10/04/2002 10:21 pm ET
Twins post-game quotes
Ron Gardenhire, Twins manager
We were hoping to get through a game without time fluke plays. Could you take us through the first home run. Did he lose it in the ceiling or was it just hitting the ground and got by him?
No, it was just a hard line drive, the ball was selling a little out there and Torii (Hunter) thought he had a good chance to catch it in the air, and at the last second it dove on him. He tried to make a play, that's all. It wasn't high enough to lose in the ceiling. He just tried to make a play and didn't catch a ball. We have seen him catch those balls a thousand times, just didn't work out in the first inning.
Did you ever see a kid hide his fastball better than (Barry) Zito, make use of an 88-mile-an-hour fastball as well as he does, make it look 95
He is pretty good. He made his chase out of the zone today in big situations. When he gets in tough situations he makes you chase. I know we were a little excited, but we chased out of the zone a lot on him. We had some opportunities, but that's why he has won all those baseball games because his fastball jumps, and when he gets in trouble he can go to it and put a little extra on it, he has got a great cutter, he made a lot of great pitches when he had to. We had a lot of great opportunities. That's why the guys won so many games this year.
You worked pretty hard to get it tied. How devastating was it to get it back in one batter?
Actually, it was disappointing but Reeder had handled him a couple times before, ... and he tried to go in with that pitch and just didn't get it in, he got it over the middle of the plate and the guy hit a home run. Got to tip your hat to Jermaine. He walked it, he is a great hitter. This type of playoffs, playoffs atmosphere, those things happen. It was a great game. We battled. We threw everything we had at him, we missed our opportunities and that's what was the deciding factor.
Even when it got to be 4-3, it still seemed within reach, but once they pushed it to 6, did you feel some of the energy come out of the team there?
Well, we always feel like we can come back. Johan just hung up a ball, got a slider up to Velarde. Velarde fought off two really good change-ups, hit them right off the end of the bat, and you have got a veteran hitter there, he's trying to stay within himself and made one bad pitch and the guy hit a double off the ball and then Jackson came in and Tejada went after a pitch and put it up in the air and got the next ones, and those were two big runs for them. We threw everything we had at them. They have some veteran hitters over there that can do the job in those RBI situations, and today they did it.
How long did you debate Ortiz/LeCroy?
I fought with that one forever, and like I said, David going in tonight was 4-for-8 off the guy, and he hit one ball hard to second base, I thought he stayed on that ball. He was tough on lefties and righties. We didn't have very many hits on him overall. But he is tough, we know that. He says play your left-handers against him, but then it also says he is 23-5. Take your choice.
It seems like Reed was just missing
in a lot of this, he walked two but going deep into the counts.
I thought he battled through it. He gave up four home runs. He is throwing the ball over the plate, he is around the zone. He made four bad pitches, and they hit them out of the ballpark. That's what they do. They do those things. We actually felt like we were in the game all the way to the last out. Denny chased what might have been ball 4, I don't know, it probably was a pitch, popped one up there at the end and Jacque hits a double. When Jacque hit the double, we thought we had life, we really thought we were going to win, tied it back up, just didn't work out today. We have played that way all year. They just out played us today.
I don't want to get you in trouble, but did you think the strike zone was a little snug today?
A little tight.
I can't see it from the dugout. All I can do is sit there, and it looked like he was going both ways, he was calling lots of strikes out there, both sides. I know Jim Joyce, I think he is a very good umpire, and he handled the game fine today. I don't know if he was one-sided or not. I thought he did a good job behind the plate, the umpires always do. We had some funny plays go out there, and Jim told me he had never seen a pop fly go up and land and foul. I said, "That's the Metrodome, buddy, get used to it."