10/17/2004 9:34 PM ET
Lance Berkman postgame quotes
Right fielder discusses the team attitude
Q. You come in here hitting .385, reach base four times today. You're watching Beltran, are you still amazed by the guy that's hitting ahead of you, Beltran, and what he's able to do as well?
LANCE BERKMAN: Yeah, I mean, he's been great. Everything he hits seems to go out of the park. It's pretty fun to watch.
Q. How locked in do you feel during this series?
LANCE BERKMAN: I feel pretty good. I mean, the playoffs are funny because people judge you and they grade you on such a small number of at bats. You almost feel like panic mode because if you go 0-1, that's a slump in the postseason and people are going to be critiquing and analyzing.
I'm just up there, driven by that to know that, hey, the concentration level has got to be at the highest it can possibly be. Sometimes that's been official.
Q. In the at-bat when you hit the homerun, you and the pitcher seemed to be going back and forth, what was that about?
LANCE BERKMAN: Well, I mean, I don't know. I guess that either he didn't know or didn't have a good feeling about what he wanted to throw right there. He and his catcher weren't on the same page or something, it seemed like they went through five or six signs. I'm not going to stand in the batter's box tense while they're trying to figure it out. I just wanted to let them kind of get on the same page and go from there.
Q. Given the number of pitches that Brad (Lidge) threw yesterday and the magnitude of the situation, is there a way to put into context what he did by pitching back to back games?
LANCE BERKMAN: Well, Brad, I mean, we wouldn't be here if it wasn't for Brad. He's been just phenomenal. He's got to be if not the best, one of the best closers in the game.
I told him as he was running out to the mound, "Just keep throwing till your arm falls off." So this time of the year, I mean, you can make yourself do things that you probably wouldn't ordinarily do. Brad is, I mean, he conditions himself, he's one of the harder workers on our pitching staff so I know that he's going to keep himself ready to go.
Like Phil (Garner) said, he was kind of joking, but I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he said he was able to throw two innings tomorrow.
Q. Even when Oswalt has an off day like today, the successes he had over the year, does that give you confidence to keep pushing?
LANCE BERKMAN: Well, people have made the comment that we were a pretty confident 0-2 team coming back home. I mean, I really felt like we were going to win both of these games with Roger (Clemens) and Roy on the mound. I think that says a lot about those two guys. I feel like everybody on the team felt the same way. We felt like we had an outstanding chance to even the series at two. Fortunately, we were able to get it done.
We have Roy, Roger on the mound, you're dealing with a real competent team.
Q. Yesterday in the postgame in the locker room, you said out on the field, late in the game, some of the Cardinals looked stunned, as if they had expected to come into Houston and sweep you guys. If that's the case, did you notice anything today?
LANCE BERKMAN: No, I didn't feel that same way. The thing about the postseason is it's a huge momentum game, and if they could have, I feel like they really wanted to capitalize on that wave of getting two victories at home. They came in here very confident. When we were able to sort of break that momentum, you could kind of sense that.
And once that momentum's broken, anything can happen. Now, I feel like we've won two games in a row, so we might have a little bit of momentum. The series is tied. It's turned into a best two out of three. I think that they know they're in a fight, and so do we.
Q. You and Carlos have been pretty much locked in the whole series. What was it like to see the bottom part of your order break out today, with Vizcaino and Chavez delivering the way they did?
LANCE BERKMAN: Well, you got to have contributions up and down the lineup to win these playoff games. A lot of times it comes from people that you might not ordinarily say, "Well, he's got to be the man in this game," and Jose has been great for us all year. He's a very good hitter.
Chavez, during the season, he didn't hit for a real high average but it seemed like every single base hit he got drove in a huge run. He's a very good clutch hitter in those situations and he got it done again today.
So, again, it's a team effort. It's nine guys. It's not one or two, although sometimes with Carlos. It might seem that way, everybody's got to contribute and they did today.
Q. Given what you guys have accomplished over the past eight weeks or so, whether it's Beltran's postseason or Lidge coming in back to back, does anything that you guys accomplish anymore awe you?
LANCE BERKMAN: Well, I mean, it's hard to describe. This point, we're not awed or underawed or overawed or any kind of awed. We're just playing baseball. It just seems like we're caught in a -- it's like the regular season; you get in this routine, come to the ballpark, put your uniform on, take batting practice, play the game, you shower, you go home, you go to bed, you get up, you eat, you come to the ballpark. It's really been that, I think we're numb, basically, to these must win situations and these big games and stuff like that. I think the attitude that we have is very good in that, "Hey, all we can do is put the uniform on, go out there and play the game and do the best we can. If we get beat, we get beat." But if we play good baseball, we have a chance to win.
I think we've been in that mode for a long time, and that's part of the reason why we've been successful.
Q. How shocking was it to see Jason Marquis steaming towards second after what appeared to be a routine single?
LANCE BERKMAN: I didn't know what was going on. I know the ball took kind of a funny hop, the last bounce it took before it got to me. It kind of kicked to the side a bit. I don't know if he thought I bobbled it or what, maybe he was just trying to catch me napping out there, but I'm glad it worked out because that turned out to be a pretty big play. They get three base hits after that, and I think it saved us a run.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.