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October 15, 2000

Lou Piniella


Q. Were you surprised they didn't walk Alex with men on second and third?

LOU PINIELLA: Tell you what, Joe has managed a great series so far. And Edgar coming up and Olerud behind, it's a very, very tough proposition to consider.

Q. You've been saying almost every day that you expected sooner or later your guys were going to hit. Were you starting to have some doubts of your own?

LOU PINIELLA: Well, their pitching had shut us down. Today we didn't take any batting practice. We just got loose and played the game. We've had good results with that. We decided not to hit, and sometimes, it's a more relaxing thing. Just come out and get stretched. We had a little meeting before the ballgame in the clubhouse and let the guys play. And play they did. It was a heck of a ballgame. I thought the key was early in the ballgame. Garcia gets out of that second and third situation with no runs -- no further runs in. And in that situation before, the Yankees have gotten big numbers on the board. And Freddy pitched out of that jam. And then Rhodes pitched out of another jam, and Sasaki finishes it off. But, you know, today was an example where, in these big games, you need the middle part of your lineup to come through for you. And that's exactly what happened today. Alex with two big RBIs, and Edgar with the two-run homer, and Olerud with the solo shot, and you put five runs on the board very quickly.

Q. Through the magic of television, we got to see A-Rod's facial expressions in the middle of that big inning. It looked like he was particularly happy, presumably from the events of days before. Do you think there was any added oomph?

LOU PINIELLA: I think he's happy that we were scoring runs, but I don't think so. There wasn't any carryover effect today from yesterday at all. We just went out and played, and so did the Yankees. Fortunately for us, we came out on top. And now we go back to New York for Game 6. Like I told my team, basically, all of the pressure is on them; it's not on us. They are supposed to win, and they are going home. The onus is on them, believe it or not; not on our ballclub. We're going to go in there and play nice and relaxed and take our chances.

Q. Was there any emphasis on being aggressive with Nelson early in the counts?

LOU PINIELLA: I don't think so. Nelly is a very capable pitcher. He has demonstrated that for quite a few years. Today we got to him. Alex hit the first pitch, and then he got behind on Edgar, and Edgar hit it over the centerfield wall.

Q. You opened the fifth with a bunt. Is that an example of situational baseball?

LOU PINIELLA: That was a good heads-up play by McLemore. He laid it down perfect. Brosius usually does a real nice job of coming in and scooping up those balls bare-handed, but he deadened it very well. And then Cameron lays down a good bunt, also, to put runners on second and third, and then we put five runs on the board. You know, you're playing for one or two, and you end up with five.

Q. The lineup seems to have more success against lefties in the series. Do you plan on having a different approach against Hernandez?

LOU PINIELLA: They are going to put just about every left-hander in there and take our chances. Hernandez has never been beaten in post-season. We realize it. But we're going to stack up our lineup left-handed, and make it as tough on him as possible.

Q. What was your feeling after A-Rod's hit? Almost like a sense of relief that maybe the log jam had been broken a little bit?

LOU PINIELLA: We were ahead; that I knew. And yeah, it was. We've stranded people on base in the first four games of the series; and finally, we come through with a big hit. You know, they got themselves out of a situation in the first inning. Johnny hit that ball to right field, a sacrifice fly. We had the bases loaded with no outs, and come out with one, and the same thing happened to them when they had runners on second and third. But yeah, you need good numbers on the board in these type of games. And that's exactly what we did today. And they had done that prior to today's game.

Q. Talk about your future with the Mariners?

LOU PINIELLA: Let's not even worry about what my situation is. We've got some work. I don't know. We're going to sit down and talk at the end of the year. It's been that way for -- really, since last winter when we met. That hasn't changed. That hasn't changed at all.

End of FastScripts....

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