Oct. 22 Mike Matheny pregame interview

Q.  Matt, is everything okay with him, is he good to go?

MIKE MATHENY:  He's good to go, but he's stilling going to go through batting practice. Probably do more in the cage than on the field. But they've been working on him nonstop. He feels much better and we're confident that he's not just going to be out there, but be able to be productive.

Q.  Tough to keep Matt Carpenter out of the lineup considering his history against Cain. Did you consider putting him in at all?

MIKE MATHENY:  A lot of places you can put him in the lineup. We've done this all season. He's been a great fill for whatever we need. But you started looking at him playing in the outfield in the corners and you've got Matt Holliday and Carlos Beltran, and Allen Craig and David Freese on the corners in the infield. Those are guys that have all been valuable parts of our lineup.

We don't deny what Matt's been able to do against Cain, but if anything does happen with any of our guys along the way, we've got a good option.

Q.  This organization has had two batting coaches for a few years now, and it seems that's a practice that's sort of catching on around the League. But at the same time there are differing philosophies about it. Why do you think it works here?

MIKE MATHENY:  Tony LaRussa was one that implemented that here and I think it's invaluable. There's so much work to be done, these hitters really start showing up five, six hours before the game starting to do their work. And it's usually too much for one coach to handle on his own. Plus you have the availability of a second set of eyes.

For us, John Mabry has done a terrific job being the right‑hand man to Mark McGwire, they work so well together. The guys will go to each of them. Everybody is usually on the same page, sometimes a little differently. But I know it's made a big difference with our club this year.

Q.  What do you see from Allen Craig right now? If you could describe sort of what he's done this season to earn that cleanup spot and the challenge it is for a young player like that who last year had a big postseason but now has a real prominent role in the middle of your lineup?

MIKE MATHENY:  Allen Craig, you can statistically back this by the fact that this guy has been able to drive in runs and get big hits on a pace that not too many other people can keep. So you can't deny that. And he has been a clutch hitter. He's been a guy who seems to put together better at‑bats when there's guys in scoring position.

So with that being said, he's found a nice home there batting cleanup. Right now he's getting pitched very well. He's getting pitched tough. He's starting to go outside of his zone, which to me he's done as good a job through a long season as anybody on our club of having a very mature approach at the plate and sticking with his strengths.

Right now when you have guys with good stuff making good pitches you fight, and he's fighting. And sometimes you start making minor adjustments when you don't need to. So I know that he's got a real good feel of his swing. He's got a real good feel of his strengths, we just need to get him back there. And then he'll start making somebody pay when they do make mistakes.

Q.  In the past when Allen has been searching a little bit, rare that it was, and Carlos has been going, you flipped those two guys. Whether that's to get Allen in front of Matt Holliday or Beltran in a run‑producing role. Have you thought about that, toying with the middle of the lineup as this series goes on?

MIKE MATHENY:  Yeah, I think about 20 different lineups every night. But I keep coming back to what's been working for us. And there's a reason. And there was a reason that we were able to make the push that we did and it was people really finding their spot. It took us a lot longer than it took quite a few other teams to really find that formula in our lineup.

But Allen does a real nice job in that cleanup spot. Carlos could, as well. But Carlos also brings us something there in that second spot. And he's had some production from that spot all season long, for whatever reason.

It's just a matter of looking over the big picture and seeing what gives us the best chance. Today is not the time to start rewriting anything.

Q.  Obviously this is an enormous game for everyone. Do you sense that it's something even more for Beltran, given that he's been on the brink a couple of times getting to the World Series in Game 7 and hasn't been able to push it over the top?

MIKE MATHENY:  Do I sense that? No. This is one laid‑back guy. Sometimes you've got to look out there to see if he's awake. And then the next thing you know he just silently makes a very nice play or does something big at the plate. Not that the effort is not there. That's just how he is. That's his makeup.

Now, I know without question he's excited about this opportunity. He made a statement after we won Game 5 in Washington about how much it means for him to get to the World Series. So he's said that, but as far as how he shows up, today he looked like the same guy and so does everybody else who walked through the doors. And I think that's part of the magic of this club. They just show up the same every day. Carlos is no different. He knows that that sets him up, sets himself up for a more likelihood of success.

Q.  Is there anything on Holliday's stats, or is he written in pen or pencil now in the lineup? Do you have to see him more in BP?

MIKE MATHENY: No, it's etched in there. If something happened we'd change it. But I talked to him most of the day and going back and forth and feel completely comfortable that he's going to be in there and do something to help us win. Now, if we did need to make an adjustment we all know that Matt Carpenter is there and ready to go, but right now everything is pointing towards Matt Holliday is ready.

Q.  Wainwright has been the guy most specifically asked about. But as far as your starters, who's available, who's not, if you need somebody in relief tonight?

MIKE MATHENY:  Yeah, Wainwright would be available and so would Lance Lynn. The two of them would definitely be ready to go. It's all hands on deck right now.