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October 7, 2005

Joe Torre


Q. Joe, you guys have done a pretty good job against their offense, especially Figgins and Anderson and those guys break out, how important was that?

JOE TORRE: Again, if you don't make quality pitches you can't expect good results and that's what happened. We didn't pitch very well. Smally came in, did a hell of a job, and getting out of the fourth inning, I guess it was, where they had first and third and nobody scored and that was huge for us. Picked us up and we did something about it in the bottom of that inning when we scored four. And then we had the lead. Even though we didn't start out very well, we still wound up with the lead, but we couldn't -- Sturtzy came in and got a big out for us, kept us one run behind. Couldn't do the job in the bullpen and that's going to have to change tomorrow.

Q. What happened on the Cano play on second base?

JOE TORRE: I don't know, I didn't see it on the replay, didn't look like he did anything when he received the ball. Joe West said he came off the bag to catch the ball, and I asked him, I said, "The ball was thrown right at him." He said yeah; to say I didn't see a replay, but I didn't think there was any reason for him to move if the throw was out. He said he had come off the bag, and, you know, that's all I can tell you. That's what he told me.

Q. Can you talk about Randy tonight?

JOE TORRE: Well, Randy just didn't hit his spots. You know, we saw Roger struggle yesterday and Randy, an example, Garrett Anderson, looked like he tried to throw that ball up and in and he wound up getting it down the middle of the plate. You know when you don't hit your spots, I don't care how hard you throw, it's not going to have a good result. But we were able to overcome that. We just couldn't do anything about it after that.

Q. Can you just talk a little bit more about Small's performance, how disappointing is it, his first loss in that situation?

JOE TORRE: We certainly didn't want this one to be his first loss, for sure. It's tough to say, but disappointing the way he dug us out of that jam in the fourth. The game had totally gotten out of hand there and he got the three outs without anybody moving. And you know we had a great play with the double play. The sixth inning, he got the first out and then the double and base hit ties the game. Then a couple of base hits. You know, Kennedy just hit that blooper over Robby's head and then Figgins dropped one in front of Bernie. I mean, I thought he pitched well. I thought he pitched well. Unfortunately we couldn't get the outs when we had the lead.

Q. You had five errors in two games, are you satisfied with the way your team is playing?

JOE TORRE: Yeah, I really am. You know, one error is trying to throw a guy out at the plate, a desperate throw and it skips away from the catcher. The other one, the one at second base when it didn't look like Robby moved, I didn't see a replay so I can't say if he was on the bag or off the bag but that was one of the errors. Remind me where the other one was?

Q. Three the other night.

JOE TORRE: How many today? Only two tonight, right?

Q. Two to night. It seemed like A-Rod made a play on the throw to Robby.

JOE TORRE: You know what I think he double-hitched because we were playing obviously to keep the run from scoring, and then when he looked up after he held the runner at third and was going to go to throw to first, I think he caught Robby out of the corner of his eye and threw it at that time. Again, when we're playing that defense where you're sacrificing the big inning for the small inning, and we just weren't able to execute. I'm not concerned about our being in the game or our ability or stuff like that. Yeah, we're making errors. I'm not trying to make an excuse for it. It's just -- let's put it this way, I'm just satisfied with the way we're going about it.

Q. Did you think that Randy was going to work his way out of that earlier on before you took him out?

JOE TORRE: Well, you're hoping. I mean certainly, you set your rotation, you have a guy like Randy Johnson, who you certainly have a great deal of confidence in. You know, he just wasn't able to locate. He tried to -- it looked like it was a split that Benji hit for the home run; didn't do anything. As I mentioned, he missed his spot on Garret Anderson. You always hope that he's going to straighten it out, but it just didn't look like it was getting any easier for him. It was like he was working hard and he wasn't really getting much of a result. So I just felt it was time to take him out. Yeah, I left him in in hopes that he would straighten it out.

Q. The Chone Figgins catch in centerfield, was that a game-turner almost?

JOE TORRE: Well, at the time we didn't think that because it was so early in the game. But who knows where that inning would have gone. I mean, he made a hell of a play. I'd like to see him play in the bullpen so he wouldn't be on the field. (Laughter.) He made the play at third base and the one in centerfield. He never hesitated when that ball was hit by Sheff. Of course he caught one over his head on Sheff. When that ball was hit, I saw him right away just go right in. He had a good read on the ball. He's a special player, there's no question. As far as breaking our back, we didn't feel that at that time, but looking back, I guess you could say that inning really turned into something more than it was.

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