October 13, 2001
OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA: Game Three
Q. Joe, what can you say about Mussina's performance tonight?
JOE TORRE: It didn't surprise me, but I wish we could have scored more than one run. He's been pitching like that all year, a couple of games he got whacked around a little bit. But he's a big game guy, and I feel very fortunate to have the four guys I can throw out there for situation. But he was sensational. He only threw 100 pitches. But to me they hit a couple of balls hard in the 7th inning, 100 pitches in a game like that is more like 140, because every single pitch you throw means something.
Q. What was Derek Jeter doing in the area of that ball?
JOE TORRE: You're in Spring Training, you watch us. That's one of the plays he has to read. He's the back up cut-off man. We overthrew the first cut-off man, and he was there and made a sensational play. When we have him as a trailer, he's not quite working that way. We like a more conventional throw, but he was in a position where he had no choice. The kid has great instincts, and he holds it together and that was obviously the play of the game.
Q. Joe, Jorge swung the bat well in Game 1 and was able to come in tonight and got the big hit.
JOE TORRE: These guys were pumped up tonight. They were trying too hard as always. But that was obviously huge because it was the only run on the board. He had a couple of good at-bats tonight, even though he only got that one hit. Even the doubleplay ball he hit hard. He had more consistent at-bats than anybody tonight.
Q. When was the last time you spoke from El Duque, and what do you expect from him tomorrow?
JOE TORRE: Probably about five minutes ago, and he was on his way back to the hotel. And I expect him to stand tall like he always has in postseason for us. I was very comfortable with what I saw on Sunday in Tampa. Sure, it was only four innings, but I still -- I was still very encouraged by that, especially knowing what had happened before that little dead arm period, how well he had pitched. So if it works, it works, if it doesn't, but at least I know he's going out there with the mentality that he's going out to beat somebody.
Q. Can you talk about getting the 6 outs from Rivera, whether you thought about bringing Mussina back?
JOE TORRE: Well, when those two balls were hit hard off him, both Jeremy and Terrence Long. I made up my mind early, and actually before the game started if we got in a situation like that I would use Mo for two innings. And as I say, he only threw 100 pitches, but to me it drains you. This time of year, this kind of game, I just thought he had had enough, and I wanted to make sure that we got our best guy in there at the right time.
Q. So much is made of the A's big three, the guy going tomorrow is not, Corey Lidle, what do you know about him?
JOE TORRE: I know he pitched a damn good game against us. He kept us off balance the whole time. We're going to have to bite and scratch. We certainly didn't wear Barry Zito out tonight. I know there's hits in those bats, and I'm very confident that we're going to turn this thing up a little bit and hopefully be able to build on something. I know this helped us tonight to get this win under our belt, and maybe we can -- I don't want to say relax, because you never relax in these games, but hopefully we can hit some balls hard that find places to go for us.
Q. Do O'Neill and Justice go back in the line-up tomorrow?
JOE TORRE: I'm going to look at it, I'm not going to really make up my mind. The only thing everybody knows at this point in the season that everybody is ready to play, and whatever we decide to do they'll be ready, and I really honestly can tell you I don't know yet.
End of FastScripts....