October Confidential: Cardinals

Rival players offer inside look at facing the NL Central champions

October Confidential: Cardinals

How do you beat the Cardinals? MLB.com asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the National League Central champs.

Michael Wacha
"He's different because he pitches over the top, so it's kind of an awkward delivery. At the same time, he has learned how to pace himself during the game. When he needs to pick it up, he does. I think having Yadier Molina behind the plate has really helped with his confidence level. He's already special, but I think he can be much better still. Against Wacha, we need to wait for him to make a mistake and try to capitalize."
-- NL Central catcher

Jaime Garcia
"He pounds the zone. He's always down in the zone. When he was younger, he was a little bit more vulnerable early in the game and elevating some pitches. The last handful of times we've seen him, it seems like he's down in the zone and then below the zone with a hard breaking ball and a really good changeup. He's got a good, athletic approach."
-- NL Central manager

Game Date Results
Gm 1 Oct. 9 STL 4, CHC 0
Gm 2 Oct. 10 CHC 6, STL 3
Gm 3 Oct. 12 CHC 8, STL 6
Gm 4 Oct. 13 CHC 6, STL 4

Trevor Rosenthal
"When he first came up he didn't have the arsenal of pitches he has now. Now, he has a fastball, a curveball and a really good changeup. It makes him extremely difficult to hit against."
-- NL Central catcher

Kevin Siegrist
"It's tough for me to pick the ball up from his hand. For a right-handed hitter like me, he turns his body to the hitter. When he crosses over to throw the ball, you don't see the ball and then you see it at home plate at the last second."
-- NL Central hitter

Matt Carpenter
"I would say he is extremely patient. He doesn't really get himself out outside of the strike zone very often. He's a dangerous guy. He's got 20-plus homers this year. He's consistent. I think that as a fan of baseball, you really appreciate that. You appreciate a guy that goes out every single day and you know what you're going to get. He's consistent, dangerous and definitely a guy as a catcher from a defensive standpoint, you game plan around. He's one of the guys that you try as hard as you can to not beat you."
-- NL Central catcher

Jason Heyward
"Veteran guys like Heyward, they're tough. They know themselves better than anyone and what they do well. They take advantage of the mistakes that are made. They don't miss many pitches, especially up in the zone or mistakes. It makes it tough."
-- NL Central catcher

Yadier Molina
"He kind of always knows what he wants to do. He works the opposite side of the field well. At the same time, he'll pick his spots and if you run one down, he's really good at pulling a ball down the line. He's not a guy that's trying to demolish every ball. He'll take what you give him, especially in RBI situations, which is pretty smart to do. A lot of guys try to do too much. He's a tough guy to strike out. He knows the strike zone pretty well."
-- NL Central pitcher
[Editor's note: Molina's postseason status is in question because of a left thumb injury.]

Jhonny Peralta
"You're always trying to mix it up and not be predictable with him. We just make sure to execute our game plan because he can really change the game with one swing. He's very dangerous, and you don't want to get beat by him."
-- NL Central catcher