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October 8, 2018

Alex Cora

New York, New York - postgame 3

Boston - 16, New York - 1

Q. Can you talk about the boost Nathan gave the team tonight.
ALEX CORA: It was outstanding, efficient, great stuff from the get-go, using the fastball in different spots and mixing up breaking balls and his splitter. He's been great against them the whole season, and that was good to see tonight.

Q. Alex, Holt's cycle was the first in postseason history. What's your reaction to kind of that historic feat?
ALEX CORA: Great. He's been swinging the bat well for a while now. We felt the matchup was good for him tonight although he was 0-for-whatever coming into the game tonight against Severino. He's been able to catch up with fastballs headed the other way, breaking balls, and pull it with power. He's a good player.

Last year was a tough one for him as far as being healthy and the whole thing that went on with him, but when healthy, he can help you out. Tonight was a great night for him.

Q. You actually said you were looking for a slider that he could hit to right field, and he ended up doing that.
ALEX CORA: Yeah, like I told you guys a few weeks ago, play the Powerball tomorrow, and hopefully I can get it.

Q. One lineup change you had to make because Mitch was hurt, but the other three you had a choice. How much did those three guys do you think helped lead to what happened tonight?
ALEX CORA: Raffi in the first at-bat, very disciplined, staying with the pitches, put in a good swing, then he gets a good jump on a 3-2 count. He steals second.

With Brock, we know what he can do. It was just a matter of to use him out there in the right matchup. Christian, he was outstanding behind the plate. He did a good job with Nate, with Heath and Eddie, put the ball in play with a man at third and two outs. He gets an infield hit, and then the hit and run, that was beautiful. That was a great job sitting on the pitch going the other way.

I think that play kind of got us going as far as the beginning. It was something we've been doing the whole season. He got a fastball that went the other way, and after that, we took off.

Q. Someone asked you what you expected of Eovaldi, and you said seven innings, two hits, and one run. Was it close enough?
ALEX CORA: Yeah, it was. We trust the guy. His stuff is that good. His fastball, 99, 100. The cutter, 94, 95. The split. And one thing with him, it really doesn't matter. Like this stage, you guys saw it. It was unbelievable before the game and the first few innings, and he was just being Nate.

Pitching in Tampa or pitching in Fenway or pitching in Yankee Stadium, he knows his stuff is good, and it's just about executing, throwing strikes, and letting the defense do the job.

Q. Alex, being with Houston last year and coming to New York and the ALCS, did you take any lessons with you from Houston to Boston about playing in New York or imparting any kind of wisdom on the team in the playoffs in New York?
ALEX CORA: Well, I knew it was going to be loud. That's something I told them a few days ago. Regardless of the rivalry and how many times we play them, it's a different vibe in the playoffs, and it was. I mean, from the introductions to the first pitch to whatever, it was alive. This place is great.

You've just got to stay in the moment. Just don't get too overhyped because we're playing the Yankees and it's loud. Just keep it simple. Win every pitch, and tonight we did.

Q. Alex, I know your team has passed a lot of tests throughout a very successful regular season, but do you learn anything on a night like tonight after what happened in Game 2 to have this kind of performance in Game 3?
ALEX CORA: Yeah, I mean, I know a lot of people got caught up in Game 2, but it was a 3-1 game in the sixth inning. Just one good swing by Gary late in the game, and it was 6-2, I think it was.

We show up every day. That's the thing about this team. It's boring, and people kind of like don't like it, but we show up, we prepare, we play, we turn the page, and we've been doing it the whole season. We'll do it tonight, and tomorrow we'll show up and be prepared and play again.

Q. Alex, can you look ahead to tomorrow with CC against Porcello, and how tough will it be to close it out here?
ALEX CORA: It was tough today coming here 1-1. The only thing we know is that, if we don't win tomorrow, we have a Game 5. That's the only thing we gain today. But we've got a chance to come here and put a good game and see what happens. I know they trust CC. We trust Rick. Veteran guys, they've done it for a few years. It should be fun.

Q. Is Pearce okay?
ALEX CORA: Yeah, yeah. It was just a matter of keeping him off his feet, and putting Ian in to play defense and Brock at first base.

Q. How impressed were you with the team, especially in the beginning of the game, with the noise and everything and what you went through last year with the Astros? Did you end up saying anything to certain guys before it started?
ALEX CORA: No, I mentioned it to them when they played the A's. We had a team dinner to talk about the regular season and what was coming for the playoffs, and I let them know that it's a different vibe here. This place is amazing. It's alive, and the fans, they get into it from the get-go.

But I think from pitch 1, we let them know that we were here although it was a fly ball to center field, but it was a different approach by the fielder. He hasn't swung at the first pitch in a while, and he crushed that ball. It didn't go out, but it kind of let them know like, Hey, we're here. We're going to be fine. It was a great game.

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