10/12/2012 9:14 PM ET
Oct. 12 Joe Girardi postgame interview
Q. Can you explain to me the difference, please, between pulling CC in his first start with one out left and letting him pitch the whole game here?
JOE GIRARDI: Wieters was probably going to be his last hitter. Possibly I might have let him go a little bit more, but he was right around the 120 mark both times. And, you know, he had to have a pretty quick inning in the last ninth inning, but he did an unbelievable job. And he was pitching so well that I wasn't going to pull him.
Q. Aside from how well he was pitching and the numbers he pitched and all that, was there something else in your head that said he pitches the big game?
JOE GIRARDI: He is our ace. That's the bottom line. He has been there, he has done that.
Q. He was the ace in the first game, too.
JOE GIRARDI: Yes, he was. And we have so much belief in CC. You think of what he has done since he got here. It's been an unbelievable run for him. And he went through his ups and downs because of some injuries this year, but he's gotten it right again and it's vintage CC.
Q. How quickly did you come to pulling him at any point in the eighth inning with Robertson warming up?
JOE GIRARDI: If Hardy gets a hit there, I am thinking of pulling him there. He had done a good job on Jones, but I just wanted to make sure that the inning didn't get away. But I had Robby up for Hardy, and that is the first guy I might have brought him in for, not before that. CC was going and it was his game.
Q. Joe, we asked CC the final week of season whether there was a chance you might be in the Wildcard game, when he would be ready after he pitched, and he said, "tomorrow." And people cracked a smile and he didn't. Is that part of the mentality that he has, that allows you to let him go out there for the ninth?
JOE GIRARDI: He wants the ball and he is very strong. You know, I talk about CC as being one of those big, strong pitchers that usually gets better as the game goes on. I mean, that's who he is. And you think about the eighth inning and that's where we saw the highest velocity all night from him, and he has a way of being able to step it up when he gets into a jam, too.
Q. Joe, when you use the term like "it's his game," you're essentially put your whole season in his hands to get through that. Why are you comfortable and confident with that? And have you even thought about him in Game 3 yet for the next one?
JOE GIRARDI: No, we actually have to talk about that tonight, which is hard to believe, not having a day off tomorrow. But it's his game because he is our ace. Our bullpen has been worked a lot in this series, too. But I have a ton of confidence in CC. Even when he was going through some of his struggles, I knew he would get it right, and that's what he has done.
Q. Joe, going into this game with all of the questions about Alex and the struggles of the lineup and who you are going to bench, who you are not going to bench, just knowing as manager if you feel under siege a little bit knowing you are handing CC the ball, what does that feel like?
JOE GIRARDI: I felt good about him going out there today. I knew Hammel would be tough on us. He has been tough on us the whole year. We talked about find a way to scratch a few runs across the board. So I felt really good about sending him out there. He is the guy I wanted to send out there.
Q. Joe, is it Pettitte, Kuroda the first two?
JOE GIRARDI: We have to decide. We have got to meet. The year of two wildcards, but there are a lot of things that are a first ‑ no days off between series and having to decide what you are going to do. We'll sit down and talk tonight actually. It will be Pettitte tomorrow. That's all I have got for you.
Q. Facing the Tigers and facing the guy who won the Triple Crown, how do you feel about that?
JOE GIRARDI: They have been a good club, and we know we have our work cut out for us.
Q. What would be your options though in Game 2 in terms of guys who are available?
JOE GIRARDI: I'll let you know tomorrow.
Q. Joe, what is it that you saw in Granderson that allowed you to show such faith in him today?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, a lot of his struggles were off of lefties, and he had some pretty good at‑bats off Hammel over at their place and during the course of their season. So I just felt like, you know, I am going to leave him in there. And obviously he came through today. That third run is a huge run for us and off a lefty. For Curtis, the big thing is when he swings at strikes, he is extremely dangerous. I mean, that's the bottom line.
Q. Joe, regarding A‑Rod, did you consider having him pinch‑hit there against a lefty in the seventh?
JOE GIRARDI: Who was up, Raul?
JOE GIRARDI: They would have brought the righty in at that point, so I feel like in a sense you don't want to waste your bullets in a sense, and I thought I've going to leave it.
Q. The Tigers have no lefty starters, do you anticipate staying this way?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, I usually say I am going to worry about one day at a time. I am going to worry about tonight. And I'll have a lineup for you tomorrow.
Q. How does it feel now that you've finally taken care of the Orioles?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, they are a very good club and they are a very resilient club. You have a bunch of young kids over there that just play the game the right way and play hard. And you think about it, we played 23 games, and there were four runs that separated us. It's an accomplishment for both clubs because they never went away. People thought they were going to go away, they never went away. And I am very proud of our club for staying in.
Q. Joe, what were you thinking when Tex took off for second like that?
JOE GIRARDI: They weren't holding him on and we talked about it the other way. If you think you can get it, go ahead, go get it. And that's the bottom line. I didn't have a problem. He picked the right pitch. He picked a curveball. If it is a fastball, he is probably out. But he picked the right pitch. And you talk about trusting your players and their instincts, and he trusted them and he was right.
Q. Joe, with the decisions you had to make with Alex and these games, fraught with tension, are they emotionally draining to manage through or is it just the job you have at this point?
JOE GIRARDI: It is the job I have. You know, when it seems like when you manage the New York Yankees, every playoff series is a playoff series, during the course of the season sometimes, too. It is the job I have. I said all along I love my job.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.