St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny spoke to the media after World Series Game 3, including comments on the play that ended the game against the Boston Red Sox.
Q. Give us your perspective on the final decisive play.
MIKE MATHENY: I think the umpires defined it as they’re going to. Yeah, it was obviously ‑‑ it was going to be a conversation, one way or the other. Because we saw the tangle there, and it’s just a matter of how they interpreted it, and that’s the rule.
Q. When you saw it live, did you immediately think ‑‑ and obviously Jim pointed almost immediately, but from your viewpoint in the dugout, did you say, that’s clearly interference? Allen should be safe? What was your immediate thought when you saw that play?
MIKE MATHENY: The immediate thought was to come out and argue that point. Hopefully that’s how they would interpret it as well.
Q. On that last play, did they get the ball back in crazy quick? Not that it wound up mattering with the obstruction call, anyway. But it just kind of seemed like when the throw went down there, I don’t know how they got it back that quick, that’s all.
MIKE MATHENY: They did a great job backing up and being prepared for the next play. Yeah, they did what they were supposed to do.
Q. There were some things that happened in that game that generally point toward a defeat, like loading the bases and not scoring. One of the remarkable things about it was that your ballclub was in a position to win at all. It gives some sense of the relentless character.
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, it’s a good point. Typically against a very good team you start giving away opportunities like bases loaded, no out‑‑ we had a man on third with less than two outs later and we weren’t able to capitalize on. And typically in these kind of games, you’re going to have to come through. But we also live on the big hit. And fortunately we got that big hit by Matt Holliday. He gave us some breathing room. And then just a little bit of trouble closing the door at the end.
Typically those things don’t lead toward a win. But the guys weren’t distracted by the things that didn’t happen tonight and kept their nose down and tried to make something happen afterwards. It took a couple of base hits and the guys making something happen there at the end. Allen Craig with a big hit for us. Jon Jay putting the ball in hard, and trying to take our chances.
Q. I’m curious what you saw from Joe Kelly tonight. Obviously real efficient early, but he was missing more bats than he usually does. Do you think he can be that kind of pitcher for you, someone that gets more strikeouts than he’s typically gotten throughout the year?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, he can do that, but we like how he works ahead on the count, and gets in the zone and works the ground balls. He had good stuff. He did a nice job today. Joe pitched a good game. And that’s what we’ve seen, the last two months of the season he’s been very good, very consistent for us.
Q. Your young bullpen has gotten a lot of attention, had a couple of rough spots tonight. Just from a manager’s standpoint, making sure that they’re comfortable in these situations, but also making sure that they keep their composure, which has been pretty impressive, can you address that?
MIKE MATHENY: I thought they did a good job, as well. Kevin Siegrist comes in and throws a very good inning. Carlos, who we asked so much of the other day and threw two strong innings today, had a little more trouble today. But you’re going to have that. You got to have somebody come in and pick him up. We were close to having Trevor come in and get the double play; didn’t work out. Next thing you know another bouncer gets through. It can happen fast.
Once again, overall the way that they’ve been able to handle some of the struggles has been very impressive. They get back out there and pitch. And just like they’ve been able to handle the success, too. They’ve been very even‑keeled, very down the middle and not going too high or too low all the time.
Q. Talk about Kolten coming in as a defensive replacement and immediately he’s a big factor in the game, and also the hit there in the ninth.
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, it was a great play. I think it’s probably going to get overlooked. Not an easy play, let alone coming right off the bench as you’re initiated into the World Series. So it was a very nice play. We’re hoping to get it turned on the backside, but it didn’t end up happening. He put a good at‑bat together. We know he’s a good player. It’s just a matter of continuing to work on small things in his game and giving him opportunities.
Q. How important was it for you to get to Peavy early, getting those two in the first? And on the second part of the question is, any concerns at all with Trevor tomorrow or Sunday in terms of how long he could possibly go, if needed?
MIKE MATHENY: Yeah, we’ll always watch these guys. He nor Carlos threw too many pitches today, so that will help us tomorrow. We watch them every day, having an off‑day yesterday is a big deal. They’ve been pretty resilient all season and right now they all want the ball.
Q. Getting to Peavy?
MIKE MATHENY: Getting to Peavy, we always want to do that. We get something going in the first and wanted to add on to it. But you also realize it’s a momentum shift and it’s a deflator when we have so many opportunities and don’t capitalize on them. Those are big runs when you can add on more. But he did a nice job of shutting us down there until we got the two later on.