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October 9, 2019

Jose Altuve

Houston, Texas - Workout Day

Q. Can you talk about your confidence level coming back home where you guys have had the best record at home in an elimination game?
JOSE ALTUVE: I think you said it, that's the reason why we feel pretty good coming back here and playing in front of our fans. We have the best record in the MLB playing the home side. And we have Gerrit Cole tomorrow, which is one of the best pitchers you can ever see.

It's going to be a good one tomorrow.

Q. You guys have hit much better at home than on the road with playoffs the last couple of years. What do you think it will take to get the offense started? Will it be as simple as being back home and being comfortable?
JOSE ALTUVE: We're fine. The energy is up, the confidence, the chemistry is still really good. We're talking about how good it's going to be the game tomorrow. We believe in ourself. We have great hitters. Like I always say, this is a team full of good players.

And so we're going to go out there and prove it tomorrow.

Q. Rays have some really good pitchers. Are you surprised how the lineup has struggled? They were able to get big innings this series.
JOSE ALTUVE: You said, they've got really good pitching. And playoff doesn't get really easier. So we're going to try, we're going to do our best tomorrow. We know we have to put good at-bats together and score some runs, that's the only way we're going to win.

And like I said before, tomorrow is a must-win for us. Believe me, we're going to go out there and do everything we can to make it happen.

Q. How good is their bullpen? What have you been most impressed about? What's the challenge when they roll one guy out after another after another, instead of being able to fit in against one guy?
JOSE ALTUVE: They're really good, obviously. I said it since Game 1. They pitch really good at home; like we play really good here. That's good for us because tomorrow we're playing here so this is our chance to go to pitch good, play some good defense, and win the game.

But, yeah, they're really good.

Q. You've dealt with this for a few years now, the travel, you're in one city and then another. In the playoffs do you ever get tired at any point, but then get reenergized when it's game time? How do you find that balance?
JOSE ALTUVE: Maybe during the season, in September it's normal to get a little tired because it's a really long season. But it doesn't happen in playoff. The energy is so up and you want to go out there and play.

The guys, even right now, we were just talking about how excited we are. We've been here before, we've been in this situation before. So it's going to be a big game and we're going to do really good.

Q. As a leader of the team is there anything you say to the guys or is it just kind of a thing where you all know what you have to do?
JOSE ALTUVE: I think we're all on the same page. When we lost the game yesterday, we all have the same thought, we're going home now. I think everybody knew that. But it's not just coming here, it's because we know how good we play at home.

We have a lot of leaders in that clubhouse, believe me. What I like the most is that we all go in the same direction. We want to win the game. We want to do everything we can. And I'm not worried because the guys have confidence in what we can do.

Q. (Question in Spanish.)
JOSE ALTUVE: (Answer in Spanish.)

Q. As far as kind of on what Richard said, when you kind of don't know from inning to inning what pitcher you're going to see, does that require more in-game adjustments from an offensive standpoint as far as your approach is concerned?
JOSE ALTUVE: Absolutely. I think you're asking this because you know it's really hard to not know who you're going to face next at-bat. I think I faced four different guys yesterday. So they all different. And they have something really special. Castillo have a good sinker ball. Anderson have a good curveball. Then the other guys have something that make them really good.

So, yes, you have to be maybe -- we all focus. We all really paying attention to the detail of the games. But when you're facing too many pitchers like that maybe you have to keep tracking or keep focusing on who you're going to face.

Q. Along the same lines, we know that facing a pitcher for a second or third time in a game advantages the batter. What about in a series when you get to see a pitcher for a second or third time, can that make a difference?
JOSE ALTUVE: It can go either way, you know. In the game, like I said before, as much as you face one guy, you are getting a little bit more comfortable. And that's why we never got really, really comfortable yesterday when we have to face four different guys.

In the series it can go either way. You're facing him but he's facing you, too, so you know what he's doing, but he also know what you're doing. But tomorrow is going to go in our side, I know that. We're ready to swing the bat. We've got some guys that are about to get really, really hot for the rest of the playoff.

Q. You said earlier in the year when you were in the midst of your hot home run streak, you said, This is not me, I'm not comfortable with this. You ended up with 31, you've got 2 in the playoffs. How much of the power approach is the significant way you approach the game?
JOSE ALTUVE: Tough question. I don't like talking about homers.

Yes, I ended up with a lot of homers, and it makes me happy because you're helping your team. I think as you get older you become maybe a little bit smarter, you know what they've been doing to you the last couple of years. You know what you've got to go to look for. Last year they've thrown me a certain pitch and I was taking it. Now I start swinging it, so I think that's why maybe I'm hitting some homers.

Q. If you go back to 2017 when you were down 3-2 to the Yankees, you lost three games there, you came here and won, winning game 7 at Dodger Stadium. How much does that help you, especially the guys that have been here who fully believe you can do that in any type of situation because you have done it before?
JOSE ALTUVE: Yes, big time, believe me. Because I remember we won two games here, we went there lost three, and Carlos Beltran told the team, Guys, don't worry, we're going home now. And they don't want to go play there. So we came here, we won the last two games of the series, we moved forward.

So for me in playoff, to have some experience like you've been in this situation before, that's crucial. That help you a lot. So like I say, we know the situation we're facing tomorrow. It's going to be loud. It's going to be really close but we've been here before and that might help us.

Q. (Question in Spanish.)
JOSE ALTUVE: (Answer in Spanish.)

Q. What is AJ's cool confidence and calm demeanor do for you guys in these pressure type moments?
JOSE ALTUVE: He's really good. He's on the same page with everybody. He's quiet, he's really confidence about tomorrow because he played a Game 7 in an ALCS and then Game 7 in the World Series. So he's been here before with us and it's nothing to worry about. We've just got to go out there and play 200 percent and we'll be fine.

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