Oct. 5 Fredi Gonzalez pregame interview

Q. With the couple of rosters decisions, Moylan and Ron Francisco.  Can you explain the decisions behind those guys?

FREDI GONZALEZ:  Well, we went Hinske instead of Francisco.  This is a reminder, it's just a one game roster thing.  We continue on, and we can manipulate the roster anyway we want to.

With Hinske being little experience in that spot, and having McCain on the bench with the left-handed bat kind of gave us that option of carrying Eric instead of Francisco.  Carrying Medlen, and then two starting pitchers with Huddy and Minor, we felt like we had enough innings covered, knock on wood, in the back end of the game, that is if this game gets crazy and we have to end up going 17, 18 innings whatever, those two guys could cover that area for us.

We didn't carry Martinez.  Martinez during the course of the year was our long guy, but I don't think he's pitched more than three innings, four innings the whole year.  And Huddy and Minor can give you nine each if it gets to that point.

Q.  You've talked about the difference in your approach to this last month as opposed to a year ago.  How does that maybe prepare you for the postseason and prepare the guys for how you're going to operate in the postseason?

FREDI GONZALEZ:  I don't know.  I don't know how much preparation the way I manage September for a one game playoff.  I still think if Medlen goes out there and give it's a good outing like he has been, I think we have a really good chance to win the ballgame.  But, you know, it's Game 7.  I'm looking at it as Game 7.  I'm looking at it we've played three games against each other, and now it's Game 7.  It's going to be fun.

I will tell you this, I'm a lot better now than I was at 9:00 this morning walking around the house.  I was going crazy.  But once you get here to the ballpark, you feel good.  You see the guys, and you're ready to go.

Q.  You mentioned Martinez and Moylan.  Are they allowed to be in uniform and in the dugout?

FREDI GONZALEZ:  Yes, everybody's allowed.  The only people we sent home -- well, we didn't send anybody home.  JC went home.  He said he wanted to go see the kids.  Delgado, and Teheran are going to go pitch winter ball on the 14th of October, so we sent them home.  Hey, get home.  They're going to go to the Dominican to play, and Moylan's here.  Everybody else is here.  Everybody else is here that was on the roster.  I think they can be in the dugout.

Matt Diaz is coming back from his thing with the thumb.  He asked if he could be in the dugout, so I said yes.  We want all the guys that were part of this during the course of the season to be around.  We want all the guys that were part of this during the course of the season to be around.  I don't know if you keep going forward f the league tells you can't have those guys in the dugout.  I'm not sure about that.  But as far as right now they're in the dugout or in the bullpen.

Q.  What is your take on the Cardinals offense and the challenges they present so far?

FREDI GONZALEZ:  Second in the league in hitting.  They do a lot of stuff.  They put people in motion.  They've got a lot of good hitters.  They've got to kind of navigate through that lineup like Medlen has been during the course of the year with everybody.  And they're not too shabby starting pitching either.

Lohse is going to give us some headaches.  He's pretty good.  16 wins this year, so who knows?  Who knows this game?  You kind of prepare your game plan one way, and it could turn completely different.  But it's a good ballclub, fundamentally sound.  I think Mike's done a terrific job.

Q.  When you look around right now at some of the traditional play calling, there is upheaval going on in Boston and in Miami, do you go just let's keep playing baseball right now?  Are you happy where you are and ready to move this thing forward?

FREDI GONZALEZ:  Absolutely.  I think it comes from the top.  It comes from Terry McGuirk, and Schuerholz and Frank Wren, and great leadership and stability that you can sit back after the terrible September we had last year and still make good evaluations.

Yeah, you feel pretty good that you're in a good situation.  You've still got to win ballgames and win playoff games and it ends up on the facade up there, and it's a good organization to work for.  It sure is.

Q.  Davey Johnson had an interesting quote a few weeks ago in SI when asked about comparing the Strasburg saying it is a crock what they're doing, and then they're trying to act like they're geniuses.  For the sake of history here, because how much having Medlen here now in this position is the preparation and planning, and how much is luck?

FREDI GONZALEZ:  Planning.  It was all planning.  It was a situation in spring training, and planning and having the right guy in Medlen.  A guy that had been in the bullpen.  I remember sitting after the first week in spring training, the first week of games and Medlen's going out there, because he was starting and he's giving us three shutout innings, and next time out given four shutout innings.

Raising the question why are we not thinking this guy could be a starter?  And the answer was he's got a certain amount of innings, and where do you want those innings to end?  These conversations happened in March in spring training.  Again, I think the biggest thing was that Medlen has pitched out of the bullpen, so he could do that in our situation.  I just talk about Medlen.  I don't want to talk about Strasburg because I wasn't in those meetings.

We felt we were healthy coming out of the spring training in the rotation, fairly healthy.  We knew Huddy was coming back in the end of April with his back.  But it was all planning.  It really was.

I remember sitting with Roger having dinner or something, I hadn't seen Medlen pitch out of the rotation very much when I was with Florida.  He goes, Fredi, when he gets in the rotation, he'll never come out.  This guy does a lot of good stuff at starting pitching.  Here he is, I don't know, 13 starts, 14 starts later and he's been terrific.

So it was planning, it really was.  Whether Davey wants to believe that or not, that's his prerogative.

Q.  Kris did go down to Gwinnett to be stretched out and because of changes in your needs at the Major League level he came back as a reliever.  Was there a point where he would have been shut down because of innings?  When you talked about it in March, was there a comment on how many innings you wanted Kris to have?

FREDI GONZALEZ:  Yeah, absolutely.  And those innings were the same magic innings, whatever that is.  You look at Kris's minor league numbers as a starter, and he's never pitched more than 120, so there's a -- I'm going to sound ridiculous here -- there is a percentage of the next year coming off a Tommy John, how much he could pitch.

There is a formula out there.  And the innings were 160, right around there what Frank was talking about, if I remember correctly, back in March, and there is a formula you follow.  So, yeah, those are the conversations we had.

Medlen went down for a little bit, and there was no need.  Minor started pitching well, Tommy came back, Huddy is back.  We're rolling pretty good.  So he went down and I think it was three starts he pitched down in Gwinnett trying to get stretched out.  He came back, and we didn't need him at that point to start.

I remember the game in Florida when we used him out of the bullpen for three innings.  Tommy goes out and struggles with his back.  He goes five innings.  Med comes in and pitches three.  Then we had to put Tommy in the rotation.

I mean, we've put Tommy on the D.L. and put Medlen in the rotation.  But, yeah, that was the magic innings, 160 or whatever the formula is from the year before is what we were looking at.

Q.  Do you take anything out of the start Lohse made against you guys in late May?  It was a while ago, and he said he made a lot of changes.

FREDI GONZALEZ:  No, we've seen some films.  We've got all kinds of reports.  For me, it's a new season.  It's a season where you don't know who is going to be the hero, who is going to come up and step up and have a terrific postseason.  It may not be the guy that we think.  It may not be Chipper.  It may not be Heyward.  It may be Pastornicky that comes up with the bases loaded, pinch hit, and drive the ball in the gap and we win the ballgame.  That's what makes the postseason fun.

Q.  Not that you need any added incentive in this do or die situation, but does it mean more because of what happened at the end of the season last year between the Cardinals and Braves?

FREDI GONZALEZ:  You know, I think it's always fun the Cardinals took advantage of our situation, and they catapult us and went on and won the World Series.  Tip your hat to the Cardinals and their organization.

I don't think that's an incentive.  I think our incentive was to come out this year and prove that we had a good ballclub, and we did that.  94 wins is not shabby.  Now it's just playing baseball, playing good, fundamental baseball.  Pitching, catching the ball, driving in runs when you get an opportunity, and believe me, whoever showed up today to play against us is incentive enough to try to win a game.  It could have been the Cardinals, the Dodgers, it could have been Milwaukee.  That doesn't make a difference.

Q.  Not to belabor the Medlen thing, but he's pitching today and all that, and become the focus.  The only thing would the luck part be that you go in and you have five starters and you have Hudson coming back in a month.  So if five of those six guys stays healthy and they're all pitching well, I guess the luck would be that you did get a chance to put Medlen in, because if no opening had come up, would you have seen Medlen?

FREDI GONZALEZ:  Probably not.  Probably not.  We set him out to get stretched out, and he comes back, and I think he pitched another month out of the bullpen or three weeks out of the bullpen.  We were rolling pretty good.  I believe our bullpen is in as good of shape as it is now because of him, April, May, June, he was able to bridge the gap with those three other guys in the bullpen.

Those guys I think barely got 70 appearances.  So he's helped us not only early on, but also the way he started.

Q.  You mentioned Lohse and the video that you've seen.  He indicated yesterday that he was (Indiscernible) have you noticed on video the adjustments he says he's made?

FREDI GONZALEZ:  I think that's up for us and our hitters.  I don't want to answer that.  Yeah, there is so much information and videos and stuff like that.  Believe me, we've got a lot of information.  I've seen guys that tip every pitch and can't hit it.  You can tell guys what's coming, and if they locate it, you're not going to hit them.  But we've got all kinds of information, and guess what, that goes out the window as soon as you go strike one on somebody.

Q.  You said it was a little miserable the last 24 hours of just waiting.  Can you describe what it's been like to get to this point for you?

FREDI GONZALEZ:  How about ricochet rabbit?  Is that a pretty good picture?  My wife kicked me out of the house this morning.  She said, you need to go.  Because you get up and your mind is racing and, again, once you pull in here, you see the guys, get the uniform on, you're a lot better.  You're around the people.  You're around the guys.