Q. Joe, you hadn't seen Andy look particularly sharp for a couple of starts. What did you think of him tonight?
JOE GIRARDI: He was tremendous. I thought he used his fastball, curveball and cutter extremely well tonight. I thought the big inning was the second inning when they had the bases loaded with one out and he only gave up the one run.
Q. Joe, Lance expressed that he was concerned he wasn't hitting for power. Did you see anything different in his swing tonight?
JOE GIRARDI: He hit for power (laughing). You know, Lance is a guy that really works the ball from gap to the the right field gap to left field. And that's what he did tonight. He drove the ball. And, you know, isn't to me a traditional home run hitter even though he hit a lot of home runs. He hits a lot of line drives and his line drives sometimes go out of the ballpark. He is a great hitter.
Q. Joe, Andy two innings in a row right there where he got out in short pitch counts. When he gets to that point, do you start seeing him and saying, this is the Andy that I remember
JOE GIRARDI: The thing about Andy when you see him get out of jams and limit the damage, you think that's Andy, because he has a way to get a double play. He gets the double play in the first inning, he has the bases loaded in the second inning with one out, only gives up one run, that's Andy Pettitte. We have seen him get big double play balls his whole career and you feel good about that when he is doing that.
Q. Joe, I know you are optimistic and expressed a lot of confidence in regards to Andy, even after the last couple of starts. Was there even a small part of you that wondered if he had the command and stamina to get through this?
JOE GIRARDI: I think stamina maybe a little bit more than command. I felt that, you know, he was kind of in a funny situation because he was trying to get back and trying to get all of his pitches going, but we were also trying to win ballgames. And it puts us in a funny predicament. Because he wants to get his pitch count up, he wants to feel like he can give you 100 pitches or 100 plus. He wants to make sure all of his pitches there are when we get to this point. So he was in kind of a funny predicament. And I felt that what I saw on Saturday in Boston with his slider, it made me feel a lot better about him. Then when he talked about his bullpen, it gave me an easy feeling.
Q. Joe, when Berkman gets the call on Pavano on that very close pitch and Pavano seems to get flustered, do you expect something good to happen on a the next pitch?
JOE GIRARDI: Not necessarily. Carl Pavano has been there all year long and still has the ability to make an outstanding pitch. He's a control guy. He gets ahead of you and he has weapons to put you away. You don't necessarily think that, you know, that Lance is going to hit a double in that situation. But it worked out.
Q. I know you focus on your own team. When you think about that call, Mauer with Cuzzi last year, do you think, wow, we got some breaks against them?
JOE GIRARDI: I think you could look at calls and say, you know, during the course of 150 pitches thrown on each side, that pitchers are going to get some strikes and maybe they don't get a strike. I mean, that's going to happen. I mean, these umpires aren't robots and they don't have X ray vision. There are pitches that sometimes we think are strikes and we don't get them, and that's part of the game, and you have to be able to overcome those things.
Q. Joe, do you worry at all going into a series, Berkman hadn't had a real important moment for you that he could last chance maybe to do it in the playoffs as a Yankee, that he could press. And if not, why not if you didn't feel that he might?
JOE GIRARDI: Because I hadn't really seen him press during the course of the season. And Lance Berkman is an accomplished hitter. This is not a guy that, you know, is a first or second year player that's never done it on a big stage or never been a guy that's been asked to be a huge part of a line up. Lance Berkman has hit third most of his career. And our lineup is deep and you think about him hitting eighth. I wasn't really worried about him.
Q. Joe, you were talking about Andy's ability to get a double play when necessary, and to make the big pitch in a tough spot. Where do you think this extra gear comes from?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think Andy, when he gets in big situations, knows how to handle it. He's not going to try to make the perfect pitch. He's going to stay aggressive and just try to do what he does. And I think a lot of that is just from experience. He's done this so many times.
Q. Joe, why do you think your team dominates the Twins so much?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, you know I've talked about our series with the Twins the last two years, and it just seems like every game can go each way. And tonight was the same kind of game. So I mean, they're a very good ball club and we understand that. And we still have a lot of work to do.
ALDS Game 2 postgame interview: Pettitte
Q. Andy, Joe and Lance were talking about your ability to make a pitch, a big pitch in a tough spot consistently throughout your career. Is it because you have an ability to remain calm and keep your composure? Or is it mechanically something you do differently? Is it a physical or mental thing I guess is what I am asking?
ANDY PETTITTE: I would have to say both, you know, because obviously if mentally if you're there, that's great. But then you still have to physically, you know, mechanically get the ball in the spot that you need it to get into. Again, I just think the biggest part of it is just being able to control your emotions though, also. Because when this play starts rocking and the fans are going crazy, it's just like I said yesterday, it is hoping you get the tunnel vision, just nothing is going to faze you, nothing is going to make you nervous and just, you know, seeing the pitch, seeing the pitch and making the pitch. And hoping it does what you're planning on to do.
Q. Andy, talk about that second inning, and that seemed to be the pivotal moment that you did extricate this game.
ANDY PETTITTE: Yeah, that was big. You love the double play. It's the postseason. I felt really good. I probably felt like I threw a pretty good pitch to Kubel 2 0. I didn't get the call, so it went to 3 0. And it's just, you know, I am not going to throw a cookie in there. I will take my walk and take my chances or getting a double play or getting what I got, a sacrifice fly. You know, it is like one run is not going to kill me. So just not giving in there. Just not going to give Kubel anything to hurt me with there. He's good fastball hitter. And then just taking my chances with, you know, the next guy that's coming up. And really, just feeling like I was going to get a double play, you know. Instead I got a sac fly, which obviously they were looking for to get a run on the board.
And for me, just to get out of that with only giving up one run is kind of a victory because you feel, like I told you all a hundred times. I feel really good about my team. The guys on my side are hitters, and we feel like we're going to put some runs up on the board.
Q. Andy, not everybody could take the results of the last two starts you had and feel as confident as you did going in, that you have everything you needed for this start. What made you so confident? At what point tonight did you feel like you were there?
ANDY PETTITTE: (Laughing) Well, you know, I think yesterday I told the guys that I have never felt so unprepared going into the playoffs. And I really, I mean, I felt like I would have a good outing, but it was just so similar. I got locked in. Mechanically I just felt great. You know, the ball come out of my hand good. I asked the good Lord to help me get through it whenever I started the game. And Jorgie called a great game. Just so that got me even more in a good rhythm and feeling comfortable, because we were just on the same page from the get go. And obviously that makes you settle right in a lot easier, also.
Q. Andy, a couple of your teammates just said that one of the reasons you have been so successful in the postseason, at least they believe, is that you just never seem nervous at all in these situations. Are you nervous when you pitch the postseason games? If not, how are you able to maintain your poise the way you do?
ANDY PETTITTE: Well, again, I am nervous. There is anxiety going into the game. There's no doubt about it. And I think that just anytime you're doing anything like that, just the expectations, you don't know exactly how the outcome is going to be maybe and just thinking about that. Once the game starts, it's really that's the easy part. It literally is almost like when the crowd gets into it or whenever things get louder out there, I almost feel like I can slow it down even more. I don't know if that sounds strange, but that's kind of how I feel out there, you know. And again I've said it 100 times, I will say it over and over, literally I ask the good Lord to calm my nerves and help me relax and be able to do what I want to do, and do my job out there and just try to see my pitches and not get nervous, not get rattled and tight where I am jerking balls across the middle of the plate and stuff like that. And fortunately, I have been able to do that a good bit.
I mean, I've had horrible starts. I've struggled out there and not been able to get it going. So again, those were all ones that kind of you remember and you kind of feed off of those because you know that feeling. And it makes you want to get locked in even more.
Q. Andy, you helped convince Lance to waive his no trade and come to New York and it has been a couple of frustrating months for him. How happy were you to see him have a couple of hits like that and were you surprised given what you have seen the last couple of months for him to come up with a couple of big hits tonight?
ANDY PETTITTE: You know, I know it has been frustrating for him. It really has. I wasn't shocked because again, and again, I have been telling everybody in the clubhouse, it is like, this guy can hit the ball so far to the opposite field, he has more power oppo probably than anybody I ever played with and it hasn't clicked for him for the last two months. And he literally told me he kind of made an adjustment in his stance, him and K Long the other day, and he said he was launching balls in BP yesterday. And he said he felt unbelievable up there and felt like he was going to be able to drive the ball the other way. And I mean, then he goes out and hits a couple of balls oppo like he did tonight. It is amazing if you can find a little something to get you right. I am just so happy for him. He has been extremely frustrated, feeling like he hasn't contributed like he feels like he should. And he came up big tonight and contributed in a big way tonight, that's for sure.
ALDS Game 2 postgame interview: Berkman
Q. Lance, you talked last weekend about how after a mediocre two months, a couple of big hits in the postseason can really sort of turn your entire Yankee experience around. Is this sort of what you were thinking?
LANCE BERKMAN: It's a good start. But yeah, I mean you know that's why, that's why I wanted to come over here, was just the chance to play in these games. And they were going to make the postseason with or without me in the regular season. I just want to be able to contribute and maybe help us win a few games here in October.
Q. What do you feel when the ball cleared the fence? You had a lot of big home runs, but where would this one rank?
LANCE BERKMAN: It was good. I really kind of -- I mean, the results are nice to have, but I like to, I kind of base my night on how I feel at the plate, and I really haven't felt very good all year. It has been the worst year of my career. And so I was really more excited about the fact that I actually drove a ball to left center, which is something I haven't done, which has really been a strength of mine throughout my career, and it's definitely eluded me this year.
So the home run was great, and I was happy to hit it and happy to contribute. In the postseason, you know, you go 1-for-5 with a home run, you feel pretty good about it. But I was really more pleased with, all right, now I feel like I can compete maybe. I am driving the ball that way. Felt good about my set up, that kind of thing.
Q. Lance, obviously you knew Andy when you came over to the Yankees. But otherwise I think it was a pretty alien environment until you come to New York. Was there any kind of adjustment problems with you in terms of playing there? And how has the experience playing for the Yankees differed from maybe what you expected?
LANCE BERKMAN: It's all been -- the things that have been different have all been positive. Really didn't know what to expect. You come to a clubhouse with so many big name players. It is an All Star team. Every one of those guys is unbelievable. You look at credentials and that kind of thing, it's amazing. But really not a lot of big egos. Everybody is a great guy. They are fun to be around. It is not the clubhouse environment that I expected at all.
I felt like it was going to be a bunch of superstars doing their own thing and it is not that way at all. Anytime you go to a new team with a new group of guys, regardless whether it is New York or Kansas City, it will take some time to get adjusted. You don't feel like you're really part of the team until you have done something to help the team.
And it's weird, because you come over, those guys have been playing for four months and they have been, you know, sweating it out and grinding it out. And then you are there, like, hey, here I am, I am the new guy and you try to fit in as best you can. But it's hard to when you come over so late in the season.
Q. You batted eighth tonight.
LANCE BERKMAN: Big snowman, yeah.
Q. Not submerging your ego asking you to bat eighth
LANCE BERKMAN: At least don't put me in front of the pitcher, I would like to see some better pitches to hit. I never hit eighth before, never have been -- I can't say that I did get pinch-hit for one time in Houston a long time ago, but, you know, it's different. I mean, and you have to be willing, but what am I going to do? It makes you feel better when you have A-Rod and Tex and Robby and Grandy. Those are great, great players. And I mean, I don't expect to hit in front of any of those guys. I am just glad to be in the lineup.
Q. Lance, was there any point in the last couple of months whether on the DL or not where you maybe wondered whether it was the right move to come over here?
LANCE BERKMAN: Yeah, I think you definitely have those thoughts. I know in my heart it was definitely the right move. Even if it is disastrous for me personally, it was good for me where I was in Houston mentally. Like at that point in my career, I needed to at least see what it was like somewhere else as far as, you know, if it was me, if it was the environment. And I'm glad I did. I learned a lot about myself. I learned a lot about how I feel about the game of baseball, and how I feel about the City of Houston, just from coming over here and getting to be around so many great players. It has been a tremendous experience. Regardless if I have gotten my last Yankee hit ever, I still look back on this and say this is absolutely the right thing to do. And I'm very happy that I decided to waive my no-trade clause.
Q. Lance, I think it was kind of when you were on the DL you talked a lot about even if they won, if you didn't sort of play a part, it wouldn't feel like were you part of it. With the home run or the double, at any point did you feel like you kind of now had your moment and you're a part of this now?
LANCE BERKMAN: Like I said, I think it is a good beginning. It is one game, but every game in the postseason is a big game. So yeah, I feel good about the contribution. I'd like to continue to make those contributions going forward. And if I can do that, you know, in the postseason especially, it does help you. I mean, that will bond you to your teammates really quickly when you start getting big hits in the playoffs. And definitely helps you feel like you're doing something, because I don't think you can take quite as much joy in a victory or the ultimate victory, let's say we won the World Series, if you don't participate. If you are just sitting on the bench and watching and don't do anything, it is hard to take as much joy as if you help them win the game.
Q. Lance, the 2-2 pitch that preceded the double, how close was it? Were you taking a peek back to make sure it was a ball?
LANCE BERKMAN: I mean, I felt like it was a ball. I had to swing at it, I had two strikes. It was a tough pitch. You know, I've had a lot of people ask me about it, and like it was right down the middle or something. That's a very borderline pitch. Sometimes it gets called, sometimes it doesn't. I felt like Hunter was very consistent all night with not giving anything inside. He was giving probably four to six inches off the outside corner, wasn't giving anything over the inside corner. So that was the strike zone. And I mean, I have been punched out plenty on balls that I didn't think were strikes, so what the heck. You know, if he had called it, I wouldn't have been happy about it, but I wouldn't have been shocked.
But bottom line, that's the game of baseball. You know, it's one of the things that happens and I am glad that the call went our way tonight, and the next time it might not.
Q. Lance, you have a different perspective watching Andy pitch, you played with him obviously in Houston. This is the first time you played alongside him here. Did you detect any differences or similarities to what you remember him in big games in Houston?
LANCE BERKMAN: Yeah, the same old Andy. Great in big games and that's how he was in Houston, that's how he's been here. That's who he is. I mean, the guy, he will give you a good start, there is no doubt about it. And I don't see a lot of -- guys have asked me a lot about is the postseason different. Postseason is the postseason and I don't care, a World Series game is a World Series game, it doesn't matter where you are playing. The intensity, the adrenaline and nobody manages that better than Andy. I mean, whether he did it there or here, he's the same guy. He does it everywhere. He'd do it for the Pirates or the Royals if they happened to make the postseason
ALDS Game 2 postgame interview: Umpire Crawford
Q. What did Gardenhire say?
JERRY CRAWFORD: Balls and strikes. That simple.
Q. Was there anything said regarding the history between Hunter and Ron that's been public?
JERRY CRAWFORD: Nothing.
Q. Did Hunter say anything about the pitch, the 2-2 to Berkman?
JERRY CRAWFORD: Nothing.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.