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October 17, 2017

Joe Girardi

New York, New York- postgame 4

New York - 6, Houston - 4

Q. Have you heard this stadium louder or shake more?
JOE GIRARDI: No. I don't know. It was special again tonight. Every home game has been special. I just feel like the fans are back. And I see things that I haven't seen in a while and it reminds me a lot when I was playing here. So it's been fun to watch.

Q. Obviously you want to keep your optimism up. At some point in this game you haven't played very well.
JOE GIRARDI: No, you're right. For about 7 innings.

Q. You're nine outs away from losing with Keuchel tomorrow. I wonder what your thought process was and the general mood of your team.
JOE GIRARDI: Well, it's just continuing guys talking about good at-bats, fight, fight, fight. Pitchers making pitches. Robby almost gets out of it, Green does a good job of keeping it right there. We give them another unearned run, and that's going to happen from time to time.

I thought Aaron's home run lit a little spark. We've seen that before. We saw it in a game earlier in the season. I think we were down 9-1 to Baltimore and it lit a little spark, and I thought it did it again today.

Q. Did you at all start drifting to Keuchel tomorrow at all during that game?
JOE GIRARDI: No. I mean, that's always in the back of your head. You know he's pitching tomorrow. When he pitched Game 1 I knew he was pitching Game 5.

But no, I was focused on trying to keep it as close as we could. Give us a chance to win. Bullpen, just do your job, and they did. You get a brilliant performance from Sonny Gray. Just brilliant. Really, really good today. For a guy that hasn't been on the mound in a setting like this for 11 days, that's really big.

Q. It didn't end up mattering, but that reviewed play in the fourth inning, in the course of the review, you saw he also missed second base, so basically get him to second base to create an intervening play basically?
JOE GIRARDI: If they make an attempt on him to get him out in that instance and he's safe, that takes away from the replay.

Q. There's been a lot of criticism the last week or so about Judge and Sanchez in the playoffs. What does this do for them and the team going forward?
JOE GIRARDI: It just continues giving them confidence. And I look up and down the board in other series and you see guys are struggling. It's such a short sample size, that I think our guys have done a good job not getting caught up in it. You're seeing the best pitching staffs. You're seeing good starters, strong bullpens. And I think it's one day at a time, it's one at-bat at a time. And those guys came up big for us today.

Q. You mentioned Judge's home run. What about the double, do you think that was the key at-bat, and he seemed to be able to handle the breaking stuff?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, I thought he did a really good job going down to get a pitch. There were a lot of key events in that inning where we scored all the runs, start with Frazier and then Headley. The line continued to move. But that was a huge at-bat by Aaron to get us tied and get us in that situation.

Q. You kept saying Gary is going to hit. I bet on him. For him to be over 13 in the LCS and then deliver that double, what does it say about him?
JOE GIRARDI: He's a really good hitter. And I think we've witnessed that for -- I don't know, he missed it on -- five plus two months, seven months we've witnessed how good of a hitter he is. I've seen Hall of Famers struggle in a series or series or two in the playoffs. It's just part of it. But eventually it's going to turn for him and it did in a big way tonight.

Q. How hard is it to do what Headley did coming off the bench?
JOE GIRARDI: It's not easy. We had him up earlier. I think Frazier led off another inning, if he would have got a hit I probably would have pinch-hit there, knowing I would lose my DH. When he didn't I stuck with Austin. He continued to do a good job back there. For not playing for a while I thought he did an incredible job.

It's not easy. The last three or four days Headley's at-bats have been really, really good and they've helped us.

Q. The Judge double after he hit the home run, there seemed to be a great sense of anticipation in the building, waiting for something special to happen. You've seen that over the years, but as his manager what is that feeling like in the 8th?
JOE GIRARDI: I think I'm probably caught up in it, anticipating he's going to do something great because we've seen it so many times this year. We've seen it from a number of our players. But it's like, I like this situation. And he had a couple of good cuts. He missed a slider up in the zone, he missed a fastball up in the zone, and he did a good job going down to get a slider. And that says a lot about him. Because during the two series that we played or three, he's missed some of those pitches. He's chased. But he went down and got it, made an adjustment and it's a great at-bat.

Q. You've said before about Sanchez's mental day off. Was that the reason he did well?
JOE GIRARDI: Could have. Sometimes it can help. Sometimes you get a little bit more work in the cage. But I don't necessarily think that, but it's possible. I just think he's a good hitter and he was due to bust out.

Q. I realize the offense won this game, how good was Chad Green's shutdown?
JOE GIRARDI: Really good. I mean, their lineup is very potent. And they can beat you in so many ways up and down the lineup. And he did -- again, it's what he's done for us all year long. He's been really, really good. And again, he was really, really good.

Q. Obviously looking ahead, do you think a win like this will help you guys tomorrow break through against Keuchel?
JOE GIRARDI: I hope so. We haven't done a whole lot off of him in the starts we've seen off him. Hopefully seeing him twice in one series, our guys are able to adjust a little quicker.

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