Williams ready to save Padres season

Williams ready to save Padres season

Padres' right-hander Woody Williams will be looking to help his team avoid the sweep and get the Friars on the road to evening the series on Saturday night.

Just generally the opportunity to go against your old team, a good friend, in a game of this much significance.

Woody Williams: I'm definitely looking forward to it. It's just a shame we're against the wall as much as we are. But my job is to go out there and help us continue the season, and that's what hopefully I'll be able to do out there.

What do you admire most about Matt Morris? You have been friends, you've watched him pitch over the years. What turns you on about him?

Woody Williams: Just his resiliency. He's been through some injuries and some tough times as far as health-wise. He's never given up and he's always come back stronger. When he's going out there, you definitely know what you're up against and what he's going to give you every time he goes out there.

As a guy who has pitched in the playoffs before, do you see players expand the zone, particularly when they're behind in a series?

Woody Williams: That's a good question. I think for the most part the guys that do have some experience handle it very well. But I know when the chips are down and your back's against the wall, things may change a little bit. Might get a little bit uptight. Tomorrow we have really nothing to lose and everything to gain by going out there and playing a nice, solid ballgame.

Can you discuss the late start of the game tomorrow night, then again Sunday afternoon. Is that kind of a slap in your face, for the networks to bump you in time?

Woody Williams: I don't think so. It works good for us here. I mean, it's late for people in the Midwest and people out East, but here it's 8:00 our time. I think everyone knows everything revolves around a couple of the teams as far as the networks and the prime time TV. That's the way it is. You just have to deal with it.

As a veteran, what do you bring to the table in a game like this, your past playoff experience, that you can share with the team either before the game or when you go out on the field?

Woody Williams: I think, you know, pretty much that kind of stuff has been relayed. We've all talked about it. It's not just me. There has been times when teams have come back from the situation we're in. We are in a hole, but the hole's not closed up yet. We still have some life. We just got to go out there and win tomorrow and see what happens after that, where that takes us.

In terms of emotions of facing your former team, the fact that you've already faced them this year, does it reduce that a little bit, make it easier just to pitch?

Woody Williams: Pitching against an offense like the Cardinals never makes it easy to pitch at all. I am familiar with their hitters; they are familiar with me. It's about me executing my pitches tomorrow and making sure I do what I want to do and not let them dictate what happens, but for me to take control of the game.

Is it more emotional than going against just any opponent?

Woody Williams: I don't believe so. Not in the situation now. It may have been if it was Game 1 or Game 2, able to pitch in St. Louis. But pitching here, have the home fans behind me, familiar area, a nice stadium, I think it's going to be juiced up and the fans are going to be great here. I just think things should work in our favor as far as the home field advantage tomorrow.

What went right for you last post-season? I remember especially the Championship Series was very emotional with you going to Houston, hometown, family, everybody coming in to see you pitch against the Astros. Sort of analyze it going back.

Woody Williams: Obviously, we had a great run last year and fell short in the World Series. We ran up against a hot team. The three starts I had before we got to the World Series I believe were pretty good. I was able to keep the team in the ballgame all three of those starts. That's what I strive to do every time I go out there. Tomorrow's no different.

It was a lot of fun, a lot of memories that can always be held on to. Hopefully tomorrow night I'll just have another one of those times.

It was Game 4, the inclement weather, did that have anything to do with it?

Woody Williams: You can't blame not pitching well on weather or where you're at. Bottom line is you have to do your job no matter what the situation, and I wasn't able to get that done.

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