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October 6, 2016

John Gibbons

Arlington, Texas - Postgame one


THE MODERATOR: Questions for John Gibbons.

Q. What is it about Marco's makeup that it seems the bigger the game, the better he pitches?
JOHN GIBBONS: You know what, you know, really you look back the playoff games he pitched last year, back against the wall, elimination type games. And he dominated. And then he goes out and does that again today.

I mean, he's very good at -- he's mastered his craft. I mean, he was sticking it today. But he's a very calm guy. I mean, I don't think -- I don't think I've ever seen him get too revved up. He doesn't get down on himself. As well as he's pitched in two years here, really no need.

But I think he's a very confident, relaxed guy, and probably as good as any pitcher I've ever had that in crunch time he gets in those jams, he's Houdini. He can get out of those jams -- he didn't really have any today but I've seen him over the last couple years. He can get out of the jams the best I've ever had.

But a lot of that is belief and he doesn't get rattled.

Q. You've said good things happen when your team hits home runs. But did you see an outcome of the game like today?
JOHN GIBBONS: Usually things happen good to all teams that hit home runs, to be honest with you. Now what was the --

Q. Despite that did it surprise you, the outcome?
JOHN GIBBONS: In reality, we were due to break out. You know I thought we worked Cole really tough because he's one of the elite pitchers in the game. That third inning we made him work and got a couple of big, big hits -- you know, Tulo's double to give us breathing room right out of the gate.

But that's one thing we do even if we're struggling with at-bats. We make starters work. We may not always tack on a bunch of runs, but five innings they've all worked normally pretty tough. But, yeah, we're capable of that. Just like they're capable on the other side. Those things flip in a hurry.

But it was kind of nice. Can't say we necessarily relaxed, but it was kind of nice to have a game where you will have a little breathing room, because we haven't had too many of those lately.

Q. You guys haven't had a complete game all year. I don't think Marco ever had one. Was it tough to take him out there in the ninth?
JOHN GIBBONS: I think it's pretty cool in the playoff game if you can throw a complete-game shutout. Once he gave that up the whole idea was, hey, you're going to pitch again, we hope. And then so you've got to save some things, it's late in the year. These guys have all thrown a lot.

He definitely wanted to stay in, and it's kind of odd we haven't had a complete game. But once he gave that up I thought, you know what -- and it gets Tepera a chance to be in a playoff game, too, hopefully it can benefit him. We need him again.

Q. How nicely does it set up for you that you really didn't have to use your 1 or 2 starter today and you win the game and get that kind of performance, and then now move into the next couple of days?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, it's debatable whether Marco fits in that group or not. You look at what he's accomplished here. But we feel good about any of those guys we throw out there on any given day.

I think the big part was we didn't have to use any of the bullpen. We had Cecil and Biagini up there as we were going in the seventh in case things started unraveling quick. They can strike back quick, but Osuna and Grilli, those guys, was also the big, big thing.

Q. You mentioned how calm Estrada is. Do you think -- how key is that for him staying calm and his demeanor when you guys kind of go out with a five-run lead early on and can take the crowd out of it?
JOHN GIBBONS: That's big for any team. Because it's tough to play on the road. One thing, I think, I mentioned earlier helps pitchers, especially maybe in the first game, first rounds, what have you, when everybody's revved up, guys that have good change-ups can be very effective because I think the tendency is guys maybe being a little overaggressive facing them. I think that might have been a factor, too. But anytime you can get a little lead it can do wonders for you then you don't have to live and die with every pitch you make.

And it makes it easier on the managers strategizing, that's for sure.


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