10/07/07 11:18 PM ET
Damon postgame interview
Outfielder talks about his three-run homer in the fifth inning
By / MLB.com
JOHNNY DAMON: You know, I would sure like to hope so. A bunch of us have been in the playoffs a lot, so we know the ups and downs that go with it. We know our backs are up against the wall. We know we have to come out and play well, do well. There's a lot on the line. We're playing for our manager that we love. We're playing for fans that we love. So we'd like to prolong the season as long as we can.
Just how did you hear about the comments by the owner about Joe's job? And how does that play out in the way you approach your work?
JOHNNY DAMON: You know, somebody mentioned it in the clubhouse. What we have to understand as players is Mr. Steinbrenner is the boss. He gets to make the decisions here. And what we can do as players is to go out and keep playing as hard as we have been. We've battled through adversity all through the season, and right now is another time. We all love Joe Torre, and we'd love for him to win another championship. I think Joe Torre is a guy who commands a lot of respect. He's meant so much to the Yankee organization. And, you know, we get to play for him at least another day, and hopefully longer.
Two parts: Westbrook going 2-0 on you, how much did that play into your hands because you could kind of sit fastball? Then after that, talk about how the atmosphere here changed when that ball leaves the park?
JOHNNY DAMON: You know, I was hoping the ball would leave the ballpark. Hitting the ball straight up in the air, I didn't quite get it the way that I wanted to. But, you know, having the count in my favor, I was just hoping to put a nice, level swing on it.
He was throwing me a lot more changeups as the game progressed. He was definitely trying to keep the ball down. I just happened to get a ball up, and fortunately, it got out of the ballpark, gave us the lead and kind of changed the momentum of this baseball game.
When you were with the Red Sox, you had obviously rallied from a long way down. How much can one win change the momentum in a series?
JOHNNY DAMON: I think one win can really do a lot for us. We couldn't play tomorrow unless we won today. And it seemed like other guys started feeling a little more comfortable today, with our backs up against the wall. Alex got a few hits. Cano got a few big hits. Melky, Posada. So, I think we're moving in the right direction. Hopefully, tomorrow is a great game for us. Hopefully, we can keep swinging the bats and keep getting great pitching.
I think Phillip Hughes did a wonderful job tonight. I think he introduced himself to the world tonight. He came in for Clemens and shut them down for a few innings.
You hit a home run here three years ago that quieted this whole place down. What did it feel like to you to run around the bases after this one, the turnaround that you kind of provided?
JOHNNY DAMON: You know, it felt great. I know the Red Sox are off waiting for the next team, and hopefully that team is us. But I enjoy playing here at Yankee Stadium. I enjoy being with these teammates here. I enjoy doing it for the Yankees. It's great seeing the crowd go crazy. I got to experience it slightly last year in Game 2 against the Tigers. But today was huge because it gives us another day of life.
I know we're going to be coming with our best game. So we hope to get back to Cleveland. We hope to keep playing for Joe. And there are a lot of things that we need to be proud of.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.