10/04/07 8:11 PM ET
Joe Torre postgame interview
Manager believes success is based on starting pitching
By / MLB.com
JOE TORRE: Well, I think the fifth inning was the inning where we cut it to one and then they extended it. I think that was the key. The first inning obviously they got more out of it than we did.
Yeah, we made them work. Threw a lot of pitches. And we just -- he was better than we were. He was able to battle through it.
What did you see with Wang and how shocking was it?
JOE TORRE: I think by the number of balls they hit in the air, he just wasn't down. He needs to be down. And if he's not, then you're flirting with danger, especially against this ball club, because when they hit the ball, it's out there over the plate. It usually does what it did tonight.
Do you think based on what you saw from them in the first and fifth inning that it was going to fall to the guys behind A-Rod to drive in runs, that they were not going to let A-Rod beat them?
JOE TORRE: I think with the situation with the base open and Jorge, they can get a double play with him. I don't think there's any question that if it presents itself, they're going to go somewhere else. Yeah. Again, we need -- I guess our left handers did most of the damage tonight. Which is what we were hoping, but certainly we needed the game to be more controllable.
In the fifth when you guys cut it to one and Jorge was at the plate, 3-0 count, did he have the green light there all season long, his decision?
JOE TORRE: Pretty much. We've got C.C. right there, 100 pitches and have a guy who's hitting .330 all year long, I'll take my left-handed hitter on deck, all those things. It was a pretty easy decision to do that.
If the series is decided on Game 5, would Wang be the starter?
JOE TORRE: Let's just get over and lick our wounds and we'll figure it out. First off, let me tell you, I'm not afraid of Wang pitching against Cleveland again. He didn't pitch his game tonight. You know, you win 19 games in this league, you certainly earn it. I'm certainly not going to shy away from him pitching again.
Obviously you need to get deeper into your games with your starting pitching. What do you anticipate as you move forward, and obviously Pettitte tomorrow has been very good in Game 2s for you, can you speak a little bit about that?
JOE TORRE: Well, again, with what we had to deal with pretty much all year, especially since early on we dug a hole for ourselves, we understood that we certainly can't feel sorry for ourselves. If somebody beats us up, you tip your hat to them and come back the next day.
But, again, our success, and most every other team's success, is going to be based on their starting pitcher. And we didn't pitch well starting tonight. We certainly need to do a better job, and we expect Andy to do that.
The dangers of the five game series are now in play, but since 2001 we're looking at some stats that the result of Game 1 is the team that won the series in all the Yankees series, if you won Game 1 you lost -- ?
JOE TORRE: I know. I remember.
Does that give the team -- ?
JOE TORRE: In a short series, as I say, you've just got to battle every game. You could see in the ninth inning we were getting our rear ends kicked. There was no one throwing the bats away. They're going to keep fighting. In recent history I remember the one time against the Angels and last year we won the first game and didn't come out on the good side of that thing.
But, again, five game series is certainly scary. There's no question. But, again, you have to play better than the other team. We need to do a better job.
Were you surprised by Kenny Lofton's exploits tonight, especially given his age and I guess especially given around the base path and what he can do there, how tough is he to defend?
JOE TORRE: He bounced around to a lot of clubs for a reason: That they felt he could help them. He did a hell of a job tonight.
Again, we hoped to control their offense a little bit better than we did tonight and taking nothing away from Kenny, because he's been a good player for a long time. But we just need to make better pitches.
Looked like in the fifth inning Mussina was -- ?
JOE TORRE: He was just throwing. Hughes was going to be the starter we were going to use tonight.
So basically you were hoping to get another inning out of Ohlendorf?
JOE TORRE: Well, what had happened, Bill, at that point. We had Vizcaino up when the fifth inning started, with the one run deficit, and then when Victor hit the two run home run, then we had -- we changed it and went to Ohlendorf, because if you're not going to use those kids at that juncture, we're down early in the game, then they shouldn't be on your roster. So we were saving people and needed to get closer before we decided to go back to those same people.
I wasn't going to bring Mussina in there. He was just throwing on his own.
Did Mientkiewicz come out because of his ankle?
JOE TORRE: No, he came out because we were down in the game and I was trying to get something started. He was limping a little bit after he came out but hopefully he'll be all right.
Will he play tomorrow?
JOE TORRE: Hopefully.
Jeter Posada, Matsui A-Rod were 0-14 in the game. Was it more the approach of the Indians? Were they trying too hard? What's going on there?
JOE TORRE: I don't know about trying too hard. They've been down this road before. I think you have to give the Indians credit. As I say, for running the pitch count up on Sabathia, he obviously didn't -- he bent but he didn't break. And you give him a lot of credit. Jeter has always been a good big game player and they got the best of him tonight. Alex walked a couple of times.
So it was just as I said before, they did a better job of just about every aspect of the game than we did.
Are you going to continue to play Matsui?
JOE TORRE: Well, he knocked it in over 100 runs. I hate to have one game change my mind about his ability. He seems to be fine. He can go out and play left field if we needed him to. No excuses tonight. We got our rear ends kicked.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.