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October 2, 2011

Joe Girardi


Detroit Tigers 5
New York Yankees 3

Q. Joe, in the ninth, what was your reasoning behind using Ayala over Soriano and Robertson?
JOE GIRARDI: We still have two more games in a row, in a sense. And we're down three. If we got it down to two, we were going to make a change. Being down three runs and you know what Valverde has done all year long, we decided to go to Ayala.

Q. Joe, in your opinion, in that situation in the ninth with all the rain and everything, is the rain more an advantage for the pitcher there or for the hitter?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, it's not ideal conditions for either guy. You can talk about the pitcher, the ball slipping out of his hand, you can talk about it's hard to see. It's not an ideal situation. We've played in that stuff all year long. A lot of times, unless it's raining too hard, they're not going to stop it.

Q. What have you seen from Alex's at-bats? And do you have to think about anything like DHing, moving down, not playing a game?
JOE GIRARDI: I thought he swung the bat pretty good yesterday. Today they made some tough pitches on him. I don't have any plans in changing my lineup. It's only two games. I'm not going to make too much of two games.
It's the best of three now. We didn't get a lot of hits today. Scherzer was really stingy against all our guys.

Q. Just following up on that, Joe, what was Scherzer doing to keep you guys off balance?
JOE GIRARDI: I thought he had great movement on his fastball today, and I thought he had great movement on his change-up. I thought his change-up was effective as well. He just kept us from putting the barrel of the bat on the ball. He had good movement.

Q. Joe, I know all these games are important, but given it is the best of three and you don't know what to expect from A.J. in Game 4, how important does that make Game 3?
JOE GIRARDI: It's obviously important. A lot of people talk about Game 3 being the most important game of a series all the time. It's real important. Every game you play in this series, when it's a shorter series of five games, is extremely important.

Q. Joe, pinch-hitting Chavez for Gardner, was that strategic? Is Gardner okay?
JOE GIRARDI: Gardner is fine. Just hoping he might pop one.

Q. You've seen some unlikely rallies in late innings. When you see Jorge triple, does that make you think something strange is happening here?
JOE GIRARDI: That's real unlikely. You might see it maybe in a bigger ballpark like Detroit, but it's not very common. We had our shot. Our guys continued to play hard. It's unusual to see.

Q. In the sixth did you consider pitching around Cabrera or walking him?
JOE GIRARDI: You can. But the next guy has got to hit. If you look at the success Victor Martinez has had behind him with runners in scoring position and you start walking a lot of people, you can get in a lot of trouble.

Q. Joe, I know it's a product of odd circumstances and they have their best guy going, does it give you a little extra comfort going into Game 3 knowing who you have?
JOE GIRARDI: We always feel good when CC is on the mound. CC has been through this spot a lot over the three years we have had him. We always feel good. I'm sure they feel the same way.

Q. Just getting back to the Chavez-for-Gardner move, is that a difficult move to take Gardner out at that point in the game knowing his defense, speed, the other ways he can impact a game?
JOE GIRARDI: If you're winning the game, I'm not going to pinch-hit there. But when you're losing the Game 4-0, you're looking for a three-run homer is what you're looking for. So, no, it's not a hard move.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Joe.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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