St. Louis Cardinals players Shane Robinson and Pete Kozma spoke with the media this afternoon prior to NLCS Game 5 against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
October 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals right fielder Shane Robinson (43) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run in the seventh 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. Shane, now that you have a chance to add it all up, text and phone calls since the home run, what’s the number, roughly?
SHANE ROBINSON: Roughly, maybe in the 70s range.
Q. A.J. Ellis said last night he had played against you a lot in the Minor leagues and he knew with the right pitch you had the capability of pulling something like that. He said it was a changeup. What were you looking for as that materialized?
SHANE ROBINSON: Well, I know his changeup is his go‑to pitch, and he kind of did the same thing did he to me in St. Louis when I faced him. So I had the idea that that pitch might be coming and just told myself to wait on it and see it up and got a good swing on it.
Q. Shane, during the regular season, Mike is fairly proactive in using his bench players to keep you guys sharp. This time of year isn’t as conducive to that. What is the challenge in trying to stay sharp when you’ve had very little playing time for several weeks?
SHANE ROBINSON: There is a little challenge there. It’s just I think it’s more mentally challenging than physically. I mean, everyone out there on the bench can go out there and produce and hit and whatnot; but mentally staying sharp and trying not to do too much when you get your opportunities is the tough thing.
October 15, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Pete Kozma (38) throws to first to complete an out in the eighth 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. How much of a risk is it to put on that pickoff play with a rookie pitcher who you probably haven’t had a lot of experience with yet?
PETE KOZMA: Yeah, it’s a big risk, but that’s what the postseason is about, it’s about risks you’re willing to take. I thought the lead that Punto had was a pretty good risk on our part.
Q. Michael Wacha has been on a great role here of late. What’s been most impressive about him to you at least lately?
PETE KOZMA: I mean, you saw what he’s done the past few times. I mean, going out and throwing pretty much no‑hitters, one‑hitters here and there. It’s just self‑explanatory. He’s done a great job for us.
Q. As the season went on and you guys kept bringing in these kids who threw in the high 90s out of the bullpen, did you see that coming or were you wondering where are these guys coming from?
PETE KOZMA: I played with a couple of them below and I’ve heard a lot about them. So it’s just kind of a combination of them throwing a Hyun miles an hour. Then you put Yadier behind the plate and putting those fingers down, it’s bound to‑‑ they’re going to do a good job.
Q. How much has Matt Carpenter improved at second base in all aspects but especially turning the double‑play?
PETE KOZMA: It’s night and day from spring to where he is right now. It’s great improvement. He’s worked his butt off tremendously, working every day, trying to get better.
Q. You seem like a real natural at short. Could you just talk a little about which coach along the way really helped shape and form your game?
PETE KOZMA: I think I said this last night, but it’s just a combination of coaches coming through the minor leagues, teaching me little things here and there, just picking up little things here and there. And Oquendo has kind of taken that a little further.