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Oct. 17 Joe Girardi pregame interview

THE MODERATOR: We have the first question for Joe Girardi.

Q. Joe, who were some of the managers that you maybe are hearing in your ear right now, or some of the thoughts you heard in the past that you might relay to your players to draw on at a moment like this today?

JOE GIRARDI: You can think about some situations that we were in as a club, 1996 down 2 0 to the Braves. Lost the first two at home and then had to go there, and we ended up winning three in a row. The club was down 0 2, out in Oakland, won the three in the row. You know, these guys have been part of it. Certainly guys have been a part of this and found a way to just go out and win one game. Go out and win one game and let's just see what happens. And, you know, that's kind of the message.

THE MODERATOR: We have the first question for Joe Girardi.

Q. Joe, who were some of the managers that you maybe are hearing in your ear right now, or some of the thoughts you heard in the past that you might relay to your players to draw on at a moment like this today?

JOE GIRARDI: You can think about some situations that we were in as a club, 1996 down 2 0 to the Braves. Lost the first two at home and then had to go there, and we ended up winning three in a row. The club was down 0 2, out in Oakland, won the three in the row. You know, these guys have been part of it. Certainly guys have been a part of this and found a way to just go out and win one game. Go out and win one game and let's just see what happens. And, you know, that's kind of the message.

I look at this series and we could very easily be 1 2, 2 1, or even 3 0. That's how close it's been. And it's been you get one break or one other thing that happens, you got two wins, but it hasn't happened yet. So I believe today is going to be the day.

Q. Is there any one manager's message that stuck out in your mind or anybody you draw from?

JOE GIRARDI: No. I think a lot of times you draw from your experiences as a person, and players draw from their experiences as well.

Q. Joe, in not playing Alex today you stayed consistent with his inability to hit right handers, and that's been an issue, even relievers. Is there something specific with him that makes you think that just not even one, one shot against the right hander, that he would have a chance with? He just looks that tied up or that lost against right handers right now?

JOE GIRARDI: Well it's not that I want to sit Alex Rodriguez. I mean, think about, you know, the things that we've been through as a club and some of the people that have stepped up at times to get to us this situation. And it's not that I have sat him against every right hander, I haven't. He played against a lot of them. But the struggles have continued, like for some other players as well. And I've sat some other players just as well.

So, I mean, this is not something that is easy to do. I think as a manager and as a team at this time you have got to think about today, and you think about today only. You look at Scherzer and how tough he's been on right handers during the course of this season, and he's been tough on Alex. Chavy has had some hits off him. His at bats have been okay. He has gotten the barrel of the bat to the ball. So it's a decision that I made.

I would love to say that I could say one consistent lineup, that maybe it changed, whether it was a right hander or left hander. And we haven't put ourselves in a position to do that. We have to find a way to do that.

Q. Detroit had a lot of success against you in the postseason the last few years. What do you see from their specific matchups with them and just with their youth? Do you feel like there's a few more postseason matchups against them coming in the future?

JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think it's a club that's going to be around, that's for sure. I don't think there is a one year thing or a two year thing. I think there's a lot of talent in that room. And we've had a lot of close ballgames with them. You can think about the games that we lost against them last year, they were close.

So, you know, for us it's getting that extra hit that they are getting that's making the difference.

Q. Joe, two quick ones. First of all, the thinking behind Granderson out and Swisher back in.

JOE GIRARDI: Grandy has been one of our hitters that has struggled a lot, too. Swish has had a little bit of success off Scherzer in the last you know, you look at 11 and 12, he had some walks off Scherzer. And you might say, well, Grandy has a home run, but Swish has gotten on base on him and you hope that, you know, he can do that. Drive up his pitch count.

And you can see the issues that we get into when we have to stack so many left handed hitters. And left handers obviously had a lot more success off Scherzer this year, so we went with the switch hitter.

Q. And, second of all, your bullpen tonight, would it be everyone besides CC? Would you save Pettitte for Game 5?

JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, Pettitte will pitch tomorrow, but I think pretty much we'll have our whole bullpen should be available. Booney threw a lot yesterday. I will have to see what I can get from him. But you don't have Hughesy. He threw yesterday. And probably not Kuroda as well. But our bullpen is available.

Q. I know it's hard to single out guys when the whole lineup is struggling, but Cano, do you take a glass half full and think maybe one hit yesterday does something? Or what do you make just of how mightily he struggled this series?

JOE GIRARDI: I think, you know, if you talk about one guy struggling in our lineup that might be the most shocking, it is definitely going to be Robby Cano. He's hit some balls hard. You wonder in the ball he hits off Fister goes through it is a different script. I don't know. I think he barrelled up three or four balls that night. And he's run into some bad luck and at times he chased some pitches. But you hope the hit he got off a lefty a lot of times you say a lefty gets a hit off a lefty, that's what's going to get him going. You hope that's it.

Q. Do you think Alex is even a viable player for you right now? I know you said earlier I have a whole winter to patch it up, but you have to win this game. And can you rely on him for anything right now? Do you think he's a shot player?

JOE GIRARDI: No, no, I don't think he is a shot player. I think he's a guy that's going through some struggles, similar to what Grandy has went through the last month and a half or whatever. And there's some things that you have to try to fix and get him going, and we'll continue to do that with both of them.

Q. Can you see any scenario that you would use him?

JOE GIRARDI: Yeah, I do. And I'll evaluate every day. And, you know, my hope is that we're talking about it tomorrow.

Q. You mentioned Hughes. How is he doing after last night's start?

JOE GIRARDI: He said he is okay. He said he is okay. So he wouldn't throw today, so we won't ask him to really throw today. We'll see how he feels tomorrow.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, thank you very much.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.