Cliff Lee is in a pretty cool situation. He’s been to the postseason three years running, but last year was quite different, having joined the Rangers midway through their season. As you get used to the playoff atmosphere, it becomes easier to deal with, says Lee.
“Obviously, the first time you really don’t know what to expect, and each time you kind of know what it’s going to be like somewhat. Yeah, it was differnt from the Phillies to the Rangers to back to the Phillies here. It was definitely fun each time. I hope this time we take it to the next step though.”
Lee says this team is as loose as possible, and the factors he spoke about play into that. This team is used to it, so it doesn’t faze them just “being here.” And Lee himself says he’s always been a pretty cool customer. “I’ve always been pretty loose, no matter what, really. We’re confident. We expect to win, and it’ s been that way from Spring Training until now, so there’s really no need to change.”
The importance of the games is quite obvious, and Lee understands that, even though they look at it as just another game. “It is more important, there’s no doubt about it. but the mood of the team and the attitude is still the same. I mean, we’ve been quiet, confident all year and backed it up. So I expect more of the same throughout the postseason.”
Sounds like a man, and a team, on a mission.
Chris Carpenter will take the mound for the Cardinals on just three days rest, something the 36-year-old has never done in what has turned out to be a fairly illustrious career. Tony LaRussa made the decision to go with “Carp” so that they could set up a Carpenter/Halladay matchup in Game 5, if needed.
Obviously, big game pitchers want the ball in big situations, and Carpenter is doing just that. The Cardinals could have gone with Jaime Garcia in Game 3, but wanted their horse being out there as much as possible.