Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

MLB News

Oct. 3 Paul Molitor postgame interview

October 4, 2017

Q. Two things, if you don't mind: Your thoughts on Erv's start, and have you gotten any indication about your job status going forward? I know it's hard to ask it, but I had to ask it. PAUL MOLITOR: It was a heck of a game, particularly the start. There

Q. Two things, if you don't mind: Your thoughts on Erv's start, and have you gotten any indication about your job status going forward? I know it's hard to ask it, but I had to ask it.

PAUL MOLITOR: It was a heck of a game, particularly the start. There was a lot of things that transpired there in the first few innings. I'm sure the pace of play was Commissioner Manfred's delight there.
You know, it's just one of those things when you jump out front; it's a good feeling to know that you have a chance to play with a lead, and you've got your best pitcher out there.
It was just kind of a struggle from the start, a little bit auspicious to walk the lead-off man after you score three and Judge puts together a good at-bat and Gregorius gets a 3-2 pitch kind of in his wheelhouse and all of a sudden everything you worked for top of the first has vanished. But we hung in there for the first -- got back to even at 4 and then they scored again. I don't think we put up a zero until the fifth inning.
So their guys that were supposed to step up stepped up. You know, I've been a big Gardner fan for a long time, and he kind of did his thing, a little bit of showing how to take a good at-bat as well as hit over the fence.
I think Aaron, the splash he's made, the game is in good hands with people like that, from what I've heard, and he definitely impacted the game.
As far Ervin just missing spots, we had a good plan, we just didn't execute it particularly well.
Q. Can you describe your emotions and the people in the dugout around you as the top of the first unfolded and then the bottom of the first unfolded?

PAUL MOLITOR: You know, you can sit here and try to imagine if it was 0-0 after the first what it would have felt like compared to scoring three and giving three back. It's the exhilaration of jumping out, Brian's lead-off home run and Rosi, and then the deflation of giving it back so quickly. So there was a lot, you know, a lot was spent early.
I think you just understand that you've got to find ways to persevere through a game like that because there's a lot of pitches thrown, there's a lot of lead changes early, and unfortunately it got to their pen and all those guys did an outstanding job.
There was a lot of -- as far as mood swings early, they were obvious just because of the way that the pendulum swung.
Q. You said you were a big Gardner fan; what is it that you like about his game and how did he impact it tonight?

PAUL MOLITOR: You know, watching him for several years before I got here as a coach or as a manager, I think he never takes a day on the field for granted. I think he knows his game. I think he understands that he's a leader and how he plays, whether it's having a 10-pitch at-bat or -- he just never gives an inch. Like I said, he can dump one out in left field with two strikes or he can steal a base or he can bunt, hit a homer tonight, makes plays.
He's just got a game that I think -- a little bit old-school, and I think it fits the New York fan's profile. That's the kind of guy you want to have out there.
Q. You had a plan against Severino and you executed it. What were you able to do against him?

PAUL MOLITOR: Well, we talked about it pregame, elite high-end ability, still young in experience. We took advantage of our lead-off hitter who can hit a fastball and got a 3-1 count and deposited it. I don't know if that was unsettling to him or not, but Polanco did a nice job of laying off a 3-2 pitch and then we get the homer. It's emotion for everybody. They had a lot of guys that were first time through, including Severino, and he's going to have a lot of good days, but there was a growing experience for the people that are a little short on tenure.
Q. In your career and what you've seen, how would you describe what Aaron Judge has done this season?

PAUL MOLITOR: Well, it's unprecedented just by the record that he's set, you know, top two, maybe three in the MVP race. You know, I'm impressed by how he plays. I think the adjustments that he's made, pitches that he was chasing early, he's keeping the ball on the plate. He's just very intimidating to -- the size and the strength. There's just very small margin of error, and it's probably not -- nothing you guys haven't heard, but all's I've heard about this guy, he's the kind of guy that you want to have up front in our game.
And so I tip my cap to him for that, for understanding the transition of stardom in our game, and I think we're in good hands with people like him.
Q. It was a game that because of the performance of the two starting pitchers required a lot of tactics from both managers.

Q. As Joe Girardi got the Yankees out of the spot you put them in, how did you take in or how do you appreciate the moves that he made?
PAUL MOLITOR: Joe has proven for many years he knows what he's doing. He had weapons to try to use in terms of having to get out of the first and probably even at that point starting to plot a plan to get through the game. We had a chance to add on there in the first, and Green, I don't know, he struck out the first three hitters he faced, I believe, the double in the first and to start the second.
And yeah, we knew once those doors opened up that it was going to be tough to score. I didn't really think it was going to be an 8-4 kind of game, but with what he can throw at you, made the right choices. He extended some guys probably past their comfort zone. They still performed.
Robertson threw 50 plus pitches, I believe. So yeah, he had them, he used them, and they were effective.
Q. How is Buxton, and was it a difficult decision to take him out at that point?

PAUL MOLITOR: I didn't really have a choice. I was told after he had the at-bat after the collision with the wall that he was locked up on his swing, and when he tried to run, even though he got to second, he just physically wasn't going to be able to go. So I didn't see him at that point. I was just told by the trainers that I need to make a change.