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October 12, 2015

John Gibbons

Arlington, Texas - Pregame

MODERATOR: We'll get started with questions for John Gibbons.

Q. Gibby, what does your bullpen situation look like for today?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, we're in pretty good shape. We'll have Price down there available, even Stroman if we need it. The idea you don't want to use both of them, that's for sure. Hopefully Dickey's good, we expect him to be. But we're in good shape from that perspective.

Q. Gibby, R.A.'s a real philosophical kind of guy, and he was speaking yesterday and this is where it all kind of changed for him in 2005 when he became a knuckleball pitcher. Does it help to have something like that maybe in the back of his mind, giving him an extra feeling today as he takes the mind?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, I mean, I don't know. Be kind of a cool story, you know? Rises to the occasion in the place where it all started, like he said. Like I say, we expect him to be good. He's been -- he's on a nice little run right now. It's a must-win game so we need him to be good. But we're in good shape, we feel pretty good coming off yesterday's game. We'll see what happens today.

Q. If R.A. Dickey believes that the humidity and the heat help his knuckleball, does that help him think that it helps his knuckleball?
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, you know, the mind's so important in this game, Richard. You know that. If he's feeling good and he believes that, it makes perfect sense. I don't know if I can get into physics, I have a hard enough time with this. Maybe the humidity, the heavier air, I don't know. We'll see.

Q. Gibby, how do you expect the elements to come into play today on a very hot day with the shadows in the middle of the afternoon and everything like that?
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, I'm not sure with the shadows, what they'll be like. That's never easy, never easy for hitters, you know, if they're out there right in the beginning of the game, it's got to be tougher to catch a knuckleball, I would think. That's the way it goes. As far as the heat, these guys like to sweat, they like that in baseball, so they probably enjoy that.

Q. John, a lot of armchair managers, coaches, whatever you want to call them, kind of were looking at maybe Price in Game 4 and Stroman in Game 5. Can you just talk about your confidence? It seems to never waiver in going with Dickey in Game 4?
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, we do, we have a lot of confidence in R.A. It was even talked maybe pitch him in the second game back in Toronto and a lot of that had to do, of course, with the dome and things like that. He's been on a nice little roll. We do have David. David hasn't thrown much in his career on three days rest either, and the fact that we got him up last night, I can't say that played a big part in it, but we worked him a little bit. But he's available for a few innings, or if he ends up in the game we'll let him run as long as he can. But Dickey's another guy, too. You can't really bring him out of the bullpen. If we were throwing Average Joe out there, it definitely would be different but we feel good about Dickey and we'll see. And we'll have some guys waiting in the wings early if we need it. Love those armchair quarterbacks.

Q. John, do you get the feeling just from yesterday's game that the big four in the middle of your order are kind of on the verge of really breaking out? We've seen some really good swings, some balls hit to the track, do you sense that this could be the game where you finally see that big inning put up by your team?
JOHN GIBBONS: We hope so. You've been watching what we've been doing all year, we've done that a lot. I thought we had a great game yesterday and they turned a couple nice double plays to shut those down. I thought we had some good at-bats, we hit a lot of balls hard, good approach, we made Martin work pretty good. Holland can shut you down now if he's on, so we've got to make sure we make him throw it over the plate. If you start chasing it on him, he can overpower you, that's for sure. Yeah, I feel good. These guys feel good. That was a big win for us last night to get that one out of the way, keep us alive, and so we feel good today.

Q. John, you said after Game 1 that you thought maybe David Price was revved up a little too much in the first inning. When somebody's taking on an unfamiliar role like a reliever and the adrenaline's probably going to be going, can you sort of un-rev that person? Is it a concern that they might try and do too much?
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, I think it's human nature, you know. The players, they work all year to get to this point. The magnitude of it, everybody's trying to win the World Series. Human nature says you get excited about something and baseball's kind of the really the one sport that that can work against you so you really have to fight through it. Normally if it's a pitcher, after a couple hitters they settle in, like okay, this is still baseball. Hitters, really the same thing. You know, they get a big hit or something, gets that out of the way. But I think just being humans, that's kind of the way it is, that they get really, it's excitement. Sometimes that can work against you in baseball.

Q. I asked you about vibe in the clubhouse yesterday. And you said they're feeling pretty good in there today. Can you elaborate on that, what's it like in there day after the win last night?
JOHN GIBBONS: Really from what I'm hearing from my office it's like it's been like every game of the year if you look back on it. It's a fun-loving bunch, they enjoy being around each other, which doesn't always happen. It really feels like a normal day in a 162 game season, so that's a good sign. They feel good, we had to have that win last night, we got it. Now we need this one today, let's see if we can get that one.

Q. Gibb, the splits, righties, lefties for Sanchez are pretty pronounced but he's had stretches where it seems to not matter whether he's facing righties or lefties, and seems he's on one of those current rolls now. When he's on, why is he able to get lefties as well as righties?
JOHN GIBBONS: He's had a very good series. He's really locked in right now. He's still primarily a one-pitch guy. I think where he has -- when he can run that two-seam fastball, he runs it in on the left and brings it back to the plate. It will buckle you a little bit, especially as hard as he's throwing. I think that's a big pitch for him, instead of just having to sit out over the plate, and really they can lock in in that one zone. So moving the ball around, I think, helps. And throwing strikes. When he's getting ahead, everything swings in his favor. Fall behind, as hard as it is to still hit him, they can really lock in on one thing.

Q. Russ has caught R.A. a whole bunch of times, but R.A.'s worn him out over the course of the season and this is the biggest game obviously with the stakes, with the heat and with the knuckleball. Is this going to be an incredibly tough day on Russ Martin?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, it's too late to activate Thole, so we have no choice. No, Russ has caught him basically all year and really done a great job with the first go-round. I don't even sit back there looking, it just happens naturally for him now. You don't look and say uh-oh, a guy on third base, two outs. A few starts under his belt beginning of the season kind of eliminated all that. Yeah, Russ has handled him like a champ. That doesn't even cross my mind. It's not an easy day, though, never is.

Q. If the Rangers had escaped that inning after the double play without allowing a run, how would that have changed the attitude in the dugout? And does that make Tulowitzki's home run even bigger?
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, no doubt, it gave us some breathing room. We've been saying all long, even yesterday primarily, our offense is really what makes us go and we were in position, we had some big scoring opportunities and they turned a couple nice double plays. Yeah, if we don't get that big hit there we're still looking at a 2-0 game. You feel good about that. Yeah, I think that kind of let us breathe a little bit. It was frustrating at that point because we loaded the bases, we had guys on base all night, they weren't easy plays, they made some tough plays, turned them into some double plays. So you kind of go, you think maybe it's not meant to be, you know. But we broke through Tulo, the guy who's really been struggling, especially after the injury, stepped up big for us, like he's done most of his career for the Rockies.

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