“One thing I feel good about is our guys know that we can turn it around.” – Rocco Baldelli

AL DIVISION SERIES: YANKEES 8, TWINS 2

October 5, 2019

Rocco Baldelli

New York, New York – postgame 2

Yankees – 8, Twins – 2

Yankees lead 2-0.

Q. Rocco, how frustrating is it that Duffey had three consecutive batters down 0-2 in that inning and couldn’t get the finishing pitch?
ROCCO BALDELLI: Well, I could talk about Duff for a while. Duff has been a guy that’s gotten us out of those types of jams all year long, and he’s the guy that we turn to in those situations because he’s been so good. His execution as a whole, I thought was okay. In those particular late in the count type situations, probably wasn’t as good as it normally is, but, again, we’re going to go to Duffey in those types of spots consistently. We’re going to continue going to him.

It’s almost regardless of who he’s facing. It’s almost regardless of anything. That’s how confident we are in his ability to go get them.

Related to that, because he threw yesterday, he wasn’t going to be available to throw probably a ton today, without getting too specific. So getting him in there and trying to get through that jam probably would have been it for him regardless.

Q. It might seem odd, but given the circumstances in that third, did you consider Sergio or Taylor instead of Tyler just to try and get out of that jam?
ROCCO BALDELLI: Well, the thing is, if we’re going to win that game and we’re in that type of situation, we’re going to have to use all of those guys, all of our late inning relievers. We’re going to have to throw — we were going to have to probably stretch all of them in some way, and that’s okay. We’ve done that before, and we’ll do it again.

As far as that spot right there, whoever we bring in to finish out that inning, and it would have taken a lot of effort to get through that inning, we would have needed all of those other pitchers that we’re kind of referencing here to keep pitching. It wouldn’t have been enough to just get three outs in that spot and just kind of end your night. Probably would have needed four outs, five outs, maybe six outs from some of those guys.

That would have been a spot to bring someone in, let them work through that situation and get them out of there and then maybe give a May or one of those other guys a clean inning to work with and hope that they can even go beyond that inning.

Q. Rocco, another night with eight walks. You had a walk in seven of the eight innings. Is there a common thread with the pitching staff with how they’re approaching Yankee lineup that is resulting in all these walks?
ROCCO BALDELLI: You know, I don’t think it’s approach as much as it’s probably just execution out on the mound. Again, our pitchers have done a pretty good job this year, kind of in an unsung type of way. Our hitters get a lot of the recognition, and rightfully so, but that being said, our pitchers have been pretty good with their strike throwing. Except for a few aberrations, there’s really nothing that I can really — anything I can point to or any reason for it.

I think we just have to locate better, and we just have to execute better. We just have to go out there and throw better pitches. There’s no finger pointing. We just have to throw the ball in the strike zone and make — and throw good quality strikes.

Q. Rocco, you guys came into the series pretty confident just in what you guys have done all year. But what as a whole do you have to do to turn this around?
ROCCO BALDELLI: One thing I feel good about is our guys know that we can turn it around. We’ve had a few spurts this year, like every team over a long season, where you’re not playing as well as you want, and our guys simply carry on with their routine, with the way they show up to the field, with everything that they do, with everything that they say. We haven’t really had very many mood changes as a group. It’s been pretty consistent every day through the good, through the bad.

I’d expect more of the same. I don’t think becoming reactionary in any way — staff-wise, roster-wise — is going to help us where we want to be. I think relying on who we are is going to get us where we want to be.

Q. How tough is it for you to leave in an 0-2 hole without having used Rogers or some of your other leverage guys in those situations that you might have wanted?
ROCCO BALDELLI: Yeah, and that is something that’s frustrating, but something that you may not be able to help. It’s really a situation where, when you’re looking at your high leverage relievers, guys that you know you want to get in the game and spots where you have a chance to win, sometimes the games just don’t play out that way. Again, these playoff games are different than a typical, regular season game. We saw many times over the course of the year where Rog didn’t get in the game for four, five, six days.

We would obviously force that issue more so. You can look and say what if about, say, yesterday’s game where we’re in a tied game going into the fifth inning or going into the bottom of the fifth and giving yourself the chance to say, what if you brought these guys in then? Because that’s really our only chance — that would have been our only chance to really use them.

But I don’t really look at it like that. I don’t really hold ourselves to that. I think we’ve kind of gone about our business one way the entire year. We’re going to trust that we can get to those spots where we can use the Rogers and the Romos and the Mays and the Duffeys and use them in the proper spots. It is — you would love to have them in the game. It just hasn’t played out that way.

Q. Without knowing exactly what your relievers normally do to get ready for a game, did Duffey get up right around the time of that mound visit? And was that enough time for him that he would typically need to get ready?
ROCCO BALDELLI: Yeah, Duff’s pretty good about getting ready. He gets ready quick. Every guy is a little different. He’s a guy that we don’t have to give him several batters to get ready, and there are other guys that you would want to give that time to. He is an extraordinarily low maintenance relief pitcher and a very good one at that. He gets ready quick. He’s ready to go. He bounces back pretty well.

He’s been extraordinary for us. One thing related to him, I feel bad that — I would love to give him a clean inning and go out there and let him go to work, show everyone what he can do because he’s been awesome. We go to him in those spots because he’s so good. You bring him in with the bases loaded. You bring him in with two people on because we believe in him. That’s why we do it.

Q. Obviously, hindsight here, but is there any regret at all not using Jake today instead of Randy? And on the second side of things, what did you think of Randy today in terms of how he pitched?
ROCCO BALDELLI: So, not at all as far as any sort of regret. Both were going to pitch. Both were most likely going to be starting a game in this series regardless of anything else, so no. We made a choice, and just because things don’t work out doesn’t mean that we don’t talk about them, doesn’t mean that we don’t discuss amongst ourselves, but as far as regret, certainly not.

I thought Dob threw the ball pretty well. I talked with Mitch, as well, about what it looked like from behind the plate. He said his stuff looked good. He threw the ball well. A few pitches leaked out, caught probably a little bit too much of the plate, but he competed well.

These are situations where in the regular season you might let him just keep pitching and see what he can do, see if he can get a ground ball. He’s done that several times where he’s been in spots that were tough spots, and he finds a way to pitch through it. He finds a way to get it done. But with today’s situation being in this sort of game, we decided to go to our higher leverage relievers and go in that direction.

Again, I thought he threw the ball well.

Q. What kind of message do you send your team going home down 0-2?
ROCCO BALDELLI: Well, the message that really — our guys really understand, they don’t always need to hear it all the time. They hear it occasionally — is that we handle our business and do what we do in a very particular way, and we’ve done it our way all year long, from the first day we showed up to Spring Training until now, and we’re not going to change that for anyone. We’re not going to change that because we’re down 0-2 in a playoff series or for any other reason.

We rely on ourselves. We pick ourselves up. We’ve done a great job with that all year long. Any sort of stretch where things aren’t going well, that’s fine. We’re going to deal with that, and we’re going to be perfectly okay, and we’re going to come out fighting and ready to go.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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