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October 9, 2016

Jeff Banister

Toronto, Ontario - Pregame three, Canada

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jeff Banister.

Q. You mentioned yesterday it's all hands on board, I think that's how you phrased it, for tonight. In that context would you maybe willing maybe to stretch relievers, to stretch some of your guys if the situation called for it?
JEFF BANISTER: Absolutely. It's a win-or-go-home situation. So obviously you want to give Colby an opportunity. However, if the situation presents itself, if it's necessary, we'll make a move and we'll -- I think we have all of our relievers in place, ready to go.

Q. Baseball season is so long and yet these Division Series are pretty quick. How do you kind of approach it, knowing that this six months work could be done in four days?
JEFF BANISTER: I don't plan on being done, though, so that's how I approach it. Look, I approach it the same way as we do from the very beginning. Extremely workmanlike, disciplined, with great preparation, enthusiasm and trust in a group of guys that have gone out and laid it all out on the line every single day for 162.

Q. These two teams were in a unique situation coming into this series, because of all of our outside drama that had taken place in the prior meetings. Is it pretty much expected that we just played baseball for two games and all the drama was the pre-series talk and didn't continue?
JEFF BANISTER: Well, I think all the drama obviously was on the periphery, not inside the two locker rooms or the two dugouts. So we're here to play the game of baseball. Look, there are things that happen in the course of a season and different series that -- and it's a long year and things do happen.

I don't know that it's always the carry-over effect. I mean, these two teams have played too hard, battled too long and exerted way too much energy to worry about that kind of stuff.

Q. Baseball's known for not having momentum. But if one team has won five playoff games in a row over the other team, do you think they would feel like they have something going on?
JEFF BANISTER: I mean, you'd have to ask them that question, if they feel like they have momentum. Obviously the momentum is, every run that you score more than your opponent gives you momentum, I believe. That's how baseball is played. That's kind of how it plays out. You see it in an inning when one run scores and all of a sudden there's multiple runs scored in those type of situations, and the feel-good that carries over to the next day, that's real.

Just as the same as on the other side of that, that you fight to be the team to jump out first and score first and try to create your own momentum.

Q. Can you speak to Colby Lewis and how much he's been through with battling through injuries, and here he is starting in the ALDS?
JEFF BANISTER: Yeah, look, this is an incredible human being who has competed for such a long time through so many different adverse situations. Dating all the way back to high school when Tommy John surgery and shoulder surgery, hip replacement, knees. I mean, multiple situations throughout his career that he's had to fight through and overcome, that might have sent a lot of guys to the house who didn't want to endure or try to overcome.

And I think this is also a guy that has -- I don't want to say reinvented himself. He didn't reinvent himself. He reconditioned himself to be able to pitch with what is normal for him each and every time that he goes out.

Very sharp individual, a feel for the baseball, very adept at making adjustments in game. But also just, I believe in grit. I believe in resilience. He has built as much of that as any one single player in the game today, I believe. And for him to be able to fight back and come back to be in this position to pitch for us today, in this type of situation, given his history in the playoffs, I feel pretty good about it.

Q. In previous conversation you referenced a number of home runs that have been hit in this series, six by Toronto and none by you guys. You go back to these five games I think it's 12-1, is there a bigger -- is there any bigger value on home runs in the playoffs than there is during the regular season?
JEFF BANISTER: I think there's value in home runs every time they're hit. It's instant offense. That's the deal with home runs. Everybody knows that.

It goes out of the ballpark and you clear the deck, it sets an offense. And that's the extreme value of it.

Now, if you don't hit them, you've got to be able to score in other ways. And if you go back and look at those, evaluate those games, we've had opportunities where we didn't get the hit to push the runs across, which is very similar to how we play all year long.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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