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October 9, 2009

Joe Girardi


Twins – 3
Yankees – 4

Q. Did you get to see a replay of Mauer's ball to left field?
JOE GIRARDI: No, I did not.

Q. Replay showed it totally different?
JOE GIRARDI: Obviously, there's nothing perfect in this game. And does the situation change? They have first and third and we're still going to play the infield in. Cuddyer gets a hit, it may change the game. But there's always that element of human error in the game, and we got a little break.

Q. What's going through your mind when you see Alex take that swing and then also with Teixeira towards the end there, at the end?
JOE GIRARDI: It's pretty unbelievable feeling as a manager when you get to put those two guys in your lineup every day. They've been huge for us all year.
And tonight, Alex, three RBI's, Tex one. They came up big for us. Joe Nathan has been outstanding all year. And we get a guy on and Alex hits a -- Tex gets on, and then Alex hits the two-run home run.
The emotions in this game are unbelievable. They get the bases loaded with nobody out in that inning. We got Robertson in who has pitched one hitter in playoff baseball in his career and he ends up getting out of it. Emotions were up, down and all around.

Q. Joe, the play at second base turns out to be one of the decisive wins of the game. (Nick) Swisher throws it behind Gomez and Jeter makes the heads-up tag.
JOE GIRARDI: Jeet (Derek Jeter) has been a heads-up player his whole career. And Swish made a good throw to Jeet, and it looked like Gomez just slipped for a second. And if he keeps going, the run probably -- the run is going to score. He slips, he tries to get back. And it's another break. But it's a heads-up play by our two guys.

Q. And then your decision on Gardy (Brett Gardner), obviously he's your pinch-runner there. You leave yourself with a young catcher. Tough decision, I guess?
JOE GIRARDI: It's not a tough decision. Because we're going for the win. Cervy (Francisco Cervelli) has caught in big games for us all year. He was called upon this year. He got up a little bit last year. But he was called upon this year when Posada went down. And then Molina went down and we had him and Kevin Cash and he played extremely well. He was the one who kind of got us going in Atlanta too with the home run.
So that is a young man that has lot of talent, and we feel good about him when we put him out there.

Q. You talked about the emotions in the game. When you see Gardner get doubled off there at third, are you thinking you may have just let your best opportunity go by?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, you think about it. But one thing this team has done all year, they've come from behind. And they've come back and won games. That's an extremely tough read for Brett Gardner. Because they're playing in. But any ground ball hit to short or second they're going to be able to turn two. So he's trying to get them from turning two. And it's a tough read. We want him aggressive. He's been aggressive for us. It's paid off for us all year long with him. Extremely tough read.

Q. So you talked yesterday and today about how the two hits Alex had in Game 1 may relax him a little bit. Did you see him up there with a different confidence or a different swagger when he went up there in the ninth?
JOE GIRARDI: I did. I know it's been documented they've talked about Alex' struggles. But I've said all along I think he's in a great place this year. I really do. He's been huge in the playoffs so far for us. The two RBI's yesterday, the three today.
It's great because he gets the rest every other day for us. And we can keep him strong the whole way throughout. And Alex is -- has been great all year for us.

Q. Just to sort of expand on that, when Alex goes up in situations like this, what is it about his demeanor? His body language or whatever that tells you that it's different this year?
JOE GIRARDI: I watched him take the pitches and get in a good count to hit. And I just felt that when he had his hip surgery he had time to reflect and, and I think reflection is always important for people.
For me, I went home and did it after last season. Reflected on things that you can do different. I mean, from the first time he stepped up to the plate for us in May, he's been getting big hit after big hit after big hit, and he's got to have a lot of confidence in those situations. You can argue when it's all said and done, he's going to have better numbers than anyone in this game.

Q. Joe, I know this offense has showed you a lot as far as being able to score in different ways. But how nice is it to be able to know that they can hit homers too?
JOE GIRARDI: We got what we needed when we needed it. You know, we do have different ways that we can score. But those guys in the middle of the lineup came -- they were huge for us tonight. Those are two guys that it's hard to navigate around with Matsui behind them too, it's really hard to navigate around them. And Tex being a switch-hitter really sets up our lineup really well. It's great to win a game like that.

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