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October 16, 2004

Joe Torre


Q. Can you talk about the offensive output tonight?

JOE TORRE: I mean, when we started the game, to get through in the first, then all of a sudden they come back, and you knew it was going to be one of these nights. But our players, you never know. When you have two days off, I don't like one day, one game off, and when you have two days off you never really know what to expect. They had a lot of determination tonight; not that that always works, but everybody just -- I mean, you saw it. I can't explain it. You don't teach anybody that stuff. It has to come from within.

Q. Vazquez came in and gave you four or five strong after Brown left in the second, I believe. Is there anything wrong with Brown as far as his back or was it just that he didn't have it?

JOE TORRE: I tell you, we got Javy up to warm up, and we didn't know exactly what we were going to do. Then Mel and I made the determination that since we have him warmed up, and we really didn't like what we saw with Browny, physically, I don't think it's anything more than it's been. But I think more so, he was out of rhythm than anything else. It just looked like he was trying to throw it too hard and trying to make too perfect of pitches. If you watched it, it was ball one, ball two on a lot of people and it's tough to pitch, especially against this ballclub. We felt like once we got Javy warmed up that we were going to bring him in. He looked like he was a little jumpy at first, but once he gathered himself, those zeros he put up there were like gold for us. You have to certainly overlook the last inning because we had a real long inning and sent him out there and tried to squeeze another inning out of him.

Q. How big was Alex's home run then?

JOE TORRE: That was huge. The only way an inning that you score runs is going to be validated, if you can shut down the other club that following inning. It's like football, you score a touchdown and you get the ball right back. But Alex's home run there -- and the first inning, we had Alex's double with two strikes, Matsui's home run with two strikes. These guys played nine innings tonight and they got the most out of every at-bat and I could not have been more proud of them tonight. That's still one more game we need and we can't get caught up just because we scored a lot of runs tonight.

Q. Like tonight, he is making incredible numbers for the playoffs?

JOE TORRE: Now I'm assuming when you say "he," you mean Matsui, right?

Q. Right. Technically and mentally, what is letting him play like that?

JOE TORRE: Well, you guys have seen him probably longer than I have. Last year he was sort of a -- he was trying to feel his way around and see what he was capable of. This year we see a different hitter. I mean, when I say "different," the fact that he's hitting more home runs this year, I think last year he just wanted to get a feel for the pitching in this league and get to know them a little bit. So there's certain situations where he takes certain liberties. But he's ice cold. He's cold under pressure, cool under pressure, and I think that's probably the most important ingredient. We all know he's talented, we all know he's strong. He never gives away an at-bat. Evidence, we have this big lead and he has a two-run home run last time up. But knock on wood, he's huge hitting for us in the clean-up spot.

Q. After last year's series and the battles in the regular season, how surprised are you to be up 3-0?

JOE TORRE: No question. I'm not surprised the way our ballclub is playing, but no question, you can't expect to go in against the Red Sox and do -- especially what we did tonight. We scored 19 runs and I know the Cleveland Indians scored 22 runs against us so it doesn't mean you're a bad ballclub when that happens to you. But we knew, and especially after last year, and the fact that the Red Sox beat us most of the time this year, we knew going in that it was going to be a tough series. And it's not over yet because they are certainly capable of winning ballgames. But to be up 3-0, yeah, I think we're surprised by the fact that we've done that.

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