NLCS Off Day: #STLCards Presser

The series is tied at 1, and starting tomorrow the series will resume in St. Louis. MLB Network let the fans in on the press conference with Cardinals manager Mike Matheny and Game 3 SP RHP Kyle Lohse.

Lohse on the podium first. On starting Game 3:

“Pretty excited [about Game 3 start]… keep going, doing the things I do, keep things simple.”

“We’ve had our ups and downs as a rotation… things haven’t worked out; can’t put more pressure on yourself because you need to, I’m going to approach it the same way… controlling my part of the game.”

“We’re not looking past anything but the next game.”

“I suppose it’s going to rain again tomorrow, I’m used to that.” (73% chance of rain all afternoon)

“It’s fun [facing Matt Cain], pretty much everyone you’re going to go against in the playoffs is going to be good, it’s going to be a fun challenge to match Cain. He’s had a lot of success in this game and he’s a very good pitcher. I’m going to go out there and do everything I can to match him, and I’m sure he’s going to do the same.”

On replacing guys like Pujols, La Russa, etc.:

“The important part is we put in pieces like Beltran, you’re not going to replace Tony [La Russa], but Mike’s done a great job… There was a lot of turnover, but a lot stayed the same… we have good chemistry, veteran leadership, I think those things are very important in getting us back to where we are right now.”

On Dave Duncan’s effect on him:

“He got me to realize the importance of control rather than velocity… you mature and move on with guidance, and figure out what kind of pitcher I can be. It’s no secret I rely on first pitch strikes, I rely on contact, not pitching for strikeouts, trying to get guys out in three or four pitches.”

On going from Minnesota to St. Louis and how he’s changed/matured:

“I’m a completely different pitcher. I used to (try and) blow it by guys in the AL at 94, and you can’t really do that. I have a sense of what I’m going to do right now. Trying to get hitters to hit my pitch, and through the years of being here in St. Louis, working with Duncan it’s like a light went on… A lot of the guys I get to pop up are out in front of my change ups.”

On the Giants lineup:

“It’s a tough lineup, they got guys up and down the lineup that can hurt you at certain spots. I’m going to try and keep the guys off the bases before Posey. They have some lefties in there… and kind of remind me of Atlanta’s lineup… I haven’t faced [the Giants] this year, and normally that favors the pitcher, we’ll see.”

———————

Mike Matheny at the mic now.

On Lance Berkman’s availability and having to replace him:

“That’s unfortunately how things go, that you have guys that can’t get out there and fortunately for us we had Allen Craig in time to step up for him, as well as Matt Carpenter. Lance kept fightin’ and fightin’ trying to get back, but just too much on the knees. We’ll put our options together and figure out what gives us the best chance, all things considered.”

On being at home:

“We love being at home. It was a good week on the road, the guys played well, and we enjoy playing in front of the fans.”

On Kyle Lohse this year:

“Kyle’s consistency has been the most impressive thing, you’ll see teams watching him, but it’s his execution that makes him the pitcher he’s been for us from Opening Day to the Postseason; tells you about his skill and his physical and mental capacity.”

On bullpen use:

“We’re not as concerned about the starters outings [in terms of length] with the days off, our team like most team’s foundation is the starting pitching, and if they’re not successful you’re fighting an uphill battle most of the time. We’re looking forward to some quality starts because we know that’s what they can do, and that’s the kind of staff we have. You’re going up against good offenses and you got to figure a way to adjust.”

“I’d like my starters to go 9, but we’re going to use everyone we have to, but Joe Kelly and Trevor Rosenthal have deserved their spots, and to give guys like Mujica two days off is big. You saw in Game 1 they did a phenomenal job… Kelly could start, and that’s why he’s being used as a swing guy at the moment.”

On 2002 incidents and yesterday’s slide:

“That was a long time ago, we play this game with passion and intensity, this is something we take really serious, and respect the game. Some times things go certain ways [like in 2002], as far as yesterday’s game goes, it was a player trying to make a hard play for his team, and you hate to see what happened [to Scutaro].”

“[Holliday] was concerned about Scutaro’s health, he reached out, I heard his comments first hand, that he wouldn’t have slid so late, I have never seen him making an act of trying to hurt somebody. He was trying to play the game hard, and trying to break up a double play.”

“The more the slide is talked about like this, the more it lingers. Every team handles adversity differently, and I understand no player likes to see another one of their players hurt, and our team would be on the exact same boat [if the roles were reversed]. We hope the rest of the results are good. We play hard, and we know they play hard, that’s the way the game goes.”

On the lineup:

“To me, we’ve got a team playing pretty well. We’ve had some recent games here that would suggest you’d be crazy to do anything different. I don’t see any changes in the near future.”

On Jon Jay:

“Jon Jay to me has played a Gold Glove caliber center field. He takes charge and [Holliday and Beltran] respect him. As much I’ve talked about Yadi Molina and what he brings to this club and it’s difficult to place value to, I’d say Jon Jay does the same thing.”

On the weather:

“We’ve seen the forecast, and we understand how it can go, we’re going to anticipate playing on time. We’re just going to be here, we’ve been in that holding pattern before. We’ll have the mindset we’re playing on time and then make adjustments accordingly.”

That’s the extent to which MLB Network let the general public listen in on the press conference. Game 3 will be 1:07PM PST on FOX.

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