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October 12, 2004

Joe Torre


Q. Does it sometimes seem as if these two teams are incapable of playing a routine playoff game?

JOE TORRE: Well, all of those people who say you sit in that dugout and it's so calm, you didn't want to be there tonight. You know it was like it was too good to be true. It was 6-0 and then 8-0. Moose was pitching a gem. I mean he did pitch a gem. This ballclub is so capable of doing what they did tonight, and, you know, Bernie Williams gave us the breathing room in the bottom of the eighth. Again, each game is going to be an emotional roller coaster, there's no question.

Q. Your thoughts on Mariano Rivera and were you hoping that you didn't have to use him tonight?

JOE TORRE: Not necessarily. I didn't see him until I shook his hand at the end of the game. Mel had gone in the clubhouse and had talked to him, and he said, "I'm fine. I'm ready to go." Mel tells me that and then I feel pretty good. Certainly I didn't want to bring him in in the eighth inning, but we wind up having to do that. He's special, there's no question. You know, he had two days, he pitched Saturday, two innings. As far as not using him, if the situation presented itself, obviously we are going to do that.

Q. Just to follow-up on that, could you have expected this kind of performance from anybody else?

JOE TORRE: Well, again, I don't think I trust anybody more than I trust Mariano. When he tells you he's okay, he's okay. And sometimes in situations like this, everything he's been through and his wife, Clara has been through for the last few days, back in uniform and out there, maybe it's a chance for him to hide for an hour or so. But he's special, there's no question.

Q. Do you think the way the game ended, it might get a little lost, Mussina's performance, his perfect six and a third innings, struck out the top of the order looking?

JOE TORRE: He strikes out Johnny Damon three times, that's certainly not easy to do. But no, it's not going to get lost. Any time you record outs and get through innings against this ballclub, like he did tonight, I mean, that's -- to do something like this, he almost, you know, pitched a perfect game. He pitched a perfect game into the ninth inning a couple years ago in Boston, a 1-0 game. But any time you can take an inning off the line there, you know you're doing a heck of a job against this club because they are so -- you know, they can explode any time. They got right there, and as I say, Bernie got us back with a little bit more comfort.

Q. What did you see out of Schilling?

JOE TORRE: What I see? You know, we had good at-bats. He had his way with us last time he faced us up in Boston. I thought right from the first hitter, Jeter, he fell behind in the count and looked like he hit a pretty good pitch and hit it pretty good to right center. I just thought we prepared to go up against him. Knowing that you can't think in huge terms against him because you're not going to hit home runs and stuff. You're going to have to take what he gives you and I thought we had some real good at-bats. We made him work hard, I guess.

Q. Can you talk about Matsui again in a big situation?

JOE TORRE: Again, he has an idea when he goes up there. It's not always going to work but he's never in between and he's not afraid of the field. He gets a situation where, you know, there's men in scoring position and he has knowledge of the pitcher, he just has a feel on what pitch he wants to hit. As I say, there's some at-bats he really looks like he has no idea, because as I say, he goes up there with a plan, and sometimes the plan doesn't work, but it doesn't keep him from making that plan next time.

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