October 27, 2001
PHOENIX, ARIZONA: Game One
Q. The fact you were able to get Curt out of there relatively early, do you think that will have any bearing on whatever you do in Game 4?
BOB BRENLY: It might. (Laughter.) (Smiles).
Q. Given the new experience for the city, how important was it to get the win, not only for your club, but the town, psychologically?
BOB BRENLY: Most importantly for our team. But secondary was the fact that the fans here in Arizona had something to stand up and cheer and be proud of. I think they showed very well for themselves tonight. They were into the game, even before the game started. They stayed to the very end. They cheered at the right times. They booed at the right times. I'm very proud of the way our fans showed up for us tonight and I'm proud of the way my team played for the fans.
Q. With the work load that Curt has had so far, would you characterize tonight as a relatively stress-free outing?
BOB BRENLY: I don't think there's ever a stress-free outing, but as close to that as you can get. He was pitching the way he has throughout the entire season, especially this post-season, and with the exception, I believe it was David Justice's at-bat in the seventh inning, he fouled off a lot of pitches and really started to run the pitch count up on Curt at that point. It was looking like he was going to be able to -- if we chose to leave him in there for nine, at around 100 pitches but at that seventh inning they ran the count up on him a little bit and we thought with the big lead that was enough. Getting him out after 102 pitches, that's a good night's work for him.
Q. Is Schilling now your probable pitcher for Game 4?
BOB BRENLY: He could be. (Laughter.) I don't mean to be a smart alec, but our game plan all along has been Schilling one, Johnson two, Anderson three and Batista four. If we can go out and plug along the way we have been, that's the way we will continue to do it, but I've said all along we are willing to make adjustments and the fact we were able to keep down his pitch count will certainly make it a lot easier to bring him back on short rest.
Q. Tonight it was up and down the lineup that was helping offensively, could you talk about what that does?
BOB BRENLY: First and foremost, it gets everybody involved right away, get guys on the bases, get guys feeling good about themselves at the plate. I think we had seven different guys with hits, six different guys scored runs and six different guys drove-in runs. It really was the high point of the team effort tonight. It has not always been that way this year but tonight-- I was especially pleased the way our left-handers battled with the tough relievers coming into the ballgame. They broke some bats, hit some balls hard and sustained some long innings for us against guys that are very tough on left-handed hitters.
Q. How important is it to have won Game 1 in a seven game series?
BOB BRENLY: A win is a win is a win. 2-1, 9-1, it doesn't really carry over to tomorrow's ballgame, as far as I'm concerned. We went out tonight and had a good attack plan on Mike Mussina and jumped him early, which is what we felt we had to do because we know how their bullpen sets up if they have a lead. Just getting a win in Game 1 was huge. The score really, I don't think, is of any carry over value.
Q. Your hitters did a lot of damage, even when they were way behind in the count in the third inning, is that an indication of veteran hitters knowing what to do?
BOB BRENLY: We would like to think so. These guys have proven throughout the course of their career and certainly throughout the course of this season that just because they have two strikes on them does not mean that they are going to give away the last strike. They are going to continue to grind, continue to battle, and hope that that pitcher makes a mistake somewhere that they can get the head of the bat on it. Tonight, maybe more obvious example than we have done all year long, but that's what they have been trying to do all season.
Q. A lot of hype surrounded the Yankees tonight coming into the series, all of the mystique, what does it do to the team to have beaten them like you did tonight?
BOB BRENLY: All it means it we are up one game instead of down one game. We didn't really buy into all of the hype stuff. It's out there and it is talked about a lot, but our guys have maintained throughout that we have to go out on the field and play the game. The history of that great franchise does not enter into it, only the uniform and those are the guys we have to beat.
Q. Counsell had a great playoff and he continued tonight in the World Series, would you say a little bit about him?
BOB BRENLY: I think that was absolutely the turning point of the ballgame, his home run at the bottom of the first inning. We all know how the Yankees like to get the lead shorten the ballgame and turn the ball over to their bullpen and when he hit that home run at the bottom of the first to immediately tie the game backup again and start over from square one I think that was a huge momentum swing at that point in the ballgame.
Q. Have you thought about bringing in some of your bench players tonight?
BOB BRENLY: We thought about it, but we just wanted to make sure we get that first one under our belt. I was very fortunate because we had the lead, to not only save Curt some pitches but get Morgan and Swindell out on the mound, who have been very important for us this season. It was nice to get them out there, get their feet wet and get some World Series experience. But we'll get them in there when the time comes.
Q. Was your first experience managing in a World Series game everything you thought it would be?
BOB BRENLY: Absolutely. I tell you, I mean, I didn't really breathe easy until that last out was made. You just -- you can never take anything for granted against that team over there. They have done so many amazing things, and I never really felt we had it in hand until the last out was made.
End of FastScripts....