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November 2, 2009

Joe Girardi


Q. Can you detail Melky's injury and tell us about his limitations tonight and what you can use him for and what you cannot use him for.
JOE GIRARDI: He has a mild strain of his hamstring, and we're in the process of talking with Major League Baseball. Something will be determined later. That's about all I'm able to share at this point. But he's very limited.

Q. Meaning with the roster spot, is that what you mean?

Q. I know that you haven't achieved your goal yet and you're still a ways from it, but I was wondering if that might happen, might you think about changing your uniform number?
JOE GIRARDI: I really haven't thought a whole lot about that. I'm sure my kids would have recommendations what my uniform number should be, but I haven't thought about that and I don't like to think too far ahead.

Q. Can you give us your assessment of Joba's season, especially in light of the fact he's started most of the year and then he has switched back to relief in the post-season?
JOE GIRARDI: I think Joba has had a season that has been written a lot about and talked a lot about, a season that we saw a lot of good things and a season we saw at times him struggle, I season in which he's thrown more innings than in his professional career. We knew there was an innings limitations going into the year and we were going to stick with that, and we were allowed to design it how we thought it would work best, and we were able to stick to the innings limitations. I thought it was a year that he grew a lot as a pitcher and as an individual, and he's been effective out of our bullpen during the post-season, and we think he's done pretty well.

Q. You guys in the post-season, you've beaten Joe Nathan, Fuentes with the Angels, last night Lidge, yet Mariano still has been untouchable this post-season. Obviously he's had a couple of well noted blemishes in the past, but can a case be made that Mariano is maybe the best post-season performer ever?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think you could argue that. I don't look at everyone's numbers and what everyone has done in the post-season, but Mo has been as good as anyone. As you look at the success that the Yankees have had over this long stretch, and Mo has been as big a part of that as anyone, since 1996 when he was the setup man for John Wetteland, he has dominated. Mo has been great in the post-season; everyone knows that.

Q. It seems as if the failure by the Phillies to cover third base last night was the latest among fundamental breakdowns of teams you guys have played this post-season. Is there something you can point to that your team is doing or your opponents seem to be doing when they reach the post-season stage against you?
JOE GIRARDI: Oh, I don't know. I thought it was a great instinctual play by Johnny Damon. It's one of those plays that you don't see happen very often, you know, and something that maybe clubs might work on in Spring Training, if there's going to be a shift, now because you just don't see that happen very often.
There's things in baseball that sometimes players become a little bit aggressive or too aggressive, and that can hurt you.
And then sometimes players aren't aggressive enough and that can hurt you. But I think of this Phillies club, they are the defending world champions. They are very tested. It was just a very heads up play by Johnny Damon.

Q. Assuming that you're starting Molina tonight --

Q. -- with Burnett, I'm wondering if you think even though he's used to it this post-season, if it's harder tonight for Jorge because it's a potential clinching game. And I'm also wondering if you do have a lead late, is it the type of thing that would be important to you to put him in there to potentially be on the field for the final out?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, it's difficult any time you sit down in the playoffs when you're a player and you're used to playing. I can tell you that from experience, and I can tell you that just knowing Jorge Posada.
As far as possibly doing that, that could become risky because you could lose your catcher, your second catcher, and you hope that you're in a position like that, but that could become very risky.

Q. 27 outs from a title, how would you describe your feelings right now? Are you tense or nervous? And if you're any of those things, how do you combat that anxiety?
JOE GIRARDI: I feel pretty much the way I have before any game in the post-season, really. You come in, you do your work and you try to get prepared. I've talked about preparation is the key to -- for me to help me to relax. It's what I like to do, and I enjoy it.
And as far as being 27 outs, we know it's 27 tough outs. And the feeling is really not any different than yesterday. I just want our club to go out and play a good game.

Q. There have been some talk about so many visits that you guys have been doing lately that people were curious why it was happening so often, and somebody mentioned about signs being stolen. What is kind of behind it and why does it seem to happen abnormally high for you guys?
JOE GIRARDI: There are a lot of instances that you go to the mound. It could be signs, talking about the hitter, the situation, do you pitch around this guy to get to the next guy possibly, if we get behind this guy what are we going to do. There's a lot of situations.
And the thing you want to make sure is that you keep a rhythm with your pitcher. Sometimes it's easier to go talk about what you want to do as opposed to putting down signs and then keep shaking. It could be you could give two or three signs, you talk about two or three pitches down the road, and that's why our guys do it.

Q. Does that suggest a miscommunication between the catcher and pitcher?
JOE GIRARDI: No, it does not.

Q. I have another question: Do you have a lineup?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, I usually give that first: Jeet, Damon, Tex, Alex, Swish, Cano, Gardner, Molina.

Q. With a 3-1 lead did you give any consideration at all to going with Gaudin today and having A.J. on full rest should there be another game? And if you didn't think about it all, why not? And what went into the thinking if you did?
JOE GIRARDI: We talked about it a little bit. The interesting thing is Chad hasn't thrown much in the last month, and that's a difficult spot to put him in. With CC only throwing about 100 pitches, we feel good about that. A.J. feels good, and we feel good about A.J. going out there. So we feel that this is the right move, and that's what we did it.

Q. A couple times during the post-season you've talked about how you had a moment away from the park or after a game where you sort of realized, hey, we're one game from the Championship Series or one game from the World Series. The way the game ended last night because it was kind of emotional and quick, did you have a moment last night or today when you were coming to the park and you were thinking, this is how close we are and this is the step that we're at now?
JOE GIRARDI: I've had a couple. Probably the most memorable one was my kids were quizzing me about it this morning. It was actually late morning and they were quizzing me about, what happens if.... so I was trying to explain to them all the possibilities. Sometimes it's kind of funny explaining it to a 10 and almost 8 and a 3-year-old what the possibilities are.

Q. If there is a Game 6, is your expectation to start Andy?
JOE GIRARDI: We're not thinking about Game 6 right now, and Andy is going to do his work today, his light bullpen session, and we'll see how he feels tomorrow if we need to.

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