10/10/2012 6:25 PM ET
Oct. 10 Chris Carpenter and Pete Kozma postgame interview
Q. Chris, was this better than the last one that you threw, the third one, do you think?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Yeah, I definitely felt my stuff was better. Command was better. So I definitely felt like I built on the last one. I was excited about the way I felt today.
Q. Given what you've been through this year, have you taken any time to think of what you've overcome and what it meant to start in October this year?
CHRIS CARPENTER: I did, actually, when I walked up, my first at bat, Joe West, the umpire, said to me something about what a beautiful day to play baseball. And I was like, yeah, you know what, you're right. It was a fantastic day. Great weather. Crowd was amazing.
This is what you play for and I was definitely -- I took it in a little bit, yeah, no question.
Q. How do you feel now compared to last October in the playoffs when you did so well?
CHRIS CARPENTER: I feel good. Like I said, my stuff is good, and it continues to get better.
I would say my body still is making some adjustments throughout the game and those things, but besides that, I feel good.
Let's get one for Pete who had a huge homer.
Q. Hey, Pete, tell us about your homer.
PETE KOZMA: We had a runner on third, less than two outs, so I was just looking for first pitch in the zone, put it out in the outfield.
CHRIS CARPENTER: Went over the fence.
Q. How difficult was it, if it was tough, to step into the lineup when you did in the season and heading into the postseason?
PETE KOZMA: It's always tough. Hitting is one of the hardest things in sports to do. But you can't look at it like that. You just have to look at it one pitch at a time. You just have to go one game at a time.
Q. It seems like the contributions are coming in from all angles, all places of the lineup. Does it just feel like guys are feeding off each other right now and things are clicking up-and-down?
PETE KOZMA: For sure. I feel like we've done that just about all year. I've even watched on TV; these guys are just meshing really well together right now and everyone's getting along and everyone's just got each other's back.
Q. Given all of your postseason experience, when you're going up against a team that doesn't have a lot of that October experience, can you sense maybe if they are fighting it a little bit, and try to take advantage of that?
CHRIS CARPENTER: You can't really sense it. You know, like I said the other day in my press conference, these guys on the other side, I've watched them play. I know some of the guys over there. And they have got guys that have enough experience, never mind what their manager has, to be able to try to make these guys understand what's going on in this situation. Does actual experience in the game count, yeah, but everybody's excited and everybody has emotions including myself when I went out there today. It's how you deal with those. Like I said, you can't sense it, but I just deal with what I have to deal with and that's making pitches.
Q. What's it like to have such a short lead up to this postseason, and just have to step into a game like this when you have to get your mind set, postseason, almost from your first start?
CHRIS CARPENTER: Just another challenge, I guess. It's a lot of fun. I challenge myself in many ways, and this was another challenge mentally to go out and make pitches and do the things that you're supposed to do to be successful.
No matter if I've got one start, no starts, or 35 starts, bottom line is, you go out there on the mound and make pitches and eliminate all of the distractions, and I was able to do that for the most part today.
Q. Mike mentioned after Game 1 that he and maybe some other players came up to you and told you to keep your head up after that error; who were some of those guys, and what was the message and what did that mean to you?
PETE KOZMA: It was just all the veteran guys. You know, mistakes happen. You see that everywhere. It's just how you bounce back, how you're going to answer the next game, the next pitch. You've just got to keep your nose down and keep going.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.