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October 5, 2017

Joe Girardi

Cleveland, Ohio - pregame 1, Canada

Q. Joe, can you just expand a bit on what went into your decision to carry Garcia and Montgomery on the roster.
JOE GIRARDI: We kind of looked at the first game and the way it went and how we had to use our relievers and how we probably don't have some of them today. There was concern about today, and then if you get three days in a row because of a rainout.

So we went with two longer guys. Garcia, we could use in a shorter, a matchup thing, which allows you to still have Montgomery in that sense, but if you needed him for more, then you have two long guys.

Q. Joe, ideally, you don't need him in that situation, but do you worry at all about Montgomery because he's not exactly used to coming out of the bullpen?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, we would give him plenty of time to warm up, and you try to start him to begin an inning, if possible. What you're kind of looking at is you've exhausted your bullpen and you're in an extra inning game. So there's really -- you could say relievers are more used to coming in in that situation, but we'd give him plenty of time to prepare.

Q. Joe, in a situation with Gary Sanchez, I know with his defense has been a conversation a lot. Is that something that you guys -- I know here was one of the times earlier in the regular season where he struggled with it. How much is that a focus like day to day? And as far as working with pitchers, I guess he can catch pitchers bullpens to get more familiar with them. Is it just a constant thing as far as during the regular season?
JOE GIRARDI: As far as catching pitchers' bullpens, it's kind of hard to catch bullpen when you're playing that day. And he plays pretty much every day.

But the improvement has been from him working every day, whether it's blocking balls, receiving off the machine, and those sort of things, and he continues to work at it because he has a lot of pride in what he does.

I have found myself during the course of the season telling him, when he does miss, turn the page. This can't carry over. It doesn't carry over into the next pitch, or it doesn't carry over into your next inning catching or the next because he does have so much pride about it, and to me, that's a good thing, that he's upset about it when it happens. But we want to make sure that, okay, we got through that. Let's move on.

And he continues to work at it, and that's -- I'm really proud of what he's done, the improvements that he's made, and he's only going to get better.

Q. I know you mentioned why you were carrying the extra pitchers, but how tough was it going with just one extra outfielder?
JOE GIRARDI: It's difficult, but there are times that during the course of the season we only had four outfielders. Really, most of the time, and we were able to make it work. And we'll make it work. Again, when you get a playoff roster, you try to cover every scenario that you can. You know, I think the first thing you probably worry the most about is your pitching because you can't get caught without having a pitcher. You could get caught with having to send a Torreyes in the outfield versus having to send Torreyes to the mound. I could live with that more. So that's kind of why you go that way.

Q. Joe, as far as going with Gray first and CC second, was there any thoughts of flipping them? What went into the decision to make them one, two?
JOE GIRARDI: We looked at the rest they had had. We could have flipped them. For CC, it would have been a normal rest. I don't think the extra day hurts CC, in a sense. When you look at just the hard numbers, Gray has had the most success off of this team when you look at the batter matchups. Now, I hope it plays out tonight. That's always your thinking. But that's kind of the way we looked at it.

And then in a sense, they're both available for Game 5 if you need them.

Q. That was kind of my question. Is Sabathia healthy enough if you needed him to start twice in a series that he could?
JOE GIRARDI: Oh, I believe so, yes.

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