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October 15, 2019

Tommy Kahnle

Chad Green

New York, New York - pregame 3

Q. Tommy, what has been the biggest difference for you this year as opposed to last year?
TOMMY KAHNLE: I think the biggest difference is just getting away from the game and kind of clearing my head coming into the season, and really just getting back to the basics, which was just getting stronger and healthier, I guess. And I think coming into the season it really helped and I was able to stay healthy all season.

Q. What was the biggest challenge of last year? Was it the injury or something else?
TOMMY KAHNLE: Yeah, I got hurt early and it just kind of lingered through the season, and I just kind of thought I could throw through it and it didn't work out. And really didn't help me down the stretch. And then I was just overcompensating for things and my command just went out the window.

Q. For both of you guys, with everything that the club has gone through this year, what do you feel when you hear Boone's name come up as Manager of the Year for being able to get through all of it?
CHAD GREEN: Yeah, I mean, I think he's done a great job of just putting guys in the right positions to succeed. I think through the course of the year obviously we've had a lot of injuries and stuff like that, but for him to just keep a positive mindset, I think it goes a long way in the clubhouse. I think just communication with players and just putting them in the right position.

TOMMY KAHNLE: Overall I agree with Chad's statement. He's just done a great job of just finding any way to get everything out of that player. He just kept us together as a group through the time. We were just overcoming a lot of adversity with all the injuries and stuff so I think he's done a great job with that and everything this year has just gone the right way, and I think he's done a great job of that.

Q. What do you think has made the bullpen games that you've had this year such a successful strategy? And why does it tend to work for the Yankees to throw a lot of different arms at a team in one game?
CHAD GREEN: I think that's just our depth. You talk about guys like Nestor and David Hale and guys like that that really stepped up through the course of a year that saved some of our back-end guys. I think that over the course of a year that plays a big role in what we're able to do now.

So to guys having not having to throw three days in a row and giving guys a day here and there really plays big dividends in September and October.

TOMMY KAHNLE: Yes, agreed. I think they handled the bullpen really well this year keeping every guy rested well and just enough to where we weren't being overused or overworked. And the same thing where we had so much depth this year that it helped when guys did go down, we had guys step up and help along the way and did a really good job this year.

Q. Hours ahead of Game 3, how important was it to take a game on the road against the Astros as you head back to Yankee Stadium?
CHAD GREEN: Just knowing how tough of a place Houston is to win in, I think winning that first game was huge. Obviously we would have liked to have won Game 2 and come back with a two-game lead. To win a game in their place in a playoff is not an easy thing to do.

You need performances like Tanaka to win those games. And I think we can kind of expect the same pitching here.

Q. Obviously bullpen use has been on the rise in recent years in the postseason. Usually you see really aggressive use of the bullpen in elimination games, but it feels like the Yankees have been very, very aggressive using you guys throughout both series so far. What's it like being a part of that paradigm shift in the way bullpens are used in the playoffs?
TOMMY KAHNLE: I think it's definitely a new trend lately. And to go to the bullpen early is -- it's definitely one of our strengths on the team. And I think Boone has done a great job of utilizing that. And I think he's just trying any way to get the end goal, which is the W at the end of the day.

And being able to use us early in games, it's not going to really affect us. We've been doing it almost all year, I want to say. Not to a point where the other day.

Also, we've told him anytime that we will take the ball whenever. We're not going to complain. We're not going to shy away from it. So I think we've done a great job of that and just communicating with him really has been a good key point this year.

Q. Is there anything different about the preparation for a designated bullpen day in terms of maybe you have a better idea of the part of the game you're going to work or the segment of the lineup you're going to face?
CHAD GREEN: I think guys have a better idea or you just go into the game knowing that you're going to pitch is the only difference, I think. Most days you show up and you're honestly not sure if you're going to get in that day.

But you're able to prepare a little bit more. Maybe find a lane that you're going to pitch in and study those hitters a little bit more or something like that. But I think just showing up to the ballpark and knowing you're going to pitch is probably the only difference.

Q. With the rain forecast for tomorrow, if tomorrow does get rained out and potentially having four days in a row like the regular season, would that be a disadvantage given how much you guys rely on the bullpen?
CHAD GREEN: I don't think you can look at it what if it rains tomorrow. I don't think we've played the game all year for what-ifs or if it rains tomorrow. You play the game to win today and that's it.

TOMMY KAHNLE: Yeah, agreed. We're not looking forward to the next day; we're always just concentrated on that day. So we don't want to look ahead and think, Oh, what if it rains. We're going to come into today just focusing on this game and trying to win this game.

Q. You entered Game 2 having inherited multiple runners and you were able to get out of those situations. Does it require an extra intensity or focus to find success in those types of situations? How do you think that experience can help you moving forward this postseason?
CHAD GREEN: Yeah, I think it's just more focus. I think the more you do it the more comfortable you become doing it with runners on. I think it's trying to execute one pitch at a time. It's nothing more and nothing less than that.

TOMMY KAHNLE: That's true. Coming into those situations, it's a bit of a stressful situation so it's going to be high intensity. And basically it's like Chad said, you've just got to keep your focus on that at-bat, that pitch. And really, just in those situations, executing is definitely the biggest in terms -- that's what we're trying to do.

Q. Chad, you've been the team's primary opener in bullpen games. Have you been given any plans or assignments in terms of tomorrow's game?
CHAD GREEN: No, I haven't. That's kind of been how it's gone all year. They haven't really told me until the game the night before is over. So I don't think you can plan for it because I'm available today to pitch. So it's not something, like I said, that we look forward to; we just worry about this game and if it happens that I'll open tomorrow, so be it.

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