NL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: CARDINALS v GIANTS
October 21, 2012Richmond High School
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA: Workout Day
Q. What is your plan for today with the guys? What have you told them about how to handle today, the off day?
MIKE MATHENY: We had just a few guys come in and needed to get some work or treatment. A few of them are staying on the program, playing catch and keeping their arms loose. But we let most of them go back to the hotel and take the day off.
Q. In your conversations with Beltran either last night or today how did he say his knee responded to yesterday's game?
MIKE MATHENY: He said it's pretty good. But he is one in here that is getting treatment. So we listen to how he feels and then what the trainers see. But right now it seems to be everything is good.
Q. Could you describe a little bit about what you saw from Vogelsong the last time and how beneficial it might be to come right back and face the guy this quick a turnaround?
MIKE MATHENY: Well, I don't know how beneficial it would be, since he did so well. The guys are going to have a pretty good idea if they watched closely what he was trying to do.
He executed. He's got good stuff. He's having a strong season and has been able to make adjustments. That's why he's had the kind of season he's had. Our guys are going to have to be more disciplined in their zone and not miss the mistakes. But he did make a whole lot last time. And we'll just kind of see what kind of adjustments our guys can make between the last start and tomorrow.
Q. First off, I don't know if you remember, you actually faced Ryan Vogelsong way back when. Do you have a memory of what kind of pitcher he was back then? What is your thought on how he's reinvented himself?
MIKE MATHENY: Generally I try to forget my at?bats. There weren't very good memories there. And he is absolutely taken advantage of a new life here in San Francisco and has thrown the ball extremely well. So this is an opportunity for anybody to do something different. And whenever you get a new life and he comes over here with a Dave Righetti and Mark Gardner and seems to find his niche, but he's not going to probably do things much differently. He's going to want to do exactly what he did last time.
But he's got good stuff. And when he makes his pitches, it's going to be a tough day for us.
Q. Chris Carpenter remarked after Game 2 that he didn't feel like he has a good fastball. Is that something you have to watch tomorrow night closely in the early innings or do you feel even without that he can navigate that?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, he knows how to compete without his best stuff. But fastball command is where you start your game plan.
Same thing with Adam Wainwright. You saw his last game in Washington compared to the game we just saw him throw. He was able to command the plate with his fastball, which made his secondary pitches better. Chris Carpenter is along the same line. Every pitcher is. You also have a rare few that can compete when they don't have their whole arsenal, and Chris Carpenter is one of those.
But it's a different game when he's got his fastball and it's feeling good coming out of his hands and he can command it from both sides of the plate.
Q. Is there something pesky about these Giants or any similarities to the team you have in terms of they are a tough team to eliminate?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, and I don't necessarily see them as pesky as much as just talented. And the same kind of makeup that we have, they aren't going to go away and neither are we. And we knew that going into this thing. As soon as we won a couple of games at home there was nobody in there for a second under the belief that this was going to be a team that was going to just roll over.
So we know that this team has the ability to do what they did, once again, in Cincinnati, running in there and doing something that hasn't been done all season. They've got a good club. Very well rounded. They've got everything they need. It's just a matter of execution, and they executed better than us yesterday.
Q. Your bullpen makeup is quite different than it was back in April at the start of the season. I want to get your general thoughts on the evolution of that bullpen to this point.
MIKE MATHENY: It's huge for our club. We lost quite a few games between our starters and to the back end, the 8th and 9th inning. The addition of an Edward Mujica was a great addition for us to come in and throw a very good 7th. And being able to have a Joe Kelly who started for us but now fills in in the middle innings and a Trevor Rosenthal. Those guys have made a difference for us especially down the stretch. But those were some innings that we lost quite a few games through the season.
And the bullpen right now seems to be clicking pretty well. But it all begins and ends with our starting pitching, we know that. And hopefully we can lengthen them out a little bit and take a little pressure off the pen.
Q. What was your evaluation of Carpenter's start a couple of games ago? What did you think of him? Coming back from injury, obviously he's nowhere near the vintage Carpenter, but how would you assess the vintage Carpenter versus where he is now?
MIKE MATHENY: Well, we've seen some flashes of the vintage Carpenter. And I was very happy with what we saw, once again, in our playoff game in Washington. He had a very good mix of everything. Last game it looked to me like he was just competing. And he was trying to find some things that weren't naturally coming to him that day. He's been there, done that before. He's been there and done that with less than his best stuff. And won some big games.
We know Chris Carpenter is going to do something special every time he gets out there. Now if he has his good stuff it's going to be fun to watch.
Q. Will you allow Adam Wainwright to be available out of the bullpen for Game 6 or if there is a Game 7 as an option?
MIKE MATHENY: We're still talking about that, but nothing in stone right now.
Q. Games 1, 2 and 5, the bottom of their order really started their rallies. How difficult is that facing those three left?handers in a row at the end of their batting order and do they create any special problems you haven't seen before?
MIKE MATHENY: Well, whenever you have an opportunity for your lineup, especially the last part of your lineup, to come through and be productive, usually good things are happening. Same thing happened with us, the games that we've done big things, seems like the bottom has really produced for us.
As far as being left?handed, I believe in our staff being able to face lefties or righties and have equal success. They're just coming up in big opportunities and making it happen, that's really all there is to it. Just like you would look at a Descalso and a Kozma. And you could even add Freese as he's batting down the lineup a little bit. And if you think you can take a breath after 3, 4, 5, next thing you know these other guys come and get you, and that usually starts big innings, and that's exactly what's happened with the Giants.
Q. This is probably pretty self?evident, but what kind of difference does Beltran make in your lineup and what were your impressions of him last night?
MIKE MATHENY: We obviously know that he's an impact player and has the ability to come into the postseason and make a dramatic difference. But him walking up there in his first at?bat, getting on base, just putting together tough at?bats. And he's got his reputation precedes him, too, he commands a lot of respect.
We love having him on the field and were a little concerned when we saw him go down and weren't exactly sure how long it would take. It's good to have him back, and we just need to keep him there.
Q. When you look at Wainwright and whether or not to use him in relief, is that question concerning his elbow and the return from Tommy John and the injuries or is it the series and what you might need him to do next?
MIKE MATHENY: No, I think it's just taking everything into account. You hate to ever push somebody, just like throwing a Carpenter on short rest. Every time you put a guy in a situation that's a little different than what he's used to and he's had some sort of extra issues, especially health issues, you're going to take more time in your decision.
So we're just going to watch him close and see where we are and make those decisions as we come. There's no rush right now.