As you might expect, there wasn’t a lot of news coming out of Joe Girardi’s pregame session with the Yankees beat writers. It’s the same old song, just a day later.
“It’s not like anything’s changed overnight,” Girardi said. “You look at what you look at on a daily basis and it’s not like it’s changed.”
Girardi is sticking with the same lineup he planned to use last night. He’s obviously sticking with the same pitcher. And obviously he’s hoping for different results.
“I hope (the day off) did something for (the lineup),” Girardi said. “Obviously we know there’s a lot in front of us, but you can’t think of that. You’ve just got to think about winning a game today. … I know we’re down 0-3 and there’s a lot of what-ifs, but I could be substantially different. We had some opportunities, so I feel good. And you have got to go out and win a game today.”
Win a game today, then see what happens. That seems to be the running theme at this point.
“Obviously our goal is to win the World Series,” Girardi said. “I mean, that will never change. But they are short-term goals at this point. Your goal is to win today. I mean, that’s it. Play a good ballgame and win today and do whatever it takes to win today, and then you worry about tomorrow when tomorrow comes.”
• Alex Rodriguez’s replacement at third base, Eric Chavez, hasn’t exactly been crushing the ball this postseason. Chavez is 0-for-14 in the playoffs. “His at-bats have been okay,” Girardi said. “I thought he got the barrel of the bat to Verlander three times the other day, and that’s not an easy guy to get the barrel of the bat up to. And Chavy has swung the bat pretty good for us this year. That’s why he’s in there.”
• One benefit of the rain out: The Yankees have a full bullpen tonight. Girardi wasn’t sure he’d be able to use Boone Logan last night, but he said Logan should be fine today.
• Phil Hughes’ lower back isn’t expected to be an issue going forward. “We think he’s going to be available for us,” Giradi said. “Not today, but after today maybe.”
• Russell Martin’s jammed thumb isn’t expected to be an issue. “I don’t think so,” Girardi said. “I’m sure the day off helped.”
• That said, Girardi said that last night he had multiple lineups ready, including one with Chris Stewart just in case Martin couldn’t play.
• Girardi said he still believes postponing last night’s game was the right decision. “I don’t think there’s any way we would have finished because at 10 o’clock we were driving home and it was raining hard,” Girardi said. “I think that was the big fear.”
• Derek Jeter spoke to Girardi on Wednesday, and although Jeter never gave a speech to the team following his injury, Girardi said Jeter has been quietly making himself felt in the clubhouse. “He does it the way he always does it,” Girardi said. “You’re not going to notice that he’s doing it, but he’s doing it.” Does that mean Captain-by-text-message? “There’s some calls, too,” Girardi said.
• What’s Kevin Long’s responsibility right now? “I think his personality is important,” Girardi said. “And I think he just continues to work with them. There’s going to be a time during the course of a season where you see a hitter gets a little off track and you try to make a minor adjustment. That’s what he’s been doing. He’s not going to make any overhauls of swings right now – now is not the time to do that – but you try and make minor adjustments if you see something wrong.”
• For whatever it’s worth, Girardi said he doesn’t think Rodriguez’s struggles are because of bat speed. “I don’t necessarily think it’s bat speed, I don’t,” Girardi said. “I’ve seen him hit the ball in BP and I’ve seen him hit it a long ways, and you’ve got to have bat speed to do that. It’s just, he’s scuffling. … I think it’s more how you’re seeing the ball a lot of times and how you see certain pitchers.”
• Does Girardi consider the idea of Rodriguez not being back with the team next year? “I think any media that has to do with Alex is probably not surprising to me,” he said. “We’ve talked about how he seems to be someone that people like to talk about. That has not crossed my mind that he’s not going to be with us. That’s not something that’s crossed my mind or I’ve even thought about.”
Associated Press photos