Oct. 13 Miguel Montero pregame interview

Q. You've caught Jason Hammel all year. What have you noticed as far as the difference between him in the first half versus the second half and how he's throwing lately?

MIGUEL MONTERO: Well, obviously in the second half, he kind of started elevating the fastball a little bit more. Obviously you don't want him to do that. He's a fastball, breaking ball guy. I don't know if he got a little fatigue or what, but his fastball command really wasn't there, so we tried -- I tried to call many different ways to see if we could get him back on track. But at the end of the day, you have to make pitches.

Obviously he had a couple rough starts where he came out early, obviously kind of got a little frustrated, and I guess he carried over. What I seen -- what it looks to me is like he was trying to do a little bit too much after that, trying to go out there and not even give up a hit. You know, he was trying too hard to be so perfect, and that's when it became a problem.

You know, we had a lot of talks, and I said, you know what, just chill, make your pitches and don't worry about whatever happens, just keep going out there and keep competing, and the rest will take care of itself.

Q. I know the catchers all have their own fraternity. Can you talk about what Yadi Molina means to the Cardinals?

MIGUEL MONTERO: I think it's all the heart for that team. I feel really bad because I know what kind of injury he's dealing with. I went through the same stuff. Obviously I had a little bit more time to recover than him. But he's a gamer. You know what, I really tip my hat to him because he's trying to come back. He's trying to play through the pain. Even though he says that it's not painful, it's just like with this, I doubt that because it's really painful. It's not what they want to happen, not having him in the lineup, but it is what it is. Hopefully he gets better. I really wish him the best because to be honest, I want him to be back there. I want to beat the best. He's the best catcher in the game.

Q. You're the guy that gets credit for coming up with the #wearegood hashtag. How did you know this team was that good? You've won 100 games this year.

MIGUEL MONTERO: I want to make a painting of that. I need to start coming up with my own jerseys.

No, the fans here, they're very supportive, and I remember we lost a couple of games in a row, so you know, you start reading your Twitters from the fans, and they're like, oh, here it comes again. I just want to send a message to our team pretty much. I want to let them know what I feel about our team and what I believe about every single guy in our clubhouse, then if we don't believe that we are good or not, we're not going to have a chance. So we have to believe it to actually accomplish the goal.

I came up with that. I never thought it was going to actually have the hit that it has, and you know, guys started believing. Even the fans believe it, and right now, I mean, I guess it's a pretty good business now.

Q. Last game against Lackey, he had a couple extra inches on the inside and outside of the plate. Your team is known for seeing the most pitches in baseball. How tough will it be for you guys to be able to do your thing if he's still getting that tonight?

MIGUEL MONTERO: Well, you know what, he's good enough pitcher, smart enough that if he gets pitches a little bit off, he's going to keep throwing it in there, you know, and he's got good command. He has enough command to actually keep throwing it. But you know, as players, we can't just fall into that. Like oh, that wasn't a strike. I mean, you know right out of the gate if the strike zone is a little bit bigger or smaller. So if you know it's a little bigger, just get ready to hit. That's it. You can't just complain about it. You've just got to move on, deal with it, and keep fighting. That's the only way to actually succeed in this game.

Q. Miguel, what's it like having Manny Ramirez around and what does he do for some of the players on this team?

MIGUEL MONTERO: He's awesome. Especially for the young Latin guys, he's been amazing, Soler, Castro, Baez, he's been great. Not only about hitting, just about different scenarios in the game, off the field, how to approach when you're not playing or when you're playing. He's been big, man. I mean, like his positive attitude is amazing, and it's contagious. Even though he's 41, 42, he's -- I never seen anybody work as hard as he does. As soon as I get to the field, he was like, hey, did you want to go and throw some net balls? I'm like, Manny, let me take a break, man, let me get dressed, because he wants to work all the time. I'm like, wow, were you like that when you played? He's like, yeah, I mean, like it was nonstop working guy, so that's why he had the success that he had in his career, and he's a fun guy to have around in all aspects.

Q. You worked with Trevor Cahill in Arizona. He had mixed results here. He's been great here as a reliever. What's different about him as a reliever and what does he do better now than he did in the end with the Diamondbacks?

MIGUEL MONTERO: Well, I had Cahill when he was good, the first year we traded for him, and when he was really bad. I always was a believer, and he's had probably the best stuff in the game. A lot of people didn't believe me, and you know what, that's okay because I caught the guy and I caught a lot of pitchers, and his stuff, he's just tough to catch. He goes everywhere.

But what happened, he was probably -- mentally-wise, he lost it a little bit, and he probably didn't have anybody helping him, behind him, and then he came here, and as soon as he came here, I sat down with him and I said, you know what, I heard you were changing your delivery in Arizona in Spring Training, I heard they changed your arm angle and whatnot, blah blah blah. I want you to be you. Just go out there and throw the ball. Just be you and don't worry about the rest. I mean, he's been impressive, man. He's probably been as good as I ever seen him.

Bottom line right here, he's throwing a lot of strikes. In Arizona he was really wild. He was spiking fastballs, he was probably getting ahead really quick on the hitters, and then he just ended up walking them. Right now he's been doing a great job for us, knock on wood. He was a pretty good acquisition by the organization in late August. I was really happy when we signed him. I actually remember texting somebody in the front office saying, hey, that was a great sign. Sure enough, he's been looking, and like I say, knock on wood again, hopefully he stays good.

Q. Molina was given a lot of credit in Game 1 for Lackey's performance, and probably deservedly so, but how much of that is overstated, or is that accurate? I mean, it's Lackey who made the pitches but much is made of the way he frames and receives?

MIGUEL MONTERO: Yeah, what I have seen so far from Lackey is he's not really on the same page with Yadi, to be honest. I've seen him take him off a lot, and when Yadi catch, and anybody else on the team pitch, I never see a no from them. Always they go, okay, okay, Yadi put the sign down and they're like, yes, yes, and when Lackey pitch, I see a lot of nos. That's probably why you give credit to Lackey. But you know what, Lackey is an experienced guy. He's been around for a long time. He knows what he's doing on the mound, as well, and for Yadi, you know, sometimes we -- Yadi seems like he doesn't have an ego, and he says, you know what, you're going to throw whatever I want? No. He's fine with him, and that's why he has a 2.70 ERA in the regular season. Lackey has been pitching great games and Yadi has been catching a lot of great games, a lot of World Series, so I mean, it can go either way, however you want to look at it. They're two good players out there, and I think both should deserve the credit, I guess.

Q. Can you talk about how important it is to maintain that killer mentality and finish with this series tonight and avoid a trip back to St. Louis?

MIGUEL MONTERO: I mean, it's huge. I mean, obviously every game is must-win. I don't believe like, okay, we should lay back a little bit because we are up in the series 2-1, no. Every game is a must-win game. If we can finish them today, it would be great, and I think that's the goal. But if we can't, well, you know what, it's what it is and we've got to go back out there and play the game again. Everybody is pretty excited about it. Like I say, I don't want to take anything for granted. We've just got to go out there, we've got to compete against Lackey again, he's been pitching pretty well against us for the whole year so far so let's see what happens.