Damon: We have to win or go home
Outfelder discusses club's mind-set facing 0-2 ALDS hole
A veteran of eight postseason series, Johnny Damon got his first taste of what they are like in a Yankees uniform in 2006, as New York went down in four games to the Detroit Tigers in the American League Division Series.
It wasn't the outcome he was expecting, and the 33-year-old outfielder is hoping for better stories to tell after the Yankees complete their run in October 2007. The Yankees dropped the second game of the ALDS on Friday, suffering a crushing 2-1 defeat in 11 innings at Jacobs Field, putting the club in a 0-2 hole as it heads back to New York.
Throughout the 2007 postseason, Damon will take part in a Q&A with MLB.com, sharing his thoughts after every Yankees game. On Friday, Damon responded to Fausto Carmona's strong performance, the strangeness of watching bugs envelop the playing field and how the Yankees were feeling as they boarded their charter flight home.
How much does it sting to be in this situation, down 0-2 in a best-of-five series?
It's not a good situation. The good thing is that we are going home and hopefully our fans get crazy like theirs did. Hopefully we can take advantage of home field.
What made Carmona so tough for you guys?
He got ahead early. The times that he had trouble against us early this year, he wasn't able to pound the strike zone. He did it to the end today. He got strike one and started hitting his spots. That's what made him good. We definitely have to do better.
What is the team's mind-set going back to New York?
We have to win or we go home. That's the bottom line. We had opportunities the first two games, which makes us very frustrated. I felt like we could have won these first two games, but breaks go here and there. It hasn't gone our way, but we'll come back on Sunday. We'd better win.
Have you ever seen anything like that with the bugs in the late innings?
Actually, when I played in Rockford back in 1993, there were these 24-hour moths. They hatched and they'd fly around, and you can't see anything. They actually had to cancel our games. But I'm from Florida.
Was there a point where you were able to take a step back and think, 'This is a pretty good game we've got here?'
I would have to say I thought that in the seventh inning, when Joba [Chamberlain] came in and got two outs. The next inning really turned to garbage for us. Winning that game 1-0 really would have been huge, and at that point, we really thought we were going to.
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.