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Oct. 18 Joe Girardi pregame interview

MLB.com

Q. I know that given the way you've won games 3 and 4, do you feel there's a momentum shift in the series?

JOE GIRARDI: I've always said the momentum starts with your starting pitcher and how well they do. I think both teams were probably extremely confident coming into this Series, considering what they've done all season, what we've done during the season, to be able to come back 0-2 in Cleveland, there was a lot of confidence.

Even when we were down here our guys believed in themselves. I really believe the momentum depends on your pitchers.

Q. When you took Severino out in Game 2, you mentioned the number of innings he's thrown. How is that governing your decision with him the rest of the way here?

Q. I know that given the way you've won games 3 and 4, do you feel there's a momentum shift in the series?

JOE GIRARDI: I've always said the momentum starts with your starting pitcher and how well they do. I think both teams were probably extremely confident coming into this Series, considering what they've done all season, what we've done during the season, to be able to come back 0-2 in Cleveland, there was a lot of confidence.

Even when we were down here our guys believed in themselves. I really believe the momentum depends on your pitchers.

Q. When you took Severino out in Game 2, you mentioned the number of innings he's thrown. How is that governing your decision with him the rest of the way here?

JOE GIRARDI: Well, I think that going into Game 6 obviously, you know, it's going to be an important game, one way or another. So I feel good about where he's at. My concern was coming off, I think it was 113 pitches, the amount of innings, I was concerned when people said he looks a little different.

But those concerns have kind of been put to rest for me. I believe he's doing his bullpen today and everything was good. So I feel pretty good about what he's done.

Q. You've talked a lot about some of your younger players on an individual basis. As a group what do you attribute how they've been able to respond, what has allowed them to not find these playoff moments too big? And also the value for them, however far you go in the playoffs, just the value for them as young players, Judge, Sanchez, Didi, those guys, Severino, going forward, the value?

JOE GIRARDI: You know, I think it starts with probably their personality and their character more than a lot of other things. But I think some of it has to do with the great job that our Minor League system did in identifying players in the draft and signability who can handle New York. I give them a lot of credit in the way they raised them. They went through these times down where there's expectations down there and there's a captain's camp and all the things to prepare them as much as you can.

I also give our veterans a lot of credit for accepting them for who they are and allowing them to be themselves, and continuing to show belief in them like we have. Sometimes for a veteran when a young kid is pushing you and pushing you out, it can be difficult. But our guys have embraced them. And I give them a lot of credit.

But I think our players are mentally strong, the young kids that we have are mentally strong and are handling the situation pretty well.

Q. The value for them going forward.

JOE GIRARDI: I think it's huge to get in these type of series. Being down 0-2 to Cleveland and being able to come back probably helped us coming back being down 0-2. I'm not sure what would have happened had we not went through that experience.

So I think their experience every day helps them.

Q. Obviously Judge had a great game at the plate yesterday. Some other aspects of his game get overlooked. What does it say to you about him that he had the presence of mind to actually back up that rundown and make the tag?

JOE GIRARDI: You know, I've talked about it all year long that he is not just a hitter. He's a complete player. He's a great defender. He's a great baserunner. And he does so many things right at an early age on a big stage, and just the way he handles all the attention simply amazes me. It's as good as it gets.

But he understands that little things win you games. And he talks about sometimes it can be a defensive play, but to me it's the right mindset. It's not a selfish attitude or feeling sorry for yourself, that maybe you're struggling offensively. It's just doing the right thing.

And again, that goes back to our Minor League system, the way they've raised him. And Rob Thomson, he stays on these guys all the time to make sure they're in the right place and ready to go.

Q. Keuchel lives on the corners and doesn't miss the spots. Now seeing him again, is there something you've seen to adjust to that late movement?

JOE GIRARDI: Our guys have seen him in some of our other pregame. Keuchel doesn't lay very many eggs, he doesn't. So when he makes a mistake, you better take advantage of it. He made a few the last start, and we missed them. We had the one opportunity to score, we got a player thrown out at home.

To beat him we have to be close to perfect. And we have to play a little bit better and not miss pitches. And you go from there.

Q. Do you think the performance this season and this postseason have raised expectations from the fan base in terms of next year and the year after?

JOE GIRARDI: Oh, I'm sure. I'm sure it has. And that's a good thing.

Q. Is that more of a burden going forward?

JOE GIRARDI: No, I mean, you worry about that next year. And you prepare the players for it next year but I don't think so. It's better than the alternative.

Q. When you sit down and try to figure out how you're going to attack Keuchel this time around, is there anything that you can draw from the way you came back against Bauer in the Division Series, or two different cases?

JOE GIRARDI: They're two different pitchers.

But again, confidence is always an important thing. And you might look at it and say the second time around we were better. I think we can do it again today. But again, it's going to depend on Dallas Keuchel and how many mistakes he makes, and depends on our hitters if we miss them.

Q. You said last night that you've seen some things from the crowd that you haven't seen in a while. What specifically did you see or experience that is different?

JOE GIRARDI: Well, the jumping up and down in the stands, in the outfield. People standing the whole time. The pounding on the path in the outfield. The liquids flying in the stands. Those are good memories for me.

And I got a chance to see it a lot as a player and other times and I sit there and when I see it I smile because I appreciate what our fans are doing. And I think they're a big part of this. The feeling that they're giving our players inside, it's pretty special.

Q. Advance scouting is obviously huge. How many people did you have watching the Astros coming into the Series? Did you really gain any more from advance scouting in this series than you had normally?

JOE GIRARDI: I think you always gain from advance scouting. They sit and watch at clubs for a long time. You start evaluating in late August, early September, who could we possibly see. So you've got to send teams out everywhere.

There are guys that went for weeks and weeks at a time and then maybe it came that we didn't even see that team. Our guys do a tremendous job. They spend a ton of time out on the road and we applaud them for it. They're following teams for three and four weeks and it helps.