Interview with Girardi after Game 3 of ALCS

Interview with Girardi after Game 3 of ALCS

Q. Is A.J. still starting tomorrow?

JOE GIRARDI: Yes.

Q. Was that at all a thought process for you?

JOE GIRARDI: No.

Q. How much of this series do you think is their pitching and how much do you think is your offense being a problem?

JOE GIRARDI: I thought Cliff Lee was excellent tonight. He knows how to change speeds. He knows how to pitch in and out. He knows how to read swings. And he adapts very quickly. And I thought he threw the ball extremely well tonight.

We haven't swung the bats great. But we have seen some pretty good pitching, and we are not the only lineup that they have shut down. But I still believe that we are going to hit, and that we have a good offense and tomorrow's a new day.

Q. Andy's pitching, just how frustrating for him to pitch that well ‑‑

JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, he pitched a great game. He left one cutter up a little bit and Josh Hamilton hit it out of the ballpark, and we know how dangerous he is. The two balls that he has hit out of the ballpark are breaking balls that we didn't get where we wanted. We got them down and away. He got CC for one and he got Andy for one. And he swung the bat better this series.

He didn't play a lot in the month of September. Sometimes a guy is a little rusty, and we know how dangerous he is.

Q. How much consideration, if any, do you give to bringing in Rivera just to hold them at two, and ultimately, why did you decide against that?

JOE GIRARDI: Well, Mo is a guy that sometimes we use multiple innings in a situation that if we are ahead. Our bullpen had been really, really good up until that point. Boone had done his job. Robby had done his job. We were down 2‑0 and if you bring in Mo, you may not have him available for multiple innings tomorrow, if you want to use him. So we went with guys that were throwing well in a situation where we were down.

Q. You're trailing for a first time in a series in the playoffs; does your approach or mindset change for Game 4 here tomorrow?

JOE GIRARDI: Your approach is still the same. You prepare and try to win the game tomorrow just like you do every day. We are down two games to one but we are a resilient club. We have been all year. You don't win 95 games in your division without being resilient and I expect our guys to come out and play well tomorrow.

Q. We are only three games into a seven-game series and I understand how resilient the club is, but considering A.J. is a question mark and Cliff Lee is looming for Game 7, how much trouble do you think your team is in right now?

JOE GIRARDI: I don't think we are in trouble. As I said, we are a good club and we are down 2‑1. We are not down 3-0 and losing in the bottom of the ninth. We are losing two games to one. You go out and play a good game tomorrow, you feel a lot different. The mood can change a little bit. Yeah, it's frustrating that we have lost the last two games in a row, but we have lost two games in a row before and bounced back and won a bunch of games in a row.

You put this one behind you, you forget about it and go get them tomorrow.

Q. Overall in this series, what have you thought of Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter in terms of their at-bats?

JOE GIRARDI: They pitched them tough. They have pitched them tough. These guys are professional hitters and gone through streaks where they have not gotten hits for a couple of days and they have bounced back as well.

As I said tomorrow is a new day. The sun will come up and we'll play a new game tomorrow night.

Q. You've seen how quickly some games can get away; how short of a leash do you have to have tomorrow?

JOE GIRARDI: We've talked about that before. We talked about that in the pregame. You watch how a guy is doing, and if he's giving up a run, how he's giving it up and how he's pitching and how he's locating. You don't jump to quick decisions. But tomorrow's an important game, there's no doubt about it.

Q. Given that you've seen some of your guys struggle on extra rest and A.J. has not pitched in two weeks, is there any concern?

JOE GIRARDI: There's a little concern but A.J. threw a game basically six days ago so for A.J., he's pretty much on normal rest for him and he's able to do his normal bullpens and do his routine the last seven or eight days.

Q. The 8th inning, about four or six runs or so were scored; what happened at that point? Like what happened with the defense? I mean, what was going on right there? I mean, they scored another four runs or so. What was going on there?

JOE GIRARDI: Well, they were hitting some balls in the hole and we couldn't afford to give them extra runs, so we had the infield in, is kind of what was going on.

When you're down two runs going into the top of the ninth, you can't play the infield back and play for a double play and afford to give a club extra runs. So they hit some balls in the hole, they got threw the hole, Robby got some groundballs, unfortunately they were in the hole and they scored some more runs.

Q. I know you have confidence in your offense but when you are down 2‑0 and Lee is throwing the way he was, does it feel like more?

JOE GIRARDI: We have a lot of guys that can hit the ball out of the ballpark. I know Cliff Lee is good, but he is human. He has given up a run before. I know he's a great pitcher. We have seen it time and time again.

But this is a ballpark that you can give up some home runs from time ‑‑ and it only takes one guy to get on and a good swing of the bat.