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October 15, 2018

Alex Cora

Houston, Texas - Workout Day

THE MODERATOR: Questions for Alex Cora.

Q. How is Chris doing and what is his status in terms of the rest of the series?
ALEX CORA: He's out of the hospital. He'll be here with us tomorrow. Everything's fine. So we'll see how he feels physically, and then after that we'll decide what we're going to do.

Q. Is there in terms of a plan for him? Are you going to have him throw tomorrow or is there --
ALEX CORA: No, no, we need him to get here first and then see how he feels. It's more than the Red Sox; it's about the individual. So everything I heard, he should be fine and it's a matter of him to show up and we'll talk to him and see how he feels physically and go from there.

Q. Is the reason that he was hospitalized have anything to do with baseball?
ALEX CORA: It's just his stomach. That's it. He felt ill right after the game, started throwing up. And then he decided to go to the hospital and that was it, yeah.

Q. Was that related to anything he had been taking to pitch or anything like that?
ALEX CORA: No, not that I know.

Q. To what extent do you think that some of Kimbrel's control issues are maybe from not being on a regular schedule and getting a lot of work? And obviously you get into the postseason, there's days between series, there's days off. He hadn't pitched since Tuesday. Do you think these one of those guys that his mechanics are better the more he pitches?
ALEX CORA: I'm not sure. I heard that the whole day today. Everybody was talking about his mechanics and rest. And it is what it is. We've got four off days in between the regular season and the first series because we finished with the best record.

And we're going to use him in spots that we feel he's going to be successful. Yesterday, he fell behind with Gattis and got him out. And then with Reddick, that was good execution. With George, 2-0 fastball right down the middle; we don't want to walk him, he hits a base hit. Altuve gets a slider, check swing. It was a ball and he put a good swing on it and misfired.

Yesterday he was misfiring arm side, but we'll see. Hopefully he pitches a lot the next three days and that will be good news for us.

Q. Have you heard about this video that Alex Bregman put up on Instagram with the home run --
ALEX CORA: No, I have no idea. From Alex? No, no.

Q. After Judge laughing around with "New York, New York," and now this, do you view this as just the way baseball is evolving or do you think lines are being crossed here?
ALEX CORA: No, we don't know about that. We didn't know about Judge, and we didn't know about what Alex did.

Q. You knew eventually about Judge?
ALEX CORA: Yeah, Pedroia told me about it. But he didn't mention it today. So I've got to tell him about that. I don't know. That's for the players.

Like I said a few days ago, if you need motivation in Game 3 of the ALCS, you better check yourself, because you win three more games you go to the show. And that's what should motivate you. Alex has different ways of motivating himself. And whatever. I'll leave it at that.

Q. Your pitchers have been very cautious pitching to Alex Bregman so far in this series. How has that worked for you and do you expect that pattern to continue?
ALEX CORA: They've been watching a lot of videos of Alex lately. You have to be very careful. He's staying in the strike zone. He's been swinging the bat well the whole second half. And he's been very disciplined.

And we have a game plan. So far we keep throwing to the edges, and he's not swinging. He's taking his walks. But we'll stay with our game plan. We still are attacking him the way we feel. And I'm not saying "so far, so good," but there's not too much damage done from that spot right now.

Q. Do you have mixed feelings coming back to Houston?
ALEX CORA: Not anymore. That was in the regular season. It's a great place. It's a great organization. I have a lot of friends over there. But what they want is what I want. This is different, this is playoffs.

And for how much, quote/unquote, they like me and they care about me, right now it's the Red Sox against the Astros.

We will always be linked together because it was a special year last year. Not only on the field but off the field. But now it's a little bit different. We have a job to do and they do too.

Q. With the way that Rafi has been swinging the bat, how much more playing time do you think he's earning and would you give him any thought against a lefty?
ALEX CORA: Nuney is playing tomorrow. He's playing third base. Like I said, Rafi's doing well. He's done a good job with Dallas. Although the numbers look like he's been getting hit by lefties, you start looking at damage and what we can do offensively, and I think it's a better matchup for us.

I think tomorrow it will be kind of like when we faced C.C. in New York, probably the same lineup. And we go from there.

But Rafi is doing a good job. We've got a few matchups that probably late in the game tomorrow we can take advantage of it if they bring the righties and he's locked in.

Q. You talk about keeping the ball in the park? And this is another place where it flies out of. How do you see the challenge for pitching here and compare this one to Yankee Stadium and Fenway?
ALEX CORA: Pretty similar but the opposite. But one thing about this ballpark for how conducive it is to offense, there's no gaps here. You can actually pinch the gaps and any line drive in the gaps you're going to have a defender, because usually you take away -- you move the left fielder to the left-center gap because the boxes are right there.

So I don't know. It seems like they struggle offensively throughout the year here, the Astros did. But it's a good offensive ballclub. And when they hit the ball in the air they're very dangerous. So kind of like stay with the same game plan. We did a good job with the Yankees in Yankee Stadium and we are starting to get a better feel with who they are.

Now we're going with the righties. It doesn't really matter with them -- lefties, righties -- they're very good offensively. But our relievers have done a pretty good job except for one inning during the series. So we will keep attacking the way we feel we can to the safety nets and the blue spots and hopefully they don't hit it in the air and hit homers.

Q. With Chris, do you know what caused him to get sick? Do you guys have an understanding of that?
ALEX CORA: I haven't. Honestly, you know, I came here. They said he's going to be here tomorrow. I'm going to sit down with Brad after this and talk about it and see where we're at.

Q. You said he got sick after the game, but he didn't go to the hospital until the next day?
ALEX CORA: I think it was probably in the morning, like I want to say two in the morning, three in the morning. That's what I hear. When I got to the ballpark -- actually, he texted me, Brad texted me about it. When I got to the ballpark they told me he was there. Nothing serious. He was going to go through a battery of tests and see what was going on.

And thank God it's nothing that is serious at all. Like I said, he'll be here tomorrow, and hopefully physically he's ready to go and we'll decide when he pitches.

Q. We don't know if he's lost a lot of weight or anything because of this?
ALEX CORA: Hopefully not. (Laughter).

Q. When it comes to Bregman and Judge and stuff like that, do you see that as kind of harmless and maybe even a positive in terms of baseball needing to loosen up and players showing personality? Or do you prefer to see that only on the field during games?
ALEX CORA: I don't know. People are paying attention, you know? Like the Judge thing was in every sports show, which is cool, I think. Like, we need more people to talk about the game.

I mean, we're in a great time to be a baseball fan. I've been saying that the whole season. You look at those two teams, you know, it's like, wow. I've been talking about talent. Alex Bregman is one of the best players in the Big Leagues. And now -- well, they're talking for, not for the right reasons, but they're talking about it. And I think it's cool. I don't know.

I don't take it personal. I don't play anymore. Probably when I was playing I would be, like, here we go, like whatever. But I don't throw a ball. I don't have to hit. I don't make errors anymore. I just manage a team. And I don't get caught up on that.

But it's always good that people talk about the game. And if that's the reason they're talking about it, so be it. But from my end, I don't pay attention to that.


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