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10/28/11 1:34 AM ET

A postgame interview with Ron Washington

Q. I guess the obvious question is, what do you say to your guys and how do you get them to regroup for tomorrow?

RON WASHINGTON: Well, just tell them we battled. You know, it's not that easy to win a world championship, as we found out tonight. We had the right people in the right spot, and they beat us. You've got to give them credit. They fought tonight. They came back, and they won the ballgame. That's all I had to tell them. We'll bounce back tomorrow. We've been in some tough situations before. We've always responded, and I expect us to respond tomorrow.

Q. I know it's just right after the game, but is there anything you can tell us about the condition of Cruz and/or Napoli?

RON WASHINGTON: Well, Napoli is fine. Cruz sort of hurt his groin a little bit, and I didn't want to take the chance and run him back out there. I haven't had anything from the medical department as to the seriousness of it, but we'll just have to wait and see how everything is tomorrow.

Q. After the Cardinals came back in the bottom of the ninth, you guys take the lead right back. You must have felt, okay, finally we've put them away. Did you have that feeling, and then you saw them come back?

RON WASHINGTON: Of course I had that feeling, bringing Ollie in on those two lefties, I thought maybe we could get those guys out, having the pitcher come up, I don't think things could have been more perfect. But it just wasn't to happen tonight. So we've just got to come back tomorrow and fight just as hard because they certainly will.

Q. How much of this when the Cardinals made the errors and you had the multiple base runners early, not being able to add on, how much did that have to do with the pressure at the end of the game? And also did you have any sort of thought about pulling Lewis for a pinch hitter in that spot?

RON WASHINGTON: No, not right there. He was throwing the ball extremely well, we had the lead and he was throwing the ball well, so I went with Colby. He went out the next inning and got us through it. We went into the ninth inning with a 7 5 lead with our closer out there. So you always want to put runs on the board, but you've got to realize the other team got pitchers out there executing pitches, too, and getting hitters out. But you know, right there I felt good. Once again, we went into the ninth inning, had the right guy up there, one pitch, one out away. Got to give Freese credit. He battled, hit it off the right field wall, and then Berkman got us one pitch away, and then Freese ended it.

Q. Just wondering what it was like for you being one strike away twice and the emotions, high, low, high, low again?

RON WASHINGTON: Well, you know, I understand that it's not over until you get the last out, and I was just sitting there praying that we'd get that last out, and we didn't get it. And you have to tip your hat to the Cardinals, the way they fought tonight and took the game from us.

Q. Was there any conversation in the dugout about the ball that went off the right field wall and how close it came to being caught?

RON WASHINGTON: No. Cruz gave it a valiant effort. He hit a line drive. If it had some hang time to it, it might have been different. He smoked the ball, just hit it off the wall. He got close to it but not close enough, undoubtedly, because he didn't catch it.

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