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October 14, 2017

Joe Girardi

Houston, Texas - pregame 2

THE MODERATOR: Take questions for Joe. Happy birthday, Joe.

JOE GIRARDI: Thank you.

Q. We discussed last night challenging the Bird call. Have you guys now kind of fundamentally changed your approach at least in the postseason? You've been very successful with being kind of conservative. What's the reason for it?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I mean, maybe. To me it's a process and we don't really want to change our process because of one call, how successful that we have been. So I mean, maybe now that you have two you do it, but sometimes -- I mean, there can be two plays in an inning that you wish that you could challenge and if you just waste one to do it, to me it makes no sense. But because you don't get some of the super Slo-Mos as quickly as we do during the regular season, you might challenge a little bit more.

Q. The approach to Judge seems to be very clear that it's breaking balls low, a lot of them out of the zone. That said, how confident are you that he's going to be able to adjust his at-bats better and then pick it up to the kind of torrid pace that he showed us he could do?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I'm confident. I've seen him hit breaking balls a long ways and I've seen him do some damage. And he had a big hit yesterday. I know we didn't score the run, but he had a big hit yesterday. And he'll adjust to them. He will. He's a bright kid and he makes adjustments along the fly and he's working on stuff, so I am confident in him.

Q. Understanding you guys have been facing some tough pitchers, but still, what's your level of concern with that DH spot and the lack of production there?
JOE GIRARDI: I don't get too caught up in it. There's other guys that are struggling in the lineup too and we don't seem to talk about them. There's some other guys that maybe have one hit or two hits, there's guys on the other team that we want to keep them cold. But I just think it's part of it, it's a small sample size, but everything gets magnified in the playoffs. And you continue to watch to see who is having the best at-bats or who has the best matchup numbers against a guy and you go there.

Q. Follow-up to my previous question about Judge, because the approach seems so clear, why is it that you think it has taken him this long to adjust in the postseason?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I mean, the pitches that you're going to swing at predominantly aren't pitches that are down and away on the black at the knees or a little bit below the knees. I mean, pitchers are making really good pitches on him and they know they have to be careful, and they're being careful, that's why you're seeing some walks in here too. So I'm going to credit the pitching. I mean, I watched the location -- there aren't teams that are making mistakes on him, we have not seen a lot of mistakes on him, and they understand what happens.

So maybe the intensity is turned up during the postseason and guys are making better pitches, but you're usually seeing better pitching staffs if you're at this level. So I think you could go through his 25 at-bats and I could probably say during the course of a season if you go through 25 at-bats there might be five or six pitches that he just misses. Now, I haven't seen that, because he's not getting those type of pitches.

Q. Severino has not had great numbers against the Astros, what does he need to do today to have success?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think it comes down to location. This is a team that, again, is a very good hitting team that does not walk a ton, but they don't swing out of the zone a ton either. So it comes down to locating. You got to do -- Masa located last night, he was able to hold them in check pretty well.

If you make mistakes, they're going to hit them. And they're a very good hitting fastball team, and Seve's got a big fastball, but you got to hit your spots and if you don't they're going to make you pay.

Q. Do you think that enters the mind of a pitcher at all, the fact that he knows that he has not had success against this team?
JOE GIRARDI: I think they probably take it on as a bigger challenge. I think if you have had a lot of success sometimes you can relax too much. I think it can go the other way too.

So I think much the same way that Seve took the challenge of his first start compared to his second start, I think he'll take the challenge today.

THE MODERATOR: All right, Joe, thanks very much. Appreciate it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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