A postgame interview with Ron Washington

A postgame interview with Ron Washington

A postgame interview with Ron Washington

Q. The strategy of walking Pujols obviously worked. Could you take us through the decision in the seventh after Craig is thrown out, you've got two out, nobody on, and then you walk him?

RON WASHINGTON: Well, I certainly wasn't going to push Craig to second base. So once first base got cleared up, then I put him on first base.

Q. In the ninth you were sort of forced to pitch to him?

RON WASHINGTON: Yes, I was. I had no choice. And Neftali got it done.

Q. Before the game the other day you decided to split your left handers. Can you talk about that, because that obviously wound up playing a big part in what happened in the eighth inning.

RON WASHINGTON: Well, I usually leave Napoli in the sixth or the seventh spot. And when I play both Murphy and Moreland, I usually run them back to back. I just decided that with the lefties that Tony had down there in the bullpen, that if he brought in a lefty, he would have to go through Napoli or he would have to make an extra pitcher come in. So it worked.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about Napoli's overall game? Once again, he delivers. And have you ceased to be surprised when he comes through in the clutch at this point in the season?

RON WASHINGTON: No, I don't. You know, as I said, he came in as advertised as far as power, on base percentage, and my personal observation I've always admired the way he received when he was in Anaheim. So watching him now on a daily basis, I know my thoughts of him were correct, and he hasn't proved me wrong in any respect as far as his game goes. He certainly knows how to play baseball, and he was taught well.

Q. Tony said that he wanted Motte in the game, bullpen coach heard "Lynn" on the phone. He said that's happened to him before, was just a complete mix up, bullpen coach didn't hear him correctly. Has that ever happened to you?

RON WASHINGTON: Yes, it has. It has. And you've got to do what you have to do.

Q. Talk about, you stuck with Murphy there instead of sending up a right hander to pinch hit against the lefty there in the eighth.

RON WASHINGTON: Sometimes when a lefty comes in I feel good about Murph been being up there, and I thought Murph was having good at bats all night. And I just felt like right there was a good opportunity to let Murph swing. He could get lucky for us and make something happen, and he ended up hitting a ball up the middle off the pitcher's glove, loaded up the bases and it worked out for us.

Q. C.J. was very wild today but you stuck with him into the sixth. Were there any points earlier when you thought about taking him out? And what made you stick with him?

RON WASHINGTON: Well, he was getting in trouble and getting out, and I was certainly hoping for the one inning when he could go out there and find his rhythm, and then he could put two or three innings together, four innings together and get it done. You know, and it was a battle for him all night. I mean, every inning he was out there, but that's the type of warrior he is. When you've got warriors on your team, you let them fight, and I let him fight and I kept him around. I had to go get him in the sixth, but from one to six he kept us in the ballgame even though it wasn't a C.J. like type game. But he's a battler, he's a fighter, he's a warrior, but that's what my team is. So we fight, we battle, we go to war.

Q. You said the other day that you didn't think you could win a chess match against Tony. Do you think you won one tonight?

RON WASHINGTON: Nope. As I always say, it's your players that make you look good. You know, I did what I felt I had to do with my players, and that's all I'm worried about. As you said, I can't match wits with Tony. I haven't been in this game that long. I just wish I could stay around as long as he has and be as successful as he has. I just trust my players and try to get them in a position where they can be successful, and they haven't let me down so far.

Q. What does it say about your pitching staff that you could walk four guys intentionally in the same game and nobody ended up scoring in any of those situations?

RON WASHINGTON: Well, you know, they executed pitches. My bullpen has been great for me since the 31st of July. They've been coming in and getting it done. We had a meltdown the other day, but other than that, they've been great. No matter who we call on, they've been coming in and getting the job done, and I trust in them and they trust in me and they trust in each other. And they just go out there and keep playing the game of baseball. That's what we do.

Q. You've been in this game many years. I know you're not going to say you've seen many things happen, but how does it feel being one win away from the ultimate prize which you've always wanted?

RON WASHINGTON: Well, right now, there's two games left to be played, and our attitude is when we get the field again on Wednesday, we're just going to go out there and try to play the best game we can Wednesday. We can't be thinking about we've got to win this game, because all of a sudden we might miss something. We want to stay in the moment, we want to play our game, and if it's good enough Wednesday, we'll win. If not, we'll play Thursday. But we certainly won't be out there thinking about we've just got to win one game. I've been there before, and that doesn't work.

Q. In the seventh you made it clear it was Ogando's inning. I'm just curious what you saw from him tonight relative to his first three times in this series.

RON WASHINGTON: He fought. He fought. He was out there battling. You've got to give credit to the St. Louis Cardinals' hitters. They're pretty good hitters, and they made him work, but he didn't give in. He was out there battling, and that's what we do, and we battle nine innings and he was a part of it, and he got the job done. He got the job done.