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October 7, 2009

Ron Gardenhire


Twins – 2
Yankees - 7

THE MODERATOR: First question.

Q. Ron, not looking for you to make excuses. But what might the stress and intensity of last night's game, plus the late-night arrival, what affect might it have had on your team tonight?
RON GARDENHIRE: I kind of think CC Sabathia stress. He actually threw the ball pretty good against us. And was moving the ball in and out. When he had to make big pitches, he made some. We hit some balls hard on him. He's a pretty tough competitor to go out and face. He kind of got to us. But we really didn't -- couldn't put anybody across the plate, not enough. And most of that is normally from CC. He does a pretty good job.
Our guys were into it. We were battling pretty good. We got the lead. I think the big thing is you get a two-run lead quick and as soon as you go back out, it's a 2-2 ballgame with a homer. That's a little deflating. When you get a lead, you want to go back out there and shut them down. And Jeter does what he does best. He got his team right back in it.

Q. Just your thought process on when you pulled your starting pitcher out.
RON GARDENHIRE: Well, he was getting up pitch-wise and everything. But he was starting to misfire a little bit over the plate. When my pitching coach went out, I think a man on second or a man on second, I think, and A-Rod up. Right away we would go out and the thing was we just said, don't give him anything here. If we get him to chase, throw something in the dirt, whatever. Misfire here. And we'll see.
We got Matsui which I hate to face too. And he throws a pitch over the plate. He was just missing. The intention there, and Andy talked about it, no strikes. If we get behind we'll put him on. We thew strike and there you have it.
Francisco Liriano has done very well against this team. His numbers are pretty good. Bring in another hard-throwing lefty. He just got behind right away and gave up a home run. After that he threw the ball pretty decent. I don't want to leave the kid out there and let him get all beat up.

Q. First inning lead-off double by Span. And just considering coming off that late flight and everything, how much could you guys have used an early run there?
RON GARDENHIRE: A lot. I don't know how to answer that one. I mean, sure, that would have been wonderful.
As I said, CC kind of did his thing. He struck out Cabrera, which is very hard to do. He's normally a pretty good contact guy. And he struck out Joe Mauer, which is really hard to do. And that was CC. He kind of knuckled down and made some big pitches there and got through it and kept us from scoring. I don't know how much you can say the long flight or whatever. We got a lead-off double and we just didn't get them over and in. That was probably because of CC more than anything else.

Q. Does it feel like there's anybody you can pitch to in that Yankee order?
RON GARDENHIRE: No, not really. Everyone is a stinking all-star. You go through it, one thing we've learned here, the more people you put on base, we keep talking about making mistakes or walking people. The more people that get on base, the more opportunities for crooked numbers. So you try to stay away from those things. But it's almost impossible to start picking and choosing who you want to walk to get to because they can all hit. We know that.

Q. Were Franky's numbers the main reason you brought him in or is it also because your bullpen was a little?
RON GARDENHIRE: Franky is here for a reason. We like him to pitch and he needs to pitch. Our bullpen has been through a lot. We all saw that. He was fresh and available. The ball came out of his hand -- the next inning he threw the ball pretty well. He threw the ball pretty decent. Right now he's making too many mistakes. The ball was coming out. We needed him to get through some innings too.

Q. Do you still feel as though -- you didn't get this game; you go get the second game at least you got a split out of here?
RON GARDENHIRE: That would be great. We'll have Blacky (Nick Blackburn) throwing and we get a day off tomorrow. Which is needed right now. A few guys come in and get some treatment. And pitchers, a couple of guys need to toss. But I think a day off for the most part would be pretty nice. Take a relaxing day tomorrow and then come back and have some good energy and go from there.

Q. I know the Yankees lineup is rough top to bottom, but they've been particularly tough on left-handed pitchers this year. You have right-handers the rest of the series. Do you feel like those guys might provide at least a better match-up?
RON GARDENHIRE: We hope so. You have to pitch with what you have. It is what it is. I wish that we could go hire a right-hander to come in and eat them all up. But we have a few left-handers that have to pitch. That's just the way it is. It's going to be like that. That's who our bullpen is. That's the guy that started tonight. We have three lefties in the bullpen. And we have a starter out there tonight that's left-handed. And they can get people out. But the Yankees are tough on righties and lefties. If you really look at the numbers, they can do the damage against anybody. So you just have to make pitches and not get behind them.

Q. How did you think Duensing did first on this stage and also the guys that you had that this was their first playoff experience; was it good to get their feet wet?
RON GARDENHIRE: He was doing ok. Gave up three runs, four runs, or whatever. The last one Franky gave up one of his. He was doing ok. I thought he was handling himself just fine. He was making some pitches. His count was starting to get up there. Like I said, we wanted to bring in somebody else after he misfired a little bit. Try somebody else. See what happens. Try to keep the ballgame -- it didn't work out. Matsui took us deep.
I like the way he handles himself. I think he stands out there on the mound and attacks and does a pretty good job.
As far as the rest of the guys, Tolbert, he did fine. Hit the ball actually hard pretty good. A-Rod made one really nice play on him, but like I said, it's a big stage. We all know that. You know what, we'll see what happens. We'll come back after a day off and see what happens.

End of FastScripts

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