10/20/10 8:00 PM ET
Postgame interview with Joe Girardi
By / MLB.com
JOE GIRARDI: Well, that's the one thing that CC is very good at usually is limiting damage. He got some double play balls when he needed, he got one in the first inning and he got one on Josh Hamilton. And he didn't walk anybody today. The other day in Texas, I think he had 20 balls in the first inning and I think he went through four and had not thrown 20 balls yet. He was pretty sharp today.
Q. Robinson Cano today, I know you appreciated him all year but what level has he taken this to?
JOE GIRARDI: It's as good as it gets. Robby has been big in our lineup all year and he has been big in the post season. He's swung the bat extremely well, and it just seems like he's getting the barrel of the bat to the ball all the time.
Q. You played Kerry Wood well, but when you picked him up, did you envision him playing this kind of a role for you at this point in the season?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, when you look at the numbers he's had with us, I mean, he's been so good. It's hard to say why we knew he would do that. I felt that he would pitch well here, I did. But he has been so good for us. Today, two innings, gives up a hit and then picks Andrus off, he's picked him off twice in this series; Kerry has been so good for us.
Q. Did you know what you were getting or were you just hopeful?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I felt that he would pitch good, but I don't think anyone, you know, ever says when you're going to get a reliever, that for two months, he's going to have an ERA under 1.00. Some of the best relievers of all time don't do that. So I don't think that you can imagine that he's going to be that good, but I thought they would help us a lot.
Q. You said this afternoon that you saw something looking into the players's eyes today. What did you see and how did that play itself out today? JOE GIRARDI: There was a determination. We have not played extremely well in this series. There was determination that we were going to go out and play our game today. I saw it during BP, the mood during BP was very businesslike, and we knew what we had to do. The guys went out and did it.
Q. It's understandable why Posada didn't play the other night, but when he plays like tonight and gets it started with the first run, is it something about him being whole in the team and starting it out and coming out as a leader?
JOE GIRARDI: We all know that Jorge brings a lot of intensity to the game every day that he plays. He got us going. In his baserunning, he put pressure on them and that's not something usually talk about from a catcher, putting pressure on the opposing club. But he did it and it worked out. He was very, very good today.
Q. Can you talk about the determination you saw with your players, understanding what your faced going into today, having to win three in a row, two in Texas, etc.; were you looking for it, or were you positive your team would look like that and feel like that today?
JOE GIRARDI: No, I felt like we would. You know, I talked about how resilient this club is and how this club has been through this before. This club has been through a lot of difficult games, difficult losses, frustrating at times, and then bounced back. There's so many characters in that room, that you know, I get to see every day. As a manager, you really appreciate what you have in there.
Q. You mentioned the sequence with Posada scoring, and obviously the couple of missed plays on their part. In addition to the lead that gives you, does that sequence, do you think, relieve any tension?
JOE GIRARDI: Maybe a little bit. There was some giggles on the bench when they saw Jorge running and running; it's not something that you always see. Yeah, it probably did a little bit.
Q. Once again, I'm quite aware of how reluctant you are to tell us things that go on in your clubhouse, but can you share a little bit about what you said to your team after last night's game and what you said before today's game?
JOE GIRARDI: I didn't say a whole lot before today's game. I talked to them a little bit last night, and I just talked to them about, we have won three games in a row before, we have bounced back a number of times. We are a talented club, just go out, play your game, be aggressive and do what you do. That was basically the message. Before we lost the three games in a row, we won four in a row. And I said, just look at tomorrow. Win a game tomorrow. And that will be our approach on Friday.
Q. What was Berkman's deal, neck, back?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, I actually thought he hit his head on the ground, but he didn't. It's more, I guess you'd call it his lower back or upper glute that he hit hard. The concern there is always a concussion. And he seemed to be pretty he seemed to be coherent. I imagine he's going to be pretty sore tomorrow. He's probably going to need some treatment and we are going to have to get him ready for Friday. He hit the ground pretty hard when his feet went out from under him, and he gutted it out today for us.
Q. What does it feel like now going to Texas?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, the feeling is, you know, it's a lot better than after you lose a game, I can tell you that. But it was just, go out it was nice to go out and play a good game for our club. And as I said, we have won games before in a row. And the feeling is that there's a feeling of confidence, and I'm sure there's a feeling of confidence on the other side. But you don't get to this point in the season if you're not confident in your club and in yourself.
Q. You have been involved in a lot of talented and experienced clubs. What are your thoughts on the concept of momentum in general? Do you think too much gets made of momentum?
JOE GIRARDI: I think it can. I think it starts with your starting pitcher, putting up zeros and getting a couple of runs early. I think that's momentum. Because when you look at both of these clubs, there's a lot of talent out there. And if you don't make your pitches, or you don't hit the pitches you should, no matter what kind of momentum you have, you're probably not going to win the game.
Postgame interviews: Granderson and Cano
Q. Curtis, do you feel that the Yankees finally played the kind of game they are capable of in this series?
Curtis Granderson: Yeah. At the same time, I don't think that we didn't the first couple of games. You have to give credit to Texas and how well they have pitched and been able to hit and play defense.
So as much as we are trying to accomplish what we want, there's always a neutralizing factor, and of course, that's the other team.
We were just able to go ahead and do a couple more things right today, and the first day, to be able to get two victories out of this series so far.
Q. Can you talk about -- from a player's standpoint -- on your side, you have Robby, who is bashing the ball, and they have Hamilton, it's almost like a mano a mano. Can you talk about watching those guys play at this level?
Granderson: Two dangerous guys on both sides. Both teams would be happy to have either one. Both teams are happy to have the guy that they have. You hear the constant MVP chants both in Texas and in New York, and it's going to be interesting to see who gets it when it's all said and done. Both of those guys have lived up to what they have done during the course of the 2010 season and also this postseason. Seems like there's no stopping any of those guys.
Q. As irreplaceable as Mark Teixeira is, how much does it make it easier on you to slide in Robby in the three spot?
Granderson: He could have been in the three spot all season long, Tex with 30 home runs was rightfully deserving of the spot, but it makes it a good variable and flip flop to either put him there, put Tex there or put Al there. I think Swish might have batted there once earlier this year. Either of those guys could be in that spot, and speaking of Robby, he comes in right now at any time.
Q. In the last three games, Curtis was very aggressive, and today they were a little sloppy, especially early, how important was it to capitalize when they gave you a chance?
Granderson: The key when you talk about the course of the playoffs is maximize the mistakes and they didn't seem to make too many in the first couple of games in this series. We just had one or two -- the baserunning error that allowed Jorge Posada to advance to third and score on that.
The big thing today is after Texas scored runs, we were able to score more runs. There's always going to be pressure applied on both sides, and to keep putting pressure on, that's going to be the key to either team winning this series when it's all said and done.
Q. Joe said you had some chuckles about Jorge's run around the bases.
Robinson Cano: Yeah, we always make fun of him. The guy, he made an error on the throw, and he said that his team wants to take advantage of their mistakes. We weren't able to make any of those in the first few games, and that's the key of the game, just take advantage of the mistakes.
Q. Robby, can you just describe how you feel at the plate right now, what these games are like for you?
Cano: I feel good at the plate, but the bottom line is you just won the game. If you didn't win, it doesn't mean anything. So just go out there and win the game, you stay alive and just do anything to stay in the race.
Q. Is this fun for you, to be playing this well in games this important?
Cano: Well, like I said, it's fun when you win. That's the only way you're going to have fun.
I mean, I don't look at my stats right now, how I'm doing. Just go out there and try to win the game.
Q. Curtis, can you talk about channeling that back to the wall mentality, to really giving you an intensity today?
Granderson: I think when it's win or go home, you know, you've got as much energy as you need. One of the things that our whole team did a great job is we are very relaxed and we did enough in the situations, didn't try to do too much. Our guys weren't pressing and weren't relaxing even with our backs against the wall and that was our key to success today.
Q. Are you looking for Josh --
Granderson: It's not in my hands to say who the MVP is. It's what I've been saying and what I'm going to keep saying, just go out and win the game.
Q. Were you aware of the fans chanting the MVP?
Cano: Oh, you can't avoid the fans. They are really loud and like I said, just focus on the game and we can't afford to lose the game. Just go out there and give what I got and try to win the game.
Q. Going into the number three spot, do you feel more responsibility?
Cano: We have such a great team, anybody on this team can hit, so it's a big responsibility for me right now, and it was the same way during the season. Batting first, second, anywhere in this lineup, you have to produce.
Q. Streaks like this are harder in the playoffs because of all the good pitching, did you ever feel this good in the slot in the regular season?
Cano: I felt like that the first half of the season, but right now, just trying to focus more than the regular season, because here, you either win or go home. After we won the series, we know what it feels like to go to the World Series and win a championship, and now want to go back again and just keep having fun.
Postgame interview with CC Sabathia
Q. Do you need to make introductions?
CC SABATHIA: Cyia and Jaden.
Q. Do you feel you were sharper today? And the hits that you gave up, was it battling through every inning?
CC SABATHIA: I think I was just trying to battle. I felt a lot sharper today than I did in Game 1. I was able to make some pitches when I got in trouble. In Game 1, I really had no clue like I said, I didn't know that I needed to make adjustments like that, but I was able to make adjustments and make some pitches when I needed to.
Q. You mentioned a few times that you've been impressed with Andy Pettitte, that he never looks nervous or acts that way. Were you nervous today, given the stakes and if so, how were you able to maintain your poise?
CC SABATHIA: I wasn't nervous. I felt good and I felt good about my bullpens and the way I've been throwing, leading up to the start. So I felt like I was more prepared today than in Game 1. You know, I gave up 11 hits, but you've got to give those guys some credit. They have a good lineup and they hit some good pitches.
Q. Joe said he spoke to you guys after last night's game, that you've won three games in a row before and one game at a time; what impact did that have on the team? CC SABATHIA: That was huge. Just having us be able to relax and not panic. We have a lot of guys in the clubhouse that have been in a lot of situations, and especially in the post season, when you see how they go about their business, you just try and relax and go out and do your job.
Q. After the team picked you up in those first two starts, do you feel that same sense of urgency?
CC SABATHIA: I just felt like I wanted to keep them in it and give us a chance to win. The first two starts of the post season, I just felt like I wasn't able to do that. We ended up winning the games, but you know, tonight I just felt like I made some pitches when I needed to.
Q. Could you run through the last batter you faced, it was a long at bat with Moreland, kind of take us through that. CC SABATHIA: He was battling all night. Put some good at bats together and fouled off a couple of pitches. I threw some strikes at him and couldn't put him away. Just threw a cutter that I was trying to throw for a strike, and you know, ended up backing him up where he didn't swing at it, getting the strike.
Q. Is this a situation that you savour with absolutely everything on the line?
CC SABATHIA: That's what you play for, to have the chance to win a championship. Our backs was up against the wall today and I just wanted to fight, no matter what the situation was, no matter how many runners were on base in any given inning, I was just going to try to make some pitches to make sure I got some outs.
Q. What kind of adjustments were you able to make specifically?
CC SABATHIA: A couple of times, I was able, right in the middle of the game, Jorge came out a couple of times, and was able to stay tall and make the adjustment to stay tall and get over the ball and make sure I was throwing the ball downhill.
Q. Were you aware of what your pitch count was, and did you know that Moreland was probably going to be your last guy?
CC SABATHIA: I really didn't know what my pitch count was, but given the situation in the game, I felt like, you know, he's possible my last hitter, him being a lefty and I just wanted to try to be able to make pitches to get him out.
Q. Was there something sort of like Yankee like about the Rangers at bats, because they had so many long at bats? Kind of reminded us of Yankees of post seasons past.
CC SABATHIA: That's really what they have been doing all post season, putting together good at bats. When we make mistakes, they really don't miss them. Today they kind of did the same thing, but like I said, I was able to make the pitches and get a double play a couple of times and make some pitches to get out of some tough innings.
Q. Can you go through the Hamilton at bat when you got the double play, what you were trying to accomplish?
CC SABATHIA: Trying to do exactly that. Trying to get the double play. I didn't really want to give him anything to hit, because he's swinging the bat well the whole series, and just trying to make a pitch down and way and ended up getting a roll over to second base and they ended up turning the double play.
Postgame interview with Jorge Posada
Q. We talk so much about how calm Andy is before starts like this; how was CC in the hours leading up to this one?
JORGE POSADA: CC is always the same. That's one of the best things about CC. He doesn't look like he's pitching that day, just sitting down on the couch and just watching a little bit of TV and really talking to everybody.
Q. You've been on both sides of teams coming from way back in the series, how quickly does the pressure start to mount on the team that's ahead, like, oh, man, we don't want to blow this thing?
JORGE POSADA: You know, as a losing team, you try and do things that you're not supposed to be doing. As a winning team, you look forward to everything. So you know, the reason why we are able to win today is the way CC pitched, and you look forward to that start, and I think CC did.
Q. You didn't get the opportunity to play last night, and now you're back and it's an elimination game. How much of a responsibility do you take as a core member of this team to really kind of go I don't know if extra mile is the right word, but today you were running the bases hard, you got them going with the big base hit early. How do you feel about that?
JORGE POSADA: You know, it's tough to sit down in the bench. You know, I think you have to be prepared and you have to be ready. And today I was back in there again. I take a lot of pride in what I do. I have fun playing the game, and I'm still having a lot of fun. You know, today is a perfect example of having fun and let things come to you a little bit.
Q. You've been on teams in this situation that lost; do you view today, is this a character statement about you guys or just a baseball win?
JORGE POSADA: It's a baseball win. You know, we've got to climb and we've got to get out of the hole we got ourselves into. If we keep pitching the way we pitched today; we haven't pitched the way we need to, and today CC went out there and did what he was supposed to do, give us a chance to win.
Q. One of the comments that was made earlier was that you make adjustments, and now you're getting used to the Texas hitters. What kind of adjustments are you starting to make when you approach them?
JORGE POSADA: Behind the plate when I'm catching? Well, you know, once you play four or five games against a team, you see, obviously, the adjustments the hitters are trying to do. The biggest thing is the location of our pitchers pitching. If they don't hit that spot, obviously it doesn't go your way. So location and changing speeds, all that stuff, it's part of the game. We haven't been able to do that.
Q. You've been in this position before, obviously, backs to the wall, how much did it help being in the situation before and to be relaxed and not let the pressure get to you?
JORGE POSADA: I don't know if it helped, but we look forward to this one game at a time. So now we have a nice little day off and go at it again. But just one game at a time and don't get caught up in how the series is going right now. You know, we are still down 3 2, and we understand that, and we know that they have a very good team. It's going to be tough, but we are looking forward to it.
Q. Girardi said that he figured you would be a factor in this game, but not with your legs; that was not expected. He said the guys on the bench were kind of getting a kick out of it. Was that a by product of just being aggressive on your part, being resourceful, taking advantage of their mistakes?
JORGE POSADA: I don't know if there was "guys". I know Derek was all over me. (Laughter.) You know what, Grandy hits the base hit and I pretty much thought that Francoeur is going to go home and try to take advantage and try to get to third base, even if they were coming towards me, get that run to score. And the ball gets away, and you know, I don't see anybody back there, because obviously he was backing up home plate and as soon as the ball hit, I was like, oh, God, and I got lucky and he threw it away. But it's just I mean, not just seeing what I was seeing. Nobody is back there and trying to get to third, and then the ball gets away, and then all of a sudden you think you're going to get a chance to score.
Q. Girardi said he spoke to you guys after last night's game. Just wondering what sort of impact his words had on you.
JORGE POSADA: Just pretty much the same thing I'm telling you now. Take it one day at a time. Obviously you go back to the regular season, and you know, we have been able to win after losing three in a row. So that was what he was talking about.
Q. What do you think is one thing that Phil has to do better this time than he did last time?
JORGE POSADA: Same as CC. You know, location is important. And execute the pitches that we are going to call. Obviously we are going to go through a nice game plan and hopefully we can execute that. We haven't been able to until today.
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