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October 13, 2015

Chris Gimenez

Toronto, Ontario - Workout Day

MODERATOR: Questions for Chris?

Q. Chris, obviously you've been back there quite a bit with Cole. What have you seen in him this year and what gives you confidence going into a game that you guys have to win to have another round?
CHRIS GIMENEZ: Yeah, I think first and foremost, the fact that he's been there and done that multiple times, we have a World Series MVP on the mound for us next game, and I just knowing the fact that he's been there and he was made and brought in here for those types of situations, I think it really gives us all the confidence in the world. And who else would you rather have on the mound when you have to win a game than your ace? The fact that he's been there, like I said -- I hate being repetitive over it, but the fact that he has been there before is really I think the biggest confidence boost.

Q. Chris, in a short series, not you specifically, but if you're struggling at the plate, how do you get out of that and not let that become a problem, when you're desperately trying to snap out of it?
CHRIS GIMENEZ: Absolutely. I think everybody's -- obviously the pressure is what it is. You know, I mean, it being the playoffs and kind of win-or-go-home, obviously the scenario we are in right now, but I think you just have to continue to grind it out and trust the fact that -- trust your hands, trust your approach, you have to just continue to grind, grind those at-bats out. And I think, too, one of the biggest keys is not trying to do too much. Everybody wants to be the hero, especially in the playoffs but we don't necessarily need that from anybody. We just need everybody to play their part and we'll see where it goes from there.

Q. What do you think allows you and Cole to kind of connect so quickly?
CHRIS GIMENEZ: God, I wish I knew, I would be a genius, I guess. I think just having a chance to talk to him, I think was a big part of it. I know for me, I try -- aside from the pitching aspect of it, I try to understand those guys' personally on a personal level just because I'm a big believer in knowing a guy at a personal level. You'll know what type of pitcher he's going to be on the mound and you'll know how you can get in there or if you can go out there and yell at him or sometimes you have to go out there and pat a guy on the back and take that approach to it. I think I found out very early on that although he's very mild-tempered in the clubhouse and batting practice and stuff like that, he's very, very competitive and he wants to throw nine innings every single game. And when he doesn't, he's upset at himself, like he let himself and the team down. I tell him all the time, listen, man, we've got a pretty good bullpen, so if you could just give us six or seven, that's plenty good. Really I think it's just having a chance to get to know him as much as possible. Just talking to him and not being afraid, I've got a tendency to talk, maybe, a little too much but not being afraid to ask him questions and try to get in there and figure some stuff out because to me that was the quickest way of learning what type of pitcher he is going to become. He was already, but what he was going to do for us and how I was able to use my skill set to help him out.

Q. Seems like the first couple games you guys relied on Rougned and Hanser. Game 5, how much do you have to rely now on the veterans and the MVPs, like you mentioned versus the people that really haven't been there before?
CHRIS GIMENEZ: I think really we've got to rely on everybody. You know, the first two wins we had in the series, I think it was a lot of the guys that were unexpected that had the great at-bats and put us in the position to be successful and win those games. You know, if we can combine that with our veteran-type guys, if we can just continue to grind out those at-bats and really we're going into a pretty hostile place, Toronto, they do it right. I mean, they've been after this for a long time. For 20 something years, they haven't had a playoff team in the playoffs. And I think to me, too, that's what it's all about. It's going into places like that and kind of hushing the crowd hopefully. Really, I think the experience with those younger guys in those earlier games are going to benefit us a ton here in Game 5.

Q. Chris, when you say that to Cole, hey, we've got a pretty good bullpen, how does he react and does he get surly and nasty on the mound? How does that manifest itself given his competitiveness?
CHRIS GIMENEZ: Yeah, he gets very upset at himself, I think, more than anything because a lot of times he gets beat or gives up a couple of hits. It's just on missed executed pitches. Not the fact that the pitch wasn't the right call or anything like that. It's just we weren't able to execute with the location that we wanted. He does get very intense, and he does get upset at himself. And he also does a really good job of calming himself down. And I kind of figured out, too, when I can and can't go out there. I don't want to go out there every time he gives up a hit, that's a little absurd really, but I kind of figured out, I felt like when I can go out there and just calm him down and just give him a break, you know, a mental break for a few seconds, I might say something off the wall that just makes him stop thinking about it. But I think that, too, is what makes him so good, is his ability to flush it out the door and immediately get back on the mound and go back to competing because, like I said, I think his experiences in the past have helped out him being able to snap out of it real quick. And as a pitcher you have to have a short memory unfortunately, especially our bullpen. But to get to that part of the question, I think he laughs about it, but he doesn't ever want to have to rely on the bullpen, he wants to do it himself. And I think that's really the sign of a true ace is somebody who wants to go out there and wants the ball every five days, especially in a situation like this that we're in now. I think what we saw from him when Anaheim was here at the end of the season, we were able to clinch was hopefully what we're going to see come tomorrow.

Q. Before I ask you the question I was really going to ask you, what kind of off the wall thing would you say? Give us an example of that.
CHRIS GIMENEZ: Well, something I may say on here, I may not. Just kidding. Sometimes I've walked out to him and I've talked about his hair because obviously I don't have any and he's got pretty good hair. So I'll talk about the wind's kind of fluttering his hair. I would be like, dude, your hair looks solid right now. It's the off-the-wall stuff like that that kind of snaps him out of it real quick. I found that that seems to be pretty productive when you need to get in there and calm -- not that he needs to be calmed down a lot of times but some guys you need to get in there and calm them down and just take their mind off the situation at hand. Something like, hey, what kind of pizza do you like, or did you see this movie? Just dumb things, really.

Q. More serious, you guys have a guy who's been there. You're facing the young kid that's got the very electric arm, saw him last week, he's only had a few starts this year. Just talk about him.
CHRIS GIMENEZ: I think first and foremost, we've got to be able to slow him down. He loves to work quick. He's very exuberant on the mound with his emotions, and that's a good thing, don't get me wrong. But for us to be successful, we've really got to stick to our game plan, which is bringing him up in the zone, slowing him down and getting him in the middle of the plate. Last game we got to him a little bit earlier and then he kind of settled down and really started to go to work. He's got a phenomenal sinker, not a bad slider-curveball combo and he went to work on us with that. I think, too, if we can get to him early in this type of situation and it's going to put some pressure on them. And I think the road team has won every game so far in this series, so I kind of hope that that trend continues. But also have to get on the board first; not having to play from behind is also going to be a big plus. If we can continue to do that, I think, just given the severity of the situation, I think all the pressure we can keep on them, the better.

Q. What does it mean to have Beltre back in your lineup, not only for his bat but maybe as a source of inspiration?
CHRIS GIMENEZ: I think I was saying this yesterday, even though he's not a hundred percent, Adrian Beltre at 50 percent is better than most people's one hundred percent. The fact that he is back, that 50 percent or 60 or maybe even 20, I'm not a hundred percent on that. That's a lot of percentages there. But yeah, I think really having him back in this lineup does wonders for us. It just shows what an unbelievable professional he is that he can come out yesterday, get two hits and manage to even walk around on the field, I think, because I've seen the way he's been in the clubhouse the last few days and that's not our typical Adrian that we all know and love. But the fact that we do have him back in the middle of our lineup is a big piece because now you have the game plan for him as well. And like I said, even just 50 percent is better than a lot of guys' a hundred. And the fact that he is in there between Prince and Choo is a big, big part of that. He's been obviously such a big part of this team and this organization for the last few years that to not have a guy like that in the lineup, it hurts. But at the same point it also gave Hanser an opportunity to come up and be a hero, and he filled in admirably for some shoes that are pretty darn big to have to step in and fill. But really having him back in the lineup is a big relief, I think on all of our parts. I know I'm sure Manny and JD feel the same way on that. But really just having his leadership out there is the key to it.

Q. Beltre said after that loss that he thought he doesn't need to go home yet?
CHRIS GIMENEZ: Not at all.

Q. Can you kind of touch on that?
CHRIS GIMENEZ: Nobody in that locker room at any point wants to go home right now. I hate to say it but I kind of feel like we potentially play a little bit better with our backs against the wall based on basically the last month and a half, it's pretty much we've had to win every series or, you know, I mean five, six seven games in a row to even get in the position we are right now, and nobody wants to go home, nobody wants this thing to end. We do feel like there is something special in this clubhouse and with this team and this group of guys that they've put together for us and really it's just up to us to go out there and accomplish it now. We have nobody to blame but us if we don't finish the deal off. It's just, you know, I know for me personally I definitely don't want the off-season to start. The off-season, that's great, lot of fun, spend time with your family but all that can wait. We have bigger things on our minds.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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