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October 10, 2019

Kevin Cash

Houston, Texas - pregame 5

Q. Probably an obvious question, but what can you guys do differently against Gerrit Cole or just individually with the hitters and overall in your approach?
KEVIN CASH: I don't know if you can do much differently. It's really easy for me to sit up here and say, Get aggressive, don't go deep in counts with him. But that's much easier said than done.

So you just hope that the guys took something from Game 1, saw enough pitches from him that they can use that in their game plan here right out of the gate.

Q. Decision behind Lowe taking the seat for Sogard.
KEVIN CASH: Yeah, you've got Gerrit, who is probably the highest strikeout pitcher in baseball. We value Eric Sogard as a very high contact-oriented hitter. That was the biggest decision. It was a challenging one because Brandon has done some good things, but Eric has, also.

Q. Were you surprised about last night's results in the National League? What does it give the Rays tonight?
KEVIN CASH: Surprised? I think the only thing that was surprising was the first inning of the St. Louis-Atlanta game. You don't see that very often in postseason baseball. But four really good teams competing. I didn't even see the end of the late game.

And what was the second question?

Q. (No microphone.)
KEVIN CASH: No, I don't think so, separate series. Really good teams playing.

Q. You talked about Eric being a high contact hitter, but with the foot issues he's had, is that any concern defensively when he's out on the field?
KEVIN CASH: None. The concern that could be was how does he respond playing on his feet for two and a half hours, three hours. So we get in the 6th and 7th inning.

Getting to know Eric over the last couple of months since we acquired him, he's a pretty honest guy. He's going to put the team first. And if he starts feeling something, I think he'd be the first to kind of volunteer that up.

But he's confident. He's really excited. It was awesome to be able to tell him he's in the lineup. I don't see that becoming a factor at all.

Q. We've talked about your young team. Just what is your sense of their mood today, if they're nervous, anxious? You've been through this before.
KEVIN CASH: They seem pumped. They seem consistent with how they've been from September on in a lot of these must-win type of ball games. There's no must-win game in September but it certainly felt like there was that we played enough in. We've already played in three of them here in this postseason. I give them a lot of credit for staying consistent.

You don't see the anxiousness, the tension, anything like that. If there is, they're doing a good job of disguising it.

Q. What's reasonable to expect from Glasnow tonight and how quickly will you go to your fairly loaded bullpen?
KEVIN CASH: I don't know. You just wanted to ask that in front of everybody? I don't know.

Q. I was watching you during Game 4. And over the years managers have always said this game moves so fast, so much faster than you can possibly understand sitting in a press box, when a starter goes 6 innings and then the bullpen. Watching you and you're sitting there pretty stoic and you're making all of those moves. How fast are things moving from your perspective, maybe comparatively speaking, to a more traditional way the game is run?
KEVIN CASH: They're quick. It's fast.

Now, I think most managers in baseball have probably explored the bullpen day and done that. We've had enough experience to feel comfortable with our decisions. But I'm fortunate I've got a great staff. Kyle is on top of it. Q, our bench coach, is on top of it. And all those opinions are being factored in as that game is evolving and different matchups. A lot of what-if scenarios. We play those out for the last 24 hours now, and we'll probably do the same thing for the next nine innings.

Q. What have you seen out of d'Arnaud the last couple of days?
KEVIN CASH: I think he's found his timing at the plate a little bit. I actually think he's been taking really good swings. He's had a lot of just misses in there. He's been pitched pretty tough. Top-of-the-zone fastballs that -- the high 90s, those are tough for anybody to catch up with. He seems to take good swings at them.

The impressive thing about Travis is he stayed within the zone for the most part. There hasn't been a ton of expanding. I do agree he's trending in the right direction and getting some confidence at the plate.

Q. Just to kind of follow up on that idea of the game and the speed with the bullpen. The fact that their lineup is pretty much status quo 1 through 7 all the way through, does it make it a little easier not having to anticipate any bench moves, you know exactly who guys would face if you're going to put them in versus moves they may make?
KEVIN CASH: I guess it makes it easier, but sometimes you'd rather have the guy come off the bench. That just speaks to how good their lineup is. It doesn't make sense to make too many changes with that group.

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