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October 18, 2004

Joe Torre


Q. You mentioned before that you have tremendous respect for Tim Wakefield, he came in and did a fantastic job for several innings. Talk about his performance?

JOE TORRE: He's a gutty son of a gun. He battles, doesn't give in, doesn't let a couple of hits or a malfunction affect what he does and he's a class act on top of everything else. You know, I can't say I'm happy he did it, but I certainly respect how he goes about it.

Q. We talked about it last night, you're a big believer in momentum. Obviously two wins like, the way they happened, how big does that still play into the series with the next game tomorrow night?

JOE TORRE: You know, I'm not sure that these two games, other than being frustrated as hell, change how we feel about ourselves. You know, obviously we battled and you know it's tough winning extra-inning games on the road, and especially in this kind of ballpark. You know, if they had beat us up, you know, lopsided two games in a row I would say that's one thing. But these games, back and forth, it was a matter of a pitch, a hit, a run. So, you know, sure the momentum is on their side, but I'm not sure it affected us, you know, where we don't feel good about ourselves.

Q. If you could talk about Loaiza's performance, and also with Ortiz up and Mientkiewicz next, did you give any thought, even though there was a base open?

JOE TORRE: There was a base open and it was third, unfortunately. There's too many things that can happen, a man at third base. A ball in the dirt if you're trying to make a pitch, you're trying to throw strikes to the hitter. I was comfortable with the way Esteban was pitching to David, even the time before, he eventually walked him but it looked like he had tremendous command. Looked like he put the ball where he wanted to and he was making some pitches, he was making some great pitches. You know, I'm a little reluctant to do something like that, to get him that close to home plate. And Esteban Loaiza was, you know, that's the best stuff we've seen from him since we got him in the trade. And command, aggressiveness, I was very pleased.

Q. Did you send Lieber home at a point tonight?


Q. And what is the early state of your bullpen heading into tomorrow night?

JOE TORRE: Everybody's available, like I'm sure Terry's is. There's no other way to be, basically. I mean, we have to find a way to get it done, and both clubs are pretty much on the same page when it comes to that. We have a couple of ballclubs now that have had our catchers catching 26, 27 innings here the last couple of days here, too. So we have some decisions to make. But I think both clubs will be ready to play tomorrow.

Q. I wanted to ask about the runners left on base, particularly in the extra innings, obviously a frustrating feeling as you go along, but because you said what you said, is there a thought that you would give somebody a chance to rest tomorrow?

JOE TORRE: I'm not going to even go there until we get to the ballpark tomorrow because I have a feeling that everybody is going to want to play, and it's pretty tough to say no. Especially guys who have been in these two games and realize that both clubs are in the same boat at this time. So, we'll see. I mean, Jorge got beat up tonight, a couple of foul balls, one ball off the back of the knuckle but it obviously didn't affect him. He played his tail off. But again, we'll see tomorrow.

Q. You've seen a lot of baseball both as a manager and as a player, does anything surprise you with this rivalry, what goes on? Does it amaze you what happens when these two clubs get together?

JOE TORRE: Well, we're very evenly matched. You know, we have a lot of intensity on both sides of this thing, and you know, it takes on a life of it's own. As I said, each game is a series in itself, and I think obviously, these last two games have proven that. These ballclubs both want it badly, and, yeah, they are going to keep battling right until somebody winds up going beyond.

End of FastScripts...

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