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October 9, 2015

John Gibbons

Toronto, Ontario - Pregame two

Rangers - 6 Blue Jays - 4

MODERATOR: Okay, first question for John Gibbons this evening?

Q. Couple things. What did you make of the little thing with Donaldson and Kela, and what did you think of the play at second base where they threw behind Odor?
JOHN GIBBONS: I don't really -- I don't know what happened after Josh hit the foul home run. I don't know, I'm not sure anybody does. But it's a big game, there's tensions, what have you. You know, it's really hard to tell in the play at second base, from what we saw on the board, looked like there might have been a little gap, whether enough to overturn or not, apparently not. So that's the way it goes.

Q. How's Cecil feeling?
JOHN GIBBONS: Not good. He got a pretty significant tear in his calf, so that's not very good.

Q. In the 8th inning you had an opportunity to walk Napoli. Why did you choose to pitch to him?
JOHN GIBBONS: You know, Cece has been facing Napoli for years now and he's really -- he's held him in check. He's never really done much against him because he's got that good curveball, I think he's like 2 for 17, 2 for 18, something like that, Cece is one of those guys right-handed or left handed, it really doesn't matter. He's probably the hot he is reliever in baseball right now. He's like Diekman, it really doesn't matter who you're facing and he's seen him plenty of times and he's held him in check, I think he just threw a curveball, the one that doesn't have a whole lot of bite to it.

Q. John, the strike zone seemed to move around a lot today. What did you think of the umpire's calls?
JOHN GIBBONS: I don't get into that either. There was complaining on both sides, but that's behind us. Plus, Napoli would have been the go ahead run, you walk him. I'm not sure you want that, either.

Q. How do you address it with your team about having to go to Arlington down two games and going into their place?
JOHN GIBBONS: Sure, it won't be easy, they got a great team over there. They outplayed us both games. Today was a great ballgame and they do, they came out on top. They outlasted us. It doesn't surprise me because they got that good a team. They can keep coming. Very balanced. They've got some real good arms they can keep in the bullpen. Hamels was really good again today like Stro was. That's usually the way those games end up when the pitching's so good, it comes down to the very end and a lot of times you get down to your last bullets, you know?

Q. Is their bullpen better than you expected it to be?
JOHN GIBBONS: No, no. We saw them early in the year, I'm not sure what the date was. They got some big arms. They've added Diekman, we've always liked him. Kela's really come into his own. Sinker ball, who used to be here.

Q. Dyson?
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, they're bringing it up there pretty good, so that doesn't surprise me. That's how you win. We had to try to address it to shore up our bullpen, that's what they did. You've got to have that.

Q. What did you think of the way your team started the game, Stroman started the game and what impact do you think at least in the early that double play had?
JOHN GIBBONS: Chris was great over there today. He was a little rocky first inning, but Stro weathered the storm. A couple plays we didn't make but he kept us in check right there and we ended up tying it early in the game or later -- middle of the game. So that was big. He was revved up pretty good, he does thrive on that but once he got that first inning under his belt, he settled in. I thought it was huge that Donaldson answers back with the solo home run there to get us on the board, I thought that was big. But yeah, I thought Stro was outstanding today. He had those two runs scored in the first but it was a dominating outing for him and Cole.

Q. If Cecil is likely unavailable, sounds like, did what you see from Luke tonight give you enough confidence to use him in a high level response to game 3, if you need?
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah. He's going to have to. Loup came in, he need to get, that is huge. We got our back against the wall anyway but they can run so many good left handed hitters out there, otherwise you're naked if he doesn't come through for us. He deserves a shot. He's been a big reliever around here for a couple years, this year was kind of an up and down year, he kind of got lost in the shuffle, but perfect opportunity to kind of bounce back.

Q. His pitch count wasn't particularly high but was there any discussion about not sending Stroman out for the 8th?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, you had the right-hander up there trying to -- there was a chance Cece might get an inning plus, so didn't want to burn one more reliever for that right-hander at the plate so we sent Stro out there, it's only the tying run. Soft liner center to drop in, but yeah, I have no problems. He was still strong, we just didn't want to face lefties in a one run game, that's the heart of their order, that's why we went to Cece.

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