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October 16, 2010

Joe Girardi


Q. So far, has the bullpen exceeded your expectations?
JOE GIRARDI: Are you talking about the in game? In the season? Going into the post-season, they have been really, really good, but we expect them to pitch at a high level.

Q. Is it if you know how things work out, where Cashman and his staff do all the planning all winter, you spend all the money, talk about the big guys you have, and it comes down to two guys last night, Moseley and Thames, two guys you signed before Spring Training, come through with big roles?
JOE GIRARDI: That's the thing, the club that we assemble is very deep usually, and guys have experience and they are very good players. And we talk about, you can't expect maybe the middle of the order to always do it. It's going to come from different areas and I think that's why you win a lot of games during the course of the season. You're going to have contributors that start in Triple-A that come up and help out a lot. You look at, you know, a guy like Moseley, you look at what Boone has done for us. You can go as far to say Ramiro Peña had some big plays when Alex sat out and Eduardo Nuñez. Sometimes in these games, it's going to come down to those guys.

Q. Last night Kerry said the call for the pickoff came from the bench. How does that work and what did you see from Kinsler on first?
JOE GIRARDI: We are no different from any other club. You have a coach that gives signs and you do your homework where guys try to run. And you watch the baserunner. We are in clear view of the baserunner, what he's trying to do if he's trying to time it. And we try to hold the runners close. Kinsler broke and Kerry picked at the right time. It's something where you do spend a lot of time going over it, and Tony spends a lot of time. Tony was a catcher and understands the running game, and what teams are trying to do to us and we discuss it and it worked out for us.

Q. You haven't lost a road game yet in the post-season. Is there something about the club that sets it apart in that regard or is it just game to game?
JOE GIRARDI: It's game to game. And we have a lot of experience. We are used to being in environments that sometimes can be not so friendly in a sense, not your home crowd. Play a lot of games and it seems that wherever we go, we draw big crowds, so our guys are used to it. And playing in our division, we hear our share of boos. So I don't think being on the road is such a big deal for an experienced club.

Q. Brett was saying after the game that if he had gone in standing up to first, he would have been out. Where do you feel in that debate of sliding into first?
JOE GIRARDI: I always cringe a little bit when guys slide because you worry about them getting stepped on or jamming a shoulder, but he's probably right. C.J. Wilson would have been able to tag him if he was standing up. It's a great hustle play.
Your great concern as a manager is a guy getting hurt more than anything else, and he came out of it fine and it ended up being a big play.

Q. Joe, can you just give us an idea of how fast Gardner is, and where you think of him in terms of baserunners across baseball, you know, is he one of the three fastest guys in baseball?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, I don't know if I consider him one of the three fastest guys in baseball, because I don't -- we don't see every team from the National League.
But he's among the top baserunners in the game, and he does his homework. I mean, he spends a lot of time reviewing pitchers's moves and pitchers's times and all those things tries to pick certain pitches to go. I think he's an excellent baserunner. His stealing percentage is great. I think that's part of the reasons that he scores so many runs is it doesn't take a lot to get him from first to home necessarily. And that's a big weapon of his.

Q. When Brian was pointing out all of these midseason additions or what seemed to really help your team, can you go back to the trade deadline, it was such a last-second deal that brought Kerry Wood here; what your first thought was when you heard you had acquired him, and having worked with him before how his stuff compares now to what it was?
JOE GIRARDI: I was excited because I knew Kerry's personality. And I knew that the situation would not intimidate him. He's been involved in a lot of situations in his career. He's been a top-notch starter. He's went through the elbow injury, been on top of the game and had to fight his way back. Knew that he was tremendous in the clubhouse, and I've always liked his stuff and his demeanor.
His stuff has changed a little bit. His slider is not as big as it used to be. His velocity is not quite what it used to be. And in saying that, he still throws 95 miles an hour. And that happens to all pitchers as they get older. I remember Mo used to throw 97. But I was excited because I knew what he could bring to the table.

Q. Excluding injury, can you envision a scenario where you would switch up your rotation?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, that's a question that people talk about a lot. We're worried about today. That's the bottom line. We are worried about today, and as we move forward, we worry about that day. But right now, we are focused on what Hughesy is going to do today and what he needs to do to be successful.

Q. It's only one game, but how is the team? Are you guys tired being back here early today?
JOE GIRARDI: I don't think our guys will be tired. You know, it's one thing if you played 17 days in a row. We have played one game in, what, seven days; so I think our guys will feel fresh when they get out there. And the adrenaline will get going, and they will feel good.
We're probably more tired than they are. (Chuckling).

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