10/03/06 7:08 PM ET
Tony La Russa pregame interview
Cardinals manager will give the ball to Weaver if it goes five
By / MLB.com
TONY LA RUSSA: On the position player side, I think the toughest call would be Skip, because Jim's uncertainty. And Jose Vizcaino, who has been a good veteran playoff performer, but we just felt like David and Jim could go. On the pitching side, you know, that was tougher. I think probably the only easy charge is Narveson because of his inexperience but Sosa was a tough guy to keep off. Tough call on Reyes, but I think the decision for Reyes, we'll try to pitch the five-game series because the format with the off days, with three pitchers and the other guys, including Jason, had more usability as relievers.
Tony, how then do you see Jason's role developing in this series? Do you look at him as a middle guy or matchups dictate that?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, I just think he has the ability to throw every day. He has experience in the playoffs, experience as a reliever, you know, years ago. But he hasn't done it much. Is he going to get the first call over some of those other guys? I think not. But that's the way the game is played. Several ways he could be used.
Tony, did the home and road factor figure into your number two and number three starters for this?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, a little bit. You know, we haven't played well on the road. I forget now what the stats were, the six or seven wins we've had. Jeff Weaver has been involved in the majority of them. It made sense, I think, to give him the ball, and Supp played well at Busch Stadium. That's part of the reason we did that.
Any idea why Jeff is so successful?
TONY LA RUSSA: I don't think it's a big thing in the sense that that's where the games are played. When he first got with us, he had a couple tough games, he got better and better and his starts were on the road because he pitched last two games at home, two of the last three were good. So it's just -- you're splitting some fine hairs and that's the way we win it.
Having to have the guy for game five go on short rest, factor like Weaver on short rest as opposed to having Sup do that?
TONY LA RUSSA: I actually think that Sup would be fine on short rest, too. But if it goes to game five, it would be Jeff. I don't know, we'll be back on the road.
Has anything changed, any uptakes with either Hancock or Edmonds in terms of their status?
TONY LA RUSSA: We made clear, because, like I said, we had to keep some guys off, so we made clear that we saw Hancock is ready to go and he's ready to go. With Jim, he took a shot in his toe. He felt relief. So I mean, I think an important part of this series is defending center field at this ballpark. So we're going to go with Jim and see how he fares. He's hitting fourth.
Forgive the second-game question, but when the Padres got Wells, did you see that as a strong sign for them of their playoff potential?
TONY LA RUSSA: Well, I agree with what Bruce said. Here's a guy that has a ton of experience. Experience is a great equalizer. You still have to have talent. He's got his talent left. So there won't be anything about that second game that's going to spook him. And, I mean, he's a good choice for them.
With Kenny and Thompson, are these two guys that pitched their way to the roster not so much the roles they fill, or is it just the success they've had?
TONY LA RUSSA: I think it was an important part. Brad has just thrown the ball really well this whole month, and Josh has -- he started out pretty good and he's gotten better and better. I think there's a couple real weapons there for us.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.