Postgame reaction from the Cardinals' and Pirates' clubhouses. Note: you may want to skip right down to Sanchez's comments.
On Volquez's start:
Fastball command. Downhill angle. Big-time spin and tilt on a breaking ball. Good changeup. Ahead in the count. Efficient with pitches. It's the guy we have seen before.
He pitched a gem. A flat-out gem. He matched Wainwright for the entire time he was out there.
On Tony Sanchez:
I think what you see is a guy that is maturing. He knows that his at bats aren't going to be consistent unless something happens to Russell ... when you're a part-time player, you've got to be ready to hit a fastball. You stay on the fastball, you never get off the fastball. And then you just battle.
On Tony Watson
He's been nothing but consistent. The velocity's picked up. The breaking ball is shaping up better. The changeup is in play ... He is the one that any club that wanted to talk to us about doing anything, wanted. So, we think we have a special guy and I think within the industry he's opened the eyes of a number of other teams.
Everything felt really good from the beginning. All my pitches were there today.
On the standing ovation he received leaving the mound:
It felt good. My first start in Pittsburgh. I think I did a great job today and the fans appreciated what I did.
Working with Tony Sanchez behind the plate:
It was good. I just threw everything he put down.
What explains Volquez's good fastball today?:
The adjustments Ray and he have worked on all throughout spring training. Getting the ball out of his glove earlier. Getting that leg to where it needs to be. And keeping that front side closed. I know that they have worked hours, and hours on his mechanics and where he needs to be balance-wise.
On the Pirates' start:
We'll take 4-and-2. That's huge for us. Especially when we're not firing on all cylinders. There is no doubt we showed signs when we put up 12 runs the other night of what we are capable of. It's just a matter of consistency.
On his mindset at the plate in the seventh:
You gotta say, ‘hey, get the fastball, get your foot down early and get ready and be hero.' And that's the way I talk to myself. I almost like tricking myself into believing that I'm ready for this. When really I'm not. My head's spinning a million miles a hour. I got an ace in Adam Wainwright on the mound and I'm supposed to drive in Pedro from first with two outs in the eighth?! You trick yourself. Fake it til you make it.
What did it feel like when you got the big hit?
God! Genuine jubilation. I was just so excited. The ball came off the bat and I knew it was going to get into the gap, it was just a matter of whether Pedro was going to be fast enough to score. And he was busting his butt the entire way.
He was good. Wainey was great. Tough loss for him. He kept us right there. We just had trouble putting anything together against Volquez.
On the Pirates' shifts:
I can think of two balls up the middle, at least [that they took away]. They got some guys in the right spots.
On backend of the Pirates' bullpen:
They've got a talented club. We've seen a lot of their guys; they've seen a lot of us. We know what we have to deal with if we let the game get that point.
When you play tough teams, rivalry teams like we did today, especially here in Pittsburgh, they're going to be very tough. It comes down to a couple of plays, and their guy Volquez pitched a great game.
On his approach against Pedro Alvarez today:
I didn't have my cutter today. It was sloppy. That's what Neil Walker hit earlier in the game. I kept trying to work it, but it wasn't there today. So that was a weapon I couldn't really utilize against him. I wanted to get him out (to lead off the seventh). You never want to put the lead off guy on, especially late in the game.