ALDS Game 3: Joe Girardi postgame interview

ALDS Game 3: Joe Girardi postgame interview

Q. Joe, could you have asked for a better performance from Tanaka tonight?

JOE GIRARDI: No. He was brilliant. He gave us everything he needed, and you can't ask for more than what he did tonight. On a night that one run wins it, he didn't give up any.

Game Date Results Highlights
Gm 1 Oct. 5 CLE 4, NYY 0 Watch
Gm 2 Oct. 6 CLE 9, NYY 8 (13) Watch
Gm 3 Oct. 8 NYY 1, CLE 0 Watch
Gm 4 Oct. 9 NYY 7, CLE 3 Watch
Gm 5 Oct. 11 NYY 5, CLE 2 Watch

Q. Joe, considering what happened Friday night and all the fallout after that, how difficult was it for you to turn the page and manage this without that being in your mind?

JOE GIRARDI: As I talked about, this is life. This is what happens in life. It happens in the game as a player. It happens as a manager. It's happened before. It happens at home with your wife and your children. This is life. I mean, this is what happens.

Everything you do is not going to be perfect. And as I said, I'm always going to do my best. And that's what I do. But it's not always going to be perfect.

Q. Joe, two questions about Bird. Just first of all, was there any thought about pinch-hitting against Miller there?

JOE GIRARDI: No. As I've said about Greg Bird, I think he's built for this park. I really do. And the thing about Miller is the splits are basically identical. I mean, lefties actually hit a little bit higher and it was the same when we were here. So I chose to go with him. I chose to hit Head for Ells, because he's had really good at-bats off of Andrew Miller in his career. And that's what I chose to do.

Girardi on Tanaka's strong start

Q. And second, how good did you feel for Bird after everything he's been through this year, the injuries?

JOE GIRARDI: Just the way he played in the playoffs and the way he finished up the year, I felt really good. It's great to have him back healthy. It sure is.

Q. Joe, just to go back to what I said, you got booed by 48,000 people.

JOE GIRARDI: Not the first time.

Girardi on getting booed at home

Q. What was it like to hear that from the fans?

JOE GIRARDI: I kind of expected it, you know. I've seen them boo players and managers that have a lot more status than I do. So I was prepared for it. I prepared my family for it. I told my kids what was going to happen. But it's life. And, again, it's not going to change who I am. It's no fun to be booed. But they're passionate. Our fans are passionate and they want to win, and they get upset when we don't win or when someone makes a mistake in their eyes. So that's all part of it.

But you get the good side of it too, like tonight the emotion. The emotion Tuesday against Minnesota. So that's the trade-off.

Girardi on huge Game 3 win

Q. Joe, what did you think of the catch Judge made in the sixth inning off Lindor?

JOE GIRARDI: A great catch, ends up saving the game. I've said all along about Aaron Judge, he's a complete player. It's not just a home run hitter. It's a guy that runs the bases, that plays very good defense, and that drives in a ton of runs and is extremely productive as a hitter.

So that was another difference in the game.

Q. Who starts tomorrow night?

JOE GIRARDI: Seve.

Q. Chapman said that he was really focused tonight and Frazier sort of made a mistake on that play, he said, I have to focus. What did you think of him tonight?

JOE GIRARDI: Well, I mean, I think he was great again. Chappy's been in so many big games, he understands. Fraz dives for it and does everything he can to get the force-out, is not able to do it. Remember where Chappy was last year at the end of the year. He's been in these games.

Girardi on Chapman

Q. Did you go into that eighth inning or even the game thinking you were going to use Chapman for more than three, or is it something you saw Robertson in?

JOE GIRARDI: I had him up when the inning started. I figured I would go with Robbie as long as I felt that I could, because Chappy had thrown two innings before. When he brought in Chisenhall, it was Chapman's turn.

Q. How big were the blocks that Sanchez made in the third inning to keep --

JOE GIRARDI: Really good. Really, really good. He did an outstanding job today. I know there was talk about, you know, Romine caught his last start. There was 15 strikeouts, and as I've said, this is our catcher. And he's -- there's a lot of times that he's really, really good. And there's going to be times where he has a bad day, like anyone else, like any other catcher. But he was really, really good tonight.

Q. Joe, you were very candid yesterday about how badly you felt about some of the decisions and the way --

JOE GIRARDI: Yeah.

Q. -- that it went in game two. How good do you feel about the decision to use Tanaka in Game 3?

JOE GIRARDI: Well, it was kind of what we planned all along. It's discussed as a staff, and, again, it's a player going out and doing what he's capable of doing.

If we lose 3-1, I'm going to be questioned. Even if he pitches a really good game. So the success is what he did, not what I did.

Q. Two things on Tanaka, Joe. One, he's been brilliant the last two starts when he's at that level, why?

JOE GIRARDI: Well, as I said, when his fastball has more life to it, everything gets better. And it did tonight. We saw some 93s, some 94s, and I thought it had more life and I thought his split was obviously really, really good, important to these left-handed hitters and his slider was good to the right handers.

Q. The other thing is you've been involved in a lot of elimination games, player, manager. Does the belief system that something is doable not just today but for the rest of the series, start in Tanaka's hands, so to speak, that you can do this? He's got to kind of put up this kind of game?

JOE GIRARDI: Yeah. I mean, I think every win starts in the pitcher's hand. Your starting pitcher and how he does and how he goes out and attacks the hitter and gets them out and gives you a chance to win.

I would argue -- I know he had 15 strikeouts today -- the other day. That's been his best performance against a great hitting club that had momentum and he was able to shut 'em down. So that's the best performance that I've seen from him the whole time.

Q. I think Chapman threw 33 pitches tonight. I know you haven't talked to him yet. From what you know of him, do you anticipate you'll have him tomorrow?

JOE GIRARDI: I hope so. I'll see. Obviously, he's very strong and we'll see what he's got.