Q. Joe, you've obviously grown accustomed to Jeter having moments like these in October, but especially after the home run, are you almost shaking your head how he's able to deliver a night like this?
JOE TORRE: You know, he just, I don't want to say has a plan, but he just seems to just relish this atmosphere. He's been so big for us for 11 years here, and you know, again, I can't say I'm surprised.
But I mean, he was -- everything worked well for him tonight. Starting that double play was not an easy play. But swinging the bat tonight, he was on everything.
Q. Bobby looked relaxed, first post season game as a Yankee; thoughts on him?
JOE TORRE: I think everybody was a little tense starting out, you know, with the first game. Actually been waiting here almost two weeks to play this game.
But you know, we were able to play well. Abreu was great. And Robertson, I have a great deal of respect for Nate Robertson because he just, you know, he certainly isn't afraid to challenge you, he moves the ball around. He made Bobby look bad on the one swing he took, and you know, then it looked like he got a fastball to knock in the first two runs. It was huge. Then we started building on things and Jason had a great at-bat also that inning, and then the last two, which was great. Because any time the other team starts scoring runs, the momentum slips over there, we had a 5 0 lead and now it's 5-3. He got it back to where it's a lot more comfortable for us.
Q. What did Damon and Abreu give you that you haven't had for a while?
JOE TORRE: Damon gives the excitement up at top, fighting his way on. He has not been swinging the bat well the last week or so. But he makes the pitcher work hard. Again when he gets on base, you know, it makes it a little bit easier for everybody else, because it makes it tougher for the pitcher.
But Johnny is used to this type of atmosphere, playing with the Red Sox the last four years.
Abreu gives us something that just fits right into what we do. The type of hitter he is, he'll take a walk. Maybe that's not appealing for a team that needs for him to knock in runs. But the length of our lineup, you know, it really plays into what we do and he really, you know, came over here and just fit right in.
Q. Is it something in Derek's demeanor that allows him to so consistently embrace this stage or what could you pinpoint about him?
JOE TORRE: I think somewhat personality and his competitive drive.
You know, it's like this time of year, big games, whether we play Boston or games that are significant; not that he slacks off the other times. Look, he hit .340 this year.
I guess the only way you characterize it for me, he doesn't go up there thinking negatively. He just doesn't failing doesn't scare him and I think that's a big part of what his makeup is all about.
Q. You've touched on the different pieces, just overall the way the lineup worked tonight and the way you built the runs and your rallies?
JOE TORRE: I thought we did some good things. Sheff with the base hit to right field, man at second nobody out, he was looking to get the runner over and that was strictly on his own. I don't do a whole lot here, I did one thing, and that was the hit and run and it sort of didn't work out at all.
Aside from that, they know how to play. That's the advantage of having veterans in the lineup, guys who have been around a while. Wang, you know, he was a little inconsistent tonight. It looked like everybody was a little shaky early, but he had a lot more balls hit in the air today. Really settled in. I was very proud of him, basically, after he gave up the three runs to be able to pitch the way he did the rest of that inning and the following inning.
Q. Do you think Wang is a bit nervous after he lost that home run?
JOE TORRE: I don't think he's nervous. He's got a great way about him. If we felt that his personality wouldn't allow it, we certainly wouldn't have stuck him out there in Yankee Stadium. But we felt pretty comfortable choosing him to do that. I'm not saying he wasn't excited. It was more, I don't think you could characterize it as nervous as much as excited and getting pumped up because I thought he was trying to overthrow some balls. A couple sliders early in the game, Ordonez hit one and I think Thames hit one. It looked like he just threw it too hard, trying to throw it too hard.
Then he was starting to run, two out, nobody on, I figured, what the hell, because that was his last hitter anyway. I brought in Mike to pitch to Granderson and that was a great piece of managing, too. (Laughter.)
He threw a lot more pitches than he normally does.
Q. Describe how your bullpen came together or didn't come together tonight. Is it shaky?
JOE TORRE: I hope not. We're going to keep going to the same people. I think Game 1, you know, everybody's out there, they are all pumped up and sometimes it doesn't translate very well. But these guys, without Scott Proctor who came and made this roster in Spring Training as an extra because Aaron Small was on the disabled list, what he did for us in so many big games, you know, he certainly has earned the right to come in there, whether it's the sixth, seventh, or even the eighth inning.
Tonight, they were not as consistent as we expect them to be the rest of the way.
Q. Do you consider this team a bit unconventional as far as a playoff team in that if you guys win it all, it's going to be because of the offense predominately, you can pitch some, you're a better defensive team than you've been but the offense is the calling card; is that unconventional?
JOE TORRE: You know, to me, pitching is always the number one thing, and that's probably from my managing before coming here. You know, how you realize you couldn't end games if you couldn't get outs. I was spoiled the first year. You look in Spring Training, I had about six or seven starters that certainly were capable.
But pitching has always been my number one concern. When I say, "concern," it's priority, I guess, is a better way to put it. We pay a lot of attention to pitching. You know, Wang has been important. Moose has been important. You know, as I say, I certainly expect our bullpen to be able to get us to Mo on a regular basis.
But again, you know, you've got starters like Moose and like Randy and like Wang, and we're going to take them as long as we can. I mean, we're not a club that like we were in '96, where once we got six innings, we brought Mariano in the seventh and eighth because that was our best option. We're going to expect our starters long pitch count doesn't get in a bad area for them to come in and really get us to where we're in better shape in the later innings.
Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.