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October 9, 1998

Joe Torre


Q. Joe, how would you describe Pettitte's pitch selection tonight and were there disagreements between Pettitte and Joe Girardi?

JOE TORRE: No, I don't think there were any disagreements, it was just a matter of leaving too many pitches on the plate and I thought he had straightened out after he gave up the two runs and he did. Two out in the 5th inning, it looked like he was back on track and then the opposite field homerun and then the other two homeruns, too many pitches left on the plate, basically it. There were no disagreements.

Q. Do the Yankees looked flat to you?

JOE TORRE: Well, I think Colon was responsible for that. I could say we're not hitting and it's true, but I don't want you to think that the kid didn't pitch a hell of a ball game. If I'm going to use my team's not hitting as an excuse for losing, then I'm not giving him enough credit. Sure, I don't think any club looks too good when they lose the Game 6-1.

Q. How close were you to taking Pettitte out just after two?

JOE TORRE: Once he got out of that inning, I wanted to try to have him straighten himself out. I thought it was big getting out of that 2nd inning after only two runs. And like I said, it looked like he was straightened out and then in the 5th inning again it looked like he started muscling the ball a little bit.

Q. Are you mystified at all that the great game in Texas seemed to signal a turnaround and --

JOE TORRE: Well, his stuff wasn't as good tonight as it's been in the last four or five outings. And as I say, maybe waiting around a little longer made him a little anxious. I don't know. As I said, I thought he had it straightened out after that 2nd inning and then it looked like he started looking out and trying to overthrow the ball. It's a mystery, but you have to understand, you go into this postseason play and again we talk about every pitch is important and I think maybe Andy maybe felt a little extra stressed tonight because he knows we're not stroking and he's trying to keep the opposition from scoring anything.

Q. Is it a little scary, Joe, that he seems to find his homerun stroke which he hadn't had a little earlier?

JOE TORRE: Well, I wish you didn't tell me that. He's scary all the time whether he's hitting homeruns or not. I don't think anybody could be swinging the bat better than Ramirez right now. We just need to pitch in order to get through and get back on the track, but again we need to start swinging the bats ourselves. They have an awesome lineup, won a lot games, can beat people up, there's no question about it and it's just up to our starters to try to shut it down.

Q. Granted that Colon pitched a great game last night, the pitching was great in the last game, but overall as you said, you have not been scoring runs at all in the postseason. Your feelings?

JOE TORRE: Well, there's not much to comment. You're in a little bit of a dry spell right now, it's not comfortable to see. They keep battling and I have confidence every time I put a lineup down that we're going to score runs. During the course of the year you go through dry spells too except that it's magnified at this time of year. For sure I'm concerned about not swinging the bats, everybody is trying to do it themselves because we are going through a little bit of a flat time.

Q. Colon dominated you guys. Did you get a sense he was vulnerable the first few innings?

JOE TORRE: Well, I think any pitcher needs an inning or so to settle in to his comfort zone and then command. Again, we got some pitches to hit, filed them off and hit some balls hard, but double plays played a big part in his success early on.

Q. Were you considering taking Pettitte out any earlier than you did?

JOE TORRE: Well, we had a pitcher warmed up in the 2nd inning and then he got -- oh, no, two out and nobody on. Boom. And then opposite field homerun and, you know, he got ahead of Travis 0-2 and then, you know, the left hander came up and hit a homerun. There it was.

Q. How do you expect the team to react emotionally to this situation, what will you do to push it one way or another?

JOE TORRE: These guys are pretty professional. They'll be back to -- we've won 3 games out of 4 this year and I anticipate that we'll be ready to play tomorrow. I just hope we swing the bats and everybody has a sense of relaxation a little bit if we can score some runs in a couple of innings. That's all it's going to take. As far as coming out here and expecting to win, I don't think there's going to be a problem with that.

Q. Are there any things that you can think of doing with your lineup possibly or do you just consider that -- worry about that when you get here tomorrow?

JOE TORRE: Tonight actually, they'll be no sleep. I'll be thinking about that. But I'll have it tomorrow. You try to run all the scenarios through and try to visualize and we'll see what happens. But I probably will do something, but I'm not sure really exactly at this time what it is.

Q. Joe, is there a certain amount of frustration after something like this or do you -- I know you've said you have a lot of confidence in your ball club; is there any frustration?

JOE TORRE: Well, we just got our ass kicked tonight as far as frustration, we were not scoring runs. I think everybody is a little frustrated with that fact alone. But as far as my frustration, no, because I go out and I see an effort and really that's all I can -- that's all I can comment on. If knowing you've played the game, you've been around the game, you understand it's not going to be good all the time and you just try to keep your wits about you and I feel that we will do that.

Q. Did you sense at all any kind of residual effect after the other night?

JOE TORRE: No, 2-1 we felt pretty good. When you fall back 5 and 6-1 it's a different story, especially when you're not swinging. I don't think there's any residual. I was pretty confident when I talked to them before the game for a few minutes that everyone was in good spirits. Not relaxed. You don't ever relax here when you get into postseason play. We've always played well that way, except right now it's a combination of the pitching and we're maybe trying to do a little bit too much with the bats.

End of FastScripts…

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