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October 7, 2019

Kevin Cash

Tampa Bay, Florida - pregame 3

Q. Is there any better guy you'd rather have on the mound with the temperament he has for an elimination game like this than Charlie?
KEVIN CASH: Probably not. I said yesterday we've leaned on him so heavily this year. We're going to do it again. The experiences he brings a lot with the club that we're playing. But it's good experience regardless.

He's going to have his challenges, but, you know, what we saw in the wildcard game, I don't think he had his best command and I give credit to the A's for laying off tough pitches. But when he needed to make a big pitch, he certainly did. He got double-play balls. His last couple starts leading into that against the Red Sox and the Yankees, who have great lineups, pretty much quieted their lineup through five, six innings, whatever it was.

Q. Kevin, not to make this about you, but you grew up in the area. Just the idea that you guys are back in the playoffs, you're managing, you drove from your house to the Trop today for a playoff game. What does that mean? What did that feel like?
KEVIN CASH: Pretty special, pretty surreal. It certainly is about us. It's about the organization and it's about our fan base and looking forward to seeing them out there. These guys have worked really hard to create this and be playing in October.

We got our work cut out now. But I think that this city, this region, whatever you want to call it, they enjoy that playoff atmosphere, and they got spoiled for a little while, 2018 to '13, being there a bunch. It's nice to get back in there and know that we're appreciated.

Q. To get back to Charlie, a lot of the players talked about just the calm that exists in the clubhouse the day he pitches, beyond what he can do on the mound. How much of that do you see and how much do you think that means going into a game like today?
KEVIN CASH: I hear the players say that. I don't know if you necessarily see it firsthand. We got a pretty calm group, for a bunch of young guys, they're energetic, but their energy is created and portrayed the right way.

Even the last two games, and even the wildcard game, didn't see too much of a tense environment, more of an exciting environment, getting ready to take the field.

Charlie, being able to write his name in, certainly helps with all of those things.

Q. As good as Greinke is, he's a very different pitcher from Verlander and Cole. Does his style match up any better or worse for your guys?
KEVIN CASH: Well, I mean, what we've seen the first two is just power, power; power breaking balls, power fastballs. Greinke gets there a little differently. He's just as good.

We're going to have to be able to make some quick adjustments because he's more than 90, 92, 93 guy. Really pitches off his change-up quite a bit, mixes probably a little bit more. What maybe he doesn't have in power, he does better with being unpredictable.

So I don't think there's any count that you can sit there and sit on a pitch. We're just going to have to try to recognize early on what he's trying to do and pick some pitches that we can hit.

Q. A bit more on Greinke, facing two elite pitchers of this generation, now having a third. Having faced those two in the playoffs, does that give your guys more comfortability in the box, knowing you faced two of them already in the postseason atmosphere?
KEVIN CASH: That's a better question for them, our hitters. I don't know. You separate every pitcher start to start. Whatever took place the last two days or two games is probably out of our minds at this point. We're solely focused on what we can do to put pressure on Houston and, obviously, Greinke.

Q. A couple of the guys in the lineup have been a little quiet. Have you seen some things in the last game on Saturday, maybe Kiermaier and other guys that give you a sense of they're closer to breaking out or getting things right?
KEVIN CASH: Look, KK has had a fairly quiet month of September, came back, battled some injuries. He probably came back dealing with, whether it was the rib, the back, whatever it was, I think that has not helped him.

But certainly like the fact that he got up and smoked the ball. I thought it was a homer off the bat. Hit it off the wall. Maybe that's something that can carry over, he can feed off a little bit. We've seen when KK gets going, whether he's hitting at the front, the back of the lineup, he just can create a lot of havoc with his bat, with his speed.

That goes for some other guys. I still think the biggest reason we've been quiet is because of their pitchers. It's not our lack of. It's just that we have been out-pitched.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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