Oct. 9 Stephen Piscotty, Tommy Pham postgame interview
Q. Stephen, after the concussion and everything like that and having to recover from that, how good did you feel to be able to play tonight and also contribute the way you did?
STEPHEN PISCOTTY: Felt really good. The doctors and trainers did a tremendous job getting me in good shape, enough so that I could even get a game in at Atlanta, which I think was big for keeping with rhythm and timing and all that. I was glad to get that game in and felt comfortable all week in practice and was excited to get after it.
Q. All season the Cardinals have needed the rookies to come up and help out after the injuries. Nice to keep that going into the postseason?
TOMMY PHAM: Absolutely. You know, in the Minor Leagues we're kinda groomed, you know, to come up here and contribute right away. You know, the expectations are high for us. So when we come here, you know, we expect to help out the team. There is no secret about it. So we prepare and we work really hard to put ourselves in this position.
THE MODERATOR: Stephen?
STEPHEN PISCOTTY: I'm just going to agree with that. It was well said. We have had a tremendous -- we have a tremendous support group, you know. All up and down the Minor Leagues we have tremendous coaches getting us to this point, and hopefully they're kinda sharing this moment with us, because we wouldn't be here without them.
Q. Tommy, seemed like you were waiting for that pitch or you knew -- it was a cutter. Were you expecting that pitch?
TOMMY PHAM: No, I was just expecting him to throw a strike. Lester is a really good pitcher, and he has a lot of weapons, big arsenal, and I felt like tonight I saw him really well. I laid off his change-up, the ball off the plate, you know, to put myself in that good hitter's count, to put myself into that position. Then when the ball was released from his hands, I just saw it well and I got lucky.
Q. You guys touched on it a couple questions ago, but about expecting to be counted on when you got here. What was the postseason stage like for you? Was it what you expected it to feel like or did it feel just like another game for both of you?
TOMMY PHAM: Um, you know, I was fortunate enough to play in Venezuela last winter, and the atmosphere is kind of like that, just with 25,000 more fans, so I was very -- I'm very glad I went down there to play, you know, because it kinda helped me for this situation.
STEPHEN PISCOTTY: For me, I mean, it was discussed among the veterans sharing some advice to us youngsters about the moment, and it was going to feel different, and it did feel different, but they just stressed, you know, relax, breathe, try to handle the nerves better than the other team, and I think everyone in our club did that tonight.
Q. Tommy, we saw you a couple times in Spring Training you battled injuries in the Minor Leagues. You talk about Venezuela, you played well in Memphis. Did it seem like it would take forever to get here, and now when you get here, you take advantage of the opportunity?
TOMMY PHAM: Absolutely. The injuries were tough for me. I felt like when I started to take off as a player, the injuries started coming back to back. And, you know, they were severe injuries where I'm out for the season. So now to be in this position, I'm extremely blessed, and I'm very happy to be a part of this team, you know, to contribute for this run.
Q. Stephen and Tommy, if you could just both talk about after your home runs, what was going through your mind when you crossed home plate? Congratulated -- teammates congratulated you, and then the fans giving you a curtain call.
STEPHEN PISCOTTY: That's special. When Tommy hit his, we were so fired up when he came across, I think we broke his necklace or something. I don't know what happened. But I said it earlier, his home run took a tremendous amount of pressure off me in my at-bat, and who knows, maybe I don't hit that home run if he doesn't come through with that one.
But the fans were so loud, and I think I was on the on-deck circle, and they got real loud all of a sudden, and, you know, I looked over and Tommy was up there.
It's special. Mine was special, too. It's really hard to describe. It really is. But that's one of the things we play for here in St. Louis. The fans are tremendous, and that's something I'm sure both of us are going to remember for a long, long time.
TOMMY PHAM: It's kinda hard to talk about because I mean for me it's something I dreamed about as a little kid. And now, you know, it's happening, so like I said, it's truly a blessing, kind of surreal, you know? I'm just happy for Pisco, too, because we came up together, and for us to be on this stage, helping out the team, it's wonderful.
Q. Stephen, besides coming back from the concussion, you were also playing at first base tonight, not a position you have played a ton of at the big-league level. Then you get moved around right to left. Didn't seem to affect you at the plate. How do you go about blocking out that noise when you are at the plate?
STEPHEN PISCOTTY: Are you talking about defensively?
Q. Just all the factors --
STEPHEN PISCOTTY: Yeah, I've always been a bit of a utility player, going back to even high school, really. So it's kind of natural for me, honestly, to move around, and I feel very comfortable doing that. Mike needs what he needs, and I'm just going to, you know, say yes and go do it. That's just the approach I try to take with it.
Q. Can you guys speak to the job that John Lackey did to set the tone for you today, and also what it's like to be his teammates? We hear stories about him yelling at teammates, the fiery nature. What's he like around you guys?
TOMMY PHAM: I love him. I call him "OG" because he has that like relentless attitude out there. You know, he's fearless; he's an original gangster, sort of, you know? (Laughter.)
I mean, I'm an intense person, you know, so -- and I see that he's very intense, too, but he goes out there, and he gives you seven strong, you know? And that's -- that's what any team could ask for. I mean, he's just every outing, back to back, giving us quality starts. He's tremendous.
STEPHEN PISCOTTY: For me, not that I expected it from him, but I knew he would do well. I didn't know he would do that well. That was special. He had a no-hitter going into the 6th. He was just dominant, just attacking; helps out the defense so much. He had that one big spot, and luckily that ball just landed just shy of the wall, but, man, he was tremendous, and it's fun to be a part of that, when he's doing his thing. Just a great competitor.
Q. Tommy, were you aware, had anyone told you that your pinch-hit home run was the first postseason pinch-hit home run that had been hit since Oscar Taveres hit his in Game 2 of the NLCS against the Giants and does that mean anything special to you?
TOMMY PHAM: No, I wasn't aware of it until now, but as a friend it's going to always be special to me, because O.T. was a great friend, a great teammate, always had a smile on his face.
I'm sure anybody that played with him always remembers him just having that huge smile and going out there and playing baseball.