Matt Holliday, Lance Lynn, and Carlos Martinez addressed the media following NLCS Game 4 between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
October 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday (7) hits a two run home run during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Image Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
Q. Matt, what is the team feeling like right now? You guys are on the verge of getting to another World Series. Have you had a chance to gauge the emotions yet of the team?
MATT HOLLIDAY: Honestly, I think the team will look at it very narrow minded that we’ve got to come out and try to win a game tomorrow, and we can’t get ahead of ourselves. This team that we’re playing against is way too good to think that for some reason it’s not going to be a very tough task to get one more win.
I think as a group, while you’re excited about the victory, we’ve quickly got to turn the page for a day game tomorrow against an extremely tough pitcher and try to win that one.
Q. Matt, could you take us through your at‑bat where you hit the homer?
MATT HOLLIDAY: Well, it didn’t really last long, threw the at‑bat. It was one pitch, middle‑in, and I got the barrel to it. He had pitched me in the at‑bat before and I popped up. So I had an idea that he might try to come in, and I wanted to try to get the bat head a little bit further out front, and I was able to do that.
Oct 12, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Carlos Martinez (62) reacts after retiring the Los Angeles Dodgers during the 8th inning in game two of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Busch Stadium. Image Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
Q. Could Carlos take us through that pickoff play? And when is the last time you actually picked somebody off at second base?
CARLOS MARTINEZ: I felt relaxed in the game, and thank God I was able to focus on that play and focus on the game that allowed me to pick off Punto.
Q. When was the last time?
CARLOS MARTINEZ: Last year.
Q. Have you ever hit one further than that in BP? And what does that do for you having been 0 for 14 before that at‑bat? How does it change things for you?
MATT HOLLIDAY: I think I hit one here at Dodger Stadium in ’06. I think that they said went a lot further. I don’t know what the number was today. Yeah, I got it good. Have I hit further ones? Maybe, but not in that kind of situation.
As far as being 0 for 14, I don’t look at it like that. If you’re constantly as a hitter just looking at the results, it’s frustrating. It’s a terribly frustrating skill. The way I’ve looked at it, I’ve actually had good at‑bats, I feel good. My swing feel goods. I’ve hit some line drives right at people. I’ve hit some hardballs that were just outs. And I feel like I’ve swung at pitches that I want to swing at.
I’m one of those guys, or at least try to be, where I look at sort of the process and not necessarily always the result, especially with hitting, because there are so many variables that go into it.
Yeah, I’d love to get a hit every time; and getting hits is a lot more fun. But I feel like I’ve been swinging the bat pretty well.
Q. How do you feel with the responsibility of having two innings and that the manager gave you two innings?
CARLOS MARTINEZ: Thank God I’ve been able to maintain that presence and maintain the focus to carry out that responsibility.
Q. After a rough night for the team last night and some of the struggles to score by both sides, what did it mean to the team and to you to get those three quick early runs particularly on the bomb by Matt?
LANCE LYNN: It’s a good feeling. I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty well; and to get three runs right there gives you a little bit of breathing room to where you don’t have to try to make a perfect pitch every time maybe. So I was able to relax a little bit. But they got after me in the fourth, but after that I was able to make some pitches.
October 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn (31) pitches the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the National League Championship Series baseball game at Dodger Stadium. Image Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
Q. Lance, it seemed like in the first three innings you found a pretty good rhythm and dealt with stuff pretty good. The fourth inning seemed to get a little bit complicated, especially after the first pitch to Puig. If you could take us through that inning? A lot of people expected intent on the first pitch. Just talk about that, if you don’t mind.
LANCE LYNN: I faced Gonzalez, who had the at‑bat before I was able to get him out in, and I left that breaking ball for the double, got Ethier in a situation to get him out, and then I walked him on three straight balls, still walked him. When you have nobody out and runners on first and second, you’re definitely not trying to hit anyone or throw the ball up and in to give a situation to load the bases. So there was definitely no intent there.
Q. In terms of just getting over that inning and getting out of that inning and obviously keeping the game in order beyond that?
LANCE LYNN: I was able to make some pitches after that. Puig was able to get one up the middle. Then after that, Ellis put a pretty good swing on the ball, and I was able to get Skip there rolling into a double‑play, and that was big, especially that it was just one out and first and third right there.
Q. Carlos, after so many times up‑and‑down between St. Louis and Memphis during the season, did you have any idea you’d be playing on this kind of stage in October?
CARLOS MARTINEZ: Yes, I always thought I would be at this position at this level, and thank God I was able to maintain my focus going down and coming back up and maintain the faith of the manager.
Q. How surprising was it to see Robinson hitting the homer?
MATT HOLLIDAY: It’s always a tough task, especially for a pinch hit tore come in and hit a home run, is huge, but especially in that situation. But for Shane being a little guy, he’s got pretty good power. He’s surprisingly got pretty good thump.
Yeah, it was a huge lift and maybe somewhat surprising. But having a chance to watch him play and knowing that he’s got a little bit of‑‑ he’s got that potential in his bat.