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October 4, 2011

Curtis Granderson


New York Yankees 10
Detroit Tigers 1

Q. Curtis, can you take us through both big catches you made. And any fans in the outfield talk to you like hey, how did we let you get away?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: First of all, it was hard to hear all the fans in center field. Everything kind of muffles together. I really couldn't hear too much. I think I saw one sign that said "Detroit still loves Curtis." That was a good thing.
The first play with Don Kelly, the low-line drive straight-away center field is a tough play to make because you don't know if it's going to fall in front of you or get some air, like Don Kelly's ball did and stay up. I tried to stay in the middle and freeze and was able to make a play on it.
The second with Peralta started just because of positioning. I felt he was a guy that was going to hit the ball to the right-center gap, so that's where I was shading him. Sure enough he ended up hitting the ball to the left-center gap. So I ended up having to go a lot further for it. Looked at Brett Gardner, he wasn't there yet. So I decided to lay out for it. Ended up holding onto the ball.
The reason I was slow getting up, I ended up knocking the wind out of myself and I think I hit my head a little bit because I had a little headache afterwards.

Q. The first catch it looked like you broke in a little bit at first, did you think that might get over your head when you saw the way it was going?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: Right away I thought he hit it right to me. I took a step in and froze. It started to get some air. At least for my perspective, it kind of went up. I was, like, oh man. I was able to go ahead and not be committed one away or the other. I ended up having to leave my feet, which I didn't want to. I ended up reeling it in finally at the end. Don Kelly came up to me later in the game he goes, "how did you do it?" I said, "You hit it that hard. If you didn't hit it that hard, it would have fell in and been a base hit."

Q. Now that you know the end result of the game, when you see that play saves at least three runs, maybe even four in that spot, how big does that play feel?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: At the end of it, it's definitely great. Because for A.J.'s point of view, you go into the next inning still 0-0 instead of being down 1, 2, or 3-0. Potentially who knows what happens because the inning continues on. After that A.J. continued to pitch great and stayed solid for six innings. The next play out there I think the score was 4-1. You assume the run comes across the board or possibly gets in scoring position. You never know what's going to happen after that because the inning ends up continuing. On both plays to get them out of the situation and get runners off the field and get us another chance to hit, it definitely ends up being big.

Q. Obviously the first one saved three runs, the second one only one. That one probably had more impact. Which one was the more difficult catch?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: I would say the second one, because of the distance I had to go. The first one I didn't have to move too far for it but I did have to freeze on it. It does make that play very difficult. Once you end up on your heels, now it's hard to go ahead and generate some speed. For the second one to have to go as far as I did and then have to leave my feet like that.
The good thing thought if I do miss that one, Gardner is there. For the first one if I miss that one, there's nothing there but the wall back there and some ivy.

Q. Curtis, what impact do you think that first one had on your starting pitcher?
CURTIS GRANDERSON: I think it was great. I don't pitch, but at the same time I know it's definitely a lot easier to go out there and mentally different knowing you're still tied versus being behind. Who knows what could have happened at that point. Especially with it being -- I think the first inning, we get behind in an elimination game. Here in Detroit, the fans stay in it, the fans get more into it, and now everything stays up staying neutral and we are able to keep it right where we want to. And Derek comes up with the big hit to finally put us on the board first.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Curtis.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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