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October 7, 2019

Charlie Morton

Diego Castillo

Houston, Texas - postgame 2

Tampa Bay - 10, Houston - 3

Q. Charlie, we asked you this in Oakland. The feeling to do this in a must-win game, after the first two innings, to buckle down and give them five strong.
CHARLIE MORTON: I mean, after the first inning, 40-some pitches, I think. After the second inning, it was 60 something pitches.

So that homer by KK, I mean, that was huge because bought us a little bit of wiggle room with them. You can't keep those guys down long.

But, you know, it kind of frees you up a little bit. We kept tacking on. I was able to get into a little bit of a better spot there the last few innings. So yeah, I mean, ideally, that first inning doesn't go like that.

I mean, you can afford every now and then to give up a run, right. But the pitch total there in that first inning was pretty frustrating, especially to look back on that. So I'm glad it worked out.

Q. Charlie, AJ was in here saying the thing about Charlie, just like in Oakland, they had a chance to get to him. They didn't. They said he gets better and better and better. What do you think the quality is in you that makes you kind of -- you battled and fought and struck out the last two guys.
CHARLIE MORTON: Right. I don't know. When you pitch in the postseason, you're kind of fighting -- you're fighting emotions, you're fighting, like, you're pretty energetic physically, a lot of times. It's obviously October, it's the end of the regular season. You're kind of in a spot where you really haven't been all year.

The key is to find a balance. I think I got to that spot a little bit later there, where it was like I was still pretty amped up and I was still pretty emotional, but physically, I think I was a little bit worn down. That might actually play a part of that in a good way.

Q. For Diego, I wanted to ask him what his goal was, how much he can give tomorrow, and how he feels about pitching in an environment with so much energy and noise.
DIEGO CASTILLO: I'm just here to do everything we've done all year long since the beginning of the year. My job is to give 100 percent of what I can do for them.

Q. Charlie, what's it like battling Altuve? He gets the best of you those first two ABs and then you get him freezing on that third one.
CHARLIE MORTON: Yeah, well, I got into a deep count there with him in the first at-bat. I threw him all fastballs. He's timed up for my heater. He was yanking heaters. I threw a location there a little elevated. That's just a mistake right there, complete mistake. He's going to do what he does with that.

The second AB was just, I threw him a little backup cutter. The first one that he took. And then the second one I threw him was even worse than that one, and he does what he does with it.

His last at-bat, I don't know, maybe I had him thinking a little bit, because that curveball is that struck him out, it wasn't the best one, but I think I spun it pretty well. Maybe it started in a spot where maybe it caught him off guard a little bit. I'm not sure.

But, I mean, he's great. I respect that guy on and off the field. He's tremendous. So to be able to go out there and face him and the rest of those guys out there, you know, in that situation, it's fun. It means a lot.

Q. Charlie, there was a little bit of a time lag there after the fourth inning when we were wondering, you know, is he coming back out. I mean, Chaz is staring in from the bullpen. Stan is there. Did you have to sell Kevin on a fifth inning?
CHARLIE MORTON: No, no. I think there was some discussion about, you know, maybe going forward here. I mean, Kyle's coming down, checking in on me after every inning. I'm nothing about transparent with them. I was fine. I mean, I was in a little bit of a groove.

So, no, that's not what that was about.

Q. (Question in Spanish.)
DIEGO CASTILLO: (Answer in Spanish.)

Q. Charlie, what you've done for the team is well documented. Another reason why you're here is what's going to happen tomorrow with the bullpen, the opener, and the staff. What have you observed from that? Do you marvel at the ability of this team to thrive with that setup on the mound?
CHARLIE MORTON: Yeah. Well, I mean, the numbers speak for themselves. You'd be hard pressed to not argue that we're the top three staff in all of baseball, top to bottom. It's just we're a great pitching staff, and we're pretty flexible too. These series we have, five-game series, seven-game series, I think we're well built to adjust, given any scenario.

So, I mean, the arms that we're featuring in the bullpen, there's no weaknesses. Just a tremendous amount of confidence. The whole staff, the whole team has tremendous confidence in those guys down there.

So, yeah, I mean, I think we're this a pretty good spot.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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