Great ballgame. It had to be entertaining for everybody watching, I would think.
Q. How confident are you when you see Edwin step up in that spot?
JOHN GIBBONS: He's one of the elite hitters. He's done that many times for us. So great base-running on Travis' part to get to third base to set all that up. Great pitching on both sides the whole game.
Q. John, were you surprised to not see their closer in any of those late innings, 9th, 10th, 11th?
JOHN GIBBONS: No, they run the game the way they want to. You look at how they've run the game all year, nobody does it better than the way they do it over there. It's tough to use that guy more than one inning, especially at the end of the year, that's for damn sure.
I never question what anyone else does because you've got to make tough decisions. You know what, most people don't ever agree with your decisions regardless.
Q. Congratulations. What can you tell us about Roberto Ozuna?
JOHN GIBBONS: It wasn't a big deal. It just tightened up on him. The smart thing to do was just get him out of there. Shoulder.
Q. There was a lot of second guessing with your decision to go with Stroman tonight. Do you feel that worked out pretty well for you?
JOHN GIBBONS: By who?
Q. People. I mean, there seemed to be a lot of questions yesterday --
JOHN GIBBONS: Or as what Rush Limbaugh would call them, the uninformed voters?
You know what, it goes back to who does what. Both teams had a decision to make. You can only make the best decision you can. Stroman was really good. Tillman was really good. Then Liriano came in at the end and did his thing. You know what, there's more to it than what meets the eye. We know what these guys are made of, just the mindset, what have you, and who does what in certain situations.
Really in the game of baseball, you're damned if you do and damned if you don't. You go the other way, somebody's bitching about that, too. You live with it. That's part of your job. And sometimes you've got to wear it a little bit.
Q. What did you like about Stroman's stuff tonight?
JOHN GIBBONS: I thought he was really good. He was sticking it, that fastball. One thing we knew, when we decided he was going to be the guy, we knew he was going to throw strikes. That's what he does. He's a ground ball guy. He went through the first nine error-free, but they got a good hitting team. In the back of your mind, you always fear that.
I've seen him pitch too many good games. He pitches well at home. He gets a lot of ground balls. They hit a lot of home runs. You really just add it up. You can't forget the job Liriano did coming in. That might be a different story in itself.
Q. Gibby, I was going to follow up with that. After Stroman came out, can you talk about the job the bullpen did as a whole?
JOHN GIBBONS: We were a little beat up out there. Came off a tough series at Fenway Park and used a lot of guys. This past month, it's been a grind, a lot of close games. These guys are beat up. And to step up like they do, that says a bunch. We lost Benoit, which is a key spot. So that raises doubts. But the other guys have just filled in admirably.
Q. Gibby, I apologize if this was already asked, but now back to Texas, a lot of history in the last 12 months with that team. What do you look for heading into that series now during this?
JOHN GIBBONS: I look for a good series. We match up very well. In the head-to-head series this year, you look back on last year. They've got a hell of a team. Gomez, he's a really good player. They've got good balance, team speed. They could hit the home run, good pitching. Got good starting pitching. Got a good bullpen. They've got the best record in the American League for a reason. That doesn't happen by accident.
Q. [ No microphone ].
JOHN GIBBONS: I don't know that. I don't think anybody picks and chooses what they want. You just want to get there and try to win each series regardless of what you did to get there.
Q. Forgive me if this was asked already as well, you said in Boston that maybe that was a way to get in the playoffs, battle tested, the hard way. We've seen more of the same tonight from your team.
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, tough game. That's one -- really I felt good that whole game. It's a close ballgame. I had a good feeling about it. If they win that game, they deserved it, too. It was such a well-played game on both sides. They've got some great players. They've got some class acts, guys that I'm a big fan of. Guys like Adam Jones and those guys, Chris Davis. I admire those guys and love competing against them.
Regardless, they've burned us many, many times. It could have gone either way. We were fortunate we had the last at-bat. We had some good base-running. We were able to put that runner at third base with less than two outs, and Eddie came through. We had a chance earlier in the game, first and second, no outs, really in the heart of our lineup, and they worked their way out of it. So you never know what's going to happen.