Young confident but wary of Pujols

San Diego Padres right-hander Chris Young is ready for the St. Louis Cardinals. He has been pitching well on the road and knows he has to approach Albert Pujols with caution.

Chris, what do you look for out of this St. Louis Cardinal lineup you're going to face tomorrow?

Chris Young: It's a very talented lineup, top to bottom. They've got all eight hitters in there and the pitcher too, they're all very talented, a good group of veteran hitters. They know how to hit, and I've got my work cut out for me.

Chris, what do you attribute your ability to adapt on the road so well? You've got different mounds, different circumstances? What is the common thread?

Chris Young: I don't know. I've been asked that a lot. There's no real thing that I can identify that has helped in this streak that everybody has made a big deal about. For me, I think a lot of it is just luck. There have been some games where I haven't pitched too well on the road and the team scored a lot of runs so really I don't attribute anything aside from luck to it.

Chris, I know routine is important for pitchers. Is it possible to maintain a routine in the playoffs and especially in a must-win game like this?

Chris Young: I assume so. I've never been here, so I can't answer for sure. I plan on it. I don't plan on treating it really differently than any game I have had in the past. It's still the same objective. Go out there and pitch as well as I can, execute my pitches to the best of my ability and hopefully we'll come away with a win.

Chris, they often talk about hitters having an advantage when they've seen a pitcher more than once. Does it help you at all that you just faced these guys recently and does it give you something to make some adjustments or whatever?

Chris Young: Yeah, a little bit. You know, obviously I faced them my last start, so I've got a decent idea of how I would like to pitch 'em, but there will be adjustments that will have to be made as the game goes along, based on what kind of stuff I have tomorrow, and we'll see how it goes.

Chris, out of the batters you faced, where would you rank Albert Pujols?

Chris Young: He's as good as it gets. I have faced very good hitters. Every hitter in the major league is very good and he's the best of the best. I have complete respect for him. He's a great hitter and I've got my work cut out for me.

Do the circumstances of this start have any bearing on your approach or your butterflies at this point?

Chris Young: No. You know, the circumstances change but the game itself is the same, and that's the way I'm trying to approach it. Down 0-2, to me it doesn't matter. My job is still the same, to go out and to make good pitches, and try to give this team a chance to win, regardless of what the series count is at.

Chris, I know you said earlier that this road record has a lot to do with luck, but have you spent time, maybe, 12, 13 games into it, trying to figure out if there's some sort of routine you had on the road that you could borrow at home or some sort of environment that you could pick from it?

Chris Young: Yeah, I've analyzed things and tried to determine if I treat my road starts the same as my home starts and I think to the best of my ability, I do. So really, I don't want to get too analytical about it, because I don't want it to affect my mental state or anything when I'm at home versus on the road, so it's just one of those things that has just sort of turned out that way, over a course of time. I think there's some luck involved. I think that's the biggest factor to be honest. If say last year in Texas, I had a game in Baltimore, gave up six runs in four innings but the team scored 7, so it could have been snapped early.

Well with the way that their first baseman has hit the past two games, how do you approach him for game 3? Will you try to pitch around him or depend upon what's going on?

Chris Young: I'll try to make very good pitches to him. I'll be very careful with him. Obviously he's swinging the bat right now, he's seeing the ball pretty well and he's the best hitter in the game right now, and it's going to be a challenge, and if there's a situation he can beat me then I'm going to be very careful and hopefully it won't happen.

Chris, how different does the Cardinals lineup look to you with Edmonds playing on a regular basis?

Chris Young: I think it helps having a veteran proven leader in the lineup. He's a leader. He's had great success, a great career and it makes their lineup that much better. Gives them a little bit of an edge, I think, just having his presence in there. They're all great hitters. I think there's a big difference having those guys in the lineup.

Chris, you said Pujols is the best hitter in the game. Is there one thing that makes him that or is it a combination of things?

Chris Young: Well it's a combination of things. His ability to not chase outside the strike zone, his ability to hit for power and average, drive in runs and then also hitting in the clutch, it's amazing what he has been able to do, and just from being a fan of the game, it's fun to watch.

Chris, how much does the score either way dictate how you pitch to Albert?

Chris Young: The score of the game?

Yeah.

Chris Young: I think very much so. If we're up and it's a situation where he can't tie or put them ahead, then we'll pitch to him and try to get him out by making good pitches, but if it's a situation where he can put them on top or extend their lead we're going to be careful with him.

When you said be careful, does that mean you wouldn't hesitate to pitch around him?

Chris Young: We'll see what the situation is and let that dictate what I'm going to do out there. But it's hard to say. It's hard to go through all the hypotheticals right now. I'll go through it once the game is going on and decide, talk to the pitching coach and Boch and see what we want to do.

You were here recently in the series against the Cardinals. Is there anything in general you notice different about this team since then?

Chris Young: It's a very talented team. It seems like a very good group of guys that play the game hard and play the right way, and I know that all teams go through their struggles over the course of the season and they happen to hit theirs at the end the season but I don't think that's predicated anything they've done in the playoffs, and they're extremely talented and I don't think we've taken them lightly. I just think that they play good baseball and they've come out on top the last two games.

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