(Note: Tonight’s quotes are limited, because I had to get back up the pressbox and do a re-write in 15 minutes of both the game story — update with quotes — and the Brandon Beachy story, after Fredi Gonzalez announced following his postgame interview that Beachy had a partial ligament tear in the elbow, as feared.)
On Minor cruising along until hitting a wall in 5th
“Yeah, and we’ve got to get past that. We’ve got to get past that inning there. But we had some opportunities earlier in the game to get CC [Sabathia], and like he always does he just kept getting stronger and tougher as the game goes on. We got first and second a couple of times and didn’t get but one run, and he got better and stronger. Then we gave up a couple of runs late for them to add on, and we just couldn’t get anything going.”
What’s the key to getting Minor through second, third time through lineup?
“Keep running him out there. We ran him back out there in the sixth just to get him through that stuff. We see it a lot with pitchers. He’s plenty good enough to get through that lineup. We’ve seen it in spurts, now we’ve got to get him to rattle off four or five starts in a row to get him through that stuff.”
After watching him through first four tonight, coming off his last start, were you thinking might be turning corner?
“Yeah, and that’s the thing – consistency. What did he go, 7[-1/3] innings the time before? And you see him dominating the first [four innings] he matched zeroes with CC. Go back out there and give us seven or eight innings and keep building on that. He’ll keep working on stuff. Roger will get him going. He’s got some stuff that he’ll work on, and keep running him out t here.”
Was Jeter’s full-count, two-out, two-run single the kind of thing you guys have lacked lately?
“Yeah, we haven’t kept the line moving. We haven’t battled at-bats like we were doing early on, stick your nose in there and battle. You see it in spurts. You see it from a couple of guys, then somebody will make a good play or we’ll hit into a double play and don’t keep the line moving. And that’s what we need. We need some tough outs, tough at-bats, aggressive in the strike zone. And we’ll do it. We’ve got the guys to do it.”
Hoping to have Freeman back tomorrow; Heyward OK after getting hit in hand at end of game tonight?
“Jason, I think is going to be fine. He got caught on the wood, the knob of the bat and the pinkie. We’re expecting that he’s going to be OK. I’m hoping that Freeman went through a couple of BPs today and felt OK, and he’s going to come out and hit early on the field. Hopefully that works. If it does, he’ll be in the lineup.”,
On Beachy’s injury and Monday’s MRI
“I’ve got an announcement to make. Just got it two seconds ago. Beachy, the MRI showed a partial tear on the [ulnar collateral ligament] ligament. He’s going to see our doctor in the morning, then he’s going to go see Dr. Andrews for a second opinion on Wednesday. That’s all I have for now. I guess my optimism this afternoon was for nothing.”
On his performance and how he felt tonight
“I felt good every batter, but I did have that one inning that was kind of shaky. I couldn’t get the ball down and I started spiking my breaking stuff, so a couple of guys got walked and it was a big hit for Jeter.”
You had good outing against Yankees last week, tough to face again so soon?
“Well, yeah. Obviously, just because they’re good hitters. Facing a guy twice within 10 days or whatever [seven days actually], I have to throw the same pitches up there and try to work guys a little bit differently. But they know all my pitches and they’ve seen them come out of my hand, my arm slot and everything. But still, I’ve just got to execute pitches.”
On facing Sabathia, feel like you had to be perfect?
“No, it’s the same thing. It’s just executing pitches. Me and Ross were working well together for the first couple of innings. Like I said, I just had that one inning that was kind of shaky.”
On running into problems in fourth or fifth inning several times this year
“Yeah, I need to limit those. But it’s also the second and third time through [the lineup], so it’s a little harder with those guys, especially if their lineup is like this and you have a DH in there. It’s just what happens with a good hitting team.”
Could have done anything different with Jeter on that two-run hit with two out?
“Yeah, I got a ground ball. Maybe if I threw the ball a little lower, he hits it a little slower and we get that out. But it could have been with anybody, though. There were a lot of ABs right there that I didn’t throw good pitches with.”
Learning experience, going through outing like this?
“I’ve been through struggles already. This game today – I feel like every game you can learn something from it, but I’ve had real bad games and I’ve learned things from that. Tonight I can take away good things and also reflect on the bad things and get better at that.”