HOUSTON -- Manager Mike Matheny has stressed a one-day-at-a-time approach with his club since the start of the year, and he has no intention of veering away from that as the final week of the season approaches.
While other clubs have already discussed postseason pitching rotations and roster decisions, the Cardinals intend to remain free of speculation until they know, for sure, that they have advanced.
"I know my predecessor talked a lot about the edge, having that edge, and not doing anything to compromise one that you might have," Matheny said, referring to Tony La Russa. "An edge we have right now is that we're playing well. To start getting our minds somewhere else besides what has been effective for us -- and what has been effective for us is bland and boring and no fun to write about -- but it works for us. And it works for me."
On Wednesday alone, Matheny steered away from questions about how (or even if) there would be a champagne celebration should the team win a Wild Card, as well as how a playoff berth would cap his rookie season at the helm.
He also would not confirm that Kyle Lohse would start the winner-take-all Wild Card game, even though the rotation currently lines up that way. Even without confirmation, it is hard to envision anyone on the staff earning that start over Lohse, who has been the club's most consistent pitcher this year.
Lohse said he has not been told about a potential Wild Card assignment. The Braves have already announced that Kris Medlen will be their pitcher in that game, assuming Atlanta does not catch the Nationals in the NL East.
"I'm not going to make any apologies for us, right now. We can't get too far focused," Matheny said. "We've got today. I've been saying it all season, but I believe it's more relevant now than ever before that we have to focus on today. That stuff, you guys know well enough by now, that we don't just come up with something on the last minute.
"We've done some preparation [with the rotation order]. But any talk of stuff beyond today, to me, is taking us in the opposite direction of where we need to go."