10/20/11 11:14 PM ET
A postgame interview with Ron Washington
By / MLB.com
Q. Would you go through the whole strategy of the ninth inning there and the bunt and the steal and how everything built towards the sacrifice flies that won the game.
RON WASHINGTON: Well, Kinsler had a good at bat and ended up dropping one in, and Motte is not very quick to the plate. I had Elvis bunting, just trying to get the run over to second base and give the middle of the order a chance to at least get us a run and stay in the ballgame. But it all worked out. Kinsler steals second and then Elvis gets the big base hit and takes second base on the throw. Sets us up pretty good. Hamilton comes up and get the sac fly and Michael fights for his at bat and gets us another sac fly, and then we bring in Feliz, and he gets us three outs and here we are with a win.
Q. What does it mean for your 2 through 7 hitters, it was the 3 and 4 that got the sacrifice flies, but they struggled but to get those two key RBIs in the ninth. What does that do for them overall?
RON WASHINGTON: We've been a club that plays nine innings, and tonight we played nine innings. I think you've got to give credit to the pitching out there tonight. I knew there was a lot of talk about the starting pitching not being up to par, but I'll tell you, these last two series, I think the starting pitching has shown what they're capable of doing. You just have to keep grinding, keep grinding, keep grinding and good things started to happen, for us anyway. We played nine innings, and tonight was proof of the type of team that we are. We've got a lot of character in that clubhouse.
Q. Obviously the best of seven series, things turn around quick. Can you talk about what you guys felt as a team, the momentum shift, by doing what you guys did in the ninth inning?
RON WASHINGTON: You know, there was good karma in our dugout the whole night. Once again, when you get pitchers out there executing their pitches, they'll make anyone look like they don't have it going on. But you know, you've got to keep fighting, and we needed to get one here. And I think tonight was one of those great ballgames that I think you will continue to see against the St. Louis Cardinals and Texas Rangers. That's what you're in for, so I've got to say those of you that have bad hearts, watch yourself. (Laughter).
Q. Can you talk a little bit about your running game, not just a Kinsler steal but the ability for Elvis to go to second on a missed cutoff.
RON WASHINGTON: Well, you've got to run with your heads up. He got a base hit, Kinsler challenged Jay, Elvis hit a line drive and he was playing quite shallow. He was really surprised by how shallow he was playing, but he was, and the ball sort of short hopped. Kinsler went over and tried to make the play, Elvis read the throw and kept going, and it put us in a position to get what we did. Ham hit the sac fly. Schumacher made a strong throw to third base but got just under the throw there, and Mike did the rest, and then Neftali came in and got us the three outs.
Q. Before the game there were questions about whether or not Josh should even be in the lineup tonight. You said he would deliver big tonight, he came up with the sacrifice fly. What did you know that we didn't?
RON WASHINGTON: I know my player. You know, things are going around that Hamilton is dealing with some problems, and he is, but the nine guys that I put out there on the field tonight, those are the nine guys that got me here, and we're going to deal with them through good times and bad times. If he tells me he can play, I'm putting him in the field. All I can say is I know my players better than you guys.
Q. The Cardinals are really good obviously at shutting down a running game. What did you tell the players in your scouting meetings before the series started about that, about their aggression on the bases?
RON WASHINGTON: Be aggressive on the bases once the ball is put in play. We're going to continue to go 1st to 3rd. The only way we'll have an opportunity to steal a bag is if the pitcher gives us that opportunity, and tonight Motte gave us that opportunity. And we exposed it and took advantage of it. You know, Molina came up and made one heck of a throw. Kinsler got underneath it, and from that point right there, we just started running the bases. Good things started happening. But I just told them not to force it because the guy can throw. We've got to run on the pitcher. If he gives us an opportunity, let's try to take advantage of it.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about Elvis' defensive play tonight, what it meant to you guys. Basically I thought it kept you in the game and I wanted to get your thoughts.
RON WASHINGTON: He saved us right there. He kept runs off the board, and that's exactly the type of play that he's capable of doing. You know, I had the bunt on in that ninth inning. He's one of the biggest guys in our lineup when it comes to getting clutch base hits, and he did a good job fighting Motte. You know, and got a base hit right there. But more than anything else, those two plays he made definitely saved runs. It kept runs off the board. Both teams are capable of doing that. I mean, we're equal in the way we play the game of baseball, and certainly going to be a lot of fun the rest of the way.
Interview with Ian Kinsler and Josh Hamilton
Q. Ian, by how much were you safe at second base there?
IAN KINSLER: Enough. I mean, my hand just barely got in there. It took everything I had. Yadier made an unbelievable throw, quick, on the money, and I was just able to get my hand in there.
Q. Josh, with everything that you've been going through physically, what was your mindset at that at bat? You didn't waste too much time on the first pitch from Arthur to knock in the run.
JOSH HAMILTON: Yeah, biggest thing in that situation is not to try to do too much. Obviously I faced him last night, he kept throwing me heaters up, heaters in. I was actually sitting first pitch slider and just reacted, and that's the good thing sometimes, just reacting, instead of trying to make it happen. So that was it.
Q. Josh, could you take us through your previous three at bats. How would you describe them? And have you had to take any pain killing injections to deal with your situation?
JOSH HAMILTON: First three at bats, the first couple felt like I was sticking with the plan, not trying to do too much, trying to barrel the ball up. Chased my second at bat, hit the ball to left field. But third at bat, kind of said well, I can't say that word. Let me think. I was way more aggressive my third at bat and ended up striking out. But after that, the last at bat, like I said, it was back to the first two at bats, not trying to dotoo much. And to answer your other question, I plead the fifth.
Q. I know it's the best of seven, but you guys were in this situation heading home down a couple of games. Do you look at that ninth inning rally as almost like a series saving rally?
IAN KINSLER: No. You know, it wasn't a series saving rally, but it was huge. I mean, all these games are very big. I mean, it's the World Series, last two teams, every victory is huge. To be able to come from behind against a guy like that on the mound, you know, it was a big win for us. We're just happy that the series is tied up and we're going back to Texas and in front of our crowd.
Q. Can you just talk about, your manager was talking about the way this team plays nine innings. I know every team plays nine innings, can you just talk about the fortitude that this team has, the understanding this team has that it's never over, that you can always come back, and the spirit on this team that allowed you to do what you did tonight?
JOSH HAMILTON: You just answered your own question. It's fun because our team is like that and the Cardinals are like that. So it makes for a good ballgame. That's just our attitude. Up and down our lineup our guys want to win ballgames, and it doesn't matter if we're down five runs or we're up five runs. We have the attitude of, you know what, until the last pitch is thrown, last out is made, we're going to keep fighting. You know, you can't really say why that is other than the character of the guys on our team.
IAN KINSLER: Yeah, I mean, it's a difficult game, and you need to make sure that you take every at bat for what it's worth and really try to build an inning and help the team any way you can with each at bat. Sometimes it doesn't work out, and sometimes we score nine. It's a very weird game, and we all understand that, but at the same time we're going to fight until the last out. I'm surethe Cardinals are going to do the same.
Q. Ian, after you rounded third on Elvis' hit, if the Cardinals cut the ball off, are you okay to get back to third or home or someplace?
IAN KINSLER: I don't know. I was thinking scoring that run right there, and I rounded that bag pretty far, saw Dave Anderson pretty late, and luckily he didn't come up with it and it was a non issue. It was a little scary, kind of stranded out there.
Q. Josh, can you talk to us a little bit about the middle of the order. I know you guys had some struggles so far, but getting the two sacrifice flies, what you guys can take from that moving forward. And also, I know you pleaded the fifth, but just the second part is, just where do you stand health wise and how do you actually feel?
JOSH HAMILTON: That's a lot to talk about. You know, our guys in the middle of the lineup, it is what it is. I mean, we're going up there trying to give good at bats, trying to barrel the ball up, trying to -- not say get hits because when you try to get hits, it usually backfires on you, but having good at bats, take a walk if you can, we seem to be a little more aggressive the last couple games. Maybe not seeing as many pitches as we should. But at the same time, we had to get it done tonight, and it got done. Health wise, it is what it is. I'm tired of talking about it. I'm going to hurt until the season is over. You know, so it's a non issue as far as talking about it. So stop asking me, please.
Q. Ian, anybody that follows baseball knows Elvis is a special player next to you there at shortstop. From a St. Louis perspective, we haven't seen him all year. Is that the best play he's made, the dive and then the flip to you?
IAN KINSLER: There's a couple that come to mind, but yeah, the situation I was in and being that it was a World Series game and just a run saving play, I mean, the play was ridiculous. It was probably one of the best I've seen, not just him, but just defensive play was probably one of the best I've seen. Glove flip was right on the money. It doesn't get any better than that.
JOSH HAMILTON: When we get home tonight I'm going to watch it again.
Q. Josh, in the ninth inning did you expect Tony to bring in Rhodes, or as good as Motte has been pitching did you figure you'd get him?
JOSH HAMILTON: I figured he'd stay with him to be honest with you. A guy that throws close to 100, rather than brings in Rhodesy who throws 89. But he didn't. I don't get paid to make those decisions, and I'm glad he made that one.
Q. I know you don't want to talk about it ...
JOSH HAMILTON: Well, don't ask me.
Q. Hear me out. Maybe you could help us understand, how does the injury limit your swing, if you can be specific?
JOSH HAMILTON: If I tell you all, then the Cardinals might know how to pitch me, so I'm not telling you.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.