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October 16, 2009

Mike Scioscia



THE MODERATOR: The first question for Mike Scioscia.

Q. Where do you think a defensive game like this came from from your guys?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, we haven't seen our guys crack the door open for a team like we did tonight in a long time. And the Yankees are going to take advantage of that, and they did.
But, it was a poor defensive night. We did some great things on the mound, I thought, but you know, we weren't swinging the bats well. CC was pitching a good game. And we just cracked the door open where they kept chipping away. Obviously, they held the lead.

Q. Mike, you guys had handled CC pretty well earlier this season the two times you faced him. What did he do differently or what did you see out of him that allowed him to have such success tonight?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: I noticed he was able to get ahead and change speeds. He threw some real good change-ups. I think he commanded both sides of the plate better than we had seen him before. He pitched a heck of a game. He obviously is one of the best in our league. And he pitched like it tonight against us. He pitched a terrific ballgame. And we still were in the game if we had made some things on the defensive end and not cracked the door open as much as we did. But you know, they got it done.

Q. You speak of the defense letdown. Could you attribute it to the weather? That it was going to be rainy and it was going to be cold, did any of this had to do with the defense letdown on your players? Maybe they gave up a little bit?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Gave up? Did you say "give up"?

Q. Would you attribute that to the weather? Was the weather a factor defensively?
THE MODERATOR: Did it affect them?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Okay. We had some plays there that -- I don't think you're going to be able to attribute it to the weather. Just the miscommunication on a pop-up. A pickoff to first and it just cut a little bit and Kendry couldn't handle it.
And then Juan came up and tried to alter a throw to second base and kind of just split the difference. That was what happened in that play. So I don't really think you can chalk it up to the weather. On the pop-up there was some wind that was pushing that ball back. Either of those guys, had a bead on it and they just miscommunicated.

Q. As far as the pop-up that dropped in, I think the cameras showed you having a conversation I think with Figgins afterwards. How did they explain to you exactly what had gone on?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: You know when you're in a loud stadium, you know, the verbal is going to be very difficult. Those guys played terrific baseball for us. They have had a great feel in their range all year on the left side. And on that ball there, they should be able to figure out one of the guys are going to call it, and you need more of a visual to make sure that, you know, the ball is being tracked properly. So we just wanted to clean it up. It happens. These guys are not going to be robots out there. It's a mistake. It was ugly. But it happens. And we move on from it. So we just want to make sure we had -- make some adjustments so that something like that wouldn't happen again.

Q. Mike, what did you think overall of Lackey tonight? And did you at all think about taking him out when Jeter came up there with two outs in the sixth?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: No, I thought John pitched well. If you break down the game and you look at the pitches he had to make to some very, very tough hitters in situations, he did it. You know, he got a fastball by Derek earlier in the game in a key situation. And, you know, I think with the defense the way we cracked the door open for him, I thought he did as well as he could.
It's a tough lineup when you have to throw more pitches, face extra hitters. And I thought John, I really thought he pitched a good ballgame. One ball to Matsui he got up, he was trying to run a little sinker. He got up and hit to left center for the RBI hit. But outside of that, I really thought John pitched much better than what any linescore is going to show.

Q. Mike, you guys can do so many things on the bases when you're able to, but how frustrating is it on a night like tonight when you can't get anything started on CC?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: You know we're up there trying to work some counts. CC was making good pitches. Had a couple of guys in scoring position. He made some good pitches. You know, I think that the story of the night is really CC's command of both sides of the plate and his ability to change speeds. He really pitched a great ballgame for them. And we didn't get anything going offensively. That was obvious.

Q. Mike, in '04 against Boston in the postseason and in '05 against the White Sox in the postseason, defense was a little bit of your undoing, unearned runs, things like that. Does the postseason exacerbate the situation where an error might be benign during the regular season but in games like this it's bigger?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: Well, everything is going to be magnified when it happens in the playoffs. And obviously when you're in the playoffs you're playing against teams that are going to take advantage of any time you crack the door open. And so, I'm sure they're going to affect some things more in a scenario like this when you're playing against a team that's as deep as the Yankees.
There's been a lot of reasons why we've had some success in the playoffs ands failed in the playoffs. I don't think it's primarily the defense. I think a lot of things went into that. But needless to say, you're playing good clubs as you get into the playoff scenario. And if you are going to crack the door open for them, it's going to be tough. And we did our share tonight to put them in some situations; they took advantage of it. They pitched well, and that was the ballgame.

Q. When Vlad hit that ball and it didn't go out, could you tell that ball wasn't going to carry tonight in those conditions?
MIKE SCIOSCIA: If someone was going to hit one to left field tonight, you had to get it right down the line. That thing was squaring up really well. Yeah, that wind was really pushing everything back. You know, it could have factored into that pop-up a little bit, just moving the ball a little bit to where those guys got a little indecisive. That ball to left field, you were going to have to kill it to get it out of there.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Mike.

End of FastScripts

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