Pearce, Cruz pregame interviews

Q. Steve, your season, obviously the production in the second half has been tremendous. Take us back to that conversation with Buck Showalter about your decision to stay with the organization when the Blue Jays put in their claim, why did you decide to stay and what was that conversation like with Buck?

STEVE PEARCE:  One of the reasons I decided to stay was obviously I love everybody here. I love the organization, I love everything about it.

When Davis went down the opportunity finally arose for me. So it was a no‑brainer, just staying here. Nothing against Toronto, they're a great team. It would have been fun to go over and compete against Baltimore. But here is where I wanted to play. But for me it was about the opportunity to play every day.

Q. Both of you, the somewhat unusual circumstances today, no batting practice, wondering if the game is going to start on time. Does that add any extra tension to what is obviously a big game and big stage?

NELSON CRUZ:  I think we go in and work out, take the swings in the cage, whatever you do in the regular days there's rain, you're going to do it here.

I think we're doing pretty good to stay focused in this situation. And I think we're going to do the same thing today.

Q. Both of you, which hitting coach has had the biggest impact on your career and why?

STEVE PEARCE:  I've had a lot of good hitting coaches. They all bring something different. And it's just all about taking whatever you like, whatever options they give you.

I can look back and there has been a whole bunch of advice that hitting coaches have given me. I can't really say just one, because every single one offers good advice. That's my personal opinion.

NELSON CRUZ:  It will be the same thing for me. You find a different philosophy and try to pick whatever you think will help you. All the hitting coaches have something to bring to the table.

Q. Nelson, you've been in the World Series, you've been in a number of different playoffs. Now that you've gotten this far, would not being in the World Series make this season a disappointment?

NELSON CRUZ:  We get to this spot, you want to make it all the way. I don't say disappointed, because we come a long way in the organization, the whole team. But no doubt we have the chance to go all the way. And I think we have all the tools that we need.

Q. Nelson, how impressed were you with the game that Bud Norris pitched in Detroit and how much overall improvement have you seen in him this season?

NELSON CRUZ:  I'm impressed. He throw the ball pretty well. To be able to throw that many innings and just get two hits, it is very valuable for him. He's been doing it all year long. When we needed a big start from him and he come up and do it. It's not just him, the whole roster, the whole set of pitchers has been amazing.

Q. Steve, I know you were on this team a couple of years ago when the Orioles made the playoffs as well. In what way is this team different and better equipped for the postseason run?

STEVE PEARCE:  From what I remember, they had a really good bullpen also. Offensively, defensively, we're a complete team. And I think we bring a little bit more offense than we did in 2012. I'm not really sure of the numbers.

But both of them were good teams. We won the Division pretty easily this year. I'd say maybe offense, offensively I think we're a lot stronger than we were in '12.