Oct. 11 Gio Gonzalez pregame interview
GIO GONZALEZ: Ross has been great for us all year. You know, the guy's been doing his job, his part. He got us ten good wins this year, and you know, he's been unbelievable for us. Just have all the confidence in the world, and I think he's going to be a pretty good pitcher; in fact, better than what we expect in the near future.
He's a guy that's been unbelievable for us, and we feel very confident. I think that he's going to do an extremely good job today. Especially with a team like this that's a power hitting team, and, you know, he has a power fastball. So we'll see how it goes.
Q. Having faced them in the series already, as a lefty, was there any advice that you gave him for this game?
GIO GONZALEZ: Ross is actually a very bright guy. He watches video. He does his job. He picks everyone's brains. I think he's just the type of guy that kind of adjusts as he goes along. I think that watching him throughout the year, he's fun to watch. He's a guy who mixes it up; he goes in, he goes out, mid 90s, good breaking ball, good changeup. I think he's going to keep them off balance a little bit.
Our main job is to try to keep him in the game as long as possible. As a starter, you want to go five, six innings -- as long as possible, and give our bullpen time to rest and go out there and compete.
But again, we don't see a Game 5 if we don't win Game 4.
Q. If it does come down to Game 5, you've already pitched once in this series, had control issues; how much of that was nerves in your first post season start and how much of it was losing the strike zone and what can you do to correct it?
GIO GONZALEZ: I don't think it was that much of a kind of like problem. When you look at it, all said and done, seven walks, yeah, but you have five innings and two earned runs to a team that their starting pitcher went five and two thirds and gave up one. Also it was a good battle between two pitchers; you find the strike zone, some way, somehow. It was my first post season game, no excuses, but the way I see it is playing in someone else's house, pretty rowdy. It's pretty exciting. You catch yourself at the moment, take a step back and take a deep breath and try to find it again.
Q. Did you watch the Oakland game last night, and how much can a young team like yours take from watching a young team like theirs fighting with their back against the wall?
GIO GONZALEZ: It was an unbelievable game. It was incredible to watch those guys how they competed every inning. Their starting pitcher did the same thing, went five innings, gave up two earned runs and kept his team in the game. That's the way I see it; every starting pitcher has to do their part and go out there and give their bullpen and the team a chance to win. Edwin did a great job yesterday, five innings. He kept his team in the game, he kept us as long as possible as he can, and I guess that's what we expect from Ross. You know, he's going to go out there and try to give us whatever he can.
The way they went out and did their job, and the same thing with the Yankees; it was two great games that we watched yesterday -- I watched yesterday and I think that you learn from that. You want to win the game, you have to go out there and compete. You're going to have to play against the best; to beat the best you have to be the best.
To me it's pretty hard. They are not going to go out without a fight and the Cardinals have been showing that even in our house. I think that we expect a lot from Ross today. We want him to go out there and have some fun. You know, there's no pressure on the guy. He's our guy right now and we just want him to go out there and give us five, six, good innings.
Q. How much did the start on Sunday, whether the results or just what happened during it, how much did it leave a bitter taste in your mouth that it was not the type of performance that you were able to give all season?
GIO GONZALEZ: You get those moments where you have to sit back and watch those kind of games. I think that watching it and taking a step back and understanding the situation of seven walks, yes, it was -- you look at it like, seven walks, but at the same time, I kept my team in the game as long as possible. I gave them five good innings and I gave them two earned runs; all said and done, with all that damage, you look at it for what it was, kept the team in the game.
Same thing with Wainwright, he kept his team in the game he went five and two thirds and one earned run.
You look at it as we both went out there and competed and you learn from it and you make adjustments and you go out there and attack the strike zone. That's a good hitting team like I said at the beginning. They are going to be patient when they need to be and aggressive when they need to be, and yesterday they were aggressive when they needed to be, especially the bottom of the lineup. That's what's been killing us most of the time. When they get to the top, that's where they strike the most. That's the adjustment we have to make, we have to adjust these guys as much as possible. And again, they are not going to let you walk all over them. They are going to go out there and compete and that's what we have got to do.
Q. Is it odd at all to be preparing for a start that may or may not happen, and if so, does that affect your preparation one way or the other?
GIO GONZALEZ: It is exactly what it is, you have to try to win Game 4 to get to Game 5. This conversation would not be happening if we were not going to be having Game 5. I think that this is where we have to come out, you know, right off the bat. We have to set a statement right after the bat; that there will be a Game 5.
I think that the more we compete, the more and more we give these guys a chance, I think it gives the guys an opportunity to have fun and win every game. Every out counts, every pitch counts, and especially now, Game 4 counts. I guess the best way to put it is we have to compete. Kyle Lohse is not an easy guy to face and he's been great all year for them. We just have to hold them down and do whatever we can to get some runs, manufacture runs, whatever it takes, but we have to win today.
Q. Speaking of statements, does anybody address the clubhouse last night, this morning? Just kind of what statement internally do you guys make before a game like this?
GIO GONZALEZ: I think it's still loose in the clubhouse. I think everyone understands you're out there and you're competing. I'm pretty sure those guys are not going out there trying to strike out or give up runs. We are trying our best. Believe it or not, we are trying.
It's a good hitting team. They are putting it in play and we have to do the same thing. We have to put it in play and get outs when we need to get them out. That's what they are doing. They are just making great plays. You just look at it for what it is; we are just falling short by an inch or we're missing pitches by an inch or missing the strike zone by an inch.
Today, we have to change that. Today we have to make the adjustment and we are going to have to make a statement by doing that. If Oakland is going out there and doing the same thing, and the Yankees are doing the same thing, we have to do the same thing and go out and make a statement immediately.
Q. The perception seems to be that the Cardinals play a lot better in the post season than the regular season; does it seem like they are a better post season team than they are during the regular?
GIO GONZALEZ: It has -- I mean, they have been great all year, without a doubt. They are a great ballclub, great chemistry over there. I think that our point of what we are saying and what you're saying now is that the Cardinals, they have been in the World Series, they have been in the post season; they know what that atmosphere is like.
We are fresh to this whole atmosphere, this momentum of what's going on. You know, you look at it for what it is. They came over here and they are playing great ball. So they have an idea of what they are up against, and we are still we are looking for it, and today we have to make that adjustment and we have to find it immediately.
The Cardinals, there's a reason why they have 11 World Series titles. They know what they are doing. It's a great organization. They have -- it's what they call baseball county or country, whatever you want to call it, yeah. And I think that for us, we have to try to go out there and try to beat the best. They are the best for a reason, and we have to try to make a statement and try to change that.
Q. If you don't get a chance to pitch tomorrow, what will your evaluation or feeling about the whole season be?
GIO GONZALEZ: You know what, all said and done, these guys have competed all year. We have played great baseball. We have came out on top, best record in baseball. Winning the NL East, that says a lot for a team that was just put together this off season.
I think that you're going to see some great baseball in the next couple of years. I think that we have such a great future for every single one of these guys. Long term deals, too, with a lot of the guys we have. We have some veteran guys and some captains that are soon to be announced.
I think what we have done this year is shock the world, and you know what, I think we are going to continue to try to play Nationals baseball and we are going to continue to try to make adjustments. I think what we gave you guys is a taste of what's coming for the next couple years.
Believe it or not, we are not thinking of losing tonight or today. We have got to win today and we have to go out there and try to do our best. Obviously it's not going to be easy, but we have to fight. We have to fight today and we have to make that adjustment.
Q. Just to follow up on the earlier question about preparation; for you personally, does this feel any different than it would a day before any other start, because you know you don't know if you're really going to have one or not.
GIO GONZALEZ: That's exactly it. I don't know if I'm going to have one or not, but that's exactly what I was talking about. We have to try to get to that Game 5. We have to try to give every single one of these guys a chance to go out there and pitch.
If we can't win Game 4, I mean, again, we wouldn't be talking about Game 5. We wouldn't be knowing if I'm going to be out there or not. I think that with Ross right off the bat, Ross has to set the tone. He's our starting pitcher and he's a guy that's going to make the adjustment and he's going to give us exactly what we expect, five, six, good solid innings out of him.
You know, we have to jump on the pitching as quick as possible. We have to go out there and get some runs as soon as possible, set the statement, set the tone. You can't give this team a chance to come back and try to beat you, because they will do it. That's a good hitting, competing team. But at the same time my job is to go out there, if they need me right out of the pen, if they need me immediately, I will be out there. Whatever Davey needs me, I will be out there for him.