As seen on FS Wisconsin:
On Randy Wolf:
Great to see. Yeah, right from the first inning I thought he had location, he had a good feel for his curveball. The two homers he gave up...the one to (Matt) Holliday, I don't think he thought he got it, and I didn't know if he did either. And then a real good pitch, I don't know how Craig got down and got a knee high pitch over the outside corner and drove it out to right center, but he hit it hard. It was a good at bat by him. Other than that, Wolfie did a great job. We needed it, he came thought big and got us deep in the game. Outstanding job from him.
On the decision not to pinch hit for Wolf in the sixth:
There was a lot going on there. Really, we decided if we had a great opportunity with Wolf's spot there we'd probably hit for him. How it came up, really if we were going to do that we were probably also going to have to hit for George (Kottaras). So you go through Luc (Jonathan Lucroy) and then use a pinch hitter. If we use Corey (Corey Hart) then they would've walked him and left the lefty in probably to face Nyjer...there was a lot going on. They had some options, they had Dotel warming up. They had a lot of options, and we did too. I don't know why we decided to leave it as is. We were already up a run, which had a lot to do with it. Felt good with George facing Arthur Rhodes and putting it in play and at least getting us one run, and he did a good job there.
On the importance of homefield advantage:
Real important for us to go back home. I still think we can play good ball on the road but it's important to go back home for sure. Hopefully we'll do it with the lead but if not, we've got two games there.
On the challenges of playing an evenly matched team:
It's the same challenges we talked about at the beginning. This is a really good team, we think we have a really good team and who executes? I thought we played a really good game today. A lot of good things happened. We got great pitching, I thought we played good defense, Prince made a couple of really nice picks at first base. And then offensively, we squared up a lot of balls, not just the runs we got but we hit some bullets. Prince smokes a ball for a double play, Kots (Mark Kotsay) hits a liner to left, Rickie hits a bullet to center, a lot of good things I thought offensively. So overall we played a really good game.
On getting a quality start from Wolf:
It's big. And Randy's done that for us during the year. He stopped a couple of losing streaks that he came in with a game against a good offense and was able to do what he did today. But it was huge. Anytime you get your starter getting that deep against this team it's a great outing.
On Jerry Hairston Jr's slide to score the second run:
Yeah, I didn't see the replay. I know anytime he gets in there and he starts getting that body outside to get his hand in there it's a tough tag, even though the catcher had the ball and probably in time. To be able to get back and get down low enough to get the tag on him is pretty difficult.
On Braun's hit to score a run in the fifth:
Yeah, real big at bat there, with the infield in on the right side there but they left the shortstop back a bit. Brauny, he battles until they make a mistake where he's able to handle it. He continues to get big hits for us. And some of the other guys too: Hairston with a big hit down the line, Betancourt nice at bats. So we did a good job.
How big of a play was Hairston's slide?
Yeah i think so. Yeah, it's a big slide. We hit a bullet to center to give Jay (Jon Jay) a chance to get it in quickly, and Albert made a nice relay there and made a good throw home. So it's important to have a good slide there.
Was there any change in the team's focus today?
No, we were the same as we usually are. They understand what's at stake. They understand it's an important ball game, but they also understand that we play better when we're a little loose. So it was the same, there was a lot of chatter going on in the locker room, there was some laughing going on, but when it's time to play, they know what they need to do when they need to play.
On Francisco Rodriguez's eighth inning:
Great pitches again. He continues to make that huge pitch when he needs to. Molina (Yadier Molina) is putting together some at bats here that are incredible. He fouls off the tough pitches, you keep making good pitches on him and he's fouling them. And he's able, the one on Wolf he's able to hit that line drive to right field but he's a tough guy to get out. Even when you make good pitches it's not like he puts them in play and makes an easy out for you. He fouls them off, stays alive and we know that there's not a lot of room to go to to be able to get him out. The Molina brothers all seem to be the same: they've got great hand-eye coordination with the bats and they're hard to strike out. They always seem to do something good to get it in play.
On the Cardinal offense:
That offense is very difficult to hold down. You saw, even when you make a good pitch, which Wolfie did on that one down and away to Craig and he still hit a home run. The ball Holliday hits, I don't want to say it was a great pitch but it was away. Whether it was on the corner or not it was a little above the knees, but there are so many ways they can score and keep the pressure on you that it doesn't allow you to relax because their lineup's so deep.