Oct. 18 John Gibbons postgame interview

Oct. 18 John Gibbons postgame interview

Q. What did you see in your players before this game?

JOHN GIBBONS: Really, everything, almost like a normal day. Obviously it's not, but it was almost like a normal, regular season game. They were nice, loose, and relaxed, well aware of the circumstances. They showed up today like they always do and played a good ballgame. '

Started out with Sanchez, great out in the bullpen, bullpen has been pitching really good, nice little roll, too. Then Donaldson's big home run to get us on the board, we've been looking on that. Then some add-on runs, Carrera, a nice night. A lot of good things today.

Q. What did you see early from Sanchez that told you that he was on today?

JOHN GIBBONS: He's thrown a lot of innings, too. He's getting tired. I didn't see that. But you just look at the pop on his fastball. We see it all the time. But some days he is just really jumping. But the key for him is he's still got to hit his spots. Really, in this league it doesn't matter how hard you throw if you still can't pitch a little bit. You're going to have a tough time. I saw some good curveballs early. That's kind of hit or miss with him.

But really, backs against the wall, he came through again, but he's really done that so much this year, but never in a game like this.

Q. A lot of talk about Cleveland just really pounding the outside of the zone against you guys, you guys got some hits early, up the middle, opposite end of the field. Was that conscious on your part or was that hitters making adjustments?

JOHN GIBBONS: No, our guys will do that. They hear it all the time from the hitting coaches and they talk amongst themselves about doing that. And we don't always do that. But we just saw Kluber not too long ago, he's fresh on your mind, you get a little better idea what he's doing.

Yeah, I thought we battled pretty good today, with the bats. But naturally when you score, which we haven't been doing, it always looks good.

Q. What have you learned about Ryan Merritt, who suddenly becomes a big figure in this series?

JOHN GIBBONS: What I know about him? He's left-handed. That's all I know right now. Worried about today.

Q. Can you speak about the play that Josh made it a 2-1 ballgame, when Santana stings it. If they get through another run gets in, ties the game, instead he makes the play and a strong throw to first. Can you talk about that play specifically and how important it was in this ballgame?

JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, you've got a tight ballgame. Everybody is on pins and needles. They're hanging in there, a big hitter, something, the game switches the other day, maybe you see those other guys, and they've got a chance to close it out.

Josh, not only does he get big hits on the offensive side, he'll pull out some big-time plays. I don't think he probably gets the credit he deserves, a good defender he is. There's so many really good third basemen in the American League that we see, really all over baseball. And not that he gets overlooked, but I think he's more -- people recognize him for his offense. But he's a hell of a defender, too. Even to get into the postseason when we were battling hard, because that could have gone either way, some big, big plays, some chop balls on the line. He's got that knack.

He's never a guy that takes his hitting out to the field. Some guys do that, but he's not one of those guys. So he locks in on defense and really just a really good, all-around player is what he is. But it doesn't surprise me. He's been known to do the right thing at the right time, offense or defense.

 

Q. Do you feel like something changed today? Your guys looked like your guys today and you got Estrada going tomorrow, kind of like it's a series now?

JOHN GIBBONS: We're still alive, no doubt. Even through the struggles of the last few games where they outplayed us and shut us down, I mean, it was the same guys, just weren't getting the results. Today we got that nice ball that dropped in that Carrera hit, things like that.

You've got to get some breaks, too. But really, you hear a few guys talking, Hey, let's go, we've got to do this. It was definitely good focus and the right things were said today. But that's one game. We've got another game tomorrow. So see what the heck happens.

Q. Speaking of that game, Estrada was great last year in a couple do or dies. Good so far this year. How nice is it to hand the ball to a guy like that in another high-stakes game?

JOHN GIBBONS: Really, what he's accomplished two years in the playoffs, it's hard to do. And he's a different style than most guys. But all I can tell you is I've seen him the last two years when the team needs something he comes through. That can even be during regular season.

I expect he'll be good tomorrow. It won't be easy but you always expect that really out of all your guys, but he's one guy, you see him doing that time and time again. So the key is, again, we've got to score runs. We do that, we have a better chance. Most teams do. But, yeah, I would expect him to be very, very good.

Q. You talked about Josh's impact, obviously statistically and stuff. When he hit the home run he was very emotional. That emotion he was showing, did that have a team-wide effect as far as not waking you guys up, but just getting the crowd into it, getting all you guys fired up to have a bigger day?

JOHN GIBBONS: I don't know. Josh is a very emotional guy. He's vocal. He's a lot like because Bautista, he's going to say what's on his mind, good and bad. But that's really his personality. He's a fun-loving guy before a game starts, but when a game starts he flips that switch and he's all business. Really, I've never seen anybody like that, because he is so very intense. But guys thrive off of that, they expect that out of him. But I can't say it gave us a lift because they know that's who he is anyway.

Q. Congratulations on the win.

JOHN GIBBONS: Thank you.

Q. With Miller and Allen not pitching today, they'll be available tomorrow. Will you have Osuna, Grilli, and Cecil available tomorrow?

JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, they'll definitely be good to go. You'll definitely see those guys, close game, definitely with the lead, especially with a day off. We should be good. But we definitely need some innings out of our starters, that's for sure. And that's one thing Estrada can do. They'll all be good.

Q. The new turf that you had this year, and the dirt, does the ball move through the infield now slower than it did with the old turf?

JOHN GIBBONS: It's the same turf, they just cut it out, is that what you're saying?

Q. Didn't they change the turf two years ago?

JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, two years ago, but they just cut it out.

Q. Is it slower now?

JOHN GIBBONS: No, it picks up steam when it hits the dirt.

Q. When the old turf, would that ball maybe have gone through that Donaldson made, in the fifth inning, the diving play he made?

JOHN GIBBONS: No, definitely not. If anything with this dirt, it's going to pick up a little steam. He would have probably been behind the ball, been in good fielding position on that one, the old turf, really, truthfully.

Q. Tulowitzki led off the fourth and the sixth by getting on base. Martin ended up walking behind him and hitting a fielder's choice in the sixth. Did you think about sacrifice bunting at all in that situation?

JOHN GIBBONS: You know, when it was first and second, no outs, and Saunders at the plate, first ball he hits he yanks it pretty good ways foul. I was debating, I'll give him a strike and then do it. I didn't know how they'd approach it. He's one guy that's been swinging a little bit. And then Carrera behind him has been definitely swinging it. I thought there was a chance, I think the score was 1-0 at the time. He could walk Carrera there, and possibly face Pillar and Goins. Pillar has been struggling a little bit. And Ryan, just started playing some games.

That was on my mind. It was still early enough and Saunders has been getting some hits. And the lefties, I think, have a better shot against Kluber anyway. So no use burning both of them right there.

And the other one, I don't think I'd have bunted with Russell, since he's been here, which you're not supposed to bunt with a 5-0 hitter, are you? Or are you?