PostCards: Kolten Wong, Matt Adams, Oscar Taveras talk after NLCS Game 2


St. Louis Cardinals players Kolten Wong, Matt Adams, and Oscar Taveras spoke to the media after Game 2 of the 2014 NLCS against the San Francisco Giants.

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Q. Kolten, we were sitting here Monday talking about your home run against the Dodgers being one of the biggest of the career. Where does tonight’s stand.

KOLTEN WONG: Definitely at the top. To hit a home run at this stage, especially a walk off home run, that would be my top home run. I think I have hit ever.

Q. Kolten, you and at least Oscar and Matt, have been playing through, even through minor league ball. What is it like to grow up with each other and see each other succeed at this level.

KOLTEN WONG: It is definitely awesome. I played with Oscar I think every year so far and I just played with Matt when I got up here. So I didn’t get a chance to play with him too much. Playing with these guys and knowing they came up the same exact path I did, it is you awesome. It goes to show what the Cardinals do in their draft and how they draft guys. And to play with these guys, it’s always fun.

Q. Matt, how did you guys react after Yadi’s injury. Obviously the team came back and won the game.

MATT ADAMS: It was tough to see our back stop go down like that, but we have faith in Tony, that he was going to come in and do a good job and he did a great job. We just kept grinding the rest of the game.

Q. For Kolten, when the ball came off your bat, did you feel you had a decent chance to get out?

KOLTEN WONG: I knew I hit the ball hard. How low it came off the bat, I wasn’t sure. I made sure to get out of the box quick in case it hit the wall. I was in scoring position. When it got over, I didn’t know what happened, but when it did, I lost it a little bit and got a little excited.

Q. Oscar, I was wondering, you hit pretty well in September, yet you have been solely used as a pinch hitter in the postseason. How is the adjustment going for you and how difficult has it been to stay live as a hitter?

OSCAR TAVERAS: (Through interpretation) I was feeling grateful for the organization and the manager to give the opportunity, so I just try to keep focused. And any time I receive any opportunity, I just try to do my best and thank God, I can do those good things and positive result today.

Q. This is for Kolten. Over in the clubhouse, A.J. Pierzynski said you had a chat before you went up to bat the last time and told you not to focus on hitting the home run. What was your mindset up there and was it nice to hit the home run then?

KOLTEN WONG: Oh, yeah. When I was walking in the dugout, A.J. stopped me and he said, Base hit, base hit swing.

All right, I am not going to try for a home run.

And after I hit it, the celebration. And I went looking for him, A.J., A.J., where are you at? Is that good enough for you?

That’s great.

And we laughed about it. But it was awesome how he cares so much for us and wants us to succeed.

Q. Oscar, there was some conversation before the game with Mo about your situation this season and going forward, and he mentioned some things he hoped you did this winter relating to restoring quickness in the field and on the bases. From your stand point, are you looking forward to, not only in this postseason, but beyond the postseason?

OSCAR TAVERAS: Well, I understand the situation with the team right now. I understand what we try to do the best for winning the game. And I feel good. I feel grateful for the opportunity I receive and I always can focus. I feel good right now.

I feel good and always stay focused. And I score with the team, and the process, focusing on what I does before and I worked out in the off season and that’s what I going to do. I is working on things.

Q. Did any of the three of you try to hit the home run tonight?

MATT ADAMS: I think if we go up there looking to hit a homer, we will get too big and probably get jammed. We don’t preach going up there and trying to hit the ball out of the park, we are just going out there and barrel balls up.

KOLTEN WONG: Exactly what Matt said. We definitely don’t go up with the home run swing in mind, but we all understand if we barrel up a ball, there is a good chance it is going up.

OSCAR TAVERAS: No, I don’t go to the home plate to try to get long balls. I just go there to get a good pitch, make a good contact. And thank God for the good result.

Q. Matt, you guys were held scoreless last game, in Game 1. How big was it for your offense and you personally to bounce back in this game?

MATT ADAMS: We knew as a team that this game was important for us, so we went out with the mentality of just playing hard. What we did all season and just battle, and that’s exactly what we did. We grinded out the at bats today. Played good defense and just barrelled balls up.

Q. Do you have any explanation for the sudden power surge? If you guys aren’t trying to hit home runs, what’s going on here?

THE MODERATOR: Are you asking all three?

Q. Yes, please.

MATT ADAMS: You know, we’re just going up there like we’ve said before, just barrelling balls up, staying through the ball and getting that backspin to carry. And you know throughout the season, people were worried about our power. But we knew inside the club house that we didn’t lose any power. So we just have to go up there and have good at bats and we know the home runs will come.

KOLTEN WONG: What was question again?

I think it is the postseason. You have so much adrenaline, so such excitement going on at this stage, things are going to happen. That’s the beauty of baseball. Things you never expect to happen happen. And just playing ball.

OSCAR TAVERAS: Well, I don’t really go to plate like he said before to try to get long balls. And those guys say, too, just going there to get a good pitch and get a good contact, and that’s what happened when you get some good pitch and put a good swing. And why they work every day in the cage and try to keep on that stuff.