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Girardi has no regrets after Game 3

Girardi has no regrets after Game 3

ANAHEIM -- Given a night to consider his alternatives, Joe Girardi stood by the series of buttons he pushed in the Yankees' dugout during Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, even though they resulted in his first career postseason loss.

With two outs and nobody on in the 11th inning on Monday, Girardi yanked right-hander Dave Robertson in favor of fellow righty Alfredo Aceves, who surrendered a single to Howard Kendrick and a game-winning double to Jeff Mathis in the Angels' 5-4 win.

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Girardi said he was not surprised that his moves drew heavy criticism.

"No, it's New York," Girardi said. "They expect us to win every day and so do we. You know when something doesn't work out, you're going to hear about it."

Girardi explained that he liked the matchup of Kendrick against Aceves better than Robertson, who retired Juan Rivera and Kendry Morales for the first two outs of the 10th.

Robertson had struck out Kendrick once and allowed a two-run single in two career at-bats against the infielder. Girardi said that Robertson's velocity was down, and with Aceves in line to pitch the 12th inning anyway, Girardi thought it would be wise to get Aceves in the game.

AL Championship Series
Gm. 1 NYY 4, LAA 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 2 NYY 4, LAA 3 Wrap Video
Gm. 3 LAA 5, NYY 4 Wrap Video
Gm. 4 NY 10, LAA 1 Wrap Video
Gm. 5 LAA 7, NYY 6 Wrap Video
Gm. 6 NYY 5, LAA 2 Wrap Video

"I don't want to discuss how we expect to attack him," Girardi said. "But I liked the matchup better. It didn't work."

A thick three-ring binder with the Angels logo and Girardi's name on the cover -- a go-to handbook of statistical breakdowns and scouting reports -- sat on the manager's desk in the visitors' clubhouse on Tuesday.

Girardi said that the Yankees have more scouting information for the postseason than they did for the regular season -- data they utilized during off-days between their three-game AL Division Series sweep of the Twins and the ALCS to absorb among the coaching staff.

Girardi said that there would be some consideration given to the outcome of Game 3 in similar situations.

Bonus baseball
Elapsed time through three games of the ALCS, dating back to 1995
Year Gm 1 Gm 2 Gm 3 Total
2009 3:18 5:10 4:21 12:49
2007 3:35 5:14 3:28 12:17
2008 3:25 5:27 3:23 12:15
1996 4:23 4:13 2:50 11:26
1997 2:33 3:53 4:51 11:17
2000 3:45 3:36 3:35 10:56
2004 3:20 3:15 4:20 10:55
1998 3:31 4:28 2:53 10:52
1999 3:39 3:46 3:14 10:39
2001 3:06 3:25 3:49 10:20
1995 3:07 3:14 3:18 9:39
2003 3:20 3:05 3:09 9:34
2002 2:58 3:13 3:13 9:24
2006 3:20 3:06 2:57 9:23
2005 2:47 2:34 2:42 8:03

"You think about it, obviously, the next time you make it," Girardi said. "You have your information and you have your scouting reports. You talk about hitters and matchups -- sometimes, they just don't work out.

"You can't be afraid to not make a decision because you're going to be second-guessed. I made that decision wholeheartedly believing that Ace was the guy to do the job. He didn't get it done, but that doesn't take away from the thought process that you had and the reasons you had your reasons."

Earlier in the game, Girardi used both of his left-handed relievers in succession, replacing lefty Phil Coke with lefty Damaso Marte to open the eighth -- even though Coke had thrown only three pitches. That meant that the Yankees had no left-handed foil for Chone Figgins, Bobby Abreu or Morales later in the game.

"We haven't used Marte where he got up and down," Girardi said. "We all know that he's had some physical issues during the course of the year. It was kind of a longer inning. And we just felt we'd better go with Coke."

Girardi acknowledged that he is "under a microscope" with his moves, but he said that he felt in his gut, heart and mind that his moves in Game 3 were the correct ones, despite the outcome.

"I did think about it," Girardi said. "You always think about it. But I still feel that it was the move that we would have made, and it just didn't work out."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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