MIKE MATHENY: Well, I think that's been something we've been trying to accomplish since the beginning of the season, but you go through periods where it's just not working and you've got to adjust, and mostly around the second base position and you toy around with a couple other things until Jon Jay established himself in that lead off spot, and we lose our shortstop, which creates more options and opportunities for other people.
Ask then obviously we've talked a lot about Kozma coming in and taking over that shortstop role. We did need someone to step up in each of those positions in the middle. The other spots were pretty consistent. But it was one of those things that if it wouldn't have happened, we would have wanted to put other players in there.
The negative to it is we have not been able to keep some of our bench players as sharp as I would like to but it was a push down to the end and we had to do what we had to do to get a chance to play that one game in that wild card playoff.
Q. With one left, how difficult is it to pick a spot?
MIKE MATHENY: Traditionally with how you set up a bullpen it would be pretty difficult to find that one spot. We have been pretty consistent in our formula with seven, eight, nine, sticking with our three guys.
And that's something that we'll most likely continue to do. We'll have the one lefty to pick a spot, whether to get one of those three out of trouble, or if need be, before that. But for the most part, I think teams usually prefer to have those lefties where they can use them in that last third of the game. But our three guys on the back side have been so consistent with lefties and righties that we really don't bring them out just for a match up.
Q. How much does your confidence in Carpenter, Matt Carpenter, allow you to switch out Freese in the game like that in those circumstances?
MIKE MATHENY: I think Matt Carpenter has really done a great job of establishing himself as a legitimate big league player, and he's done a nice job defensively for us when we had guys hurting at third which gives us the flexibility to make some defensive moves late in the game like we did in Atlanta. But we also know he's going to give us a tough at bat, and he'll give us a tough at bat against a lefty or righty, and he's just been very consistent for us throughout this season and has really been our most versatile guy off the bench.
Q. There was a lot of names at the trade deadline thrown around about relievers. Can you talk about why you decided on Mujica and what about him impressed you and now that he's here, how he helped solidify the back end of that bullpen, as well.
MIKE MATHENY: I just think the experience he's had, the success he's had, we just looked at his stuff and his makeup, and he's been effective against lefties as he has against righties with his split.
I think all those go into play, and he was the best option available for us. It was pretty impressive move by John Mozeliak to make that happen, which it didn't catch a lot of national attention, as it wasn't a blockbuster move. But for our team, it was a blockbuster move because it helped solidify one of the biggest voids we had.
He's just been a great addition to our club. Also having a guy with a little more time under his belt out in that bullpen has certainly helped.
Q. When you played Washington last week, you had a conversation about Yadi wanting to show them what kind of team you were; does that carry more weight now playing them again psychologically?
MIKE MATHENY: That was a big conversation he had with our team to remind them that when we went to Washington, we didn't play very good baseball. It was just sloppy. We looked dead. Really one of the few times this season we didn't look to have the energy level that we normally have.
So I think it was a great reminder, and it came from the right voice; a leader, very strong leader in that clubhouse of ours with Yadi.
So he made a strong statement and the guys responded, and that seems to be pretty consistent with him. When he does say something, which isn't often, when he does, people stop and they listen to him.