Hall of Famer. When he's on the mound, you know it's always going to be a close game. I didn't really keep track of the record (smiling).

Q. Is there any explanation for your tremendous success on the road?

JEFF SUPPAN: I think that's something that I would look at in the off season, where I really have time to maybe analyze what went on. But I feel the same on the road as at home, so it's just one of those things where it is what it is.

Q. With the bullpen performing as well as it does, what does that do for you?

JEFF SUPPAN: Well, I think seeing them from early on in Spring Training, they're a very tight unit. They go out there and they're focused, what they do when they get the job done. For me, personally, that's a great feeling with Izzy (Isringhausen) in the back end and with everyone else contributing to get one out or get through an inning.

So they've done a great job this year, and as a starting pitcher, that's always nice.

Q. Having pitched so well in LA the other day, do you think there's any tangible benefit to that, and for your first time in postseason and possibly having to pitch in this series twice?

JEFF SUPPAN: Well, basically that was obviously, like you stated, my first experience throwing in postseason.

How is it going to help me, well, I got to pitch. I hadn't pitched in eleven days before then. Getting out there, getting the adrenaline going, getting the juices going was good for me just to know what to expect in these games. I was throwing at home first game in the postseason, had a lot of adrenaline, a lot of energy. As long as I could focus that energy on staying with the game plan and staying on what I have to do, it's a benefit.

Q. Do you remember the first time you ever met Roger Clemens back at the beginning of your career and what that was like?

JEFF SUPPAN: The first time I actually met him was over the phone. My pitching coach was Al Nipper at the time. I guess Clemens and him were good buddies. He gave me some advice. I don't remember what that advice was, if you're going to ask me.

But going to Spring Training with him the next couple years, getting a chance to play with him in the Major Leagues was a great experience for me, just watching his work ethic. Obviously, he's done it for so long, he's such a great competitor, just has kept his body in great shape. As a young player, seeing that type of person is a great role model, leader.

Q. With the way the Astros and the Cardinals have been hitting home runs in this series, is keeping the ball in the ballpark the key to this series?

JEFF SUPPAN: Obviously, staying out of the big inning is huge. They have a great lineup, they're professional hitters. They know how to play the game, they play hard.

As far as a pitcher going against them, I'm going to stay with my same game plan as far as keeping the ball down, working counts and changing speeds. Obviously, staying down is important.

Q. Would you describe your season with the Cardinals. You had a career high for wins. How is this different from your seasons with other organizations?

JEFF SUPPAN: The difference from other organizations is that this is an organization that are made up of professional people, they know how to treat people, they play the game right, and it's a winner. St. Louis is a winning organization. It's an organization that I always wanted to be a part of, and I am glad that it was able to happen.

As far as season career high, I contribute that to my teammates. Offense, defensively, bullpen, you know, that helped me become a better pitcher.

Also, what I contributed to my success, was experience, being able to get innings in from my prior years. Every year is an experience and that helps you out for the next year. The more times you're in a situation and experience that situation, it helps you for the next time and you can get out of it.

Q. Hitters on occasions try to describe the thoughts Roger puts into their heads when they face him. Is there any thought he puts into an opposing pitcher's head when you go up against him as a pitcher, not a hitter?

JEFF SUPPAN: Well, I think it's different for me now because in the American League I was going against Roger Clemens but I was throwing against the New York Yankees or the Toronto Blue Jays. I was going against their hitters. That's where I put my focus. Now I get to face him as a hitter but it's the same type of mentality where I need to go out and shut down their offense or keep the game in check. He's obviously a tremendous pitcher, like I said before.

But as far as facing Roger Clemens, I look at the other eight guys that I have to face.

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