Toughest loss of year?
“I think so. For a lot of different reasons, obviously. But I think it was a tough one for all of us, including myself. Minor was outstanding. He really was good, and then that eighth inning we couldn’t get an out there when we needed to. They’ve got a good club. They took an opportunity and they beat us. It was a tough one to swallow. Hopefully Huddy will go out tomorrow and give us a good outing and get back on the winning ways.”
Were you giving Minor one baserunner before removing in 8th?
“Yeah. I think we pushed him as far as we could push him. He did a helluva job. He did a terrific job. Shame he didn’t get the W because he really deserved to get the W, and we didn’t do it for him.”
On using Gearrin there, not O’Flaherty
“O’Flaherty wasn’t available. O’Flaherty hasn’t been available for a couple of days and he may not be available for a couple, two more. Arm. He woke up yesterday morning a little sore and we backed off on him. It may be three, four more days, we’ll try to stay away from him.”
Elbow or shoulder?
On whether playing with short bullpen without Medlen last few days
“I think the only time that it really has come out and you feel like it bit you in the butt a little bit was the game against Toronto on Sunday. The fifth inning? That was the only time you felt that in what 14-15 days he’s been down there, it’s the first time you said, ‘Maybe if we had Medlen….’ Other than that, even today, it was not Medlen’s situation. It was the right guy in the situation and we just didn’t get it done.”
On having just talking about Venters before the game, about how he was showing good signs
“It’s always the same thing, right? We talk about somebody good, and then, you know. Maybe that first ground ball Granderson hits, it goes through the hole, maybe if it’s hit at somebody it’s a different ballgame. But if, should have and could have, you can’t get those in this game. We’ve still got to get a couple outs there and then hand the ball over to Kimbrel and it just didn’t happen.”
On what he said to Minor coming off the mound
“I thought it was a helluva job. He did a terrific job. He gave us a hell of an opportunity to win and he deserved to go back out there in the eighth inning and try to get through the eighth. I don’t think he had a chance to go a complete game but he had an opportunity to go out there and go hitter to hitter. And we had the right guys set up in the eighth inning, with the left-hander and with Jonny, and it didn’t happen.”
Offense had some more earlier opportunities
“You could go back, but you feel comfortable with a four-run lead and with five outs to go and we have a good chance. Traditionally we’ve closed those ballgames out, and it just didn’t happen to us tonight.”
On Medlen’s outing tonight, what it means, etc.
“We can talk about that tomorrow. I haven’t even really checked. Let’s not take anything away from Mikey today. He did a terrific job.”
Part of discussion will be whether to use Medlen as starter or reliever?
“Let’s discuss that tomorrow. We haven’t even discussed that. Yeah, he could … whatever.”
“Even though I pitched well it doesn’t make me feel that great. Even though I pitched well, I still want the team to win. But it’s something to work off of and hopefully carry into the next start.”
What was different tonight, looked like a different guy against a dominant lineup?
“I located well tonight with the fastball. The last couple of starts it’s been pretty much everywhere. We mixed in all my pitches for strikes and kept them off balance all night. Early on it was more breaking stuff, sliders and curveballs, and then later on it was more change-ups, just to try to keep them off balance.”
What can a game like that do for you?
“It makes me feel good. I took the last game into this one, because I felt good the last game even though I only went five. But I really didn’t feel intimidated just because it was the Yankees. Still had to execute pitches and it worked out, because I felt good and I was locating well.”
On focusing on pounding the strike zone
“I threw a lot of strikes and tried to work both sides of the plate. We have a big field. A couple of those balls at their park might have gone out. But here it’s a little bit bigger.”
Disappointed or surprised you were taken out in eighth?
“No, I wasn’t surprised. We have a lot of guys in the bullpen that can take on that role and pick me up out there. I was approaching 100 pitches. That’s just what happens. Guys get fatigued out there. I wouldn’t say I was fatigued, but I have all the confidence in the world that those guys in the bullpen will pick me up out there.
So you still felt strong?
“Yeah, I still felt good. But that’s not my call. And I’ll never question that call.”
On whether he felt any pressure to pitch well with Medlen make last of 3 scheduled starts at Triple-A
“No, I didn’t even know he was pitching. I actually don’t even think about that, because the only thing I can control is when I go out there, and I’m not going to put extra pressure on myself. No, I really didn’t think about that. If that’s what they were doing, I can’t stop them anyway…
“They’ve seen me when I’ve pitched well and they know what I have. It’s just a matter of if I’m going to be consistent enough this year to stay up here.”
On blowing big lead
“I have no excuses today. I felt great mechanically. Felt great physically. Just got behind some hitters, walked a guy, and threw a pitch right down the middle 3-2 to one of the best players in the game. There’s no excuses. Mike threw the ball really well tonight and it’s a shame to waste that start. He looked really good. I feel bad. I let my team down. I didn’t do my job.”
On falling behind 3-and-0 to A-Rod
“I felt frustrated because I felt good, and I just couldn’t make an adjustment to make a good pitch. I fell behind right there and I didn’t want to walk him. Maybe looking back I should have made a conscious effort to not leave that ball over the plate. I mean, I wasn’t trying to leave it over the plate, but maybe a walk right there is not terrible, with a lefty on deck and one of the best players who ever played the game hitting. But it is what it is. I made a bad pitch and he crushed it.
“Like I said, it’s a shame. Mike threw the ball really well. I felt great, I just didn’t make any pitches.
On making recent progress
“I’ve been feeling better every time I’ve been out there. Today’s unfortunate. The ball’s down for the most part; I know it was out of the zone, but that’s a good indication for me, that I’m doing a little better.”
Where were you trying to locate that pitch
“Attack him. Throw the ball down and get a ground ball. Unfortunately I threw a sinker that stayed up. It was right down the middle.”
“It’s about making pitches, especially in that situation. It’s tough to let that guy beat you because of who he is. I was trying to make a pitch and just didn’t do it.”
“He had them off balance all night. They only had four or five hits. I thought he looked great. He looked really confident, like he could throw any pitch at any time. That’s the Mikey Minor we know.”
On having some opportunities against Sabathia and not cashing in
“Yeah, but we got to him in the first, and Mikey did a great job. We weren’t able to tack on anymore. We got one more in the sixth or seventh, but weren’t able to blow it open. CC’s a veteran guy who’s going to bear down and keep his team in the game. That’s what he did, and the next thing you know they put themselves in position to tie and go ahead, and they took advantage of it.”
“There’s not a guy in this room that doesn’t have all the confidence in the world when he comes in. He’s had a bad run. It’s been hard for him to be consistent. But his stuff is still as good as ever, and just have to get that confidence back in him, get back in the strike zone and just be him. I’m sure he’s doing everything he can do get back on track.”
On dealing with loss like this
“You’ve got to flush it. That’s why we play this game, man. Every day is a new opportunity, it’s a new game. When you start dwelling on the last couple of days or yesterday, that’s how you get yourself into bad funks. We let an opportunity slip away tonight, but it’s probably not going to be the last one in the course of the year. That’s part of being a professional, you’ve got to come to work every day and do your job.
“And we did our job for eight-ninths of the game tonight. Unfortunately the one-ninth that we didn’t take care of cost us the game.”
On Minor’s performance
“By far, far and away his best outing in the big leagues. He was dominant and pitched real well. I hope he can use that start tonight to continue on in his growing process.”