Phil Garner postgame interview

Phil Garner postgame interview

Just wondering what you thought of their defense and specifically that double play with Berkman's line drive.

PHIL GARNER: Perhaps it turned the game around. We had him on the ropes, I think it was the third inning, and Berkman hits the ball about as good as you could hit and Mark makes a nice play, a nice double play and got out of a jam. We had them on the ropes in the fourth inning and didn't get anything out of it. That was the ballgame, and we didn't get anything after that.

What do you think makes Reggie Sanders dangerous?

GARNER: He's hot. He's a good hitter, and he's got hot. You make a mistake, and he's hitting it. We made a mistake, and he hit it.

Reggie devoured fastballs in the San Diego series. Was it just a bad pitch he made?

GARNER: It was a pitch that just took off across the plate. He's a dead fastball hitter, we all know that, but if we locate it where we want to, we'll be all right. We just didn't get it where we wanted to.

In the fourth, is Morgan running on contact on that play, or did he make that decision himself, and do you regret that ...

GARNER: No, I'm glad Morgan ran. Typically, when the ground ball is hit, we want to stay out of a double play, so you have a decision to make there.<>p> I thought Núñez made a nice play on the ball. Give him credit for reading the play well and going to the plate with it. I don't have a problem with Morgan's play. I would expect him to take off on that ball.

I don't know if anybody asked about Chris, but what makes him so tough, Chris Carpenter?

GARNER: Well, he's having a very good year, there's no question. But he's got a good, live fastball. He locates well. He uses both sides of the plate. He pitches ahead in the count. You do that, you're going to be pretty tough.

The importance of winning the first game of the series is historically borne out that the team that wins the first game wins the series. How do you feel after dropping this first one?

GARNER: Going to probably lose it all. (Laughter.) Why play on? (Laughter.)

No, it's a ballgame. It's one ballgame. This is a best-out-of-seven. Last year, we took it to the limit. I don't remember who won the first game last year -- well, they did, because we played here. But clearly, we'll have our work cut out for us. We knew that. But stranger things have happened. This club bounces back. And we'll bounce back.

What did you think of Andy's outing?

GARNER: Well, he wasn't quite as sharp as we've seen him, and I think probably the reason [is that] he took a line drive from off the bat during batting practice on his right knee, and I think it's all swollen up and puffed up. I think it had a little effect on him.

I applaud him for getting through it, but I think it probably had a little effect on him during the game and that's one reason he didn't locate as well as he has been here recently.

I think you've got to give them a little bit of credit. They have been playing very well, and if you make a mistake on Sanders, he hits it out of the ballpark. We had a couple of chances, made the turn and came back around and have a different ballgame, we didn't do that, but Andy kept us right there for a couple of innings.

What happened with Andy again?

GARNER: He got hit on the inside of the right knee with a line drive during batting practice.

Where was he and who was hitting?

GARNER: He was running the bases, which is what we do a lot of times, you know, he was just loosening up running around the bases, and Roy Oswalt hit him with a line drive.

Was it serious enough at that point to think that he couldn't pitch?

GARNER: No. I thought he was going to be able to pitch, but it clearly swelled up on him. You know, I think it was probably a little factor in the game in the way he was trying to work with it. But he was trying to pitch through it, and I thought he did a good job pitching through it.

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.