But, in general, we put a plan together for him, try to stick with it, and get ourselves good pitches to hit. Try to square him up and keep it the same thing we've been doing all year long. So nothing really changes other than we want to have better results these next couple of days.
Q. Any update on Hanley Ramirez, the CT scan? Any better idea of whether or not he'll be able to play the remainder of the series?
DON MATTINGLY: I don't have a he had the scan this morning or this afternoon and actually Hanley is back and I was talking to him. They haven't gotten results back from the guy that reads it or whatever, the radiologist, so that's the one thing we don't have. So it's hard for me to be definitive whether he's going to be able to play tomorrow or not.
Q. In your opinion, what makes Adam Wainwright so effective? And why is he so good, and does he remind you of anybody from when you used to play?
DON MATTINGLY: I think he's got a number of pitches. He locates, changes speeds. I think any of the high quality guys out there are basically able to get the ball to different sides of the plate, be able to get to it with the change of speeds. It just makes it tough. So I think it's where he fits in. Obviously, competitivewise, he seems like a guy that loves baseball. He's pitching some big games. He seems like he's always coming up big, so all of the sides when you get the top quality guys, the guys that are competitive, they're tough. They've got a number of weapons and they change speeds on you on both sides of the plate. They just end up being a handful.
Those guys don't make a lot of mistakes, so you've got to be willing to when you get a mistake, you have to be able to capitalize.
Q. How do you talk to your team after these last two games? Because obviously the pitching has been magnificent. How do you explain to them that this is just baseball? I know they're all pros and everything, but how do you keep their heads up?
DON MATTINGLY: I don't think there is a whole lot to talk about with these guys. We've been through this before where we've had a couple of games where we don't score. We give the Cardinals some credit too. They've got pretty good pitching. Ours has been pretty good the same. I don't know if they're talking to their guys, because we're basically doing the same thing to them that they've done to us. To me, I look at it that we're a couple of hits away from being up 2 0. We get a key hit in both of those games and we're up 2 0 here. We've basically got to win one game.
Our guys know where we're at. It's a matter of getting that key hit. We've talked about it. We could go into lots of things, but it always comes back to, can you get that key out and can you get the key hit?
Q. Are you going to change Hyun Jin Ryu on the mound if the same thing happens like Division Series Game 3?
DON MATTINGLY: Same thing that happened as happened last time out, yeah, we'd change. We'd change fast. We're not in a situation now where we're going to just let him keep going. We expect him to pitch well.
But, again, each game is going to be different. Really at this point we can't sit here and be patient and say oh, we'll get together later.
Q. Of course Hanley's going to say he can play probably regardless of anything. But when you talk to him, what is your gut sense and what is he saying and how are you really in interpreting that?
DON MATTINGLY: Well, there is a difference in being if this thing comes back and it's something that he just can't play, there are certain things that you're not going to be able to play. So no matter how much Hanley wants to play, there are certain things you're not going to be able to play with. You've got to be able to swing the bat.
So if he can't do that, then him wanting to do it so, I think, once we get the scan back and once we get that back, you kind of know what you're dealing with. Just coming from my standpoint as a player, if you're at a point where you know you can't really do a lot more damage or if you can do damage, it's a different story than if you can't do damage, because then it's a matter of, can you play? It's probably going to be a pain thing and the whole thing. We're just going to have to wait and see with him.
But I know Hanley wants to play. Like you said, he keeps continuing to tell me that he's going to play, and that can only go so far though. He's got to be able to play.
Q. Is there any update with Andre Ethier? Is it just a matter with him of how he feels tomorrow before the game?
DON MATTINGLY: Again, Andre was back there. I've seen him also. He says he feels better, but it is exactly what you say. We'll just kind of see how this thing goes and if he's going to be able to go tomorrow also. He's going to be day to day. Probably closer to not necessarily a game time decision, but we probably won't make the decision until we get here tomorrow of what he's going to be able to do.
Q. The Cardinals pitching staff did a great job, but the offense didn't do much, especially Yasiel Puig struggled in Game 2. Do you think he feels extra pressure on his shoulder and he tried to do too much? Or do you feel a difference in his approach to an at bat?
DON MATTINGLY: I'm sure he feels pressure because Yasiel is always a guy that's going forward and wanting to do something at all times. I think what we talked about and what Yadier and their pitching staff said we'll do with him. It's kind of Yo yoing and keeping him in that rocking chair where it's back and forth and got him guessing a little bit. I think we've seen him be fairly patient. He's gotten himself into some very good counts, but then he seems to chase and it's only gone so far.
They've done a nice job with him. I'm sure he's feeling pressure to do something. The one thing we know about Yasiel is it's never going to be because he's not trying to do something. This kid is really I know he's giving us everything he has. So at this point we hope that this day off is a chance for him to settle down a little bit and get back after it. He's always bounced back pretty well during the season when he's had a couple of bad days. There hasn't been a lot of that, but he seems to have bounced back. We're just counting on him bouncing back.
Q. What does Ryu have to do tomorrow in order to have a bounce back start after his last start against this tough Cardinals lineup?
DON MATTINGLY: I think Hyun Jin's biggest thing is going to be fastball location. When he's pitching off of that and getting his fastball in that downhill plain, he's been effective against everybody. It's going to be more if he's up to par and getting the fastball where he want it's and being able to locate on both sides of the plate like we talk about with Wainwright or somebody else, then his off speed comes into play.
But if he's not locating the fastball, he's not a power, power pitcher from the standpoint of the high 90s or anything. So his location is going to be really important.
Q. Hanley's been such a force this year and the team has performed so much better offensively when he's been in the lineup. Do you have any concerns that the rest of the guys have a psychological letdown when they see the lineup and he's not in it?
DON MATTINGLY: Well, obviously, if Hanley's not playing and Andre's not playing and Matt's not in there, we're obviously not going to be the club that we can be. At this time of the year I don't think there's we've talked about so much different things through the course of the season, through spring training and things like that. It's just not a time for excuses. At the end of the day, you either win or you lose.
So I think that's the way our approach has to be. We've got 25 guys. We're a team. We've got to find a way to be able to do it with Hanley or without Hanley. So pretty much as simple as that.
I think the excuses of Hanley's not in the lineup, a psychological letdown, can you have all of that but it's not going to do you any good. We had chances to win in the last two games. We just didn't get it done. We didn't get the hit when we needed it.
Q. With what, Puig has gone through the last couple games, can that be helped at all by him moving up in the order? Would that change the way you think the Cardinals would pitch him?
DON MATTINGLY: I don't think anything's going to change the way they pitch him. Yadier's going to pitch to guys to get them out. They're going to use their weapons however they have to. It's not like you're going to move him somewhere and forget about him. We'll continue to talk to him, and as much as anything else, for him to get himself good pitches to hit, and just got to keep going. Can't let those two turn into a third. He had a good series against Atlanta. His thinking was good. He's been fairly patient in the sense of getting the good counts here. So he's just got to settle down, be himself and keep going.
Q. How has Puig kind of grown, adjusted, adapted over the course of the season since he first got here?
DON MATTINGLY: Well, I think we've seen a lot of it in the Atlanta series, just making better decisions on the bases, being able to throw the ball to hitting the cutoff man for us when we need to. So I mean I think all the areas that we see, and he's just going to learn to deal with more and more pitching and different styles and what teams are doing to him. We've seen him at times be really patient when they're trying to run the ball at him inside. Then they're trying to throw the ball off the plate away. There are times he's patient and times he's not. It's kind of always step forward, step back, being consistent with it.
Q. Are there any scenarios in which you would consider starting Greinke or Kershaw on three day's rest? Would Kershaw be available out of the bullpen over the next couple days?
DON MATTINGLY: We haven't talked about Kershaw out of the bullpen. We haven't talked about anybody on three day's rest.
Q. Given that you have to win at this point, Greinke and Kershaw can only start one more game each in this series, would there be any sense moving them up and having them pitch on short rest given that you're going to have to win two games start bid other guys?
DON MATTINGLY: It always makes sense anytime you mention those two guys' names. But it's something, as I said, we haven't talked about at this point.