10/08/06 2:45 PM ET
Young, Roberts and Branyan interviews
Padres players talk about win over Cardinals in Game 3
By / MLB.com
CHRIS YOUNG: What was the first question?
What did you do today to limit the Cardinals' offense?
CHRIS YOUNG: Tried to limit my pitches, mix in my breaking ball, work in and out with my fastball and up and down. It's a very talented lineup, just tried to keep them off balance.
They hit some balls hard right at guys. Guys made some great defensive plays out there. Dave's catch of Edmonds ball in the sixth inning was tremendous. Things worked out. Tried to keep them off balance, and that was the main thing.
Chris, there in the sixth inning, when you saw Albert swing, what were you thinking when you knew you had him struck out there with the runners on base?
CHRIS YOUNG: It was a big strikeout, but I had another out to get after that. And Edmonds squared up the ball pretty well and hit it to left, and Dave made a great catch out there. So, you know, I didn't try to I didn't get too excited after I got him out. I had a very solid hitter hitting behind him. I had to stay focused and get a good pitch -- had some luck on my side.
Question for Dave and Russ. Those three runs, did you feel any added pressure with you and Mike Piazza getting thrown out at first?
DAVE ROBERTS: Well, I think that just to get base runners and obviously, you know, Suppan pitched himself out of that inning and Albert made a good throw to get me out at the plate and Supp made a couple of pitches to get him out of a jam. We had confidence we could go out there, keep putting pressure on those guys and having scoring opportunities, and fortunately for us, Russ came up with a big hit.
Russ, what kind of relief was it when you finally had a lead? Was it pretty much overwhelming nice to get one?
RUSS BRANYAN: Well, our goal was just to keep putting pressure on them, and we knew if we could get runners on base, we were going to get some runs across the board, and you know that was a big break for us. We went up 2-0, then Blum had the fly and Cy did the rest. We had a great effort from the bullpen today. It was nice to get out here with this victory.
Chris, going back there to the first inning, what went into walking Jim Edmonds to pitch to Scott Rolen?
CHRIS YOUNG: That's a question for Boch because he's the one that called the intentional walk. So ask him that.
Questions for Dave and Russ. Tomorrow, the Cardinals will be starting Chris Carpenter. You guys have faced him once in this series. Talk about the challenge that's ahead for you there.
DAVE ROBERTS: Obviously you don't look forward to facing that guy anytime. Our backs are against the wall, obviously, and it's a game that they want to win.
And we feel good about ourselves right now, but, you know, we have our hands full with him. But I think that with Woody Williams throwing tomorrow, he's going to keep us in the ballgame. We'll just go out there and battle and see what happens.
Chris, could you talk about the difference between pitching early in the game without a lead and having left guys on base and then with the lead? Does it change at all your focus?
CHRIS YOUNG: No. And my job remains the same regardless of the score, the situation. It's to go out and make quality pitches and try to get guys out. It doesn't matter if we're up, down, my job is the same. That's the way I approached it.
So, you know, when we -- a lot of people have asked already when we didn't score in the first inning, with runners at second and third, did it affect me? No, it didn't, because it doesn't change what I have to do. I worry about the things I can control. And Russ came up with a big hit, and I think it almost relaxes the team knowing, hey, we got a lead, this is the first time and allows us to be aggressive.
Dave, you've been hitting well in this series so far, but how did it feel for you to see the rest of your teammates get the bat swinging and get things going?
DAVE ROBERTS: Yeah, it was a huge weight off my shoulders, and I think our team offensively shoulders, because that's all we've been hearing this whole series, how we're not swinging the bats, not scoring runs and getting scoring opportunities but not capitalizing.
And you know, to finally, you know, losing the momentum in the first inning after getting -- a big opportunity was taken away from us, and just like I said, I can't say enough about that at bat that Russ had. And it was a 3 2 changeup, I think it was. He stayed with it, doubled down the line. And Blummer in another situation at bat was a big run, just kind of give Cy some breathing room.
Chris, I know a lot has been said about your road. I think this is 25 straight with either a win or no decision. Can you account for that? Is it a statistical fluke?
CHRIS YOUNG: I think it is. There's some games on the road where I didn't pitch well and the offense picked me up and got me a no-decision or even a win. It's just one of those weird stats that really you guys keep track of that as a player you don't really care about. Just my job, whether pitching at home or on the road, is to make good pitches and try to get guys out and give my team a chance to win, and that's really my only focus.
Chris, your ability to mix it up and be a savvy pitcher is obvious. But what is the relationship between the physical and being able to command all your pitches to be able to mix the pitches?
CHRIS YOUNG: Yeah. Today I had pretty good command and I was able to mix my pitches because I was able to locate my fastball. For me, that's probably the biggest challenge I have.
Some days where I don't locate my fastball, it really makes things tough. So my mind set is to go out and be aggressive, get ahead in the count and work back, back and forth, up, down, in, out. And being able to control my pitches, it's the most important part for me.
Chris, in the sixth inning there with Albert up, is there an adrenalin rush for you as a pitcher? You talked about staying the same throughout, but when you know the situation, what he can do, is it any different?
CHRIS YOUNG: Yeah, I tried not to let the adrenalin get to me. But obviously I didn't want to be in that situation. I didn't want to walk Duncan to get to Pujols as a tying run. He's a tremendous hitter, and, you know, certainly I didn't want to face him there. But Boch came out to the mound, asked how I felt, asked if I wanted to go get him, and I told him, "Yeah, I feel good and I'll be aggressive." But at the same time, I was going to make quality pitches that were, you know, not giving in. I didn't want to give in to him and give him a pitch to hit over the plate. So if I ended up walking him, then I'd take my chances pitching out of a bases loaded jam. But fortunately things worked out.
Russ, what do you think was different for you and maybe some of the rest of the hitters and why the bats -- you guys were able to swing so well today when you weren't the last couple of games?
RUSS BRANYAN: You know, we just kind of kept an even keel. We haven't panicked. We didn't score many runs at home. I think just that one run on the sac fly where Dave scored, but that second game we were shut I think we were shut out.
The games are just running together.
But today we just came out -- we didn't put any added pressure on ourselves. We knew if we did lose we were going home. But I think a big part of our offense today was Cy shutting down the Cardinals' offense, and it was just a matter of time. We just kept getting runners on base, and it was just a matter of time before we pushed some across the plate. I think if you looked up at the scoreboard, we left 14 runners on base. Another hit here and there, the game was blown wide open. That's been the story with us. And all it takes is a key hit here and there and we're on a roll.
Dave, can you speak about how important it is, runners in scoring position -- 1-for-25 in the series -- despite the win? You know you can't keep letting that happen in the next two games. Can you talk about that?
DAVE ROBERTS: No, I think that obviously that's not a good thing. Having runners on base is a part of it, but you gotta drive them in. And tomorrow, you know, if we face Carpenter, I think that opportunities are going to be at a premium. But like Russ said, we're not about to try to put any extra pressure on ourselves. We expect a good outing from Woody, keep us in the ballgame, grinding, and have good at-bats. We have our hands full with Chris Carpenter, but we expect to go out there and win tomorrow.
How do you stop Pujols two games in a row? Do you think you can do it? Today you did stop him.
CHRIS YOUNG: We just have to avoid situations where he can beat us. And, you know, if we can make quality pitches to him and, you know, be aggressive yet careful, you know, I think that's the key. And today his last two at bats that I faced came up in situations -- he third at-bat -- he came up in a situation where he could tie the game. Before that, we were up 3 0. It was huge just to have the lead there and knowing even if we made a mistake, he couldn't beat us at least that second at bat. His third at bat, just I got a little bit lucky.
But he's one of the best hitters in the game, so he's hard to keep down for two games in a row, and, you know, but we'll take our chances.
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