JOE GIRARDI: He just made some mistakes. He had had a fastball he kind of pulled to Rasmus. He left a breaking ball up to Gomez. A lot of nights you give up two runs, five innings you've got a pretty good chance to win. But we just haven't been able to solve Keuchel this year. We haven't been able to do it.
We haven't scored a run in -- I don't know how many innings he's thrown against us -- 21. And struggled against left-handers down the stretch and it continued tonight.
Q. What did you think of the umpiring?
JOE GIRARDI: You know, hey, that's for another day.
Q. I know we talked a lot about wiping the slate clean after the season ended, but how much of this do you think was an extension of just the struggles over the last week?
JOE GIRARDI: I don't think it was so much that. I think we struggled against left-handers. We lost a big bat in Tex, and he was one of the guys we counted on to do a lot of damage to left-handers. And Greg Bird had one of our hits tonight and had a tremendous season for us, but we struggled against left-handers.
Q. Can you put in perspective now whether this team underachieved or overachieved this year?
JOE GIRARDI: Well, I mean, I think that's for other people to decide. When the season started no one thought we would be here.
And I told the guys in that room, they gave me everything they had, every day. Physically it's not a very healthy group in there right now at the end of the season. Guys are beat up. But they never stopped playing. They never stopped playing hard. They never stopped giving me everything they had.
So I'm extremely proud of that group in there.
Q. You made a tough decision to replace Ellsbury with Gardner. After Gardner's two at-bats it looked like he really had problems with Keuchel. Did you consider making a switch there?
JOE GIRARDI: No, like I said before, it was a tough decision. And Gardy's body of work against lefties this year was better than Jake's. And if it doesn't work, obviously I'm going to be questioned about it.
Does Jake hit three home runs and it's 3-3? I don't know, but we didn't solve Keuchel the whole year.
Q. Tanaka has given up quite a few more home runs than he did last year what's the reason why?
JOE GIRARDI: It's just location. Like I said, he missed with his fastball and he missed with the breaking ball up. And home runs are usually missed locations.
Q. Tanaka, for as short as he did go, what was your reasoning for taking him out there?
JOE GIRARDI: I took him out after five innings because our 7, 8, 9 guys were as good as anyone in the league. I knew we really couldn't afford to give them any more runs the way Keuchel was pitching. I looked at those at-bats. Rasmus had hit a home run. Next hitter hit a ball to 380 feet to right-center his first at-bat. And then he gave up a home run to Gomez. I just felt like it was time to turn it over to the bullpen which has been a shutdown bullpen all year long for us, those guys.
Q. How often does it worry you with the rally in the sixth inning with Els up in that spot?
JOE GIRARDI: I thought that was going to be the moment for us that was going to turn it around but it didn't.
Q. How much looking on what's gone on with this team and left-handers and everything, how much does this team need a right-handed power bat?
JOE GIRARDI: That's something for the offseason. But we struggled. You know at the beginning of the year there weren't a lot of lefties in our division. And things changed. We ran into a lot of things.
Q. How would you describe the year?
JOE GIRARDI: How would I describe the year? I think probably the easiest way to describe the year is I'm extremely proud of what these guys did and how hard they fought day in, day out, and how they came together as a team with all the question marks that we had in Spring Training, yeah, it stinks to lose. I mean, that's the bottom line, and it leaves a sour taste in your mouth, but I'm extremely proud of the guys in that room.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you.