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October 9, 2010

Ron Gardenhire


Twins – 1
Yankees - 6

Q. What do you think went wrong today?
RON GARDENHIRE: What went wrong? I think pretty much through the whole series we missed our opportunities to score runs. We had pitches to hit again tonight and we just didn't get it done, offensively. And you're playing against a very good baseball team over there with a lot of really, really good baseball players that got it done tonight. They got it early up Duensing -- every time he got a ball up, they hit it. He's been pretty good for us.
Just a tough night. Then you get behind and Hughes threw the ball really well. Mixed his pitches up, made it tough on us. But we had some chances as the game went along there. We saw bases loaded where Kubel got a chance to hit. And Delmon got a chance to hit and we popped it up. Not going to win many ballgames. The effort was good. These guys got after it. They care. That's what I told them in the clubhouse. I'm very proud of them. Didn't work out here.
We had a lot of goals this year. The effort was there. We got one of our goals. We won a division, got back in the playoffs. We wanted to go deep in the playoffs. It didn't work out. We didn't play very well in the playoffs. That's the disappointing part. But I'm very proud of this baseball team.

Q. Duensing had the shoulder tightness, I guess, in his last start. Do you think it affected him at all? And he looked on the bench after he came out like he was just devastated. Did anybody say to him to pick him up a little bit?
A. The shoulder was a non-issue. There wasn't anything wrong with him. He was really upset on the bench. But I think plenty of people went and talked to him, myself included. He's a young pitcher with a very bright future ahead of him. He's pitched very well for us. And he got a couple of pitches up. And they whacked him a little bit.
He'll be fine. He should be devastated. We all are. Not devastated, but upset. We like guys that care a little bit about their performance and he does.

Q. Your Twins have been a great team over the 162 games for about a decade now, but have struggled in the postseason. Beyond the competition which is obviously a factor, do you have any other explanation for that?
RON GARDENHIRE: Just one of those -- right now we're in a little rut here. We can't seem to put it together. Once we get into the playoffs, we're playing pretty good baseball teams. And you have to be at your best. We went into this. We clinched early.
We thought we would be able to get everybody healthy. We had some guys still beat up. Guys had to sit out for five, six days trying to get healthy. I don't think their swings came back to them, a couple of guys. We battled through that. No excuses. We just didn't get it done. We haven't got it done. And we have to do some more searching here in trying to figure out how to get it done because we definitely, definitely can do it. We know we can. We know we're a good baseball team. You just have to put it together at the right time. And we just haven't done it.

Q. As an opposing manager, can you appreciate the job that Joe Girardi did both to get his team prepared for the series and the job he did managing it in the series?
RON GARDENHIRE: I know he doesn't get enough credit for the way he runs a ballclub in a market like this, as tough as it is. Joe and his staff do fantastic jobs here. He's ready, he's got his team very prepared. He has a lot of very good baseball players over there that you watch him run the game. They're always looking in. They pay attention to everything. It's not like they're robots out there. They pay attention to the game. They move him around. They do a very good job of getting those guys ready over there.
You're also talking about some of the best players in the game. That's a credit to Joe and his staff because they listen to him. They get together pretty good game reports, getting ready for other teams, as we saw tonight. They pitched us very well.

Q. Mauer did not want to talk about his knee during the series. In your mind, did it affect him out there? Did you see it at all?
RON GARDENHIRE: You would have to talk to Joe about it. He didn't limp. He sat out for quite a while there at the end trying to get healthy and trying to get well. His swing wasn't as good. He still hit some balls pretty hard. Was he at 100%? No. But this time of year is anybody? When you play a schedule like we've played? No one is going to be 100%.
He definitely played through some things. That's what you have to do this time of year.

Q. This is nine straight playoff losses to this team. And they pretty much dominated you in this series. Is the gap between them and you guys really this big?
RON GARDENHIRE: I think if you just look at the games, I don't think it's called domination. They find a way to win. We had chances, tons of chances in a 6-4 loss in the first game. The next game went their way. A little break here and there. And tonight yeah, they dominated us tonight. They hit, they got us tonight. But I think if you look at all the games between us, a mistake here, a mistake there and the game could be turned the other way. That's where we have to get better.
But dominating, I think, is not the right word to use with us. On the record-wise, yes, they've won nine in a row. That's not dominating us, other than wins and losses, the games are really close and could go either way. We come up with a big hit or big pitch they can turn the other way. We just haven't been able to do that.

Q. Do you think you need more power arms to beat teams like the Yankees in the future?
RON GARDENHIRE: You know, people say that, but I think our pitchers do just fine. We just didn't really give them much support in the first couple of games. I like our pitchers. I like the way they go about their business. Everybody would like a power pitcher. Everybody in baseball is always searching for the number one, number two starters. You work with what you have. Your system develops people. We've got some guys coming up that we think have a chance to be that.
We think Francisco Liriano, as he gets farther and farther away from that surgery, is going to get better and better. He can be that. Power pitchers in the playoffs are a good thing a lot of times. But you work with what you have. And we're pretty proud of our guys, actually. We like our pitching staff. We like the way they throw the ball.

Q. How disappointing is it to have the Yankees end your season for the second straight year? How disappointing is it?
RON GARDENHIRE: It's not much fun. This is not much fun at all to come up here, being knocked out knowing your season is over with again after three games in the playoffs. We've had that a few times. You tip your hat to the competition. They're pretty good. But we felt we made some strides over the winter, and we did. We just didn't get it done here, didn't play into the playoffs here for us. We like the way it set up. We thought we had some good opportunities. We didn't get it done.
It's always disappointing to end your season. You want that last one to be a win. The last game should be a win. That's when you win the World Series. That's our goal. It continues to be our goal. We'll never end being our goal.

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