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October 4, 2017

John Farrell

Houston, Texas - Workout Day

THE MODERATOR: Take questions, please.

Q. Any updates in terms of the roster or in particular maybe anybody who you know is not going to be on the roster at this point?
JOHN FARRELL: No, as a matter of fact as the bus left the hotel 3 o'clock, guys have reported here, we're still working through a number of individual conversations so we won't have anything further to announce until tomorrow morning.

Q. How is Sale doing? Sounds like he had a little bit of a cold?
JOHN FARRELL: I think we have had a couple of guys that have kind of passed around a little bit, so nothing uncommon to what we have experienced throughout the course of the year.

Q. There are a lot of good starting pitchers in baseball who have not had success in the postseason. Kershaw's an obvious example. Your own David has struggled here and elsewhere. What gives you confidence that Chris Sale can be one of the guys who does carry over his regular season performance into the postseason having not done it before?
JOHN FARRELL: I think this somewhat compares to the way he came into Boston following the trade. He has handled it without distraction, he's handled it with I think a consistency to his routine and being true to himself, who he is as a performer, as a pitcher. I would venture to say, knowing Chris the person, that the same approach will be applied tomorrow. And I think the beauty inside of Chris Sale is that he focuses solely on the things that he can control, something as simple as command in the count. Strike one. Keeping it pretty much to the basics. He's done such an excellent job of that coming in with all the expectations and the highlight from the trade. He's handled it beautifully and I would suspect at this stage, this next set of games in which he's going to experience for the first time will be handled the same way.

Q. How healthy is Pedroia and what does he mean to the offense and what does he mean off the field to the team?
JOHN FARRELL: He's healthy enough. I think the last couple of days have helped him. And I think for guys that are dealing with some physical ailments, whether they have been banged up a little bit, the additional days of rest and treatment they can receive have been beneficial. I think Peddy is certainly one of those type of guys. But he brings an immense amount of postseason experience and I think the number of games in which he's played in the postseason will certainly be a benefit not only to him, but guys around him. There's a voice in our clubhouse that speaks from experience and I think a number of guys will look to him for that as well. So we come off a year last year where some of our young guys have experienced it just for the three games and yet Peddy who is back in the middle of the diamond gives us some stability in that way.

Q. No easy outs in this Astros lineup. How does that put pressure on your own offense to score runs?
JOHN FARRELL: Oh, I guess the only way I can probably answer that is it's like a pitcher going up against a lineup, he can't swing the bat against the opposing pitcher. I don't think our hitters will change their approach based on their offense. We have got to play to the game situation. I think more than anything, doing some of the simple things and the basic things as best as we can and most consistently. That's what we need to focus on, regardless of who is in the box. We have got to execute in all phases. And, yes, this is a very complete team. They're explosive offensively, they play well here at home, but we need to go out and focus on the control of things on our own end.

Q. Assuming Nunez is okay, have you locked in how you want to use him in the first couple games?
JOHN FARRELL: No, not locked in. There's some thought to how we get him at-bats, how we get him on the field. With a right-hander and then a left-hander, there's a couple of different ways we can go with this. But I think the most encouraging thing is the way he's come through the workdays the last three days out. Yesterday we were able to test him in a number of different ways, including sliding, running at full speed. He was able to accomplish all that. So a little bit of a setback in terms of the aggravation 10 days ago or so, but his work has been outstanding here of late.

Q. In a five-game series do you feel like a manager is more likely to have a quick hook because of the briefness of that series?
JOHN FARRELL: I think when you think about October you're taking an all-hands-on-deck mentality. Whether it's a three-game series, five-game series or seven-game series. Game 1 is important. But I think our guys are primed and ready with that urgency and know that decisions can happen quick, and we're prepared for that.

Q. Are you holding off naming your Game 3 starter because you want to see what happens in the first two games or you're just not sure?
JOHN FARRELL: No, I think we're getting closer to that but that's all part of some of the conversations that are ongoing.

Q. Seems like no matter which way your roster shakes out there's going to be some established guys that are probably going to be left off. How tough are some of those conversations this time of year to have?
JOHN FARRELL: They can be very difficult. In particularly if there's a player that has been a contributor for all of this year or the past couple of years, all you can try to do is be as candid and honest and forthright as possible with the reasons that might go into a roster decision. So you have full respect for who they are as a person and what they have done here. And yet some of that might entail the hot hand so to speak as a roster decision or in our case we have got some infield depth that we have to keep because of Peddy and Nuny, those are real and tangible things that we have to guard against.

Q. With Bogaerts as good as he's been in the leadoff spot, do you anticipate keeping him there for the series?
JOHN FARRELL: That would be the intent at this point, yeah. He's responded well. The on-bases has spiked we're seeing much more consistent hard contact, so right now that's the thought.

Q. With the catchers, would you plan on keeping the same battery matchups that you have had?
JOHN FARRELL: Likely at this point, yeah.

Q. Last year against Cleveland to what degree do you think that playoff inexperience showed up in that first inning of Game 1?
JOHN FARRELL: Wow, a lot's happened since then. They made quality pitches. I know that we jumped out, we had I think a big scoring opportunity that we may have gotten one run rather than a crooked number on the board. They had a pretty clear cut attack plan against us and they exploited it. They executed it extremely well. It worked into their favor. So I don't know if that's solely the byproduct of inexperience.

Q. To what degree do you see that young corp having matured this year? Is it a discernibly different state of their career or is it, to you, are they the same guys basically that they were?
JOHN FARRELL: No, they have matured. They continue to evolve in their own right. I think as a group, too. Last year we went into the postseason, this was a first and there was a lot of questions that stemmed from that first experience. Because they lived it, some of those questions they have answered through their own successes or challenges. So, no, this is a full year of experience and some postseason, limited as it was, under their belt, they're that much more prepared.

THE MODERATOR: All right, thanks very much.

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