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Time right for Cards' Williams10/22/2004 7:14 PM ET
By Alyson Footer / MLB.com
BOSTON -- Woody Williams was named by St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa as the Game 1 starter of the 2004 World Series more because it was his turn than anything else. But it should be noted that Williams has also been the Cardinals' best postseason starter to this point, and it's only fitting that his spot in the Cardinals' four-man rotation fell just in time for Game 1 of the Fall Classic between the Cardinals and the Boston Red Sox. "Woody, TBD, TBA," La Russa said Friday, when asked how his rotation shakes out for the first three games. "The architect of our pitching staff [pitching coach Dave Duncan] hasn't told me how we're going to pitch. We have some decisions to make." But in terms of Saturday, no meetings are required. "We certainly didn't do it timing out the World Series," said La Russa, whose Cardinals took the NLCS to a Game 7 on Thursday and beat the Astros, 5-2. "He's [pitching on] five days' [rest], and he's the perfect guy for it. "He's competitive, and he goes out there with good stuff, without good stuff. And he's going too find a way to keep you in the game ... he can make pitches to righties and lefties, and he's got good experience -- good, competitive experience."
"The way these guys are hitting in the ballpark, it's amazing how far they hit the ball over that wall," Williams said of the Green Monster. "Hopefully the balls will bounce off the wall and [the outfielders will] make a good play and keep them to a single."I know it's a big home-field advantage, but at the same time I know that I have to go out there and try to do the things I'm doing. By no means do I try to change. I have to do what I can do and stick with my strengths and not worry about the surroundings." And he's hoping that will be enough to take Game 1 on the enemy turf of Fenway Park. "There's no doubt that I have to make sure that I focus on every hitter," he said. "I've got to keep the top of the lineup off the bases, because the big boys can definitely make that a three- or four-run inning real quick."
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