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October 7, 2021

Tony La Russa

Houston, Texas, USA

Minute Maid Park

Chicago White Sox

Postgame 1 Press Conference

Astros - 6, White Sox - 1

Q. What did you see from Lance Lynn today?

TONY LA RUSSA: I thought his stuff was good. I know he wasn't happy with the sequence of pitches. He felt like he had more to work with. He didn't show enough of the assortment that he had. So that's what I saw.

I mean, he's a warrior with -- all year long, he's been excellent stranding runners. He handled Brantley and jammed him in a little bunt. He got a ground ball. And talking to him later, he wasn't pleased with his sequences. He had more of a variety of pitches that he could have shown.

Q. What was McCullers doing to keep your hitters away from the ball all day?

TONY LA RUSSA: Over the years -- you can agree or disagree. I like talking about our club, and they can talk about theirs. They know him better. The numbers speak for themselves. They didn't do much with him. But as far as going in depth why we didn't, it just doesn't work too well. We just recognized what he did. He pitched very well.

Q. How do you keep your club from not getting discouraged or frustrated after a day like today?

TONY LA RUSSA: It's a good question to ask because you don't know our club. If you watch, our club doesn't get discouraged. If they beat you, tip your cap, and you come out tomorrow. There's no doubt in my mind we'll come out ready to play.

Q. Tony, you've been through this so many times in the postseason. In a shorter series like this, what does a Game 1 win mean in terms of just momentum and everything else?

TONY LA RUSSA: Well, you'd like to have it. It's definitely an edge. I can give you a couple handfuls of times we lost the first game, like 2011, and came back and did alright.

You've got to win three, but every one you get is valuable. And the first opportunity, we definitely wanted it, and they got it. We'll be ready to compete tomorrow.

Q. You talked about how Abreu was not feeling well before the game today. How is he feeling now?

TONY LA RUSSA: Again, the more you're around our club, what he did today is routine, and you almost take it for granted except it would be a terrible mistake to make because his commitment to the team and his toughness is as good as it can possibly be by anybody that's ever played the game.

But if you watch his batting practice, I mean, he did all the things. The medical staff was on top of it. He ran. The fever didn't come back. He took batting practice, and he was striking the ball well. He ends up getting a couple of hits.

But he has done that -- like I say, if you watched our club, unfortunately, he's had to show that toughness more than he should.

Q. You've talked a lot this year about no quit in your guys. Do you get a little boost from how you guys handled their bullpen pitchers in the last few innings and some of the hits you strung that together?

TONY LA RUSSA: We're going to play nine innings. It's more fun when you're got something rolling, but you've really got to dig deep when you're not. One run on the board, but we made some things happen. Yeah, they made good pitches. I think it just solidifies within our club we played hard nine innings, and they beat us, but that's what we do.

Q. Apologies if this is asked already, but just what did you see of Lance today, especially in the fourth as they were able to put that rally together?

TONY LA RUSSA: I really think -- in fact, I wrote down this card here. The hits that they got, he was not pleased. The quote I used before as somebody had asked that, he was not pleased with the sequence of pitches that he threw because he had an assortment that he wanted to compete with, you know, in retrospect.

But one of the things that's marked his season is he's been outstanding at getting that third out. So he got a ground ball and found a hole, and that's two runs. But just the specific thing he felt was he didn't like his sequence of pitches. He thinks, if he had more, he could show them.

Q. This is probably a pregame question, but we didn't know the lineup at the time. What was the thought process in Hernandez not playing and Leury playing second base?

TONY LA RUSSA: The lineup you saw, Hernandez would have been there without Abreu. Wanted to play angle to have an outstanding outfield, especially the big part of the center and right. And then Leury's going to play someplace. Cease's shown some life here lately, but in comparison, the choice went to have Engel and then have Leury at second base.

The question was Engel or Hernandez, and I felt Engel was a better way to go.

Q. You talk about the sequence of Lance. He's got one of the best fastball mixes. Astros are a great fastball hitting team. How much of that is a strength-versus-strength situation? Do you want him to use pitches he hasn't used a lot this year?

TONY LA RUSSA: That's why I said he's upset. He had more of an assortment. He has more of an assortment. He relies on the fastball if it's working, but he's got a cutter. He's got a slider. He takes a lot off. He's got a change-up. He's got a sinker. I think that's his regret at this point. He could have mixed things up more.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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