Oct. 3 Don Mattingly postgame interview
Q. Could you take us through your decision making in the 7th inning as the bases were loaded against Clayton and when you decided to get somebody up in the bullpen and then ultimately take him out.
DON MATTINGLY: Pretty easy decisions, actually. It's really hard to take Clayton out. Once he gets Kozma, we're going to give him ‑‑ that's when I go out and check on him. Taveras, once he gets Taveras, I'm going to give him Carpenter.
Q. When you did go out to talk to him you had no intention of taking him out at that point, in your mind it was just to check on him?
DON MATTINGLY: Only if he's just out of gas. His look and his face and his answer was confident and really that's all I needed to hear.
Q. What did you see going on with Kershaw in that inning? He seemed to be cruising up until that point.
DON MATTINGLY: Obviously they got some hits and still throwing strikes, still going after guys. But I think with Clayton you always look at he gives up a hit or two and you always feel like he's going to get out of it, he's always going to rebound. In a sense he does, he gets Kozma and he gets Taveras, and he has got Carpenter 0‑2 and you feel like he's going to get him and obviously Matt did a nice job fighting off and finally got to him.
Q. As a former hitting coach to watch the way that inning started with them with the four guys in a row going up the middle and then Jay goes the opposite field. Is there anything there you can at least take a look at?
DON MATTINGLY: Can't really. I think always you're going to try to stay in the middle of the field with Clayton. I think it's just guys in a sense just taking what you're given. Second and third time around you're always making adjustments, so they did a nice job.
Q. Given that Clayton hadn't pitched out of the stretch to that point, do you at all allow for the possibility that Clayton might be tipping something off there out of the stretch?
DON MATTINGLY: No. He does the same thing all year long.
Q. Last off season you mentioned that you thought the Cardinals were very good at stealing signs. Did that figure in at all tonight?
DON MATTINGLY: We don't feel like it. We have changed signs, multiple signs, different things we're trying to do, so no.
Q. In the third inning after Puig got hit, what was Adrian saying to Yadi that got the whole thing started, do you know?
DON MATTINGLY: I don't know. I don't really want to get into that. There's no reason to get into it. It wasn't really ‑‑ I know it's a good story and everybody likes writing it, but for us we got to win a game. It's all about trying to win a game.
That's the main thing with our guys is we want to make sure that we're playing, do it on the field, you're not going to win anything with the macho thing on the field. So, it's really just a matter of us trying to win a game.
Q. It looked like Wainwright and Puig worked it out, they were arm and arm, out by first base anyway?
DON MATTINGLY: I actually heard Wainwright say, Hey, my bad. So, I mean, who knows. We don't need to get into it. There's no reason to.
It's that time of year. We talked about it all the way down the stretch. A win's a win and a loss is a loss. No matter how you slice it, no matter how you get there, when you lose it feels look you got kicked in the gut, and if it's 3‑2, if it's 1‑0, if it's 10‑9, but you just have to respond. It's one game, it's over, you got to come back ready to play.
Q. Clayton started pitching pretty well, he was striking everybody out, right after that you guys scored some runs. Do you feel like that gave you an emotional boost or changed the emotion for you guys at all?
DON MATTINGLY: I think we were ready to play. Simple as that. Our bats were good, I thought we did a nice job of battling, fighting off pitches, getting his pitch count up from the standpoint of making him work. Our guys did a really good job, I thought of staying with him. Hanley gets a big hit there to kind of get us in, then Carl gets a hit. Yasiel gets a big hit later. Obviously A.J. swung the bats well all night. We swung the bats well all night. Did a nice job at the plate and other than that one inning we were good defensively, we just couldn't stop the tide right there.
Q. Did it feel like a heavy weight fight, you guys got the first punch and then right at the end you were right there.
DON MATTINGLY: Again, you don't really get any credit for coming close. Like I said, I think a loss is a loss and a win is a win. This time of year, any time you lose one, it feels it's an emotional battle.
I'm really proud of our guys. We got four down there, it would have been easy to go away, our guys kept battling. In a sense, you know, we let everyone know we're not going away, we're going to keep playing. We didn't get this far by losing a game in there and saying, Oh, we're going to take our ball and go home. We're going to show up tomorrow and be ready to play.
So again, other than that one inning, we didn't really have any mistakes, we played good baseball, had good at‑bats, we just couldn't get them out that one inning.
Q. Carpenter and Kershaw have had a few of these really good at‑bats. What is it about that matchup that Carpenter seems to be winning?
DON MATTINGLY: Oh, I don't know. Early in the game, Kershaw gets him and then to me he's a good hitter, he battles and he's a guy, he's a tough out. So, there's always somebody that seems like it matches up with you that sees you good, but I know we're not going to give in to that, Clayton is not giving in to that. He's going to basically get to the point where he's got to say, Yeah, I got to make better pitches, I got to make the right pitch at the right time in the right sequence, or whatever he is going to say.
So he's a good hitter, we give him credit, he fights, but we're not going to give in to that matchup.
Q. Seems like a lot of people want to criticize this team for not fighting back, but the way you guys responded after the hit by pitch and the way you guys responded after Baez's home run with the Gonzales home run, can you talk about the fight in this team?
DON MATTINGLY: I don't feel like I need to talk about the fight. We're ready to play. We have been through a lot. We go in to San Francisco, we lose first game, we come back and win two, the next two. We do the same thing at home.
I don't know, I don't think we have to defend ourselves as a team. These guys are ready to play, they will be ready to play tomorrow, confident about that. Feel good with them. It's a loss tonight. It's got to get put behind us, it's got to be put behind us quick and we even the series tomorrow.