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October 25, 2017

AJ Hinch

Los Angeles, California - postgame 2

Houston Astros - 7, Los Angeles Dodgers - 6

Q. Can you describe that game managing it, being a part of it.
A.J. HINCH: No. That's an incredible game on so many levels, so many ranges of emotion. If you like October baseball, if you like any kind of baseball, that's one of the most incredible games you'll ever be a part of.

Q. In terms of the home runs, Gonzalez, Correa, Springer, Altuve, four guys with four swings in many ways changed this series?
A.J. HINCH: No doubt. There were some homers on their end, too. This was a night obviously the ball was carrying. A lot of big-time players stepping up and getting big swings. I'm just glad the last out, we got to it. This was a hard game to finish, obviously, for both teams. And some really, really key hits that honestly it's hard to put into one game, let alone one series.

Q. What's going on on your bench while this thing is swinging wildly back and forth? And what carried you through with some great swings against a great bullpen?
A.J. HINCH: Well, you see the emotion on the field tonight. Both teams, both swings of emotion, incredible key moments in the game, there's more of them than I can really remember.

On the bench we were in it, from the beginning. Justin Verlander was very good. We don't even talk about him. He starts the game and gives up two hits and has to exit, National League style. Then the game got really interesting. Marwin Gonzalez kicked it all off. We're not here if Marwin Gonzalez doesn't hit it a ball to centerfield against the best closer in baseball.

Obviously our guys were way in it and obviously it's as upbeat and positive a clubhouse as you'll ever get.

Q. Their bullpen, their closer was their most consistent strength over the last three weeks. Do you feel better going back to Houston knowing they're beatable, they had a chink in the armor a bit?
A.J. HINCH: Well, we didn't come to LA thinking we couldn't beat them. We obviously proved we can put some good at-bats together against good pitching. They've had the best bullpen in baseball this postseason, and much of the season. We know it's a challenge anytime those guys are getting in there, when the get the lead. Doc showed it, he was going to go to the matchups, when he feels he has a little bit of an advantage.

No matter where you go in that bullpen, you'll find somebody that's had success, somebody that's good, somebody that can get outs when they match you up correctly. That's why it's so important to get the lead. Now, keeping the lead seemed to be a little harder than getting the lead for us. That's one of the many reasons why they're here.

Q. Going back to the ALCS and you were getting questions about possibly dropping Springer --
A.J. HINCH: Four hours ago I was getting questions about Springer.

Q. What gave you the confidence --
A.J. HINCH: He's an incredible player. I don't really ride the roller coaster with players. You have to believe in what they can do, not what they're doing. If you respond to every bad game or tough game, you'll bounce these guys around and ruin their confidence in a heartbeat. This is one of the our best players. And there's no need to panic over a bad night against Clayton Kershaw. I don't care if it's a bad game against any pitcher, this game is really, really hard. Our guys and the Dodgers make it look really easy, but it's a hard game. And there's a ton of failure involved.

I believe in players, and I specifically believe in George, and tonight is an example why. He wasn't broken, his swing is not bad, he's not gone for the series. He had a bad night and came back with one of the best nights.

Q. Congratulations.
A.J. HINCH: I feel like a record setter tonight and I want to break my own record.

Q. You went to extra innings, did you think winning against Boston helped in any way?
A.J. HINCH: Getting this win was hard. And obviously it's a long time coming for an organization that's been to one other World Series. But records are made to be broken. We can break one Friday night and I'll be perfectly happy.

Q. Would you talk about Giles and staying with him and how you were navigating that in your mind?
A.J. HINCH: It was interesting, he was left on deck the inning before, and I had Devenski up. Was I going to hit for him, was I not, we'll never know. Ken Giles, it comes down to finishing the inning and making pitches. The walk was tough. The walk to Forsythe was a key part of that at-bat or that inning.

But he can handle the workload. His stuff is really good. As shown, it was just a difficult game to finish. And we needed guys to pick up the pieces. I thought Kiké Hernandez, who does not handle right-handed pitching as well as he does left-handed pitching, comes up with a big base hit through the four-hole. You credit the people that stepped up but Kenny will be handed the ball again with the lead in this series, if we can.

Q. Would you talk about the emotions in your dugout as you had it, got away, you had it again.
A.J. HINCH: I like the positive reactions more than I liked them coming back.

Q. But you hung with it.
A.J. HINCH: These players don't quit. We're not going to concede anything. This is the time of our life on the biggest stage. And we're chasing something that for your whole lifetime seems unobtainable, and here we are a couple of wins away from bringing a championship to Houston. And they've got guys on the other side that are doing the same thing.

No one is going to get too ahead of themselves. No one will concede an out, an at-bat, or an inning, certainly not a game. Their emotions were exactly what you'd expect out of Game 2 of the World Series. It was upbeat, positive, and grinding through a spectacular game.

Q. Walk us through your thoughts as he hit Laz.
A.J. HINCH: We were pretty unlucky at the beginning of the game when Taylor dove in centerfield and hit him in the face or head and kicked to Pederson. I felt like the baseball gods were returning the favor, by having an umpire standing in the way there.

It's a great idea to have the pick. When the emotions are high, anxiousness is going, and you want the runner to get off and score on a single, it's a great time for Jose to put that on. The throw was high, Laz was perfectly positioned, right where we wanted him.

Q. Can you just explain that never-say-die attitude?
A.J. HINCH: These series are long. I don't know why anyone would race to a conclusion, other than trying to be right faster. You're usually going to be wrong if you make an assumption on anything, especially this time of year. These are two incredible teams that are going to fight. Seven-game series, you have to win four. We've each won one. It doesn't mean it's going to be over in five, but it could be. That's the reality of these series.

We're not going to ride the emotion of hot, cold and belief and non-belief. We're going to stay believing. We are going to worry about Friday night, and take the rest of the series after that.

Q. Just on the fact that you guys haven't won a first World Series game before. Is that something that people have been talking about? Does it mean something to you that you're the manager for the first one?
A.J. HINCH: Not the first one, the fourth one. I think the fourth one, that will be the one to bring home to the city.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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