10/23/2012 12:22 AM EST
Oct. 22 Mike Matheny postgame interview
Q. Just talk a little bit about the lack of offense, maybe for the last three games, I think it spanned 28 innings with one run. Credit obviously to San Francisco's pitching, but what didn't you do?
MIKE MATHENY: We've got to put something on the board and our offense has potential to do it and we've done it all season. But you have short runs like this sometimes, it's a tough game. And it's about the team that's hot, and we went on a cold streak. We got to this point by being that team that was hot and taking advantage of opportunities. But we just couldn't make it happen these last two games.
Q. Did you think the fact that Holliday and Beltran were banged up had a significant impact?
MIKE MATHENY: They've been banged up all season off and on. Those are the guys that got us here. We just couldn't get anything rolling. We tip our hats to the Giants. They had all aspects of their game going, and capitalized on the opportunities.
Q. The bizarre spinning ground ball that Pence hit in the third. How did you see that from where you were?
MIKE MATHENY: Well, right after the bat, that's exactly what we were hoping for. Joe Kelly came in, especially as a young pitcher, came in and did a terrific job getting the ball on the ground. As the ball left the bat I thought that was our double play.
But just to say a comment on Pete Kozma, I don't believe that we're here right now, and I don't know if we would have got out of September, early October, if we hadn't had Pete Kozma step up like he did. He's been a tremendous shortstop for us, and once we lost Rafael Furcal, that ball was very unusual the way it came off the bat.
But all in all our guys did a great job in giving us an opportunity. It's just too bad this is the one they're going to have to chew on for the whole winter, because this team has a lot to be proud of.
Q. In this your first experience, what do you take away from this from the manager's perspective, what did you learn in defeat?
MIKE MATHENY: Well, I learn something every time I walk out there. But really, what I've learned is we've got a special group of players over on our side who have overcome a lot of obstacles and who did a lot of things that people didn't think they could do. And there's quite a bit to be excited about if you're a St. Louis Cardinal fan and I just want to make sure that these guys don't forget how we got here and the character and the heart that it took to be where we are right now.
It wasn't how we scripted it to finish, but it was certainly a great run that these guys need to be very proud of.
Q. In the first couple of innings it appeared that Matt Cain didn't necessarily have his best stuff. Did you feel like you were going to get to him?
MIKE MATHENY: We were hitting some balls hard, yeah. I believe in our offense. We've had a very potent offense all season long, despite having a couple of games in a row where we didn't have much going. I didn't doubt for a minute that we would get something going. He did a nice job of keeping us off balance, like we've been off balance a few days here. But I know our club fully anticipated something was going to happen, it just didn't.
Q. What do you think changed in the Giants, the opponent that you saw there, from Games 4 to 5, 6, 7, was it just pitching? How did they seem to change to you? It was a different team.
MIKE MATHENY: They were swinging the bat well and capitalizing on the mistakes that we made. And you have to acknowledge the fact a team just gets rolling. It's sometimes hard to stop them. And they definitely got things going in a positive way offensively. They were consistent with their pitching. They had a couple of guys step up, especially their starters, who had some very impressive starts for them and gave them a chance.
But we had such a good starting staff, and our bullpen, especially, some of our young guys did a great job of keeping us in some games.
But they got hot. We didn't.
Q. Also, a minor point, I know Kelly has pitched well this postseason, but the way Rosenthal strikes out guys with the bases loaded in a 2‑0 game, did you think of going to him at that point or was it all Kelly in your mind?
MIKE MATHENY: Right there we needed a ground ball, exactly what Joe Kelly got us. A pitcher would have been up 5th, which we would have risked losing Trevor Rosenthal for a partial inning instead of being able to stretch him out a bit. But we wanted the ground balls, and Joe Kelly came in and did what we asked him to do. He did a very nice job all through this run of answering the bell and really having great composure for a young pitcher.
Q. In that third inning when it just wouldn't stop, 7 straight batters reached base. How were you feeling when it just wouldn't stop?
MIKE MATHENY: It's obviously not how we put it together. But we've been there before. We've been down and I've seen this team fight back. They just didn't give us much room to do it. But to us you just keep playing the game. You respect the game. You respect the opponent, and realize you keep doing things the right way things work out. But we just couldn't put it together. But to get down and discouraged, that does nobody good. We got to the point where we are by believing in ourselves and continuing to play good baseball.
Q. I don't know if you addressed this earlier, just the hit that Hunter Pence got, the broken bat hit. That was just one of those freakish things, the ball slices. If the bat doesn't break, maybe it goes left, Kozma makes the play and who knows what happens. You've played and managed enough of these games when you see something like that happen, you must think, oh, my gosh, this just isn't our night or you can't let that happen?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, but that is a turning point in the game. You're looking at a potential double play. We may be able to get out of that inning where it's a 3‑0 game. And that was really what we were hoping for, to get that ground ball. And it was just one that had a lot more spin than what they usually have. And it was a tough play.
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