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October 20, 2009

Joe Girardi



THE MODERATOR: Questions for Joe Girardi.

Q. Can you put into words what CC was able to do tonight on short rest?
JOE GIRARDI: He was spectacular again. To be able to shut this club down like he did, again, is no easy feat. This is a very dangerous lineup. We had some chances early, and CC kept getting outs for us. We finally broke through and got a couple of runs and we kept tacking on.
But for him not to throw a ton of pitches in eight innings, he gave us what we needed.

Q. Can you talk about Alex doing what he's done in the regular season. But I mean this is above and beyond that what you've seen in this postseason. Five home runs, and everything else. How do you account for it?
JOE GIRARDI: He's a great player. I think that's plain and simple. He's been a great player for a long time. He's in the zone right now. He's locked in. Every at-bat is a good at-bat. You see him not missing pitches.
When he puts the swing on it, it's a good swing. I mean, he's locked in. When you're the type of player that Alex is, these are the type of things that you can do. I mean, other players can be locked in, but they can't quite have the numbers that he's going to put up.

Q. You mentioned I think about the economy that CC had in terms of the pitches he's going through. As you see Kazmir's pitch count up and your guy's staying as low as it was, what kind of feeling is that for you in the dugout?
JOE GIRARDI: It's a great feeling. Because you know if you're not throwing a lot of pitches, you're shutting the other club down. And our bullpen was worked hard last night. And two nights ago when we had the 13 innings.
So we felt that we could give some guys a couple days off, it would be great, and CC allowed us to do that. I don't think you can say enough what he's done so far in this series.

Q. How much did you talk to CC about economy early because his pitch count reflects that? And what do you think it says about him that he's still throwing 95 and striking guys out over the last two innings?
JOE GIRARDI: I said the same thing that I've always said to him, nothing. He's usually very economical. For me to say something to him -- I mean, this is what he's been doing all year for us. And I've talked about with CC, one of the reasons he's able to amass so many innings is he doesn't throw a lot of pitches in seven on or eight innings. He can give you that almost every time he goes out. Very seldom do you see him with 100 pitches in five innings.
What was the second part?

Q. What does it say about him still throwing 95 and striking guys out in the end though?
JOE GIRARDI: I've always said the one thing about CC is he's a big, strong man (smiling). You look at the shoulders on him, the legs. The other reason he's able to do that is he's very mechanically sound, and that helps him.

Q. What can you compare what Alex has done thus far in the postseason from your experiences?
JOE GIRARDI: He's been as good as, you know anyone that I've played in the postseason with. When you're not playing in it or you're not coaching it, you don't pay quite close attention to what people's numbers are. But he's been as good as anybody.
I don't remember a player on our club when we were playing in the playoffs maybe having, you know, back-to-back series so far like this. He's been unbelievable.
I know Bernie's had some big series, and Paul O'Neill had some big series. But Alex is, wow.

Q. There are people who were wondering whether the three-day idea was good. Obviously as a manager you assess the pluses and minuses. You know what the pluses were, what were the concerns you had? What were you looking to see to decide tonight whether it was working or not?
JOE GIRARDI: You look at his command, and you look at his velocity. I thought both of them were very good. He even had a little bit of extra when he needed it. You would see him go from 94 to 95 sometimes, and I'm not sure if he touched 96 tonight, but you see him with the ability to add.
When there is fatigue, one of the way it manifests itself is how sharp a guy is. How many strikes he's thrown. If a guy's sharp with his velocity, you know that he's physically fine.

Q. You guys had a lot of struggles with runners in scoring position, how big was that hit from Melky to give you guys a little bit of a cushion there?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, that was big. It seemed the first three innings we had runners. They had a guy on every inning and didn't score. We've had some frustration with runners in scoring position so far in this series. But tonight we were excellent in those situations from the fourth inning on.

Q. Speaking of CC, I mean you've seen him stay pretty relaxed all year long. How much do you think that ability has to do with being able to do what he's done in these situations?
JOE GIRARDI: I think it's important that you can be the same person no matter what the stakes are. You know, sometimes people get a little overanxious or hyped up. I've not ever seen that during the course of the season with CC. He's the same guy every day. I think that's one of the big pluses about him because it allows him to do his job every time.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Joe.

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