10/07/10 3:45 PM ET
ALDS Game 1 postgame interview: Girardi
By / MLB.com
Q. Joe, just I mean the resilience of this team, you've seen it all year, coming back. With the guys you have do you ever think you are out of a game?
JOE GIRARDI: No we don't. We know the guys have the capability of hitting the ball out of the ballpark and putting tough at bats and finding a way to get on. You get a big hit from Grandy and from Tex tonight, and we end up winning a big game.
Q. Two things: How was your impression of Sabathia tonight? And you talked before the game about Granderson, the look against lefties how big of a hit was that for him.
JOE GIRARDI: I didn't think CC was bad. When I looked at him, I thought he hits Thome and then he gets behind Cuddyer and, you know, he throws a fastball and he hits the ball out. So he makes a mistake there. We give him the third run, and the fourth run, you know, it's kind of odd that he walks that many guys. But I thought he threw the ball pretty decent. He kept away from big innings.
And Grandy, you know, we talked about Grandy has been a different guy since August in Texas when he made the little adjustment. And I mean, you look at his first at bat when he lined out to the first baseman, he hit a ball hard to the first baseman; he is a different guy.
Q. Joe, how big do you think these hits can be specifically for Granderson and Teixeira, two guys who came into this postseason with the questions about their postseason accomplishments?
JOE GIRARDI: I think they're big. I don't have any questions about them. You know sometimes when you're in the postseason you are seeing the best of the best, and you are seeing ones, twos and threes all the time. But they are big hits for these guys. Tex had a big hit against Minnesota last year as well. But what they did, to be able to get six runs in those two innings, I mean that's not easy to do in playoff baseball.
Q. Joe, was there ever a point, since you did bring up, it wasn't until mid August that Granderson was able to do it where you kind of said, you know what, his first year here could be a wasted year, especially against lefties. And the fact he was able to find it so deep in the season what does it say about him?
JOE GIRARDI: I think it is really impressive that you can make that adjustment, and shows you the type of talent that he has and his willingness to try to get better. I think that's important in a player. And never did I think it was a wasted season because we got a center fielder, we got better defensively, and he was hitting right handers at a pretty good pace. I thought he was starting to get on a roll before he got hurt, I did. And I think, I thought it set him back a little bit, the groin injury where he missed a month. But I've been impressed by Grandy and his determination.
Q. Joe, how many times have we heard people say throughout the season just wait 'til the playoffs and instant replay could really be needed to come into it.
JOE GIRARDI: (Laughing) I commend them, they got together and they talked about it. I never really saw the replay, so I am not exactly sure what happened. I know what our players told me. You know it's not like they were out of position or anything. They hustled out there, it just happens.
Q. Joe, what amount of pain is Teixeira dealing with that he's trying to play through? What is going on with his wrist?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, like I said, when he has to dive that seems to bother it. It's better than it was. I'm not sure Tex would ever tell me how much pain he was in, that's the type of player he is. He's tough. Tex is really tough and has a high pain threshold. He broke his toe and played the next day. So I'm not sure that you would ever get it completely out of him.
Q. Joe, you said you had some trepidation about bringing in Mo for more than three outs. What was your mindset there giving how good Kerry has been.
JOE GIRARDI: I thought it was time to go Mo. It is one thing to sit up here three hours before the game and talk about what you might do and might not do. You get in a situation and you look at a match up, and I said it is a good match up for Mo.
THE MODERATOR: Okay, thank you very much.
ALDS Game 1 postgame interview: Teixeira
Q. As well as CC has pitched for you all year, how did it feel to kind of pick him up in that situation?
MARK TEIXEIRA: It was great because CC has been picking us up a lot and just pitching his butt off. And for us to be able to score a few more runs for him today, and get him that win, he deserved that win. He had a couple of bad bounces for him. The ball that I had to dive at first base and then get to third, and then a ball gets away from Posada a little bit of bad luck, but he kept battling.
Q. I wasn't going to ask this question, but you reminded me: Joe said the thumb hurts you the most when you dive. You are not supposed to be diving out there. Did you hurt yourself on that one?
MARK TEIXEIRA: No. It actually felt pretty good on that one. But that's a play I have to get that out. It was a great play on Hudson's part. A heads up play. As soon as I dove and got the out, I got up there and he was halfway to third base. Just a great play.
Q. How many pain are you playing in right now? We talked a little bit before the game about getting cortisone shot and the whole bit. How much is that hand hurting you now?
MARK TEIXEIRA: It is actually the worst when I swing and miss. So my goal is not to swing and miss.
Q. No diving.
MARK TEIXEIRA: I am able to take extra batting practice and for a couple of weeks I couldn't do that. The cortisone shot definitely helped. Hopefully we won't need another one. It is always in our back pockets. Hopefully we will play the next four weeks. If I need another one, I can get another one.
Q. You guys have led the league in comebacks during the regular season. Why do you think this team is so good at rallying from being down?
MARK TEIXEIRA: Our lineup is so deep, there is never a reason to give up. There are some teams where maybe two or three guys carry the team and if you're in a big hole, it's just tough to get out of. But with our lineup we can be down four, five, six runs and we have a chance to score seven or eight. And we haven't given up all year.
Q. Just the breaking ball at that Crain left up for you, talk about it. Did your eyes light up? And how much did you get of it?
MARK TEIXEIRA: I wanted to get a pitch up in the zone. Swish did a great job of getting on base. There was one out, the last thing I wanted to do is hit into a double play with Alex behind me. So looking for a pitch up. Battled, got to 3 2 and he did leave a pitch up and I put a pretty good swing on it.
Q. You obviously hit a lot of home runs during your career. I am wondering what is the difference in feeling to hit one in a situation like that in the playoffs on the road? You know hearing the crowd go silent.
MARK TEIXEIRA: You know what, game winning home runs, there's nothing better. And the biggest thing is it's game winning. Home runs when you're losing or home runs that don't end up being the difference, they're very empty. It is an empty feeling any time you lose. But when have you a chance to put your team up, especially on the road against a very good Minnesota Twins team, it was a great feeling.
Q. Mark, how much do you think you personally can build off your night? Do you think this you can carry this into tomorrow night?
MARK TEIXEIRA: I hope so. That's the goal. The playoffs is not about quantity, it is quality. You just want to get big hits. And everyone talks about hits with runners in scoring position, home runs are big in the playoffs. And hopefully I can continue to do that.
Q. What was the difference between Liriano for the first five innings and then the sixth inning?
MARK TEIXEIRA: He was filthy the first five. He didn't miss many pitches. He was throwing everything all over the place. And that fifth inning or sixth inning whatever it was, just left the ball up a couple of times. The ball I hit for a double is a change up up in the zone and he hadn't done that in my first two at bats. We took advantage of a few mistakes.
Q. Mark, did you think that the game was over, maybe one hit earlier? I don't know if you saw Golson, what your view on that play was.
MARK TEIXEIRA: I thought it was a catch right away. And that's why we were all pretty adamant about it. You have the whole team running to make sure they try to get it right. But it just didn't go our way.
Q. Mark, in Baltimore a few weeks ago, right around when you got the cortisone shot, you said you had been playing in the most pain you had ever played in in your career. Have you numbed it out? Or has that gotten significantly better since then?
MARK TEIXEIRA: It has gotten better, but at the same time you learn how to deal with it. You know, you break your toe and bruise your hand in the same week, you're like you don't have feet or hands to work with. It was a tough couple of weeks. But the toe has gotten better, the hand has gotten better with the shot. Right now there's no time for worrying about taking days off and getting better. You know it is what it is and I feel good enough to play. Obviously I played well tonight and try to keep doing that.
ALDS Game 1 postgame interview: Granderson
Q. Curtis, what goes through your mind? You guys have come back a lot of times this year, but you fall behind 3 0 tonight, what is going through your mind at that point?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: Continue to put pressure on. We had runners on through the course of the game, and I had an at bat early in the game runners at first and second and hit the ball hard, but Cuddyer at first base made a great play to get themselves out of the inning. We know we continue to put guys on base, hopefully we can go and get one to come across, a couple more to come across and we know CC will keep us in the ballgame.That's pretty much the mentality throughout the start of the game, when we fall behind, get the lead, lose it again, continue to stay confident and understand we will get opportunities as the game goes on.
Q. Curtis, your career numbers against Liriano were not great, but in light of your recent surge, how much more confident did you feel going against him?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: I always felt confident against him, but is he arguably one of the best guys. And I think if he hadn't got hurt over the course of his year, he would be arguably be the best lefty in baseball. But he is still way up there at the top right now. And it was just a matter of being in the position to hit the baseball and getting a pitch to hit.
It seems like all the times before he did a great job of not giving me too much to hit. Then when I did, I wasn't able to do much with it. So a mixture of all of those things working in the reverse this time and able to go ahead and put the ball a little out of reach of Denard Span in center field, and allow us to run around the base as little bit.
Q. Curtis, was there any moment through about mid August where you said, thought to yourself this season just isn't going to go the way I want? Can you talk a little bit about what your motivations were for trying to tinker with your swing that late in the season.
CURTIS GRANDERSON: I always looked at it as the season is definitely not over until we finish game 162, or in the past I played 163. Everything will go ahead and work itself out. Knowing that I was getting consistent balls at bat after at bat and not able to do something with that caused the change. It wasn't a confidence thing, it wasn't even the matter of not getting hits, it was the fact I wasn't allowing myself to be able to put the ball in play to give myself the best chance possible to get a hit. That's when Kevin Long and myself decided to sit down a little bit and discuss a slight change, which has been made a great deal of right now, but it is very minute. It is to consistently put me in a position to attack the baseball from pitch to pitch, pitcher to pitcher, from game to game.
Q. Curtis, was there a moment as much as you kept confidence against left handers specifically, was there a moment where you locked onto something that made you feel even more confident in those situations?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: Not necessarily. It has been a situation over the course of my career where I've watched guys who had success against different pitchers and what they have been able to do, and not necessarily be a guess hitter but understand the situation. And this is what a guy is going to do to get you out. And I have finally been able to go ahead and use that a little bit and say okay, this is what a guy's going to do. This is what he has been able to do in the past. Let me go ahead and see if I can do some of these things and just be ready for it, not be surprised. And it is starting to pay off a little bit.
Again, it's still a situation of trusting myself with it because I hadn't done that before. Just been more, hey, get myself in a position to hit, react to it. If it is there in the zone, we hit it; if it is not, you let it go. But if you're able to go ahead and recognize a situation, sometimes it can help you out. And I think that's happened over the course of the last month and a half. Not all the time, but from some at bats to some other at bats as well.
Q. Curtis, have you a lot of history against the Twins and you know what they're all about. Just how important was it for you guys to get up early and get this first win and get out to a good start?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: I think Game 1 is the most important no matter what. It sets the tone at least for a few hours because we come back tomorrow and get a chance to do this all over again. But anytime you can go ahead and pick the first game up in a series, you're able to go ahead and hopefully carry that momentum over to the next day. And it is a very hostile environment. My first time coming here this season and I remember how the Metrodome was and how loud it could be, and all the different elements that it added to them. I didn't expect it to be as loud as it was tonight, and they did a great job from the fan base here in Minnesota of being just as loud as they were with the Dome as they were tonight without it. And credit to them and they are going to be just as loud tomorrow. I have to be ready for it. The Twins are going to be looking to even this thing out again tomorrow.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.