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October 9, 2016

John Gibbons

Toronto, Ontario - Postgame three, Canada


THE MODERATOR: Questions for John Gibbons.

Q. You talked the other night about the difference that Josh and Russ made to this clubhouse when they arrived. They were both involved in that game-winning play. What is it about what they do that has made the difference for you guys?
JOHN GIBBONS: First, I want to start off and congratulate the Rangers. It was a heck of a series. Both teams were worthy of it. They played a great brand of baseball. Best record in the American League. It's not easy to do. And once you get in the playoffs, it's a coin toss.

And you gotta get some breaks. We turned this month over, we got really hot and we played great baseball.

But at this point tip your hat to those guys. They played -- they're a great team.

Well, you know, I've said many times, I think Josh and Russ were the first two newcomers here of the group that's in there. For one thing they brought some toughness to us. The previous couple of years I didn't think we had enough of that. And it's kind of the reputation. I'd seen Josh from afar, playing in Oakland. Knew what he was about.

And don't get me wrong don't miss conceive anything, but that's just his style of baseball. We got him. It rubbed off on our guys. And I'd seen Russ a little bit, but his reputation is the same way, a hard-nosed guy. And Russ is the backbone of this team. And of course we added some similar type players. Trade deadline and the ones that are still here, Tulowitzki, the same type of guy.

They made a big difference, because you can have a ton of talent, but if you don't have some toughness, some gamers and some guys that are really motivated every day to win, you know, you come up empty.

Q. I know around this time of year everybody's banged up, but just going back to Josh, how hard has it been on him with the injuries, but just seeing what he's doing, the defense, how aggressive he is running the bases?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, I mean, he's banged up. He plays every day. But there's a few of them out there as well. He's mentioned to me a couple of times the last couple of years late in the season I'm riding him into the ground.

When you're an MVP-caliber player you're supposed to be out there, right? That's a joke. But he makes things happen. You look at that game -- you know, Matt Bush was dealing. What a job he did. And Josh comes up with the -- not trying to hit a home run, just took that great swing, the double in the gap to set that all up.

But for a guy that's really a true slugger, I mean, he uses the whole field. He's a smart player. He'll take a single when that's more valuable than sitting there and trying to yank everything.

So that's really -- but those two guys, the first guys here that you have seen in that group out there that kind of changed the culture a little bit.

Q. What was your take on the whole game? Texas refused to go away and each time or three of the four times they put runs on the board, your team answered.
JOHN GIBBONS: I thought it was a battle for Sanchy. As good as he's been this year, they were tough on him down in Texas earlier in the season.

You know, they arguably have the best lineup, best team in baseball, you look at what they've done. The American League is loaded. But they were right there at the top.

And so but it was a battle. I mean, they've got such a good team, you knew they weren't going to go down without fighting, that's for sure. They scored and it was key I think when we bounced back got on the board and was back and forth.

It really came down to the end. Both teams pretty much used up their bullpen trying to win that thing. From our point of view, that's really a big win, because we used Osuna for two innings and a good chance he couldn't pitch tomorrow. We were rolling the dice there and you've got to get some breaks in this game, too.

You know, that game-ending play, that's not a normal Big League type of ending to a game. You see it occasionally because good base running is involved, guys busting it, what have you, you put pressure on guys.

But that's kind of rare. But a lot of times when things are going your way that's the kind of things that happens.

Q. How do you feel moving on in the second year in a row? These three games looked like every strength of your team was sort of on display at different times?
JOHN GIBBONS: What we do -- we get criticized a lot for it, is we're very -- we rely upon that home run ball. You know what, whether you like it or not that's the kind of players we have.

And when we run into a little drought you come up empty a lot of nights, low-scoring games, that kind of thing. Really it was a tough September. We battled.

We really picked it up at the end just to get in. And since the month has turned over to October, it kind of looks like the old team. But pitching's held up very good all year. And we're leaning heavy on that bullpen.

That's why, you don't win this tonight you're not feeling too good tomorrow, because we are banged up. Now you get a few days off to catch your breath a little bit, which is really, really big for our group, I think. But you know, we are who we are. We have to slug it out. That's really our identity.

It's not a lot you can do about it. And when that's off, it's off, you know.

Q. How do you feel about moving on the second year?
JOHN GIBBONS: What a great thrill. We had that big series with Texas last year, down, came back and won that. A new experience for a lot of us, myself and a lot of guys on the team, except maybe three or four of them. So that was very gratifying.

We liked our team coming in. But like I said, it was a battle getting in. Now that we're in we're enjoying it a little more.

I sensed this whole series more of a calmness, confidence than I felt last year with everybody.

And that's experience and the belief that they can do something. But who knows who the opponent is, but I think it's huge we get a few days off anyway. And we matched up good against Boston. We match up good -- we've had some barn-burners against Cleveland. So we'll wait and see what happens.

Q. With the six wins in a row, is it better to kind of keep going? Or you mentioned a little bit about having the four days off. Is that going to help guys like Travis, Liriano and even Benoit?
JOHN GIBBONS: I don't think it will do much more Benoit at this moment, but everyone else needs it. Primarily our pitching staff with those bullpen guys.

I have confidence in them all, but these last few weeks have been leaning on guys, you know what they can do. And they're pretty gassed right now. That's why I'm glad the game ended when it did. If it keeps going, no telling.

But from that end of it, I think we desperately need a couple of days off. From the momentum type thing, you'd like to keep playing, but I think the time off will be a little more valuable to us.

Q. We heard Travis was available potentially. Was there a point in the game late in the game when it was close that it was an option for you to consider bringing him in?
JOHN GIBBONS: He was available in an emergency type situation. You know, somebody goes down, that kind of thing. Otherwise we're just going to let it ride. But hopefully these few days will help him out, too.


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