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Matt Morris off-day quotes
10/19/2004 5:53 PM ET
Q. Can you just talk about the challenge you're faced with this lineup and this situation?

MATT MORRIS: It's the same challenge we had going into the series. We know what Houston is all about, we know the quality of club they have. We're in a little different position than leaving here up two games.

But as far as my approach goes, I try to go out there and go deep in the ballgames and keep my team in it.

So my approach is not going to change too much.

Q. With the season riding on these next two games, if you're unable to win the next two games, how much does that detract from the accomplishments of a 105 win season?

MATT MORRIS: Well, the beginning of the season we weren't picked higher than third place, I think, that was as high as most of the baseball writers had us picked.

So winning 105 games is nothing we're going to forget. Whether we win or lose, we're going to go out there and give it our best shot. It's not going to take away what we did all season. That's a major accomplishment for our team without a doubt.

So it will be disappointing. We all have a common goal of winning a World Series. But our backs are against the wall right now, so this team has a lot of heart and we've been doing it all year. We're hoping we can continue. Hopefully the season, the foundation we've built from the season helps us through the next couple games.

Q. Is it hard to believe after all you guys have done this year, 105 games and everything, that it's come down to this?

MATT MORRIS: It's not hard to believe. They say the hardest thing about getting to the playoffs by winning your division or being a wildcard team is once the teams are chosen, everybody starts from a clean slate. So anything goes. Houston has been hot coming in. We were able to take the first two games and we went over to Minute Maid and they took three from us.

So we're going to go out and give it a good shot tomorrow.

Q. Why, in your opinion, has this series been so different depending on the setting? Is it just the noise or are there other factors?

MATT MORRIS: It seems to be whoever gets the last at bat. I think that has a lot to do with it. They won a couple games late over there and we did the same here.

So we're looking forward to that advantage, going out, and my opportunities, I get the opportunity to go out and throw a first zero and give our team a chance to get on top. The fans definitely play a part. The place was tremendously loud yesterday and the day before. It was a great experience for all of us.

But coming to Busch Stadium, I think we're going to have that advantage on our side.

Q. You've been part of a couple of tough postseason series. How hard is it to block the past out going into tomorrow?

MATT MORRIS: It's not that hard. We look forward to it. The beauty about this team, we've been taking it one game at a time. So tomorrow it's just another game for us. It's do or die, but I think the guys that we have in our clubhouse are professional enough to go out and do their job and go about it the right way.

We'll take our chances like that.

Q. Does it matter who you face tomorrow, and are you going in with the mindset that it's probably going to be Clemens?

MATT MORRIS: Either way, I'm going to try to go out there and throw zeros. I know a guy like Clemens has a good chance in doing that as well, although Pete Munro did it to us here. I thought he pitched tremendous, held us down through five. He just seemed to get taken out at a crucial time.

So my mindset is the same. I think, obviously, our position players might rather face Pete Munro rather than a Roger Clemens. We know his capabilities.

Although, taking nothing away from Pete.

Q. Could you talk about the fine line a pitcher walks between being aggressive and facing somebody like Beltran when he's hot.

MATT MORRIS: He's seeing the ball so well. He's hitting the ball all fields. Hit that home run in the left center gap the other day on a fastball, probably outer corner, it was a little up. And anything inside he's been pulling in the seats as well.

So you want to be careful. But their whole lineup is dangerous. We know how to get them out. It's just about executing, getting ahead. They seemed real aggressive yesterday early and kind of settled down as they saw Woody (Williams) was making some good pitches. Woody did a tremendous job. I have the advantage to go look at a lot of what he did and try to take that same approach.

Q. How satisfied are you with your last start and in general how you're pitching down the stretch?

MATT MORRIS: Well, in my career I've pitched better, so I know I'm capable of better. But I'm going to deal with what I've got and go out there and make as many pitches as I can. The beauty about this club, as I said last time, the bullpen helped me out. I gave up the three runs through five, and we were able to scratch four out in the bottom half of the fifth.

Like you said about Beltran, I'm not afraid to pitch around guys. I walked a bunch of guys last game, but I didn't really submit to that big inning. I think that's the key with this club. We have great confidence in our offense to come back and pull something out.

Q. Is there much of a difference between this game tomorrow and Game 5 in 2002 against the Giants?

MATT MORRIS: Similar situation. We don't have to win as many games as we did. Game 5, we only had won one at that point.

I think the feeling around the clubhouse and with this team all year has been that we've been a team that should go to a World Series and compete for a ring. I think that's the difference that we have, is just the feeling around and the belief in ourselves. Just wanting to accomplish something that we all dreamed about.

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