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ALCS Game 5: Girardi postgame interview

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Q. Obviously it was a great game for you. How do you describe Tanaka?

JOE GIRARDI: He was special again. You look at his three starts in the playoffs, they've been special. He wins the one game 1-0, I believe, the first start. His two starts here have been really good. And we needed it. This was a big game for us. Every game is a big game and you're just trying to win one game. But as we've seen, runs have been tough for us to score off of Keuchel. And for us to get four, I give our guys a lot of credit, because he's really tough.

Q. Obviously it was a great game for you. How do you describe Tanaka?

JOE GIRARDI: He was special again. You look at his three starts in the playoffs, they've been special. He wins the one game 1-0, I believe, the first start. His two starts here have been really good. And we needed it. This was a big game for us. Every game is a big game and you're just trying to win one game. But as we've seen, runs have been tough for us to score off of Keuchel. And for us to get four, I give our guys a lot of credit, because he's really tough.

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Q. I know you've been asked this a few times, does this feel like 1996 again? No team has ever come back from two 2-0 deficits.

JOE GIRARDI: It's a special feeling. As I said, being back here, watching our fans brings back a lot of special memories for me as a player. And it's just I try to soak it in as much as possible. Paying attention to the fans and the noise that they're making and it's been a big help. It's really good.

Q. You had mentioned how tough it is for this team to get runs off of Keuchel. When you get that run in the second inning, does it feel bigger than one run?

JOE GIRARDI: I think so. Any time you're able to score off a start early, especially someone you haven't scored off of at all, I think it does feel bigger. Yes, we can break through. And you get two hits in a row, a double by Castro and then a big hit by Bird and the next big hit came from Judge, and we just kept putting them up. And the next big one came from Sanchez, who had really struggled off of Keuchel. So I give those guys a lot of credit. They fought and they were able to score off them tonight.

Q. I know beating a guy who you had so much trouble against, does it give your lineup more confidence going forward?

JOE GIRARDI: I sure hope so. I thought we swung the bats pretty good tonight, especially considering who we're facing. And I sure hope so.

Q. It's not the portion of your team we talk a lot about, but do you have any surprise at how well your starting pitching has performed?

JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, you know, when I look back at their numbers, their numbers are pretty good during the course of the season. It's just not a starting rotation where you necessarily lean on them for seven or eight innings very often. We lean on our bullpen, and they get a lot of the attention. If you look, their numbers are pretty decent. They did a good job. You look at Seve's numbers, you look at CC's numbers, and the way that Tanaka pitched the second half, and the way Monty pitched and Gray I thought threw well. Our starters are pretty good.

Video: ALCS Gm5: Girardi on Tanaka, offense in Game 5 win

Q. Your DH has started hitting now, how good was that?

JOE GIRARDI: It's great. He's had five hits in the last couple of days, which I think is big. When you get in these type of series, you don't know where the runs are going to come from, you just need production from certain groups that are together and it's great for him and us.

Q. I understand that the pitchers don't necessarily face each other, but do you see Tanaka raise his game when he goes against elite competition like Keuchel?

JOE GIRARDI: I think he understands that he has to. We've seen it a number of times. I thought he did it against Darvish. I've seen it a number of times from him. He's raised it as high as I've seen in the playoffs and the last start of the season.

Q. You mentioned the fans last night and again tonight. How much do you think your guys, younger team, feed off of that and how much do you think that helps them?

JOE GIRARDI: I think they feed off of it a lot. And I think it definitely helps them. I've heard our players talk about it. It's electric. It's something that they haven't seen. And you get it during the season sometimes, certain teams that we face. But this is up a whole other notch. It's as good an atmosphere as I remember at this new ballpark.

Q. (INAUDIBLE)?

JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, I give our guys a lot of credit for how resilient they are, and how they continue to fight and never give up and understand, take it one game at a time and don't panic. And just continue to fight. And I give them a lot of credit. And the leadership in that room, they know what they need to do and they're ready to go every day.