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October 19, 2015

John Gibbons

Toronto, Ontario - Pregame three

Q. This isn't quite an elimination game, but would you handle it any differently than a game where maybe you were 1-1 or something like that?
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, it's not an elimination game, but they win it, your back's really against the wall. It's important to win. We'll approach it like that.

But to be honest, I feel good coming home here. The guys have a good frame of mind, I think, so we'll see what happens.

Q. With this Royals team how important is it to get into the late innings and how important are the late innings, given their ability to string together runs in the 7th, 8th, 9th and the way their bullpen kind of shuts you down?
JOHN GIBBONS: I think after everybody saw what they did last year, and even coming into this year, you approach it, yeah, we got to have the lead before you get to the bullpen, because basically the toughest bullpen in baseball. We had that the other day, just didn't work out.

But they do, they battle you. They have some complete hitters. That's the kind of game they play. They'll use the whole field, they'll battle you, they try to stay away from the strikeouts as much as possible. They can run you out of the ballpark, too, at times, when they get that opportunity, if the matchup is right for them, too. It's a good ballclub.

For us, personally, we need to score anyway. That's kind of who we are. So hopefully we can get to Cueto a little bit tonight. He's good, he's coming off a really good start, too, their clinching game. We don't anticipate it being real easy.

Q. Speaking of Cueto, his delivery obviously kind of unique. What are you guys doing? You don't see him a whole lot, what are you doing to prepare to face him?
JOHN GIBBONS: Really, we haven't seen him a lot. We saw him after the trade here at home and he was pretty good. He's got a great arm, we know that. He was like David Price was, he's one of the two probably most sought after guys after the trade deadline. They got him and we got David.

If he's on he can overpower you. They've seen him enough, a lot of them. They have all their videos, they know really what he's throwing. It really comes down to you hope he's off a little bit and makes a mistake, and if he does, you do something with it. If he gets ahead of you and he's on, he can strike you out, that kind of thing.

He's got to be feeling pretty good, too, coming off his last start. I don't think there's really any secrets or magic bullets way to approach him, just be willing to use the whole field. The good ones when they're on, they don't give up a lot of home runs. So take your hits the other way, too, if that's what's available, anyway. But we'll battle, I know that.

Q. Can you put Donaldson's season into perspective and what it means to have an MVP guy on your side in a game like this?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, without him, you know, we may not be in this spot. That's probably an accurate statement, I would think.

Yeah, he just had a tremendous year, really, he and Russell kind of changed the mentality a little bit of the team, once we acquired him, at least in Spring Training when it started. I think he brought some toughness to us.

And then the most important thing he brought the huge year offensively, and he played great defense, too. It made us that much better because of that.

It's a comforting feeling knowing that he's there. Doesn't mean that he's going to get a hit every time, nobody does, or get a big home run, the game is not that easy, but he can strike at any time. And he's done that many times for us this year when we needed some.

Q. How much have you followed what guys like D'Arnaud and Syndergaard, guys who were acquired, what they've been doing for the Mets? And on top of that, what is your thoughts on Dickey's style versus this lineup?
JOHN GIBBONS: Why would I follow those guys? To be honest, I didn't follow any of them. I watch the games, and I know how good they are. Mets are feeling good with him.

As far as R.A., who's done a tremendous job for us since we acquired him. One thing, doesn't matter who he's facing when he's on, he's going to be tough. You don't see knuckle ballers, you know. And it can throw you out of whack.

So hopefully win tonight, bring him out there tomorrow, maybe throw a little wrench into what -- it does change your approach, it's shown in the past that guys that follow him the next day there can be a little lull on the other side, too. So no guarantees, but we've seen a little bit of that. So, yeah, he might be the perfect guy to follow up with Stro tonight.

Q. How do you talk to the pitchers, one of the keys for the Royals in this series, the last series, too, is in the rallies, it seems like it would be very frustrating for pitchers to make the good pitch and not get good results out of it? What can you say to allow them not to get frustrated in that setting?
JOHN GIBBONS: You know, I don't -- in the Big Leagues they have a bunch of guys that have that approach. In the Big Leagues you face different players on different teams. A lot of them do it that way. Probably not as many as they have on one team.

So they're contact guys, but you can use that to your favor, you can roll a ground ball or double play and get a couple quick outs.

You know they're going to battle you. You're probably not going to get a lot of the easy, cheap strikeouts. I don't think there's anything you can say to them. It really comes down to executing your pitch.

Good contact hitters, they're going to flare some balls in, just because they made contact. You've got to live with it. That's part of the game. Really, regardless of who you're facing, if the pitcher executes they really have the advantage.

Q. On Dickey, have you had a conversation with him since the last game to smooth some ruffled feathers, if that was necessary, or maybe you don't think it's necessary?
JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, to be honest, you know, I don't know if it was necessary. I don't think I ruined his career, to be honest with you. I don't think that he was overly sensitive about it. Maybe I'm wrong.

We've talked briefly. There's been so much going on, I haven't had a chance to sit down. But he knows I'm on his side. He may not have understood the move. A lot of people may not have. But the whole idea was Price is coming in, regardless, because he's up. He's going to be in the next inning, regardless, why take a chance to let something develop, that's all it came down to.

I don't sense any problem. Really, it's about the team winning, it's not about the individual, really. That's the key to championship.

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