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October 8, 2003

Joe Torre


Q.. At the start of the series, you talked about how important the pitching would be, in your mind, Mussina tonight, was it a few mistakes, but big mistakes?

JOE TORRE: He got through the first inning or so fine and it looked like he was very comfortable to me. He wasn't throwing strikes. I guess they were close but they weren't strikes. And then he got himself in count trouble, and I think this ballclub, more than most clubs, when you get yourself in a situation where you have to throw a strike, they are going to hurt you. That's what happened with Ortiz's home run, 3-2, man at first base, and bingo.

Q.. Your thoughts on the Walker home run and the decision to overrule it?

JOE TORRE: Well, we had one of those this year in Baltimore. We had the umpire at third base go down the left field line, called Aaron Boone home run's foul and the home plate umpire overruled it. It's one of those things where I go out and would like to say it's unfair but we benefitted from it earlier this year. The umpires get together, and when I was out there, a couple of my players said somebody reached out and touched it or it hit the railing, and when Tim McClelland tells me that three other umpires saw it the same as he did, well, I said, I've got to walk away because I'm overruled at that point in time. It was one of those things, it was close to the pole, guys came out with replays. One said it looked like it did hit; one said it looked like it didn't hit. So I can't complain about that.

Q.. Can you compare this Red Sox playoff team to the one in '99?

JOE TORRE: No, I think this club is better. I think their offense is better. They have a different type of offense. We talked about it all year. You don't pitch well; they can beat you up, and they did. They had a lot of hits tonight. We kept the run total down to where we could catch up but we weren't able to. A number of times this year when we didn't pitch well, they have let us know about it. So I think this club is better. You know, we are going to have our work cut out for us. Again our pitching is our strength and hopefully Andy tomorrow will get us back even.

Q.. Can you discuss Wakefield?

JOE TORRE: You discuss him. I don't want to discuss him. (Laughter.) Wakefield, you're hoping the thing just tumbles, but when you see it moving quickly in a downward -- down, then you know it's a matter of, you know, you hope you catch one. The tough part for a manager, in my place, you really can't evaluate your ballclub because the knuckleball pitcher, it doesn't mean you're not hitting it; it's moving. I caught Phil Niekro, or I tried to catch Phil Niekro for a number of years and you could see how frustrated clubs get. Timmy, he was terrific tonight.

Q.. A loss is a loss but this is far different than a loss to Minnesota in the first game of the Division Series, isn't it?

JOE TORRE: Well, you're right, a loss is a loss. I mean, we played these guys. It was even all year. And again, we got our brains beat out in two games and we come back and win the third game when everybody was saying, "What's wrong with you guys." I think each game is going to stand on it's own. Certainly you don't want to lose, Game 1, we felt good about ourselves and we're playing well. We just didn't hit well enough. It's tough to win any ballgame on three hits.

Q.. Contreras looked good?

JOE TORRE: I was happy with Jose's ability to throw strikes and not having pitched for a while, I think at least -- I guess if there's a plus side to losing, you've got everybody working that they didn't get in the last series.

Q.. How many times over the years has it seemed like it's been Andy to the rescue?

JOE TORRE: Many times. We put him in that situation many times and he's come up big for us. My pitchers, I trust them all for Game 3 or Game 2 or Game 1. But you're right, Andy seems to be the one that has to carry a big load.

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