Q. I understand you pitched today, but could you talk about that walk?
ADAM WAINWRIGHT: I didn't walk anybody.
Q. The walk you got to start the rally.
ADAM WAINWRIGHT: Yeah, as a starting pitcher, anything you do offensively is a bonus, so I knew right there leading off an inning I could be an automatic out and go out and not put up any kind of effort or really try to grind him out. He was pitching well. He had his pitch count where he needed to be, and no runs on the board and not much happening.
So as a starting pitcher, your job is to try to make something happen. He's very tough, and I was lucky to work a walk there.
Q. When you get to seven runs like that and all of a sudden you have a big lead, how much different does it change how you good about your business for the next four or five innings?
ADAM WAINWRIGHT: It doesn't. Aside from trying to stay out of big counts and stuff. But when you get a big lead like that, the key is to not change anything. It's still a 0-0 ballgame. If you take that mindset, then you still attack hitters and you stay out of big counts. Usually you stay out of lots of ducks on the pond.
A dangerous team like that, it's happened to me against them before, actually, where I had a big lead and they ended up scoring a bunch of runs on me.
So past experience tells me you keep grinding the exact same way.
Q. You had to wait a long time to go back out and pitch again. How did you stay sharp during the middle of that rally? Do you have to do something extra to maintain there?
ADAM WAINWRIGHT: Our offense did an amazing job. I got two at-bats, and it kept me kind of hot. But, yeah, I made sure in the dugout I was kind of -- you don't want to do too much because you feel like you're showing up the other team if you're out there throwing warm up pitches on the side.
But I kept my body loose. Stretched out a little bit, and just enjoyed that rally. That was amazing.
Q. We've seen this team's offense and ability to put up big innings. What is it with that? How much more difficult is it on a stage in the playoffs where it's usually pitching dominated?
ADAM WAINWRIGHT: Well, our offense, seemingly, once we get something going, it's very hard to stop us. We score a lot in bunches. So when we get one of those innings going, nobody wants to make the first out. We just keep everything going and try to ride that no out train as long as we can. We get two outs, we try to ride the two out train as long as we can. So I don't know what it is, but our offense just pieces things together really well.
The pitchers that have had success against us find a way to stop that train going.
Q. You saw in 2011 what Carp meant to this team in terms of I think he made six starts, was pretty much a dominant guy the whole postseason. I know you don't want to say it's yourself, but how important do you think it is to have a signature or dominant starting pitcher within the postseason tournament like this?
ADAM WAINWRIGHT: Well, I'd like to say we're going to have three or four dominant pitchers in this postseason, yet to be determined. But you can definitely count me in. I'd love to be that guy. Chris Carpenter, if I'm ever compared to him, I'll take it as a huge compliment.
It's important to have somebody go out there that you can count on for sure. But I believe we have more than just me out there that can do that.
Q. The one mistake pitch, the home run, what happened during that? That was the first pitch to lead off the inning. What happened there?
ADAM WAINWRIGHT: First pitch, fluttering changeup in the middle of the plate. That's just me trying to set up his next at-bat. I wanted to let him hit a home run there (laughing).
No, he's a very good mistake hitter, and I threw a -- I mean, I think if I remember how I described it to Lilly, it was just a disaster of a pitch to throw there, first pitch especially. He's very good. That's probably one of the better ones I've ever given up. I don't know how far it was.
I'm sorry I let him upstage you there, pal.
CARLOS BELTRAN: That's all right.
ADAM WAINWRIGHT: But those are the first two balls I've ever seen hit that upper deck facade there.
Yeah, tip your hat. He crushed it. That's what good hitters do. They hit terrible pitches.
Q. Carlos, what was A.J. showing you guys in the third inning that allowed you guys to be so effective against him?
CARLOS BELTRAN: Well, you know what? All year long we've faced A.J. and he has pitched good games against us. Today was a game where he wasn't locating pitches. He was falling behind, and we were able to put ourselves in a hitter's count.
So every time as a hitter you put yourself in the hitter's count, you're going to get something to hit. So it all depends about trying to be able to put in a good swing, and that's what we were able to do today. We put good swings on the ball and we were able to score early for this guy who was able to pitch a good game for us.
Q. Could you just talk about that home run? Kind of got everything going. And you're a postseason home run hitting kind of guy right up there. Just tell me about that.
CARLOS BELTRAN: Well, you know what? In the first at-bat he was pounding me inside with a lot of sinkers, and actually he got me out with sinker inside. In my second at-bat I told myself he probably was going to pitch me the same way. You know, he fall behind, and he threw me a sinker that basically he was trying to throw at the front door and it kind of ended up in the middle of the plate, and I was able to put a good swing on it.
Q. Just to follow up on that, you've heard this question for ten years now. But what is it about October and you that you have so much success in this month?
CARLOS BELTRAN: For me, it's simple. For me, it's God giving me the opportunity to play in meaningful games and hard work through the years. I think as a ballplayer you always dream to be able to play in postseason games and try to win a World Series.
You know, there is no other explanation. Just God gave me the opportunity to be in this situation and me being able to come through. But that doesn't really come with nothing. It comes with coming to the ballpark every day and preparing yourself to try to go out and have a good game.
Q. Adam, two parter. First of all, why do you think someone like Carlos, who is a great player, can find that extra gear in the postseason? And what is your theory on that? Also, you were on base when he hit that home run, just your initial human reaction to the way it was crushed? I mean, what were you thinking at that time?
ADAM WAINWRIGHT: Can I do 2 first?
ADAM WAINWRIGHT: When I was on second base I almost got just caught up in the moment. I threw my hands up in the air as soon as he hit it. I knew it was gone. Then I just watched it for a minute, because I knew it was very gone, and then I realized I had to run.
You know, so way to go, dude. Crushed that ball.
Yeah, just I knew against a very tough pitcher that runs are hard to come by, and you just cling to every one you can get off a very good pitcher in the postseason. I knew that was a big swing for us right there.
But to speak about Carlos, we've played against him, now we've played with him. He's been such an amazing player during the regular season, it's really not that surprising he does it in the postseason.
But I think when you have the experience that he's had and the moments to look back on just the I mean, this guy is just a post season monster, like you said. That just adds to your confidence level. He has a lot of confidence going in here, I would say.
Oct. 3 Mike Matheny postgame interview
Q. Third inning for your guys kind of typified the best of this club's offense, didn't it?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, we've had some big innings this season, most teams have. But it seems like we've had some of those that just kind of keep going. Nobody wants to make the last out. You've got to remember, that got started with a walk by our pitcher and a couple big walks in the middle. Guys stayed locked into what they were looking for. They stayed in their zone. And having a couple big blasts like what Carlos did and big hit by Dave, those are big.
The bigger part about that for us, even, is once we do get that is having a shutdown inning right behind it. Waino coming out there in the fourth, tough at-bat by Marte, and he keeps pounding it and ended up getting us a shutdown inning and right back in there for our offense.
Q. How would you describe Waino? Was he for you dominant or any shade thereof? Because he obviously had command of the game before and didn't seem to lose focus after the beginning either.
MIKE MATHENY: I thought he was very good. He had his good stuff going right from the beginning. Breaking ball was sharp. Controlled the counts. He had everything really working from the top. When he does that, he's going to make for a long day for most people. He kept his focus on a long inning. Never know exactly how that's going to treat a guy, especially when he's been up to bat and on base and running.
But he stayed with his game plan, and actually started to deviate a little bit later and mix it up a little bit, which he has the ability to do.
Q. It seems typically when a team makes an extended run into the postseason, they do have a dominant or a signature starting pitcher. I know you think several of your guys can be that guy. But to have him do that on today where Game 1 in the best of five means so much, can you at least talk about his presence within the staff and what he's done for you?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, we make no mistake about it, he's our ace. He's the guy that sets the tone and gives the example of how this goes. We say it a lot about the veteran guys that we have, and even having Chris Carpenter on the bench and his presence.
But what Adam does going out there, what he does in Game 1 right there, and then how he continues to go about it and showing the young guys how to go and that they just stick with their game plan they've done all season long. He wasn't trying to do anything. He wasn't trying to be any different than he's been all season, and it's been an impressive run for him.
Q. I know it goes without saying, but can you speak to the importance of getting Game 1 in a best of five series and keeping home-field advantage as well?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, it's a big deal. With the crowd into it, had a great crowd. They were watching and they were paying attention and hoping something big would happen in the third. That got pretty exciting for them.
I know it's going to be an advantage for just about anybody in their home park right now. We heard a couple days ago, the life that was in Pittsburgh, and we know it's going to be that kind of intense situation when we get there. So to be able to get out on a good first step and play well today, I think is big for our guys confidence wise, and also gives us an opportunity to just take some momentum, and momentum is big right now when you talk about a five-game series.
But before we even talk about that, you know, we'll take care of today and enjoy this one for a few more minutes. We've got an early start tomorrow.
Q. Carlos talked about how in the postseason the key for him is raising the concentration. He talks about how he's able to control his emotions and really able to change the concentration level. Is there anything you can see from the dugout or just watching him that is kind of as he morphs into postseason mode versus regular season?
MIKE MATHENY: You know, no. He looks like the same guy to me the way he goes about it. I think what he's been able to do and what some of our other guys who have had success in the postseason are able to do, they're able to limit the distractions. There are more opportunities for distractions this time of year. Carlos has been one of the guys that just stays the same and stays the course. You can't help but feed off the energy too.
As much as we say we are going about it the same way, which we are, we prepare the same, but when you get out there and you've got 43,000 people, you can't help but get caught up in it.
I think he's just a big-game player like quite a few other guys are on our team.
Q. You sort of mentioned with it, Carlos can focus, but I mean, just looking at the game tonight, sort of your team looked composed and calm in a way that comes from being here before and sort of that consistent approach. Is that sort of fair?
MIKE MATHENY: Not saying that they didn't. I mean, I think the guys have completely committed to let's play the game. Let's do what we've been doing. Once again, you do get extra excited when you see the fans into it like they are.
But as far as everything else goes, as far as preparation and then going out and getting ready to play the game, we really want them to buy into it. It's another game to do it the exact same way we've been doing it for 161 games.
I think they did a nice job of that. It was no different, the same terrible music playing before the game, the same guys running around doing all of the things that they've done all season long. They're not trying to really feel like they've got to kick it up another level. They're just going to go out and play.
Q. Does that come from having done it so many times?
MIKE MATHENY: I think there is something to that. We never undervalue experience. We've got a lot of experience in there. Not just postseason experience, but success in the postseason, and that's why we're real quick to make sure that the young players are spending a lot of time listening to the veterans about how they prepare, what they do.
But it comes back to a pretty simple approach. They're going to do what they know is best and what they've been doing all season long.
Q. What's the benefit of Kolten Wong got his first at-bat, Carlos Martinez came in and pitched, Rosenthal in the ninth in a playoff situation, how much benefit for some of these guys getting that first taste out of the way?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, that's big. I would have liked to see a couple guys in there too, but obviously we weren't in a big hurry to get Adam out of the game. We have some young guys that are anxious to do their part, but their time will come.
Q. I know that Carlos is a quiet guy. Doesn't say a whole lot. Do you think that maybe masks his intensity a little that maybe people don't realize how intense a player he is?
MIKE MATHENY: I think he's quiet to you guys. But there are days we have to change our meetings because he's in holding class and we can't stop him. He gets going and he's starting to teach some of the young players and 45 minutes later, they're still sitting there.
He's a teacher. I mean, he loves the game. He's passionate about it. He's passionate about teaching his teammates some of the things that he's learned. He's been an incredible, incredible asset to this club, especially helping our young players develop.
Q. What about David Freese? He didn't play much in the final series against the Cubs. But he came in today and he just continued what he does in October of being the hot hitter?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, those last two days, trying to give David some rest. That's it. Five days might have seemed like a lot, but today it looked like that was about right. So he physically feels good, and we knew his swing was in a good spot too. We didn't really want him to change anything, and he came out today and proved once again he's the kind of guy that loves these situations and somehow figures out a way to get it done.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.