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October 18, 2016

John Gibbons

Toronto, Ontario - Pregame 4, Canada

Q. You made some minor tweaks to your lineup today. Can you talk about the reason why?
JOHN GIBBONS: Really just flipped Carrera and Pillar down at the bottom. Get a couple of lefties back-to-back. Yeah.

Q. Is today an all hands on deck in the bullpen, any of your starters back? Obviously Estrada has pitched.
JOHN GIBBONS: We have Liriano waiting down there. We expect Sanchez to be good, then we'll go accordingly. It's a big game, I would say.

Q. Do you say anything special to the team on a day like this, a do or die day like this?
JOHN GIBBONS: No, I haven't said anything. I really don't think there's a need to. They all understand what we're up against.

Q. A lot of guys throw sinkers. What stands out about Sanchez's sinker, what makes his distinctive?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, he throws it so hard. And one thing, he's always had a great arm. But really, I think what's helped him turn the corner is he's learned how to control that, command that in the strike zone. And a lot of times young kids do have the big strong arms. It's tough to harness it. It takes a while to get that. Actually when you throw that hard it's not an easy thing to do to keep it in the strike zone and locate it. That's what he's learned to do. It really came on really quick for him.

If there's one area he struggled last year in the starting role, he could lose the zone, he walked a few guys, and that's what did him in a lot. This year it was the complete opposite. From day one of Spring Training, it just all came together for him. He's got a nice curveball. It's a big one. Sometimes that can be tough to command a little bit. And then he's got a change-up, he doesn't lose that often, but he'll break that out every now and then, and eventually it will get better and better and it's going to make him that much tougher.

If his curveball is on and he's sticking his fastball pretty good, he's awfully tough. Look at what he's done this year, really probably been as consistent as anybody in baseball over the long haul.

Q. What have you seen in terms of Andrew Miller from when he first got to the Majors to now?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, what jumps out to me, a lot like Sanchez, keeping it in the zone. And he's not a comfortable at-bat by any means. He throws that big slider that could hit you in the shoe tops or it might hit the outside corner of the plate. He throws it to both sides. Really, I think he just let's it rip, and it goes a lot of times where it wants to. He's got a good fastball when he needs that, too. Guys are kind of guessing along with him, so he can keep you off balance that way.

I think what jumps out at him is he doesn't lose the zone or he's pretty consistent staying in the zone. I saw a piece on him the other night something about his leg kick. When he got away from the leg kick, and basically doing the slide step really set him off. And of course we saw him, he really came into his own in Baltimore and those places. And of course we saw him enough with the Yankees. He's at the top of the game.

Q. When the Indians got him what was your reaction?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, we were following along with the trade deadline. We knew somebody was probably going to get him and Chapman. They were going somewhere. At the time we didn't think it would affect us so much. But you sat there and thought somebody is going to be in good shape, that's for sure. And then what he's doing now is incredible.

You look back on this season, you look back, they were both with the Yankees when they had Betances, Miller, and Chapman there at the end. We used to go into those series thinking if you don't have the lead, forget it, basically. And now both those guys are thriving this late in the postseason.

Tip my hat to the guy. He's a workhorse. He's willing to do all that and I don't think anybody is doing it any better.

Q. Have there been any surprises in terms of how the Indians' pitching staff has attacked your lineup, a really heavy dose of breaking balls and more sinkers from Tomlin, et cetera?
JOHN GIBBONS: No, I don't think so. We've seen a lot of that this year with different teams. We're primarily a right-handed hitting lineup, our main guys, our every day guys. So generally most -- of course depending on who's pitching, of course. But a lot of teams try to approach it the same way. That can vary from team to team. And a lot of it has to do if we're swinging the bat well, sometimes it doesn't matter.

But if the pitcher is on that day, if he has a nice little breaking ball or he can throw it behind the count and those kind of things, or spot his fastball up pretty good, they can give you trouble.

Q. What have you thought of the way that Terry has used his bullpen this series and especially last night bringing the closer into the seventh, when Miller got the save there?
JOHN GIBBONS: When they did pick up Andrew, yeah, you saw him doing that right out of the gates after they acquired him, using him in a different role, because I don't think anybody knew how they were going to do it. We're not in their division, we didn't see them much. We played a series, I think it was in August, and they were all close, low scoring, one-run games, I believe, and we didn't see him the whole series.

But you follow how they're doing it. He'll use it accordingly how it matches up for them, and workload, things like that. They did flip him last night. The thing, too, Cody Allen may get lost in that because of how good Miller has been, but Cody has been one of the top guys out there, too. He's no day at the beach, either. They're rolling right now, that's for sure.

Q. When you look back at the last six months how does this collection of guys, how are they different from previous teams you've managed?
JOHN GIBBONS: This group has pretty much been intact since the trade deadline last year. A couple of different faces, but overall it's the same group. As far as are you talking about like prior to that?

Q. Just this season, 2016, how are they different from other teams?
JOHN GIBBONS: Well, you know, it's a very colorful team. A lot of big personalities. It's a fun group to be around. There's not a lot of dull moments, I'll put it that way. They show up every day to play, good or bad. There's a lot of veterans on it who have been through it before. And they know how to take care of business. And it's not always an easy bunch but it's a fun group to be around. And the most important thing, like I said, is they show up every day to play, whether things are going good or bad, and they're usually pretty damn good.

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