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October 5, 2006

Joe Torre


Q. You said before the game how much you respect Leyland because he puts his players in position to succeed, pulled his pitcher with a 1-1 count, what do you think of that move?
JOE TORRE: Somebody asked me that question, he's a feel guy. He obviously didn't like where that last pitch was, up and away. He just felt, at that point, I'm assuming, and you can ask him when he comes in, that he just felt that, you know, he was losing his command.

Q. But that's what you like about him is that he'll do stuff like that?
JOE TORRE: I like him because of him. You know, if he didn't manage baseball, I'd still like him. He's that kind of guy.
But the thing is, he's not afraid to go out there, because he knows the question is going to be asked, you know. But he's certainly not concerned about answering questions when he makes decisions like that.

Q. A-Rod of course struck out with the bases loaded, but it was everybody today, wasn't it?
JOE TORRE: Well, we had opportunities. We had men on I think the first four innings, three or four innings we had the lead-off hitter on and we just couldn't do anything. Our game is swinging the bats and hitting the ball. They did a hell of a job. They really did. I mean, they pitched well against us, starter was terrific. I mean, you know, for a youngster coming in here in that situation, Verlander did one whale of a job. And getting them to where they were, keeping them in the game, and then they went to their strength.

Q. You mentioned those early opportunities, it looked for a while like one of those games where you would wear down the pitcher and knock him out of there early. What was he able to do to keep himself in that situation?
JOE TORRE: We basically got him to the 100-pitch count, which is usually our way of doing things, you know, making him work hard. But when they went to the bullpen, they come out of there with some fire. They did some good things.
As I say, we had some opportunities, but we just couldn't cash in. There's really nothing you can really put your finger on any particular at-bat. It's just a matter of, you know, their pitchers pretty much got our guys when they needed to.

Q. Will you not really know about Randy until tomorrow? Will you have a sense of if he's good to go?
JOE TORRE: I won't know until he shows up. Once he shows up, I'll see he's there and he'll be fine.

Q. The first at-bat included, what did you see in Alex's day today?
JOE TORRE: Again, I don't want to put the blame on our hitters as much as credit their pitchers, really. I thought Alex had good at-bats. He struck out with the bases loaded; I mean, he had two good swings at the first two pitches and then he got 0-2 against a guy that throws 98 or 100 and he's able to slow that curveball or slider. If you're going to look to hit the fastball, you're going to have to anticipate and cheat a little bit. Once he gets you 0-1, you have your shot the first two pitches and you don't get to him, he pretty much has a choice of what he can do or what he can try to do.

Q. Verlander and Zumaya are rookies in their first post-season game, in light of that, how impressed are you?
JOE TORRE: Very impressed. It's not easy coming into this ballpark as a young player to perform the way they did. You know, I give a great deal of the credit to Jimmy to put them in that position to trust them.
You know, he has reason to trust them, obviously, because he makes them feel like they can accomplish, you know, once he sees they have the ability that they do.
Jaret Wright, pitcher for Game 4. You guys forced me into it now.

Q. Was Alex pressing at all?
JOE TORRE: You know, I don't know if the kid is pressing, but obviously -- he had a great at-bat the last at-bat. He's got such a great temperament, and I didn't see anything before the game that made me uncomfortable with the fact that he was pressing. I really don't. I think just the fact that he had not got any hits I don't think has anything to do with the fact that, you know, he's lost any kind of confidence.

End of FastScripts...

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