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October 6, 2017

John Farrell

Houston, Texas - pregame 2

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Generally speaking, when a guy like Altuve goes off like he did, he says he's never hit three home runs at any level in any game in his life. Generally speaking, do you change your approach to him and how do you do that sort of thing?
JOHN FARRELL: Keep the ball in the middle of the plate. Plain and simple. He found three pitches that he could do a lot of damage with and you tip your cap to him. But this is a matter of going out and being more consistent with our pitch execution, whether it's Jose or any one of their guys in their lineup, it's a dangerous lineup, it's a quick strike, we have got to be better located throughout the course of the game.

Q. What did you think of Pedroia's decision to go yesterday to third base and did you think they had a shot at Moreland at home?
JOHN FARRELL: Potentially. There's a potential that Moreland could have got thrown out at home plate. Reddick is one of the better defenders and one of the better throwing outfielders in all of baseball and I know Peddy's decision in the moment was to try to advance to third, to pull the throw towards him rather than go to home, and in that spot, it's an aggressive play. I think we also recognize that the cardinal rule is don't ever make the first or third out at third base. But I will say this, the one thing that we have continued to try to do and it's worked in our favor -- it's also been at times a detriment -- is the outs recorded on base paths. We have instilled an aggressive style, that's part of who we are as a team, so I'm not going to fault Peddy for making an in-game decision, that didn't quite work out.

Q. Can you talk about the matchup today and what will be some of the keys for Pomeranz?
JOHN FARRELL: I think the one thing Drew really did well six days ago was the effectiveness to all three pitches, not just his curve ball, which is I think his signature pitch. He did a good job of putting the ball on the ground and I think that's even more so the case here in this ballpark, particularly with the left field. So his pitch mix was very good, I think he had good action and depth to his curve ball, which will be a key here again today. And we're going up against a left-hander, their left-hander in Keuchel, who's been dominant against left-handed hitting all season long. So that's how you look at our lineup and it's reflective of putting a number of right-handed hitters in today's lineup.

Q. You touched on it with your first answer about just keeping the ball in the middle of the play. Sure, but how much of this is about a pitcher on your staff being sharp that day, how much of it is the pressure that is caused by a lineup having self-discipline so deep into it?
JOHN FARRELL: This isn't the first lineup we have faced that's got the ability to do damage up-and-down the lineup. This is the Major Leagues and teams that advance to this point in the season there's going to be strengths. And yes, you can say that there's not many breathers in this lineup if there are at all, but that's on the pitchers. We're accustomed to pitching against lineups and in small ballparks. We recognize that this team's been the highest scoring team in all of baseball, or certainly in the American league. So you got to go out and execute. That's the relentless nature of their offense, but that's also the relentless nature of a pitcher to combat that. So I feel like no matter the time of the year, the team you're facing, there's probably going to be three or four pitches inside a given game that are going to be the swing pitches. They got their three or four yesterday, we didn't.

Q. When you made your original roster and Chris Young wasn't on it, how much maybe regret was there that you wouldn't have him against Keuchel because he's had good numbers against Keuchel?
JOHN FARRELL: There's not regret, we went with what the team, the players that were available to us. We didn't think that one pitch into yesterday's game with or the second at-bat of the game would result in Eduardo being unavailable. So fortunately we have got a very good player in Chris available to us, he's active, we talked about or expressed the reasons for the construction of our roster because we had health issues in the infield and lo and behold we're addressing it today.

Q. But I would imagine one of the pluses I guess when you're talking about that for Chris was that he's had good numbers against Keuchel and now it turns out you have him now against Keuchel.
JOHN FARRELL: Yes, he has. And while he's been throughout the course of his career a very good hitter against left-handed pitching, we have worked through some challenges this year on Chris's behalf, but he's got quite a bit of history against Keuchel, quite a bit of history in this ballpark and hopefully that works to our advantage here today.

Q. I asked yesterday if there were no regrets on Nunez and you said there were none. Just going back to that decision to play him in that regular season, why did you say, okay, let's play him now as opposed to waiting? What was the thinking of, let's bring him back then?
JOHN FARRELL: The thinking was that we were still working towards clinching a division. He had gone through every available means of rehab, test, testing him in simulated games, trying to get him back in the lineup in advance of the postseason. So, no, no regrets. And I recognize where Nuny's comments where he felt like he did what he could do to get back in the lineup as soon as possible. So to say that that one game, knowing that there was a re-aggravation, if there's 10 additional days prior to yesterday, I don't know if the outcome is any different.

Q. The Astros have had a huge increase in runs scoring this year from last. From afar what about their lineup do you think has permitted them to have that kind of jump in terms of their offensive production?
JOHN FARRELL: You look at a full year of Bregman in the two hole as being one of them and the additional production from Gonzales. Quickly those -- and then you look at the addition of what McCann and maybe the veteran presence has contributed to that overall mix. But those two players in particular, Bregman and Gonzales, the years that they're having, those are major steps forward when you look at the overall lineup, the length of the lineup and the overall contribution and production.

THE MODERATOR: All right, thanks, John.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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