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October 16, 2009

Joe Girardi



THE MODERATOR: First question for Joe Girardi?

Q. Joe, I know CC pitched well in the first round. Assess the performance tonight.
JOE GIRARDI: Tremendous. CC was ahead in most of the game. I thought he used his fastball really well tonight going in and out with it and mixing in his other pitches. He pitched eight innings against this club and only give up one run; that's quite a performance because this is a very offensive club. And he kept the guys that can create problems off the bases all night. And he was sensational.

Q. Joe, do you think besides the obvious asset you have power, some starting pitching, that this year more than any time in recent years you do some stuff like the Angels traditionally do well, run the bases more aggressive, play cleaner on defense?
JOE GIRARDI: That has helped us during the course of the year and during the playoffs. I think defensively we have played well all year long. And our guys have made heads-up plays like they did twice in the Minnesota series. As far as running the bases, we have more speed this year. We have options to go to if we need to steal a base late in the games. And I think that can play real important role. Our baserunning has been very good all year long, too, as well.
Those are two things that a lot of times show up in postseason baseball, and they're real important.

Q. I was going to say you make mention of CC really putting it out there today. Eight innings of pitching, only gave up one run. Were you also amazed by the defensive errors that the Angels made? And how effective was the Yankees offense in the performance today?
JOE GIRARDI: I thought we took advantage in a couple of situations and a couple of miscues. In the first inning they had miscommunication on the pop-up, and the wind blowing hard. So I'm sure the ball didn't end up where either one of them thought it was going to end up. When you get windy conditions and cold conditions, sometimes that can happen.
Defensively I thought we played extremely well in the conditions. And we took advantage of a couple of miscues. And offensively, we had some really timely hits tonight. And I thought the first inning where we had second and third nobody out and Tex makes an out and then Al gets a sac fly, I thought that was really important to this game, because you don't want to walk away from that inning not scoring.

Q. Joe, when you look at the four games, a lot of what you guys did in the regular season seems to have come through in them. Are you worried at all maybe losing some momentum if weather does start to play a factor here, especially tomorrow considering what the forecast is?
JOE GIRARDI: We didn't play for four days and I thought we played extremely well. I thought our at-bats were really good. I thought we pitched extremely well and I thought we played defense extremely well. There are conditions that you have to deal with.
We'll see what happens tomorrow. I'm not really too concerned because we played tonight. Hopefully we get tomorrow's game in. But if we don't, we don't.

Q. Did you give any consideration to letting CC go out for the ninth?
JOE GIRARDI: No. I thought CC had reached his limit. He threw extremely well, and he did his job. And I thought it was time to go to Mo.

Q. Joe, whatever factors were responsible for, how surprising is it to see the Angels have as many mistakes as they did tonight?
JOE GIRARDI: It happens. They're a very sound baseball club. And I don't think you can count on that every night, that's for sure. You know, it's one game. We know that this is going to be an extremely tough series. We know they play very good baseball. It happened to them tonight. You don't expect it to happen any further.

Q. Joe, what complimented this postseason game was the limited use of the bullpen. Can you remember the last time that you used just two pitchers in a game?
JOE GIRARDI: I'm sure I did it a couple of times this year. But as far as in the playoffs, I've only managed four games. So, I mean, I really haven't had an opportunity. But when you only use two pitchers in a game, usually the game is usually a little bit more one-sided.
But, I mean, it's great. We know we have a full bullpen going into tomorrow. If we need multiple innings out of guys, we will be able to get that.

Q. In the case of Damon, do you worry less about one bad series leading to another when it's a veteran player than somebody going through it the first or second time?
JOE GIRARDI: I do. I probably worry a little bit less. You have to remember Johnny is an extremely talented player as well. You don't expect that to carry over. I commend Johnny. Tuesday he came out when we had the simulated game and got five or six at-bats and hit the ball extremely well. Maybe that helped him get him going.

Q. Somebody else had asked actually just asked if you thought about bringing CC back for the ninth. I was actually going to ask just because he might come back on three days' rest in Game 4 if you actually considered taking him out after seven and going to Hughes for the eighth?
JOE GIRARDI: No, CC was still strong. That was not a concern of mine. His pitch count wasn't extremely high. He had pitched extremely well tonight and his velocity was still good, so I was sticking with him.

Q. Joe, what did you think when Alex runs over the catcher there? And in general would you have preferred to see, especially him with his hip surgery and everything sliding in that situation as opposed to running into a catcher with equipment?
JOE GIRARDI: Not necessarily. Every run is an important run. You expect your guys to play hard. That's what Alex did. He played hard. The plate was blocked. I've seen guys get torn up sliding into shin guards as well. So I did not have a problem with it.

Q. Was that a stop sign --
JOE GIRARDI: I think what happened he picked him up early and when he got to the bag, I think he dropped his head. This time of year guys get excited about scoring runs.

Q. Joe, this time of year, what is a good pitch count for CC? And what about the pitch-count factor at this time of year?
JOE GIRARDI: Pitch count can be measured in a couple of different ways; how hard you have to work up until that point. If you're throwing 100 pitches in five innings, you've worked a lot harder than if you're throwing 98 pitches or 100 pitches in seven innings. I don't have a problem letting CC go 115 or 120. He's done it a few times this year. He had extra rest. We rested him in September a little bit. So I feel he's extremely strong this time of year. Thank you.
JOE GIRARDI: Thank you.

End of FastScripts

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