Q. Jay, the Yankees were quite interested in you in August and talked with the Mets. Did it ever get to the point where they came to you with no trade clause issues or anything like that? Did you ever think about what it would be like to join the Yankees at that point? JAY BRUCE: No, it was never brought to my attention. The only call I got was when I got traded.
Q. Jay, small sample size against Sonny Gray. What do you remember about facing him, and why were you successful against him tonight?
JAY BRUCE: Well, you know, obviously, I know that the type of stuff he has and the type of pitcher he is and the reputation he has, obviously, taking the ball here in Game 1. I have a lot of respect for him, but I had a pretty good idea of what he likes to do, but in all honesty, I focus less on what he's trying to do to me and really focus on my strengths.
I got a couple pitches that I was able to handle, and it worked out.
Q. Jay, you haven't been around Trevor Bauer as much as these other guys who say that maybe he's a bit of a different guy, a little quirky. What have you noticed about him, I guess, since you've been here and just about his performance tonight, what impressed you the most, obviously?
JAY BRUCE: He's very committed to his craft. He takes very -- a lot of pride in doing the work behind the scenes. I know a lot of people don't get to see that, but the preparation, the focus, and the -- I guess the -- I don't even know the word for it. But he believes in what he's doing, and I think that that is one of the things that make him most successful.
He is a competitor. He wants the ball. And I'm happy he's on my side.
Q. Jay, just how much can you appreciate the move that Kipnis has had to make and all the work he's had to put in? And just what did you think of that play he pulled off tonight?
JAY BRUCE: I thought it was great, man. I thought it was great. I think with Jason making that move and being willing to make that move shows the selflessness that kind of embodies this whole team, in my opinion. We have a lot of very talented players on the roster, and I think that it just boils down to how can we help the team the most? Jason took it in stride, especially coming off a hamstring injury, going out to probably the most physically demanding position on the field speaks volumes of him.
Q. I'm guessing you didn't script the way this game unfolded, but if you had, could it have unfolded in much better fashion? And given the fact that it wound up being actually a quite close game and your hits were the difference.
JAY BRUCE: Yeah, I think that's kind of the beauty of it all is tonight it was me, tomorrow it could be any of those other 24 guys on the roster right now. I think that that speaks to the depth and the quality of our lineup, of our team.
No, it couldn't have gone any better for us. You can't say enough about the job that Trevor and the rest of the pitching staff did tonight, and we were able to put some runs on the board. They really never got to get anything going. It's a dangerous team with all the guys that can leave the ballpark with one swing, the guys that run the bases well. I mean, they have a very dynamic lineup over there, and for us to show them none of that was important.
Q. It gets lost a little bit with the hits, but facing Garcia as he's coming in there and trying to get the ball in play, how difficult of a challenge is that? And to get the result you did, I think you fell into an 0-2 count there, how satisfying is that at bat even though it kind of gets lost, like I said, in those other hits?
JAY BRUCE: Jaime and I have a lot of history. We faced each other for a long time in the NL Central when I was with the Reds and he was with the Cardinals. He's always been a very tough at bat for me. He's a guy who changes a lot too. He has a lot of different pitches that he likes to use, and he may like one more than another right now. It was very, very important.
I'm very, very aware of how much runs come at a premium in the playoffs, and for us to get that extra run up there was very, very important. That's honestly what I was thinking about is taking a professional at bat there and doing a job.
I mean, you can't say enough about the way Jose Ramirez runs the bases. The guy is so -- he anticipates so well, and he was looking to get to that extra base there, and he made it possible. If not, if he doesn't take that base -- if he doesn't take second and he doesn't take third, it's a flyout. So I'm very appreciative of that.
Q. Jay, you've talked about it in the past, about the uncertainty earlier in the season for you when you were in New York and wondering how the season was going to unfold for you. Since you've been with the Indians, it seems like each day is better than the one before it for you. Is it hard to believe sometimes that this has gone as well, and even going into tonight with the night that you had, I mean, who knows what the next thing is for you.
JAY BRUCE: I honestly don't give myself a lot of time to, I guess, reflect when I'm doing it. I feel like I don't have time. Every single next day really demands your full attention and preparation.
So I'm very, very fortunate to be here, though. I couldn't have fallen into a better situation. Obviously, when you get traded and you're in trade rumors, it's usually a contender or a team that's contending at the moment. For whatever reason, I ended up here. Like I said, I know it sounds cliche, but I just want to do my part, man. And this has been a blast so far.
This team welcomed me with open arms. And for me to come in and be -- and the transition be so seamless, I can't imagine that happens every time or for everyone, and to walk into a situation like this is something that you don't see very often.
Q. Jay, when Tito made the decision to hold Kluber for Game 2, just what was the reaction among the players? Just when Tito has that track record, how much trust is there in the decisions he makes?
JAY BRUCE: I think, first and foremost, it speaks volumes of the confidence that he and the coaching staff had in Trevor. I don't know Tito too, too well. I obviously have gotten to know him over the last month and a half or whatever here, but I do know that every decision he makes is very well thought out, and there's a method to his madness.
Once a decision's made, obviously, the questions start being asked, well, why, why, why? To have your best pitcher be able to pitch two games in a five-game series on normal rest, I would say gives you the advantage, and especially when you have a group of guys who have been pitching the way they've been pitching, aside from Kluber, that makes the decision a lot easier.
And I think that tonight kind of showed that advantage because coming off a good win tonight, it was a tough game -- obviously, it was 4-0, but they were one swing away from being back in the game a few times. Our guys were able to shut them down.
Being up 1-0 in a short series and having your ace coming in for Game 2 bodes well, I think.