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October 7, 2016

John Gibbons

Arlington, Texas - Pregame two

THE MODERATOR: We'll get started with John Gibbons.

Q. It's been a pretty demanding week for your club -- the games you had to win in Boston and the game you had a win yesterday. Do you have to do anything to make sure that your club isn't mentally worn out as much as physically?
JOHN GIBBONS: I think the fact we went through it last year, it prepares you a little bit for that. Naturally everybody plays this game this time of year they're beat up, physically and mentally. And there's extra adrenaline, no doubt, in these games and things like that. But you've got to will yourself too, and you've really got to gut it out. But everybody seems to find that little extra adrenalin this time of year but no doubt it beats you up.

Q. Following that up, how important was yesterday to guys like Osuna in the bullpen to get that extra day of rest and maybe build up for today?
JOHN GIBBONS: This time of year, really for bullpen guys, anytime during the year you can give them some rest that usually does wonders, but especially this time of year. In his case, it was vital. We weren't going to use him yesterday regardless. So but he should be good to go today. But he's not the only one down there that could use that. So games like that definitely help.

Q. Once again further to Gerry's question, can that not be an advantage coming out of all these tough games all at once and coming into a series like this?
JOHN GIBBONS: You never know. You hope so. We played a real good ballgame yesterday -- swung the bats and got the great outing by Marco. But today's a new day. You don't know what's going to happen.

But I mean I've talked to some people that have been through the Wild Card, and some people say, well, you have an advantage because you're up against a wall the whole time. You've got to wait until the end to see if that's accurate or not.

But this time of year I think everybody always says, too, it's kind of a crap shoot. Somebody gets hot at the right time. No telling what might happen, because there's so many good teams and that kind of thing.

Q. The Wild Card teams have done very, very well in the Postseason the last 12, 14 years. Is that because you guys keep your rhythm because you're playing more often and, like, say the Cubs or somebody has several days off between the season?
JOHN GIBBONS: I have no idea. First time I've experienced it. We played that one game, really the two games since we got into the Wild Card thing. So it's too early to tell.

Over time, I'm sure the experts will come up with a little better answer than I could right now. Because still way, way too early.

Q. You guys haven't seen Yu Darvish in a while. What do you think is a good approach to take against a guy who throws so many pitches?
JOHN GIBBONS: He's tough. He's one of the better pitchers in baseball, no doubt about it. The Japanese pitchers we've come across, I was telling the guys in there, we see Tanaka a lot. We've seen Iwakuma a few times. I think what makes those guys so tough, not only do they have good arms, but they're pitchers, they'll throw anything at any time. They don't give in because they can throw anything when they want to. And really that's what makes them some of the better pitchers in baseball.

As far as approach, you really -- generally what happens with everybody, if you get a mistake or two you would be wise to do something with that because you know you're not going to get that many of them, really. That's why those guys separate themselves, some of the better pitchers. Less mistakes, you know.

Q. Looking at the numbers for the last two years of the playoffs, Bautista is third all-time in Postseason OPS, like 50 plate appearances. Only Ruth and Gehrig have been better. For guys with 30 innings or more in the playoffs, Estrada is right behind Sandy Koufax in WHIP in the top eight ever. How impressive is that to you, and what does it say about those guys other than they've only had a few, couple of Postseason years, but what does it say to you about them?
JOHN GIBBONS: I didn't realize that. Since I've been with those guys, I've known they've been very, very good at this time of year. But really I think both of them very little experience doing it, too.

With Jose, that doesn't really surprise me, because my few years with him, he always seems to be that guy. He likes being under the gun. He likes being the guy, and he has that knack for stepping up at the right time.

We've seen him do it over and over. Coming into last year, which was his first Postseason, too, he was one of the elite players in the game, one of the top home run hitters in the OPS, all that stuff.

I mean, generally that's what he does. As far as Marco, you know, I think of us, if they're honest with you, we thought Marco was going to be this good when we traded for him, because it was a chance, too, he was going to be a bullpen guy for us going into last year, and could have remained that, as a swing starter, that kind of guy.

But then he took over once he got in the rotation, and he's been -- it amazes me how easy he can do some things. Tremendous year last year from the beginning to the end.

This year really picked up where he left off. He had the back issues for a while, but he made the All-Star team and he hit his stride here lately, too.

But he was kind of one of those guys, he didn't have the name that Jose had. He hadn't been doing it for years. But from his end, he's a pitcher. The other guy is a hitter. From his end equally as effective.

Q. Marco was certainly meriting it but you pushed him in kind of the eighth or ninth yesterday. Your general approach to starters in the Postseason, do you want them to extend as much as possible, or how do you kind of assess when you want to go to your bullpen?
JOHN GIBBONS: I look at yesterday, he was doing it pretty easy. We had a nice lead. The way he was throwing, even in a closer game, he's not coming out of that one.

I figure we got to the ninth inning. We had a big lead. You don't want to get carried away. You want to give him a shot at a shutout. When he lost that I took him out because hopefully he's going to make some more starts for us.

But we haven't had a complete game all year. I know he wanted one. I know the guys on the team wanted him to get one. It's kind of shocking that as good as we pitched this year we don't have a complete game.

That was in the back of my mind, a small part of it, but I wanted to see if he got the shutout I would let him run with it because he hadn't thrown too too many pitches. Once he gave it up, I figured that's enough.

Q. You said that Bautista likes being embraced as being the villain. Has he always been that since you've known him? Or is that something that he's grown to embrace more?
JOHN GIBBONS: I don't know. He takes a lot of heat around baseball. That's pretty obvious. But a lot of it -- a lot of that, too, is because he's so good. He's been one of the top players in the game the last five, six years, I don't know how long it's been. A lot of times generally those kind of guys, because a lot of guys want to be those guys, that's just the way it is. But he's never shied away from the heat, the controversy, things like that.

And he knows he's good and he is good. So under pressure, under controversy and heat, some guys wilt from that. He's not one of those guys.


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