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October 9, 2017

John Farrell

Boston, Massachusetts - pregame 4

THE MODERATOR: Take questions for John Farrell, please.

Q. Can you talk about Porcello and if the rain delay, how would that affect your use of the bullpen?
JOHN FARRELL: Depending upon what time the game -- if there's a stoppage that comes along, we have had a number of games here where we have had to deal with the potential of a stoppage or not, I don't think it's affected too much of the in-game decisions that you make. For Rick today, it's about going out and executing. We talked about it all series long and really all season long, particularly with Rick. When he's locating his two-seamer as one main pitch in his arsenal, that's when he's been more consistent. So that will be no different today.

Q. In today's game, how important is it do you think in your mind to keep the momentum going from what you guys were able to do offensively in Game 3?
JOHN FARRELL: Oh, I don't know that that's something you just reach into the drawer and pull out and we have got it again with us. That's about how we go out and play. I was just really encouraged yesterday with where we were at the beginning of that game, particularly after the top of the first inning, the way we responded, feeding off the energy here in Fenway. But our guys didn't try to do anything different despite being down 0-2 or down 3-0 after the top of the first. We stayed with our approach at the plate, we began to make more quality and more consistent quality pitches from the mound, and things had a chance to turn for us, probably going back to the catch of Mookie. And you felt the energy kind of kick off at that point. So more than anything is that our guys didn't get outside their normal approach, despite what we were facing.

Q. What is the earliest inning that you would be willing to go with Craig Kimbrel and how long could he possible go?
JOHN FARRELL: Well, I think before yesterday I would have said David Price had two innings and he went four. I don't know that Craig Kimbrel would go four innings, but we'll see how the game unfolds. But we feel like we're probably going to have to piece this one together as we have been doing. That's been kind of the common theme throughout the entire postseason, not just in this series, but around baseball. So we're more than ready to expand Craig's role in terms of the number of outs recorded.

Q. But what about the first part of the question, how early?
JOHN FARRELL: I don't know that right now.

Q. Chris Sale, out of the bullpen, would he be available?
JOHN FARRELL: He's available, yes.

Q. You are you hesitant to do that?
JOHN FARRELL: No, there's no tomorrow, and he's aware of it. He was in the bullpen yesterday, as was Rick Porcello, so, yeah, he's primed and ready to go.

Q. We have asked you a couple different times about Altuve facing hot hitters. Thoughts about him and how you continue to try to work against him going forward.
JOHN FARRELL: Try to minimize the damage. He's one of those players that he's going to get his base hits and hopefully they're in situations where there's no one on base, or that you keep him in a bigger part of the ballpark. So a great player who is having an outstanding series.

Q. Insofar as Sale's available out of the bullpen and given that there's weather coming, there's the possibility of disruption, was there any thought about having him start pivoting at the last minute?
JOHN FARRELL: No, because we have been instructed or given the information that there's a three-and-a-half-hour window here. With the potential of a three- to three-and-a-half-hour window. So we set a plan in place days ago. We're staying consistent with that. We're dealing with people here and we can't just shuffle the deck and say that we're going to go away from what we have set out. There's been work that has been put in by the individuals. Confident in each guy on our team and we're staying consistent with that.

Q. With Porcello, obviously the long ball's been an issue with him for a good chunk of the year. Houston's got seven home runs in the first three games. Does it come down to him keeping the two-seamer down in the zone or is it more complicated than that to stay away from home runs?
JOHN FARRELL: I don't think it's that complicated. It's a matter of staying -- if you miss location, miss to the extreme. I know this is a conversation in a room that's not influenced by in between the lines and other things, but the one thing that we just try to instill in all of our guys, if you've been a starter, there's no pacing ourselves, there's no thought of, okay, am I going to not reveal our repertoire to get me through the second or third time. That doesn't exist right now. It's a matter of taking more of a closer mentality and pitch to quality location with your best stuff. See how long that takes us. If that's to a certain point, there's someone ready to step in behind them. So I think that's been on display here as best possible. While it might not have always worked out, that's the approach we take.

THE MODERATOR: Okay, thanks, John.

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