Oct. 17 Matt Carpenter postgame interview
Q. Can you explain your success against Mr. Cain?
MATT CARPENTER: You know, really there's no explanation. He's one of the best in the game, obviously. I think we all know that. Every at‑bat I've had against him has been really tough. They're always a battle. Seems like he's always ahead of me. I was down 0‑2 in the count.
I try to grind out those at‑bats and fight when I was up there. And tonight was an example of that. Like I said, I was at 0‑2 and worked my way back to a 2‑2 count, and he threw a slider and I was able to put a good swing on it.
Q. Everything happened really quickly when you got in the game. How ready were you, how surprised were you by all that took place there?
MATT CARPENTER: It was definitely a surprise. I didn't even realize that Carlos had hurt himself. Next thing you know Mike came up to me and told me to grab my glove and I was going in right field. So there was really no thought process, it just happened so quickly. I was in the game before I really had time to think about it.
Q. A lot has been made about you and really all the bench guys not getting a lot of at‑bats, having a hard time staying sharp. How much value were the at‑bats yesterday and how did you make sure you didn't get rusty?
MATT CARPENTER: Anytime you can get an at‑bat is good, helps you stay sharp. But as far as staying ready on the bench, that's the rule I've had all season long. There's a routine that goes in with that, with your pregame work and your BP, and all those things that help you get ready for the game. And then, really, when the game starts, just trying to stay locked in with what's happening, so stuff like this doesn't surprise you.
Tonight was one of those things that you can't expect, but you can still be ready for. And I think I was.
Q. Can you talk about your power, how it's come along in the last couple of years?
MATT CARPENTER: Yeah, as a Minor Leaguer I wasn't really known for hitting home runs. And this year in Spring Training with Coach John Mabry and Coach Mark McGwire, we worked on things for that to show up more. And it has this season. And it's been a good adjustment. And I'd just like to hopefully keep it going.
Q. Did your folks drive up today for this game and how long a drive was that and did you get to see them? What was that all about?
MATT CARPENTER: I haven't seen them yet. But, yeah, they both obviously work and they left this morning, took off work at I think like 3:30 in the morning and drove up. I'm not sure how long a drive it is ‑‑ I think it's like nine hours ‑‑ and just drove straight to the park and were in the stands tonight.
Q. Obviously you're aware of your success against Cain. Did you figure that at some time you would be facing him? You say it was unexpected, but were you thinking maybe you were going to come up against him?
MATT CARPENTER: I thought maybe if he was in the game late and it was a pinch‑hit situation and maybe some runners in scoring position that my name might get called there. Obviously I didn't think the third inning would be my place in the game. But those things happen. You've just got to be ready for them.