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October 1, 2002

Joe Torre


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Joe Torre, please.

Q. How much do you think that your team's experience in these playoff games at the end, coming back in tight games, has helped today?

JOE TORRE: Well, I'm not sure what experience did, but it certainly didn't scare these guys. You know, we had several leads and we just could not -- we just could not make it stand up. I mean, they just keep coming at you, they don't strike out. They're hitters that can obviously hit the ball out of the ballpark and they can just, you know, mess up good pitches. Roger made some good pitches tonight, he just got himself in trouble with three walks. I think what probably helped us is the fact that we'd been there before, as far as having the at-bats at the end helped Giambi, Jeter. Ironic part, started with a walk to Soriano who's had a handful all year. So that was the weird part right there.

Q. What can you say about Bernie, the way he seems every year to come up with these type of hits for you?

JOE TORRE: Well, Bernie's so important for us. Again, you hardly notice him because he's in there every day. He does, I mean, he gets us hits. I was telling somebody about two weeks ago, a lot of times it doesn't look like he's doing much. You look up there, he's hitting .320. You take so much for granted with Bernie. When he starts carrying a club, he goes to .350. You could just see the determination with him. He hit a couple balls hard tonight. Glaus made a heck of a play on him the first inning. Bernie's so important. He's been so big for us, whether it's postseason, during the season, whatever it is. As I say, he's been such a solid citizen for us.

Q. I guess it was yesterday you had talked about the importance of a small-ball approach. Is that what we saw with the tough at-bats from Jeter, from Soriano, then Jeter?

JOE TORRE: The only one we didn't score with a home run was Jason's base hit. But I thought we had pretty good at-bats. I thought Jorge got anxious that time when he swung at balls over his head. I thought the quality of our at-bats were good. Rondell, opposite field home run, that was good to see. But, yeah, I thought our approach was fine. We just couldn't make the lead hold up. Other than that, I thought it was a heck of a game.

Q. Did you expect to see Percival at any time in there? Do you think the home run Bernie hit against Percival earlier in the year might have had any effect?

JOE TORRE: We talked about Percival yesterday. It was a tie game by the time Bernie came up. You know, to use your closer on the road in a tie game is not out of the question, but it doesn't happen very often. You know, Mike has had confidence in his whole bullpen because they've done a great job as far as matchups and stuff. I mean, Schoeneweis did a good job on Jason. Ball went off Scott's glove, not much you can do about that. I think once I got tied, when you're on the road, that's sort of a little bit of a disadvantage.

Q. You guys have won four out of your last six postseason games at Yankee Stadium from your last at-bat. Are you starting to marvel at your team's ability to come through in these incredibly clutch situations?

JOE TORRE: I do. I marvel at it. You know, this year, with a different set of people, but this is a magical place. You know, you hate to rely on the magic of Yankee Stadium because it keeps you from working hard at it. But it -- tonight, I mean, when Glaus hit that home run off Mendoza, you know, these guys would just be coming back, that was their first lead of the night. I didn't feel good about it. Two out, nobody on in the eighth inning, there's Soriano fighting his way for a 3-2 walk, which is unheard of. Especially when he swung at two sliders that were an inch off the ground. But they're tough. And that's what we need to beat this ballclub, is to be tough and stay tough.

End of FastScripts�.

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