Lidge, Biggio pregame interview
Cards are tough, but players want to win series at home
Craig, you've been in this game for so long with the same team for so long, this is your third opportunity to go to the World Series; can you just tell us what goes through your mind going through so much with the same club being one win away?
CRAIG BIGGIO: Once again, I'm pretty excited like everybody else is in this clubhouse. We understand what's at stake but we have not accomplished anything yet. We have a tough battle tonight against Carpenter. He's pitched great against us. I'm just focused on tonight and hopefully things go well for and you I'll have a better response for you later on.
As a guy who is not from here and has not been in the Major Leagues for as long as Craig and Jeff, inside the clubhouse, do the younger guys understand the history of Astros baseball, like the fact that the team has never been to a World Series; do you ever talk about those kind of things? Is the team aware of that?
BRAD LIDGE: Yeah, we're definitely aware of it. When you join this organization, even when I was drafted, I know Biggio and Bagwell have been to the playoffs a lot of times but never made that final step. But we've always had an incredibly competitive team, and that's what I knew the Astros by when I joined the organization.
It's awesome to be on the team and in the organization right now. It feels like we have a chance to do that again. Like Craig said, I don't want to get too far ahead of ourselves because we have a great pitcher that we have to face right now. It feels like we're a part of something special right now. All of the young guys are definitely aware of the history of this franchise, where we've come from and what we're doing now.
What makes Chris Carpenter so tough, can you just describe him as a pitcher?
BIGGIO: Well, he's just got, he's got a good two seamer and he can stripe down his four seamer. His release point is a little deceptive and tough on right handers to pick up, but you've got to battle off of him. He's not going to throw you a lot of pitches in the same spot, and if you get a good pitch to hit you'd better hack at it because a lot of times you're not going to get another one of them.
Game 2 may have been something of a milestone, but as a rule over the last year, you have not had much success there; is there a sense of urgency to get it done tonight rather than risk going back to St. Louis?
LIDGE: No matter who we are playing, we want to win it tonight and not have to go on the road. Clearly they are a great team and they play great at home so, that makes us want to win it more here.
But I think having Pettitte going and the way we're confident at home, the way we play at home, we definitely want to wrap it up here tonight. It would be tough for us to get on that plane after the game and have to go do that. We're looking forward to trying to win this thing now and that being said, we've got Andy, Roy and Roger going. If it doesn't work out tonight, we're very confident in the future. But they always play great and they are a tough team. Hopefully we can nail it down tonight. I think no matter who we are playing, we'd want to win it tonight and not have to go away.
I wanted to ask you about Jim Hickey, the pitching coach, a guy who paid his dues in the Minor Leagues as a coach and now he's got this tremendous staff he's working with. What is he like? He's the same age as Roger, so he's not much older than you guys are.
LIDGE: Hickey's awesome. I had him as a pitching coach in AAA and obviously now here in Houston. The best thing about Hickey is he keeps everything simple, doesn't try to over correct things. He has a lot of confidence in guys in how they got here and what they do and won't try to change people up too much. He'll say what needs to be said, he'll make sure you understand it, he'll make sure you make the adjustment and he'll leave it at that.
Sometimes guys have some trouble and they try and make over adjustments and they try and change too many things and that can lead to more problems. I think that he has a way of simplifying things that they make sense for us and they always seem to be right on. It's great to work with them. We kind of view him as one of the guys. He's, like you said, he's not too much older than them and we can talk to him just like he's one of the guys, one of our teammates.
You've been on teams that have more productive lineups in years past in this organization, what is it about this team, even without getting a lot of hits with runners in scoring position, how have you all been able to pull these games out and win and do so well late in the season and in the postseason?
BIGGIO: We just believe in our ability and believe in our team. We get the best out of our ability and our team, obviously. It's something that, yeah, we don't have the big guns like we had last year, but we still find a way to win baseball games.
Last night, it was the defense and pitching. It's pretty much been the story the whole season, just score enough to win baseball games. You have to believe in everybody in that clubhouse, and I think that's probably the biggest thing is that we've got a lot of character. A lot of guys keep their heads high and we believe in the guy that's going up there at the plate is going to get the job done. It's going to be a nail biter, like they always are.
You talk about beliefs in the players. Talk about Phil and his style of management. I know he goes with a lot of gut feelings, but seem to ride along with him.
BIGGIO: He's an aggressive manager. Obviously he's not afraid to make changes and make adjustments or put certain plays on. You know we just go out and do what we're told and he's really making all of the right moves and he's just really doing a great job for us.
Brad, I don't want to ask you about facing the Chicago White Sox, I just want to know your opinion about seeing a team throw four consecutive games in a postseason.
LIDGE: Yeah, they obviously have a tremendous pitching staff. Just watching their games on TV, it's amazing that their starters have been able to do what they have done and they seem it get stronger at the end of games. Even if they give up a couple of runs at the beginning or middle, they seem to finish up stronger.
That said, they have a tremendous bullpen, too, a great bullpen all year long that I've seen and have some tremendous arms there. To me they look like an incredibly talented team. They have great hitters, too, but their pitching staff just looks tremendous and hopefully we'll have to worry about that problem soon.
Craig, can you talk about your relationship with Jeff Bagwell and what it would mean to both of you who have lived here so long, to help bring something to this city that has never occurred?
BIGGIO: Well, it's something that we've obviously we talk about every year as far as just trying to get this city and this organization to the World Series. It's never been done before. We're real close right now, but he and I have dedicated ourselves to this city and this community. The loyalty factor from he and I and management upstairs has been strong and solid. And to be as close as we are right now, this is something that we've been talking about for a long time. You know, hopefully it will be meant to be.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.