NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: CARDINALS v GIANTS
October 18, 2012Richmond High School
ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI: Game Four
Q. Can you talk about Carlos today and what his availability is?
MIKE MATHENY: Carlos is still sore today. He went through some tests and everything came back pretty clear. But still bothering him to the point where we can't start him. But he will be available as a pinch?hitter late in the game.
Q. He's had knee issues for years. Is this something he's been managing a little more acutely lately before it flared up?
MIKE MATHENY: No, it came out of nowhere. He's always managing, but not one spot in particular. He stays on top of the strengthening that he needs and the rehab, just something he'll probably deal with as long as he plays. But it wasn't one particular spot that seemed to be bothering him. It just kind of grabbed him yesterday.
Q. With Beltran out, who's filling in for him?
MIKE MATHENY: The lineup will be very similar as to what we've had in the past, except Matt Carpenter batting second. Carpenter will be at first base, Allen Craig will be in right field.
Q. You mentioned yesterday you're aware of Matt's numbers against Matt Cain, Carpenter against Cain. You also mentioned wanting to get Schumaker in there. What kind of consideration did you give to getting him in?
MIKE MATHENY: I saw the numbers, I'd love to get Skip in there. But it's pretty impressive, a guy comes off the bench and hits a home run and ends up being the deciding run. I know that Matt Carpenter has done a good job every time we continue to give him an opportunity, and continue to look for those opportunities.
We're excited to get him in there now. I'd love to get Skip in there and have him sharp, too, but we've got to take our best shot right now.
Q. Is Lynn your start for tomorrow? Was it a close call? What are you seeing from him these days?
MIKE MATHENY: Yes, Lance Lynn is our starter tomorrow. No, we didn't see it as a close call. We're excited to get him back out there and watch him do his thing.
Q. Do you think that Lynn will be able to go a little longer now that he's had some rest, rather than coming off those several relief appearances he had before his last start?
MIKE MATHENY: It could have played into it, we're not doubting that at all. But we all know that he's a very durable pitcher, and fully anticipate him going deeper into the game. But we needed him out of the pen and he did a great job for us. Now he's a little more into his routine and hopefully that will translate into him being more comfortable when he gets out there in the first.
Q. Barry Zito has had a nice bounceback season. What have you seen that might be different than other years?
A.We haven't seen that much of him, only what you guys have seen. Watching him from a distance, he's an accomplished pitcher. He knows what he's doing. He knows how to get guys out. He's just smart and knows how to execute. And that's what it comes down to. He's made the most of the opportunities he's had and know that he's got the capability, just like he did late in the season when he put a great game against the Dodgers, we were all following it very closely. We know he has that potential in him.
Q. Your bullpen in the postseason, collectively, they have been consistent for you and dominant for you. From a skipper's point of view, how does having that strong bunch of guys back there help you manage the game?
MIKE MATHENY: Well, it helps us all out when they can come in, we put them in tough spots, like Trevor Rosenthal who started the season at Double?A, we can bring him in to get our guys out of a tough inning. And then the same thing all the way through with Mujica and Boggs following him. These guys have kind of found their niche. It took us a lot longer than it took most other teams this season. And a lot of it has to do with the addition of a Mujica who filled a big void for us. And Kelly and Rosenthal taking advantage of the opportunity.
But we really didn't develop our pen in a solid way like we have right now. And hopefully we just keep seeing the same thing. We just want them to do what they're doing, and not do anything different.
Q. Do you have a read on Motte's availability tonight?
MIKE MATHENY: We haven't played catch yet. I usually wait. He's going to walk in the door every day and say he feels fine. But I'm going to go watch him play catch, long toss. I've said it before, these guys are bad liars, so normally I can tell if he's going to be all right or not.
But he was efficient last night, which was huge for us. Fortunately he kept it under 20 pitches, and most likely will be available. But I'll know a little bit more after we go out and watch him play catch.
Q. If Carlos's status is day?to?day, is it fair to say a possibility he could start Friday or how would you answer that?
MIKE MATHENY: I answered that, we'll probably sit here tomorrow and have this same conversation. He's being very proactive with getting in to see all our staff medically and doing whatever he can to be in there tomorrow as a starter. But once again, he could play a huge part in today's game by coming off the bench in a tough situation. It's a nice weapon to have. We'll figure it out tomorrow.
Q. Yadi Molina has been relatively quiet at the plate. What do you attribute that to?
MIKE MATHENY: I attribute to it's a very tough game and over the long haul you've got to look at what he's done and the whole body of work and he's been our best hitter, without question. And even your best hitter is going to have times when things just don't fall in for you as often. But this guy has been as consistent as any hitter I've seen in the League this season.
Right now they're just not falling in, but it's only a matter of time.
Q. Is Beltran strictly pinch?hit only or could he do a couple of innings defense?
MIKE MATHENY: We're going into it believing that he's going to be able to pinch?hit. But he's got a lot of work to do between now and game time and through the game. They'll be continuing to work on him to try to get him ready to see just exactly what we have to work with. Right now we don't know, except he'll be available as a pinch?hitter.
Q. What are the elements at play that you have Craig at right field and Carpenter the first rather than the other way around?
MIKE MATHENY: Really the players. I went to them. It's more where they feel comfortable than anything else. We've had this discussion through the season and Allen Craig has always been very vocal that he's comfortable at first base and to me he's improved. He's worked hard. But he feels more comfortable in the outfield.
And the same could be said for Matt Carpenter, it's a more natural position for him on the infield. They kind of dictated that.
Q. How would you describe, just because Carlos has dealt with stuff a good part of the season, in terms of yellow flag, red flag, going forward, how big a concern is what happened last night?
MIKE MATHENY: Really too early to tell. He's had things pop up through the season that we thought would be something that would put him on the shelf for a while, next thing you know he's out the next day, and vice versa, something that wasn't going to be a big deal and knocked him out for a little while.
He's a good evaluator of his health and what he can and can't do. And I know right now obviously we have an urgency and he knows that as well as anybody. He's going to push it if he can. And he's going to try to get out there, if at all possible. We'll find out from day?to?day.
Q. Did what happen last night rise to the level of getting an MRI or x?ray?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, the doctors did take a good look at it and did run some tests. And everything came back basically like it's been. But you're talking about a guy who's had quite a few different injuries there. But they did give it a thorough check and saw the same things that they've seen before, which lead to potential to have days like this.