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October 13, 2000

Joe Torre


Q. Did tonight give you a different feel offensively?

JOE TORRE: Yeah, I really felt good about that. When you think back, we scored seven in the eighth inning the other day, and in the last game against Oakland, six in the first inning. Tonight was more like when we are winning, the type of grinding we do than scoring a run here or a run there. I was certainly a lot more comfortable with that kind of offense.

Q. Could you talk about Andy Pettitte's ability to make good pitches in critical situations?

JOE TORRE: Tonight's effort reminded me of 1996. He walks that high wire without a safety net and gets himself in trouble; made good pitches. His pitch count was good. Edgar got him a couple of times, two strikes; he's such a good hitter. But Andy, when he needed to get out of a jam, he made some quality pitches. Not that he made bad pitches before that. He's facing a good team, and they are tough, but he's got a great deal of determination.

Q. Have you ever seen anything like what Mariano does to left-handed hitters?

JOE TORRE: Probably not. He's working both sides of the plate better now, I think, than I ever remember him doing that. But the left-handers, they have to hurry, because he does have that cutter in there; and yet he could keep the ball straight or he could sink it a little bit. He does a lot with one pitch; we're talking about a fastball and grip or whatever he does. But I don't remember a right-hander being that consistently good against left-hand hitters -- good left-hand hitters.

Q. Take us through the thought process of giving Bernie the green light on the 3-0 pitch in the second inning.

JOE TORRE: He's batting fourth. That's about as simple as it gets. We don't really see a lot of take signs anymore in baseball, not only on our club. I think when you get the count in your favor, you're going to let these guys fly. That's basically it. Bernie is getting better at it. There were times we would turn him loose 3-0, and he would check-swing once in awhile. He has a plan now, and that was nice to get the run back real quick.

Q. It seemed that Jeff Nelson was upset when he was coming off, and it was hard to tell if he was upset of being taken out or the calls taking place. What was going on?

JOE TORRE: Nelly was upset with Wally Bell at first. He thought that A-Rod had made a move towards second. I couldn't argue that he started that way, but Nelly saw it differently. It is emotional out there especially when you get out and you have to pitch to the middle of this lineup. You really get revved up. But I was just so pleased the way that he pitched to Edgar after sort of getting distracted with that call, but that's what he was angry at.

Q. I know you've been talking about this a while now, but both New York teams have two wins. Do you feel a little better about your chances of the Subway Series?

JOE TORRE: Believe me, that's not one of those things that I plan on in the spring. Our goal is to get to the World Series. Whoever that team is across the field from us, you tip your hat to them. But I don't want to say I don't care, because I don't want the people in New York being mad at me. But I don't care who our opposition is. And believe me, I'm not going to sit home and root for the Mets to win. I'm not going to root for them to lose, either. But I'm just going to be a spectator when I watch those games.

Q. You went out with the trainer quickly when you saw Andy. What did you see, and was there something or wasn't there something?

JOE TORRE: He kept lifting his leg when he got behind the mound, and I thought maybe he had pulled something or whatever, but he was getting cramped. It was nothing more than that. He just felt a cramp in the upper part of his leg, but it was nothing that he thought we should be concerned with. And he says, "I'll get this guy out, Skip." And he did.

Q. Was he gone pretty much at that point, anyway?

JOE TORRE: He wasn't going to pitch to Cameron.

Q. Does this make this easier for Roger tomorrow night, coming off two bad starts, when you are up 2-1?

JOE TORRE: I don't think it makes it easier for anybody. We are up 2 to 1, but we were down 0-1 a couple of days ago, and we realize how things can turn quickly. I'm pleased that we were able to organize this thing to give him a couple of extra days, because I think that he needed it physically. I don't sense Roger's going to approach this any differently because we have a lead. The only thing we need to caution Roger about is, you know, don't try to throw 200 miles an hour, and just, you know, pitch the way you have pitched for us this year.

Q. For those of us who know the old nomenclature, could you define a cutter?

JOE TORRE: I'm glad you didn't ask me to say what nomenclature meant. (Laughter.) The cutter is sort of like a slider. It behaves like a slider, except it is normally a later break than a slider and it doesn't have the spin of a slider. Sandy Koufax started doing that late in his career, and I'm glad it was late in his career when he did that. Normally, if you're a right-handed hitter against a left-hander, and vice versa, and the ball is coming down the middle, and you go off to hit, and all of the sudden it moves off the fat of the bat. And the thing that is important about it is it's late movement. As I say, it is the same, probably, plane as a slider, but it's just quicker, and it is later.

End of FastScripts....

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