BUCK SHOWALTER: Well, is that because of the confidence I have in him or the lack of confidence I have in guys behind him? No, I'm kidding.
You face a lot of starting pitchers, and sometimes you're facing a four and five guy. You're making sure your batting order is such that you can attack their bullpen and make it tough on these one pitchers to get multiple outs. But with a guy like Sabathia, your whole mindset is try to figure out a way to get him out of the game before nine innings are up, because that's the biggest part of the equation. We just try to separate the left-handers a little bit and present¿¿ from what our roster has to happen, the most challenge. We had two or three lineups that we messed around with but this was the one we felt like we were going to go with really on the plane back.
I believe your first playoff game was started by Andy Pettitte, who you're now going to face tomorrow.
BUCK SHOWALTER: Was it really? Good choice, huh. That was a real hard decision.
I was going to ask you what you remember about that day, about that game, and if you find it remarkable that all these years later your postseason paths have crossed again here.
BUCK SHOWALTER: The teams that we are with has nothing to do with me, and it doesn't surprise me at all with Andy. It doesn't. The heart that he has -- you know, the heart and the makeup and the want-to and all that stuff is great. This time of year talent plays. He is talented, and that's why he's still capable of giving his team a chance to win is that he's a talented young man. I felt at that time that Andy hadn't had that much experience under his belt, but that wasn't some astute evaluation to start him. Those things are easy. I'm sure the Yankee fans and baseball in general feel fortunate to have been around to see Andy pass their way, because he's a good father, good husband, good teammate, and a guy that it's important to him to be consistent and be there. So that'll be tough tomorrow. Not that tonight's not.
You mentioned the weight given to the recent numbers you have against someone and the fact that this year against CC, the numbers have been pretty good. What's been the key for you guys' approach thus far against him?
BUCK SHOWALTER: You know, all that stuff¿¿ I know this is here he goes again, but I understand it's something to approach that this is what may happen, this is what may not happen. Kind of thrown out the window. We've got some guys that haven't had success against him. If you're looking for matchups against guys like Sabathia that are in your favor, it is a short look. You are kind of picking your poison. It's a given he's going to do what he does. I think what people miss about CC is how much of a pitcher he is as opposed to a thrower. I saw him early on in his career with Cleveland, and he could just overpower the game, and at times he can still do that. He's an athletic, big, strong man that is a pitcher. You look at the percentages of breaking balls and changeups and all that stuff, this guy has got a lot of ways to get you out, and I think Martin does a great job with him behind the plate. That's an easy guy to catch for. All catchers look pretty smart there. Wieters was talking about that the other day with Johnson. He always said there's not a wrong finger to put down.
The Yankees always talk about anything short of a championship for them is a total failure. Do you want your players to take the same mindset or do you want them to try to find some way to enjoy and relish this experience wherever it leads them?
BUCK SHOWALTER: Yes. You're always walking that line. I told them before the Texas game, I told them before, have fun. This is something -- you always hope that you get a chance to do it again, but you don't know. One of the things I'll tell them, have a blast, trust yourself, let it rip, have fun. You know, you don't want to insult their intelligence with obvious things because they get it. The last thing you want to do is draw more attention to it. There's a little comfort in the fact that it's not a sudden life, sudden death game, but we all know how important each one of these games are. Just do the math.
But if you're been in our clubhouse this year, the one thing I don't have to worry about them is living in the moment, enjoying it, but the competitive part of it, they get the opportunity. You hope it isn't rare, but you approach it that way. It's important because it's important to our fans, but our guys have a grip on the reality and the whole scheme of life of what's going on here the next couple days, and hopefully whatever number in New York.