Cardinals Post-Game: Manager Joe Kruzel & Shortstop Kramer Robertson

Manager Joe Kruzel:

Cardinals Manager Joe Kruzel

On getting the first win of the season: “I’m extremely happy for the kids, they’ve been playing their tails off. We had a couple heartbreakers on that road trip. They could have easily folded when we lost the lead there in the 8th and the 9th but they’re resilient. They keep fighting in there. Very proud of the kids.”

On the team coming home and the opening night crowd: “I think the crowd definitely helped us out but I will say this about this group: even on the road trip they kept sticking their nose in the game. They never looked deflated in any way. They kept battling and battling…we just came up short a couple times.”

On how it felt to have the walk-off home run win the game in the home opener: “It was outstanding because we were done with our pitching! I mean, I don’t know how we could have gone much longer. It’s fortunate that Lopez ran into one and sent us home.”

On Kramer Robertson hitting so well, with his third home run tonight: “I give him a lot of credit because coming out of spring training he was working on some stuff and he’s put in the time and effort. He’s put himself in a good hitting position and it’s paying off.”

On the defensive mistake in the 5th inning on a play at first base that led to the Naturals taking a 5-4 lead: “It was just one of those unfortunate plays where the read off the bat, Mendoza’s first read was to go to the ball and the second baseman called him off and unfortunately the pitcher was late getting over and we didn’t have a play there.

In the same regard, there were some great plays made out there tonight. Kramer Robertson made one, Mendoza made a couple other ones, Montero made some really nice plays. We threw out some guys at third and at home. That was just an unfortunate situation on that ground ball but a lot of positive things happened tonight.”

What to improve on for tomorrow’s game: “Every night we go out there it’s a new day, it’s a new game. You just have to keep sticking your nose in it. It’s never gonna be real easy, you have to keep fighting. That’s what I love about this group, they always keep fighting.”

Shortstop Kramer Robertson:

Photo courtesy Springfield Cardinals

On his hot start at the plate this season: “You always have high expectations for yourself and lofty goals. I worked really hard this off-season with my swing and in the weight room as well to put on some strength. Then when I got to Spring Training working with Brandon Allen and the other Cardinals hitting coaches. I just continue tinkering with it, nothing drastic, but it’s good to get off to a hot start. Tomorrow’s a new day and I take it one bat at a time, one day at a time. You gotta stay on an even keel.”

On his plate discipline and drawing walks: “You always want to limit your strikeouts and draw as many walks as you can. I feel I’m seeing pitches well and I just want to continue to do what I’m doing now. Trust in the plan that (hitting coach) Brandon (Allen) and I come up with before the game in how we want to attack the pitcher. I feel like I’m starting to become a more mature hitter in that I’m getting better at understanding what pitchers are trying to do to me.”