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November 1, 2001

Joe Torre


Q. Last night you said that game might have been tops on your list of games since you've been here; where does tonight rank?

JOE TORRE: It's Groundhog Day. I don't know what's going on. You're sitting there, you have another breath left and Brosius hits the ball out of the ballpark. I mean, you shake your head and all of a sudden the wheels have to start spinning again and I said to Mel, "What about Mo here?" You sort of have to do the same thing, and he came in and we extended him more than we wanted him. I don't know, I really don't. I said I didn't know last night so it's just double that. And then Soriano makes that play on Sanders and gets the base hit. This is the most incredible couple of games I've ever managed, obviously.

Q. Just before the Soriano single you looked like you gestured to right field, were you somehow pointing at the hole there saying he should take it that way?

JOE TORRE: I don't know what I was doing. I really don't know what I was doing. I don't remember doing that, to be honest with you. No, I really -- the one thing about Soriano, for a kid with the limited experience, he knows situations and he is really, really good at hitting according to situations. I mean, with two out, nobody on, he tried to pull the ball; but he got jammed. Here it looked like the ball may have been inside, too, and he inside-outed it, too. I don't know, sorry. (Laughter.)

Q. The ball Soriano caught just before that, you had the infield at double play depth; was that unusual? What was your thinking behind that?

JOE TORRE: That was something I didn't want to do, especially Sanders who can run as well as he does, and the corners up, I just felt if we got a hit on the ground maybe we could turn a double play. You know if we are playing -- I guess if we are playing on the road, you play them up all the way. But you still have the chance to tie the game if they score one run; I just didn't want to give up more than that. I didn't want to give up that. And he got two quick strikes on Sanders -- it's one of those crap shoots, really. We prayed and felt if the ball was topped with something we could come home with it because we were at short double play depth.

Q. After pleasantly replaying last night's game, probably one hundred times until you got to the ballpark, did you ever have the slightest thought that this could happen twice in two nights?

JOE TORRE: No, I tell what you I thought. I felt confident because we had so much energy and so much confidence from last night's ballgame that I had a feeling we were going to score some runs and early it looked like Miguel Batista was a little uncomfortable, but I mean to tell you, he just settled in and we had no chance, it looked like. Splitters, everything was down. He was not afraid to throw breaking balls when he was behind in the count. It was about as courageous an outing as I've seen so I thought we were going to score some runs because of last night, and it wasn't to be, until the ninth inning. That was the thing that surprised me the most, probably. We hit a couple of balls hard early, but that was the extent of our offense, and going into Saturday or tomorrow, I guess, I still feel we're going to swing the bats. And Randy shut us down last time and I don't anticipate we are going to have any free-wheeling day but we are going to go out there and grind it like we've done the last couple of days.

Q. Do you believe in that word "momentum," going back to Arizona; are things on your side now?

JOE TORRE: I don't know how many World Series games you look at those that won -- Minnesota and Atlanta -- I think where the home team won all the games and you never know. So far, that's been the scenario. We certainly don't want that to happen because it doesn't bode well for us. But after winning three emotional games here, we feel, you know, obviously, good. It's the first lead we've had in the series. Hopefully, we can do something with it. I know they have Randy Johnson. We have Andy Pettitte. We expect another game like this -- I hope the result is the same.

Q. In the ninth inning, you said when the ball went out you had to get the wheels turning again. Is that essentially saying that like everybody else, you are recognizing that the hopes or chances are very slim of tying this thing up, and when it goes out, is it surprising?

JOE TORRE: No, I can't be surprised; it just happened the day before. What I'm saying is, you know, you have to make a decision on Rivera. Mendoza could have pitched more and, again, when I reasoned with myself, it was the same reasoning I used last night; that I hate to lose a game without giving my closer a chance to be in it. As much as I didn't want to have him pitch two innings, I knew I had to in this situation so there's what I meant by the wheels.

Q. Given the emotional roller coaster of the last seven weeks or so, I know you have said over and over again, "we never quit, we never expect to quit," but has there ever been a time when you wondered if you could regroup again for the fourth, fifth, sixth time or did you think there was a time when you guys might bottom out emotionally?

JOE TORRE: I think the key for me was when we came back on Oakland and then had the series we did against Seattle. To me, that was such a high, that Game 5, and coming back, especially going out there and winning two games where they had just won 17 straight at home and coming back here with a semi , you know, beat up Clemens and winning that ballgame. We were on such a high that I really didn't know what to expect going into Seattle, because they -- you know they had such a great year and they man-handled us. I think that taught me more than anything else, those first two games in Seattle, about our team and I never felt that I ever had to talk to them again about, you know, not losing heart or things like that.

Q. Were you close to pinch-hitting for Brosius in either the seventh or the ninth?

JOE TORRE: No. I think the biggest thing for Brosius, especially in the ninth inning, was the fact that he had a chance to have a couple of at-bats last night. The type of pitcher that Kim is, you know, when you drop from the side and underhand, the biggest problem hitting against him is trying to find the ball and I think the fact that he hit against him a couple of times, I really didn't hesitate, especially the last inning to hit for him. I wasn't going to hit for him. Every time I sort of think about it, because Zimmer and I talk about it from time to time, if the situation presents itself, I can't help but look at the statistics that he's had in World Series, especially. And sometimes, the matchup doesn't seem right, but the human beings play this game and they dig down deep. I know it sounds a little corny, but it still seems to work.

End of FastScripts....

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