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October 9, 2016

Jeff Banister

Toronto, Ontario - Postgame three, Canada


THE MODERATOR: Questions for Jeff Banister.

Q. How shocked to see your season end like this?
JEFF BANISTER: That's obviously -- I think that question goes without saying, especially when you enter -- it's my belief, our belief, that anytime that you enter Spring Training, it's one mission and that's to win and play for an opportunity to win a World Series.

And so that's been our mission all along. Disappointing in a sense that we're not going to continue to play. Uphill battle, down two, down early in this game, but I'm most proud of how our guys continued to battle.

Q. What was Colby's problems getting going?
JEFF BANISTER: Yeah, look, he missed middle, missed middle-down. Seemed like the slider early was not as effective. He was missing with the slider and had to come in with a fastball.

I think the home run early was a missed slider over the middle of the plate. So just a situation where he couldn't get in rhythm and get his pitches going and make the pitches that he needed to.

Q. What was your feeling about pushing Matt Bush into the third inning? And what was your feeling on the last play of the game?
JEFF BANISTER: I'll take the first one. As far as Matt Bush is concerned, we talked about that. He came to me early and said, look, I'm strong, I'm ready to go, my arm feels good. Early in the year we pushed him a little bit into that not quite that high of a pitch count. But situation of how we used the bullpen early, we had to go get Colby and play the matchup game along the way.

And couldn't be more proud of how our bullpen pitched, really, just held those guys down. I think two inherited runs scored -- one was on a passed ball, wild pitch situation.

The last play, got the play we wanted, a double play ball. Good feed to Odor. Just looked like he might have pulled the throw a little bit. Mitch reached down to try to keep it in play, got away from him a little bit and was unable to recover and make a throw to home plate. And a heads-up play by Donaldson who continued to run and he was safe. I wanted to go out and replay it quickly. Didn't want to have a situation that I had watched previously in this month of let's just make sure.

I could tell that Donaldson was safe at the plate but I was a little blocked out at the play at second base and couldn't tell if there was any interference there at all. But wanted to make sure there was none. And hey, if there is, we're still playing.

Q. What was the thing about the Blue Jays that impressed you the most as you played with them?
JEFF BANISTER: Typical Blue Jay ballclub we know. When you make a mistake in the middle play, they can hurt you. And once you did -- look, they played as hard as we did. Two ballclubs that continue to play, show up, play hard. Look, I tip my hat to them. They played a tremendous series. They were ready to play. They swung the bats very well. And, look, the first two games they put runs on our top two starters and made it very challenging for us.

Look, again, I congratulate those guys and their season and they're going to continue to play. We go home. It doesn't feel good for us, doesn't feel good for those players. I'm just as disappointed as anyone in that clubhouse. It's a challenge, because, look, there is -- when you get into these things and you're in a playoff situation, they end so abruptly. And there are no real words that ease the feelings at all. And I'll say this again, I'll tell our guys again, look, you gotta use these types of situations as that burning fire that keeps you going all winter to come back with the motivation to get back to this spot, continue to win. And I believe we will.

I believe in this core group of guys. Look, look at the numbers and how we played all year long, the comeback wins, the one-run wins that's not luck. I'll argue with anybody that wants to say it's luck. It's not luck. It's a case that they continue to play. They're very talented.

We're not perfect. No team is perfect. And so I couldn't be more proud of them.


FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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