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October 6, 2019

Kevin Cash

Tampa Bay, Florida - Workout Day

Q. Kevin, can you tell us exactly what Charlie Morton has done for you since he arrived here in the city and what he's done for the team?
KEVIN CASH: I don't have enough time and it wouldn't take up that much time of you all. He's been outstanding on and off the field. We've leaned on him so heavily, and he's kind of risen to every challenge, every task we ask. We're going to ask another big one of him here come tomorrow.

Have all the confidence in the world he can go out there and give us an opportunity to quiet a really good offense and let our offense find a way to get going.

Q. I feel like I may have asked you this question the other day in Oakland. But can you just quantify the confidence you guys have when Charlie is on the mound in a huge situation?
KEVIN CASH: Look. What we've seen the last two games against Houston, they had it on their side with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole. They've kind of been there, done that, both of them. Now we've got a guy that the irony is that he was a part of that group but he's doing it in a Rays uniform now. So that helps.

I mean, I think our pitching has been tremendous these first two games. I know the game got separated in game 1, but we've done everything from a pitching standpoint to give us a chance to win a ball game. Their pitching has just been that much better and quieted us down.

As far as Charlie on the mound, I would say I think it's a similar feeling as to how clubs feel about when Verlander takes the mound or Gerrit Cole takes the mound.

Q. Kevin, how different is the challenge of Greinke in terms of the way he goes about his business versus Verlander or Cole?
KEVIN CASH: It is different. Zack is, he's just as good as them, he just gets there a different way. He doesn't have the power, but what he lacks with the power with the fastball, he certainly can mix pitches with the best of them. Very, very unpredictable. Handles righties, lefties very well. Throws the ball down in the zone.

You're not going to see him come up very often, whereas Gerrit lives in the top of the zone. I think we'll see much more off-speed pitches to be put in play during the game, because he's going to use all of them.

Q. Obviously, so much of what you guys haven't been able to do offensively is because of their starting pitching. Is there any thoughts you have on doing anything different lineup-wise or personnel-wise tomorrow?
KEVIN CASH: No. No different. We've just got to do a little bit better job putting the ball in play. A lot of strikeouts, for good reason, like you said. Still, we've got good hitters and if we start putting some baseballs in play, I think we can start putting some pressure and getting the offense rolling a little bit.

So far, it's just been so many strikeouts because of the power that they have.

Q. Kevin, the fact that you mentioned Zack lives downstairs, would that lead into a little more running which you don't see very much in today's game?
KEVIN CASH: It could. I mean, he still has the ability against swing and miss, and I think the hit and run is pretty challenging because he's so unpredictable. He'll throw any of his pitches at any count so there's not that fastball count that you get. If you think it's a fastball count and you bet on that, there's a good chance he's probably going to go the other way, throwing a breaking ball or throwing his change-up that he can throw at will.

He can pitch off his change-up like most pitchers pitch off their fastball.

Q. Kevin, I know you touched on this. Now that you're here, being home, what it means, the kind of crowd you're going to have, how much that can help you based on how the team played at home down the stretch.
KEVIN CASH: Houston's really good, but their crowd certainly played a role, played a factor in creating the momentum, the energy. Our fans are going to do that for us. We're confident in that.

Looking forward to walking out on the field and hearing the applause that the guys are going to get, the appreciation for how they played, and hopefully whether it's cowbells, white flags, whatever it is, maintain it for nine innings.

Q. Kevin, when you talk about hitting and exciting things and being at home, stuff like that, can you imagine where you would be right now if not for guys like d'Arnaud, Meadows doing their thing down the stretch late in the game?
KEVIN CASH: I can't. You can say that about a lot of the guys on the team. We get there a different way. We've got to lean on the full roster. Travis is right at the top of the list since we've acquired him, what he's done behind the plate, and certainly while he's got a bat in his hand.

I actually had a really good feeling last night. I felt like he was the right guy in that moment. Harris made some big pitches to him, but we'll take Travis in that moment because he's shown the ability to repeat it and have success in that moment.

Q. Skip, you guys have had that never-say-die attitude pretty much all year long. Can you grow what you've done in games 1 and 2 and move that to game 3, or is it isolated now that you're home?
KEVIN CASH: I think it's more isolated. Get some momentum. Right out of the gate, let the crowd get involved.

I don't think we can dwell too much on games 1 and 2. Offensively, there wasn't a ton of things to like there until the end of the ball game last night. We had some really good at-bats. You got to change, because we're facing a different pitcher now.

Q. You talked a lot over the course of the season about the resiliency and some of the amazing things this team has done. You can't predict, and you're obviously optimistic, but what's your sense of how they'll look at the task of realizing you have to win three in a row, but probably want to focus on winning one in a row first? How do you think that will play out?
KEVIN CASH: I think they'll handle it fine. This team's done a really good job, like you said, of being resilient. They've done a better job of staying within the moment. The last thing we can do against a team as good as them is focus on 4 and 5. We need to focus on 3. They're going to do that. I don't think they need a message for that. They recognize that we're capable of playing better baseball and beating this team. But we've got to focus on these next nine innings.

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