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Oct. 7 Postgame Interview with Don Mattingly

DON MATTINGLY: I guess on behalf of my club and our organization I'd like to congratulate St. Louis. They were better than us this series, and when we needed to get things done they got it done.

On behalf of our organization I'd like to congratulate the Cardinals.

Q. When we talked about Kershaw, the pitching on short rest yesterday, you talked about not overextending his pitch count. He was at 94 through 6, similar to last year against Atlanta. Why did you feel you could still send him back out there?

DON MATTINGLY: He felt good. In talking with him and getting the answer that we always try to get from him, we knew it was a three hitter situation. I thought he was ready for Molina right there. We knew it wasn't going to be a 20, 25 pitch inning; we knew it was going to be three hitters.

Q. When all is said and done, how much are you going to reflect on average with men in scoring positions, especially these last two games?

DON MATTINGLY: You asked me that one particular thing right there. I think that you look at the whole, as a season, and then you go back in and kind of cut up what you were good at and what you weren't good at. You start evaluating your own club as you start trying to start over.

So again, we'll look at everything and kind of where we need to improve, how do we get better. And at the end of the day you lose, you don't worry about one situation or another, you just worry about the win or the loss.

Q. If your bullpen had had more success recently, do you think you would have stopped at 6 for Kershaw? I realize he only had 94 pitches, but three days rest. With the bullpen nonsuccess, was that a factor?

DON MATTINGLY: Obviously, your team is your team. It's like when do you pinch hit, whether you pinch hit for one guy or another, you do it. If it's not the right guy up there. And your team situation is your team situation.

But I think Clayton, where he's at, the way he was feeling, the way he was kind of cruising along. Again, we know it's short rest, but we're talking at that point three hitters. And to get through Adams and then turn it over to the guys out there.

So I don't think anything right there changes a whole lot. It goes back to the same question, is there anybody better, even on short rest, and even where he was at at that point.

I mean, Holliday hits the ball barely out of reach of Dee, Peralta hits the ball and it hits off Hanley's glove, and then had a curveball there. So at the end of the day, I think it's not really a situation that you try to change too much or manipulate too much.

But obviously if you've got a wipe out, you know, something it's not your team. You've got to manage your team.

Q. Two quick questions. The Ethier play at third base turned out to be really a major play in the game. How did he get hung up? What was your perspective on what happened?

DON MATTINGLY: I didn't have a real good that dugout is kind of down in a little bit of a hole. But Bundy, from his viewpoint it looks like the ball is getting away. And A.J. said the same thing. It's like it hit something and popped up. I think Andre saw the same thing, thought that ball was getting farther away and it was like a hit and popped. Again, I haven't seen a replay. I don't know. Our perspective is almost underground, so it's tough to see that stuff.

Q. And your decision in the 9th to pinch run Puig and bat Turner, rather than pinch hit Puig?

DON MATTINGLY: Yeah, again, not that hard, right there, right now. J.T. has been tremendous off the bench. And Yasiel gives us a guy if we hit a ball in the gap or down the line he's going to score a run right there.

Q. What's your theory on why the Cardinals have success against Clayton?

DON MATTINGLY: I don't know how much success that was. He gave up one hit through six. I know he's given up some runs. Wacha beats him 1 0 last year.

He's pitching really good through major parts of that game. He has the one inning and then he's pitching really good through major parts in LA. And then has one bad inning.

They have a good club. They have guys that are professionals. The more times you get through the order, you get through Holliday three times, you're getting into Jonny and Molina and those guys, the third time through the order, it always gets tougher and tougher, because you've got to change your mix. And they've seen you three times.

So I don't know if it's necessarily that they have any kind of command over Clayton. I think he's pitched really good against them, other than an inning here or an inning there.