St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny spoke after Game 4 of the World Series against the Boston Red Sox.
Q. Could you take us through the thought process in the sixth, specifically how you weighed your option against Ortiz, and what you liked about Maness versus Gomes?
MIKE MATHENY: Well, with Seth he’s been a guy who’s been able to help us out and do an incredible job in that situation all season long. He’s been able to come in and get the big out when we needed it, and we wanted to give him a shot. And it just didn’t work out tonight.
Q. What was your read with Lance at that point? I know he had a challenging fifth inning. I think he threw six strikes to start the inning, Pedroia gets a hit and obviously you stay away from Ortiz. Where do you see Lynn at that point?
MIKE MATHENY: I thought he obviously came out and did a good job early on, he got himself in trouble. We were fortunate to get out of the one inning after double, walk, walk with just a run. He worked hard there. Got into another bind in the sixth inning, which is the spot we keep our eyes wide open, and took a shot and it didn’t work.
Q. Just to follow up in terms of weighing options against Ortiz, was Choate a possibility there?
MIKE MATHENY: No, not at that point.
Q. He was ready or ‑‑
MIKE MATHENY: He was ready, we just weren’t going there.
Q. You were able to chase Buchholz after four innings, same as Peavy last night. Were there runs left on the bases tonight? What was your take on the runs that you did score and the runs that you didn’t score?
MIKE MATHENY: We just didn’t ‑‑ we didn’t have a lot of movement. We didn’t get a lot going, and didn’t have any momentum offensively. He kept us off balance enough, even though we did get out of the game early, we still didn’t have a lot of damage, and didn’t have a lot pressure put on him. He limited it just making pitches.
Q. Is there anything you can do to get a little offense going at the bottom of your order? The guys have been struggling in the 6th, 7th and 8th spot in the series.
MIKE MATHENY: We tried moving guys around a little bit to see if something will spark there. We’ve got guys that can contribute at the bottom of our lineup, and right now it’s not happening. We’ve seen that all season long. There’s been points where they take off and carry us, and it’s just a matter of somebody getting it going. Right now yeah, we’re having trouble in the bottom getting something going.
Q. Obviously with Beltran up as the tying run, the last thing you want to see is the guy getting picked off.
MIKE MATHENY: Well, he knew, we had meetings early on, we go over all these guys. We talk very clearly about a very good pickoff move. He was reminded once he got on base, and also he reminded that run didn’t mean much, be careful, shorten up. And he got a little extra, then he slipped and the slip cost him.
Q. Ortiz is really hot right now, is there a specific message you’re relaying to your pitchers when they’re facing him?
MIKE MATHENY: No, I think they’re all watching and realizing that he’s tough to get out right now. So we’ve got to figure out a new game plan and execute our pitches. But good hitters are going to get hits sometimes, even on good pitches. So we’ve just got to be careful and make sure we’re making our adjustments. We’ve got guys that can get in him or any hitter out. But there’s definitely times where it’s a little more difficult and he’s locked in.
Q. To what extent is it over simplifying it to say Pedroia two‑out hit gets Lynn out of the game? Is that oversimplifying it or not?
MIKE MATHENY: Once again, we got into a spot, we had to make a decision. And we take everything into consideration in trying to figure out a way to keep the game where it was at that point. And that hit definitely added to the equation, and it made it easy for us, in our opinion. This is a guy that we go to to get us out of tough spots whenever we’re in question. And he’s been very, very good. And we’ll use him again in that situation.
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