Oct. 9 Mike Matheny workout day interview
Q. Quick housekeeping question, why Miller, say, over maybe another lefty down in the pen?
MIKE MATHENY: You know, that really was the decision that came down to the end was to bring back a Sam Freeman, but with this roster against the Nationals, felt like we have more of a need with potentially a pitcher that could go a long ways, especially after we just took Lance Lynn out by him throwing the amount pitches that he threw yesterday. We would need multiple innings and we would need a guy who has worked up to that, and that would be Shelby at this time.
Q. There seemed to be a little bit of, I don't know what the right word would be, skepticism or confusion, about how the whole thing with Jaime went down among your clubhouse last night. I didn't know to what extent you were surprised, frustrated, whatever the verb would be, and how do you see the whole dynamic playing out with his health situation and this obviously not being the first time he's had a shoulder concern that's surprised some people.
MIKE MATHENY: Well, after a player has already had previous injury during the season, I don't think you're completely surprised. Frustrated never really entered the picture, more so didn't really have time for that.
And then once you do have time to kind of digest everything, you hurt for the player, realizing that they put a lot into trying to do their piece to be here for this. But fortunately we were in a spot where we had a couple options to go to, we had some guys that were stretched out and that could jump in, and especially looking at the kind of season that Lance has had and to be able to do that.
But as far as the injury itself, that's part of the game. That's just kind of the nature of it; when they put their bodies through what they put it through, at times, that's kind of the end result at times, you try to stay away from it. He did all his work and got the best of him.
Q. Could he handle it better in terms of having any heads up of what he was dealing with before the game actually started?
MIKE MATHENY: No, you know, he went back and forth just like every guy does. You don't know exactly how you're going to feel until you get out there. There are times you don't feel good, and I know that we have had some pitchers wondering if they can make pitch one and next thing you know they are standing on top of the mound in the eighth inning.
I respect these guys' preparation that they have going into a game, how they push through things, and try and make something out of nothing at times.
If you waited around until you felt perfect, you would never play this game. So I know where you're going with this, and that's not the case.
Q. Will you hold Lance Lynn out of the rest of the series in case you need him to start the next series?
MIKE MATHENY: We are going to have to keep a close eye on him. He didn't get up to the real high pitch count, but he's also thrown a couple other days, he threw the day in Atlanta, threw the first game in the series in Washington, low pitch count but still got hot. So we're going to have to see. We are kind of in unchartered territory because of the frequency he's thrown and the elevated pitch count yesterday. We'll have to see how he feels tomorrow and kind of take things from there. I don't rule out having him available later.
Q. Now that you've announced Carpenter as your starter for Game 3, at least put him on the board there, could you elaborate or discuss how you went with Carp over Lohse, who would have been the guy on regular rest and the guy you went to when elimination was a factor?
MIKE MATHENY: It really comes down to wanting to get Carp on the mound and trying to figure out where it fits best. Didn't want to drag it on too far out, realizing what he brings, and his experience; what he brings with the success he's had in the post season and in his career in general.
So to us, we were really juggling all the balls from the beginning to see where he would fall in there, because you could just as easily thrown him game one and five with what he's done in his career. And to me he's been better every time he's thrown, so there's enough reason there to make a case in a couple spots. But this is what we felt gave us the best chance.
Q. You guys have a roster with plenty of experience, lots of guys that were on the team last year what. What does it mean to have a guy like Carlos Beltrán in the room and who has a little bit different experience and has that hunger to get to the World Series?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, it is always good to have that veteran presence that has not quite won the ring yet. You saw last year, the Cardinals really rally around Rafael Furcal who had been in the post season so many times.
The guys just -- it means a lot to them, there's no question. And it's also nice to see Carlos Beltrán start to really get locked in like he was yesterday.
These guys, they are motivated to excel, and that's a message we have had since the beginning is striving for excellence. And it is good for the guys who have never been there, but it's not any less important to the guys who already have a couple World Series rings. It's about being the best you can and trying to develop into something special, and that's really what they are doing.
Q. A lot of your guys obviously have familiarity with Edwin Jackson. What do you take out of his two starts against you this year, completely different starts?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, we saw him in two completely different ways, and when we saw him last year in Washington, he was very, very good. So we are going to put that game plan into our mind as that's what we are going to see and figure out what kind of adjustments we need to make to be prepared for that.
But the guys, as far as a game plan goes, they have an individual idea of what they need to do to be successful, and it's just a matter of execution after that.
Q. With Shelby, now three rookies in the bullpen, how does this change at all the way you look at how you use these guys going forward?
MIKE MATHENY: Well, we put Joe Kelly there yesterday; that game was still close and fortunately Jon Jay makes one of the best plays that I've seen to get the first out.
But he came in and threw strikes. The ball was coming out of his hand very nice. Just a matter of getting him just a little bit acclimated. Trevor Rosenthal came in and had a little more cushion at that time, but I thought threw the ball extremely well. So just getting out there is a key.
But for us with Shelby, I think we've seen enough of him to be excited about the opportunity for him to get on the mound; and as he progresses in his career -- I'm not all that concerned. I think a lot of it has to do with the pressure we put on these guys down the stretch. Every game to us was a playoff style intensity where it seemed like every game, everything was on the line.
We weren't afraid to go to our young guys in high leverage situations, so they have proved the fact that they are ready to pitch. Now it's just getting the repetitions.
We have had a young staff from the beginning. You look at how our bullpen was made up; we had Jason Motte really being our experience in the bullpen with very little time under his belt. That was something that we talked about, bringing in a veteran presence. And it never happened.
But these guy, until we did get Edward Mujica, but they developed into their own really kind of their own being down there; they figured it out. They figured out how to take care of each other and who is going to lead. And Jason Motte and Mitchell Boggs did a great job of that.
Q. This is your first go around in your current role. What's this like for you, and is this much different from regular season ball for you?
MIKE MATHENY: Well, you can't deny the urgency with post season play. But we have been consistent with our message, and that message is we play the same all the time. That's an advantage to us when the guys go about it that way; that we have an expectation of how we should play, whether it's middle of the season or whether it's in the World Series or anything in between. It's the same expectation, and when that expectation is pretty clear, I think it gives a good foundation for what the expectation what they need to do every day.
So it is a great environment, and I love it just as much as a manager as I did as a player. There's nothing like it in the game to be able to be a part of post season baseball. But when it comes down to making it happen, you just go out we are very clear about just do what you've been doing, nothing more, nothing less.
Q. You talked about wanting to get Carpenter into this series; can you describe what his experience gives you this time of year?
MIKE MATHENY: I think it's an invaluable experience, when you talk about a Chris Carpenter, an Adam Wainwright, a Yadier Molina who have won twice. There are a lot of players who think they can perform at the highest level and come together and witness what it takes for a team to collectively do what we all set out to do in April. But it's a rare few that actually get to do that; and to use the wisdom and the experience that they have from what they learned along the way and from former players who have been successful in the post season, those are just nuggets of gold to the young players.
That is really an advantage for those guys moving forward in their careers. We lean on Carp a lot. We lean on Yadi, and we lean on Wano, guys who have not just been there, but been there and been successful.