It’s hard for us to remember a player that likes talking less about himself than Pedro Alvarez. When asked about being responsible for the first three runs, ….well, we’ll let you read it for yourself.
The guy is unreal.
And Gerrit Cole?
See you back in Pittsburgh, gentlemen.
Here are the first few quotes, the rest are available here.
Q. Pedro, your numbers with Gerrit pitching, seven home runs, 20 RBIs. Is there anything to that?
PEDRO ALVAREZ: I must really like him or something, I don’t know. No, just a coincidence. That’s about it.
Q. Gerrit, how did you approach or handle today, the first time in the playoffs and the first time facing the Cardinals lineup?
GERRIT COLE: I just tried to do what I‑‑ I just tried to stick to my game plan and do what I’ve been doing the last month, moving the fastball around and mixing in some off‑speed pitches. Nothing too crazy.
Q. Gerrit, can you take us through your last batter and what your mindset was out there. You’ve had a tendency even in the Minors to say, I’m just rearing back and letting them have it here. Is that what you did there? Did you have an idea that might be it for you?
GERRIT COLE: I didn’t think that was it. I thought I was going to have one more, but that’s not my call. You know, we jumped ahead of Holliday and tried to make a good pitch inside, tried to freeze him. Missed just off the plate, and he took a couple of those breaking balls. Went after it with the slider and the curveball, and then ran out of balls to throw.
So it challenged him. They were up and in. Tried not to get him get his hands extended and tried to go back in there again, and it worked out for us.
Q. How important was it to at least get a split here and go back home not down 2‑0?
PEDRO ALVAREZ: Well, anytime you can get a win, it’s huge. But obviously to fall behind 2‑0 to a team like the Cardinals is no good. Today was a huge victory for us.
Q. Gerrit, did you notice at all how noisy the crowd was in that sixth inning, especially I think to Beltran that particular at‑bat? Did you notice any of that? And after that, for Pedro, how exciting is it to have a young pitcher like Cole who you know the organization can grow with?
GERRIT COLE: No, I mean, you can kind of feel the energy. We fell behind Jay 2‑0 after Yadier went out and the crowd was getting up for that. That sixth inning I had to make some pitches, but, I mean, you know you end up getting so focused that it really doesn’t faze you.
PEDRO ALVAREZ: Well, to have guys like Gerrit come up here and pitch the way he’s been pitching and just compete the way he’s been competing, I think it’s indicative of the way our organization and the direction our organization is going. We’re very happy about that. Anytime we can get a guy who comes up here and competes and continues to grow and continues to give us an opportunity to win, I mean, that’s all we can ask for. We’re very fortunate to have that in Gerrit.
Q. Pedro, you’ve had so much success against the Cardinals, especially with the power numbers. Do you see any reason for that?
PEDRO ALVAREZ: No, I mean, this is a very good pitching staff. Like I’ve said before, they demand that you try to bring your A‑game every single time, every single pitch, full concentration and just try to capitalize on maybe hitting a mistake, because they don’t make very many mistakes. I mean, that’s about it.
I’m trying to go up there every single pitch and compete, because, again, that’s what they demand out of you because of how tough they are.
Q. How important was it to you that you were responsible for the first three runs of the game and taking this team to an early lead?
PEDRO ALVAREZ: The fact that I was responsible for the first three runs has nothing to do with it. It’s the fact that we got some runs early and often throughout the game. That’s huge against a team like the Cardinals who there is never enough breathing room.
Q. Gerrit, did you find yourself unusually calm or perhaps nervous before this game? Do you consider yourself a good hitter? The stats say that you are.
GERRIT COLE: I was pretty nervous before the game, but that’s typical. Nothing really unusual. You know, I kind of figured Lynn was going to come after me, so I just tried to stay short and stay up the middle. I don’t know. I don’t really have an approach up there, so I just see him and try not to break my bat.
Q. On that early part of the game in the first inning, Beltran doubles one off the wall, and then you go the next 12, you retire them all. You keep it scoreless to give your team an opportunity. Do you think there was a certain key that let you nail down those first four innings and keep it scoreless?
GERRIT COLE: I mean, they’re a really tough offense. They don’t strikeout a whole lot, and they work counts and pick times to take and pick times to ambush. So it’s critical just to make quality pitches early, not only to get ahead, but to minimize damage.
That pitch to Beltran caught quite a bit of the plate, and he did what he should have done with it. But for the most part I try to just get ahead and just keep the pressure on him, really. The rest makes it up enough to keep him off the fastball.
Q. Could you tell that you were throwing consistently harder in the sixth inning? Was that a conscious thing for you?
GERRIT COLE: I mean, as you get comfortable with the delivery you have that day on the mound and the hitters and you see what they’re trying to do, then the situation, obviously can get you amped up a little bit, so you just do what you got to do, I guess.
Q. Have you had the same focus throughout the year or has it improved as the stakes get greater or is it just developing the curveball, refining the pitch?
GERRIT COLE: I think it’s just being more comfortable. You get up here and everything’s new. Once you start to get your feet settled in, it allows you to kind of relax out there. You don’t overdo things as much. I know that today there were some big situations where I had to bear down and the crowd was on my back.
So, you know, it’s fight or flight. You have an option to make a pitch or give up a double.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports