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November 3, 2009

Joe Girardi


JOE GIRARDI: Andy is our starter tomorrow. We'll eliminate that question.

Q. A couple things: How much of a boost is getting Matsui back the way he's been hitting? And what do you see with Teixeira and Cano?
JOE GIRARDI: Getting Matsui back is always important to our lineup. He's been a huge hitter in our lineup during the course of the great, a great RBI guy, big hits, home runs, so that's a very good thing.
Tex, he's struggled a little bit, he's had some big hits, had a big hit last night that kind of got us going, got us back in the game. I felt good about him, and I felt Robby swung the bat pretty well last night, and I feel good about him.

Q. Yesterday you said a few times that Andy would be your starter if he feels good. What was the conversation today?
JOE GIRARDI: "How do you feel?" and he said he felt great. It doesn't take more than that. This is something that we talked about, and we're still very comfortable doing it, and he's our guy tomorrow.

Q. In terms of using three starters, how much of that is that you want to do that, and how much of that is that you have to do that given that you guys didn't really have a fifth starter and Joba struggled the way he did towards the end of the year?
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, the thing is Chad hasn't thrown -- I think he's thrown one inning in 27 days. And to me there are no games where you don't keep the pedal to the metal, and that's what we tried to do with our starters.
I mean, part of it is that. Joba, we turned into a bullpen guy, so it is what it is. These are the guys that we've relied on all year, and we're going to continue to do it.

Q. Was that a decision you made at some point in August or September that we want to use three, or were you sort of --
JOE GIRARDI: It was something that we talked about that we could do in the first two rounds, and it came to the third round, and you know, if you're in Philly and it's 3-0 maybe you do something different, but we never got to that point. So we decided to do this. Our guys felt good, and this is what we decided.

Q. You've said that physically you ask guys how they are. How much do you look at what their history is on three days' rest, as well, to make that determination?
JOE GIRARDI: We look at that. That's important. You know, obviously you're going to look at everything that you can to try to gather information to make the best decision you can. So I mean, I've looked at that. So I mean, that came into our decision.

Q. How reassuring is it to know that Alex has apparently wiped the slate clean from his first two games and now seems to be locked in? So you're going into your final two games of this World Series with a dangerous clean-up hitter again.
JOE GIRARDI: It's a great feeling whenever he's swinging the bat well. I don't care what time of year it is. But he's swung the bat really well the last three games, and he seems very relaxed. He seems like he's in a great place, and we know that at any point he's up there, he can be a difference-maker.

Q. You were the catcher, I believe, the first time Pettitte and Pedro squared off. Would you have thought then they could have still been as good as they are now and kind of the old warrior match-up for tomorrow night?
JOE GIRARDI: What year was that?

Q. May 31, '98. You had a three-hundred homer, also.
JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, but I think we got smoked, so it wasn't a lot of consolation.
Yeah, they were two guys that you knew worked very hard, that had outstanding stuff, that you knew could be around a long time. Would you assume that they were going to match up in 2009 in the World Series? I don't think any one of us could have assumed that. But I figured both guys were going to be around a long time.
Q. (Inaudible.)
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I'm not surprised, because it's two guys that really know how to pitch and really know how to work hard.

Q. What have you guys been doing to keep Howard negated, particularly your left-handed pitching, which has done so well against their left-handers?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think we've made good pitches to him. I think we've changed speeds on him, I think we've moved the ball around him. The bottom line is I think we've made good pitches on him. He's an extremely dangerous hitter, and if you don't make pitches, you're not going to get him out, and he proved that in the first two rounds. But our guys have done a good job of just moving the ball around on him.

Q. When you've got a guy like Utley hitting the way he is in this series, do you go back, look at the scouting report? I know you have extensive stuff. And say, wait a minute, we have a problem here, or do you try to figure out, do we need to change or is it just execution?
JOE GIRARDI: It's execution. If you don't execute your pitches on guys in the middle of the lineup, they're usually not just singles; they're more than that. And we have not executed very well on Chase Utley, and he has not missed them.

Q. Two things: Would you be inclined, because he's rested, to use Rivera for multiple innings tomorrow? And when would you be able to use Burnett again?
JOE GIRARDI: Yes on the first one, on Mo.
Burnett's normal throw day would be tomorrow, but I'm not sure if I would use him tomorrow. But in case of emergency, you would.

Q. Two things about three days' rest, especially because you're a catcher: What would be to you a sign that fatigue is a factor tomorrow with Andy, number one? And do you think there's anything mental that works against fatigue knowing that I could empty him out, there's no more starts in 2009, so whatever I've got I can throw today, and can that help a pitcher?
JOE GIRARDI: I definitely think that can help a pitcher knowing this is the last time you're going out in 2009, so I can let everything hang out in a sense.
The first part of your question, what you notice --

Q. And I wonder if it's something you specifically know about Andy, like you'll look for tomorrow and say maybe he is a little fatigued.
JOE GIRARDI: You could talk about lack of velocity. You could talk about location. But you can have all those things on normal rest. You can have lack of location on normal rest, extra rest, short rest. I mean, that's the thing. And a lot of times things are overanalyzed.
Fatigue can manifest itself in a lot of different ways, but to me if they're really fatigued you're not going to see the consistency in the velocity.

Q. Hairston started against Pedro last time and Hinske has had some success against Pedro. Is it possible with Cabrera out both of them might be in the outfield?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, as far as the lineup tomorrow, we have not had a chance to discuss it, and we'll talk about it probably after practice and tomorrow like we normally do. I won't do anything out of the ordinary.
As far as Pedro, you know what his stuff is. You have an idea how he got you out the last time. That doesn't mean he's going to do it this time. Pedro is a smart pitcher. But you know what he's got and what his repertoire is, and you're a little bit more prepared when you've seen a guy.

Q. Andy has made every start for the last two months on long rest, so what kind of effect do you think that has on him when you're asking him not to go just one day shorter but in essence two or more?
JOE GIRARDI: I would think that he's rested (laughing). That we haven't had to overwork him the last, I don't know, two months basically, and that's probably why he feels extremely well. Usually during the course of a year you're going every five days, every five days, and that can wear on you if you do it too many starts in a row. But with all the extra days that he's had and missing the start the one time, physically I think it's helped him.

Q. Obviously their backs are certainly to the wall because they have no wiggle room, but for you there's two shots, but yet do you feel that mentality to get it over with so you don't risk getting to an anything-can-happen seventh game?
JOE GIRARDI: I think any time you have a close-out game, you want to close it out. But it takes more than just wanting to do it. You have to execute and you have to have good at-bats, you have to do a lot of things. We had a chance in Game 5, we didn't get it done. Very similar to when we were out in LA. So you go for it tomorrow.

Q. How much of an impact, in your opinion, do the outside influences in New York like the back pages, talk radio, having a guy like Mark Teixeira in his first Yankee post-season?
JOE GIRARDI: Probably not a whole lot. When you're playing this game and you have a family and you get home at 3:00 in the morning, you don't have a lot of time to sit down and read the newspaper, number one. And number two, my guess is most of our players aren't going to put on talk radio, they're going to put on music when they come to the ballpark. So I don't really think it has too much of an influence.

Q. What have you learned about this Phillies team just facing them in these five games that maybe you didn't know before, and that not necessarily worries you but that you have to be concerned about in Game 6?
JOE GIRARDI: Not really a whole lot. I've seen this Phillies team since 2006, and I knew they were a very good club then, I know they're a very good club now. I knew they were resilient. I knew they played with a lot of character and toughness. So there really hasn't been anything that has been a surprise to me.
Now, there's a few new faces that are there now, but I also knew about those guys, as well. So pretty much what we expected.

Q. Actually you started to address this before, your team has lost two games now in clinching situations. The Yankee playoff teams in the past have had a remarkable record in clinching situations. Would you like to see more of a killer instinct, or is that unrealistic?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think there is a killer instinct. We were down 8-2 and we were right back in the game. To me if you don't have a killer instinct you go home and lose the game 8-2. You don't take your at-bats seriously, you don't take the pitches seriously. So I think there is a killer instinct in that clubhouse.
We lost a game. That's going to happen. We're playing a very good team. But it is what it is. And as I said, you have a chance to do it tomorrow.

Q. Have you thought at all about what your legacy and the legacy of this team would be, finishing the deal here and not finishing the deal here, what it might look like?
JOE GIRARDI: Not really. You try to stay focused on the things that you need to stay focused on, and that's just the game tomorrow. You know, when you get to this point, there's two very good teams, and one team is going to be extremely excited at the end of it, and one team is going to be disappointed. I know that. I've been to three World Series, I've been in playoffs when we've lost series, and it's disappointment. But you still move on and your life goes on, and you know, you have to continue to go to work and be a husband and a father.
So for me, the only thing I focus on is Game 6. I don't focus on legacy, because I'm not worried about my legacy. People are always going to have perceptions of you, and some of them are going to be true, and probably most of them are going to be false.

End of FastScripts

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