Oct. 3 Mike Matheny postgame interview

Oct. 3 Mike Matheny postgame interview

Q. Third inning for your guys kind of typified the best of this club's offense, didn't it?

MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, we've had some big innings this season, most teams have. But it seems like we've had some of those that just kind of keep going. Nobody wants to make the last out. You've got to remember, that got started with a walk by our pitcher and a couple big walks in the middle. Guys stayed locked into what they were looking for. They stayed in their zone. And having a couple big blasts like what Carlos did and big hit by Dave, those are big.

The bigger part about that for us, even, is once we do get that is having a shutdown inning right behind it. Waino coming out there in the fourth, tough at-bat by Marte, and he keeps pounding it and ended up getting us a shutdown inning and right back in there for our offense.

Q. How would you describe Waino? Was he for you dominant or any shade thereof? Because he obviously had command of the game before and didn't seem to lose focus after the beginning either.

MIKE MATHENY: I thought he was very good. He had his good stuff going right from the beginning. Breaking ball was sharp. Controlled the counts. He had everything really working from the top. When he does that, he's going to make for a long day for most people. He kept his focus on a long inning. Never know exactly how that's going to treat a guy, especially when he's been up to bat and on base and running.

But he stayed with his game plan, and actually started to deviate a little bit later and mix it up a little bit, which he has the ability to do.

Q. It seems typically when a team makes an extended run into the postseason, they do have a dominant or a signature starting pitcher. I know you think several of your guys can be that guy. But to have him do that on today where Game 1 in the best of five means so much, can you at least talk about his presence within the staff and what he's done for you?

MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, we make no mistake about it, he's our ace. He's the guy that sets the tone and gives the example of how this goes. We say it a lot about the veteran guys that we have, and even having Chris Carpenter on the bench and his presence.

But what Adam does going out there, what he does in Game 1 right there, and then how he continues to go about it and showing the young guys how to go and that they just stick with their game plan they've done all season long. He wasn't trying to do anything. He wasn't trying to be any different than he's been all season, and it's been an impressive run for him.

Q. I know it goes without saying, but can you speak to the importance of getting Game 1 in a best of five series and keeping home-field advantage as well?

MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, it's a big deal. With the crowd into it, had a great crowd. They were watching and they were paying attention and hoping something big would happen in the third. That got pretty exciting for them.

I know it's going to be an advantage for just about anybody in their home park right now. We heard a couple days ago, the life that was in Pittsburgh, and we know it's going to be that kind of intense situation when we get there. So to be able to get out on a good first step and play well today, I think is big for our guys confidence wise, and also gives us an opportunity to just take some momentum, and momentum is big right now when you talk about a five-game series.

But before we even talk about that, you know, we'll take care of today and enjoy this one for a few more minutes. We've got an early start tomorrow.

Q. Carlos talked about how in the postseason the key for him is raising the concentration. He talks about how he's able to control his emotions and really able to change the concentration level. Is there anything you can see from the dugout or just watching him that is kind of as he morphs into postseason mode versus regular season?

MIKE MATHENY: You know, no. He looks like the same guy to me the way he goes about it. I think what he's been able to do and what some of our other guys who have had success in the postseason are able to do, they're able to limit the distractions. There are more opportunities for distractions this time of year. Carlos has been one of the guys that just stays the same and stays the course. You can't help but feed off the energy too.

As much as we say we are going about it the same way, which we are, we prepare the same, but when you get out there and you've got 43,000 people, you can't help but get caught up in it.

I think he's just a big-game player like quite a few other guys are on our team.

Q. You sort of mentioned with it, Carlos can focus, but I mean, just looking at the game tonight, sort of your team looked composed and calm in a way that comes from being here before and sort of that consistent approach. Is that sort of fair?

MIKE MATHENY: Not saying that they didn't. I mean, I think the guys have completely committed to let's play the game. Let's do what we've been doing. Once again, you do get extra excited when you see the fans into it like they are.

But as far as everything else goes, as far as preparation and then going out and getting ready to play the game, we really want them to buy into it. It's another game to do it the exact same way we've been doing it for 161 games.

I think they did a nice job of that. It was no different, the same terrible music playing before the game, the same guys running around doing all of the things that they've done all season long. They're not trying to really feel like they've got to kick it up another level. They're just going to go out and play.

Q. Does that come from having done it so many times?

MIKE MATHENY: I think there is something to that. We never undervalue experience. We've got a lot of experience in there. Not just postseason experience, but success in the postseason, and that's why we're real quick to make sure that the young players are spending a lot of time listening to the veterans about how they prepare, what they do.

But it comes back to a pretty simple approach. They're going to do what they know is best and what they've been doing all season long.

Q. What's the benefit of Kolten Wong got his first at-bat, Carlos Martinez came in and pitched, Rosenthal in the ninth in a playoff situation, how much benefit for some of these guys getting that first taste out of the way?

MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, that's big. I would have liked to see a couple guys in there too, but obviously we weren't in a big hurry to get Adam out of the game. We have some young guys that are anxious to do their part, but their time will come.

Q. I know that Carlos is a quiet guy. Doesn't say a whole lot. Do you think that maybe masks his intensity a little that maybe people don't realize how intense a player he is?

MIKE MATHENY: I think he's quiet to you guys. But there are days we have to change our meetings because he's in holding class and we can't stop him. He gets going and he's starting to teach some of the young players and 45 minutes later, they're still sitting there.

He's a teacher. I mean, he loves the game. He's passionate about it. He's passionate about teaching his teammates some of the things that he's learned. He's been an incredible, incredible asset to this club, especially helping our young players develop.

Q. What about David Freese? He didn't play much in the final series against the Cubs. But he came in today and he just continued what he does in October of being the hot hitter?

MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, those last two days, trying to give David some rest. That's it. Five days might have seemed like a lot, but today it looked like that was about right. So he physically feels good, and we knew his swing was in a good spot too. We didn't really want him to change anything, and he came out today and proved once again he's the kind of guy that loves these situations and somehow figures out a way to get it done.