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October 7, 2021

Kevin Cash

St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Tropicana Field

Tampa Bay Rays

Postgame 1 Press Conference

Rays 5, Red Sox 0

Q. Hey, Kevin. I guess maybe overall it seemed like you did a lot of things tonight that you guys did during the regular season - strong starting pitching, relief work, and a lot of clutch hitting throughout the lineup. Did it have that feel, you picked up where you left off?

KEVIN CASH: Yeah, it did. Some timely defensive plays made. Look, they hit the ball hard early on off Shane. Shane was awesome, but, you know, coming in against the Red Sox, they such a good lineup. Not a bunch of guys that you can just go carve through. They put pressure on us, but our defense was good as well. But it did feel it pretty fitting today. When we think we're right, that's how we win.

Q. And then, obviously, Randy did a lot of things to impact the game tonight. Did it kind of feel like last October in a way with him?

KEVIN CASH: Yeah. I mean, the home run certainly felt that way. The steal of home, that was one of the cooler things I've seen on a baseball field. Look, special player. He certainly gets up for the moment. He has proven that day in and day out, and definitely when it's postseason time.

Q. Cash, can you walk us through that steal of home, please?

KEVIN CASH: Well, they had Devers pulled off third base. Taylor with the matchup for Brandon. His back is to him, and, you know, Randy -- he has asked me all season long verde, verde, verde, green light, green light, and we've tried to manage that. He finally got his 20th in New York the last series, but he got the green light. We gave it to him and said, all right, if you feel it. You know, Brandon, that's a really tough matchup for Brandon. So he had enough distance from the back to give him a good start, and got a great jump.

Q. Obviously, this is your player, you're going to focus on winning, but is there an appreciation of the historical stuff that he keeps accomplishing, being the first player that steals home and hits a home run in a postseason game?

KEVIN CASH: I do. We do. I mean, this game is all about history, and any time you are putting your name in those categories like Randy has done, I've never seen anything like it in 2020, and hopefully I'll say that here at the end of 2021.

Q. Kevin, just one more thing on the Randy steal: Can you touch on all the things that go into that? Obviously, Randy making the play, but the coaching, scouting, just all the work that goes into making a play like that happen.

KEVIN CASH: Yeah. I wish I could tell you there was a lot. It's basically his fearlessness, his athleticism, and being able to do it. It's not like we -- we don't practice that. I mean, you see the game has evolved to where, you know, defending the hitter is so important. We do the same thing. It's not the most comfortable thing in the world when you pull a third baseman off. Certainly with a left-handed pitcher that can't see everything.

But it ultimately comes down to his decision-making and his ability to react at that pivotal moment.

Q. Just what do you think of Shane? Five scoreless in his first postseason start.

KEVIN CASH: A lot of questions about Shane coming in, and rightfully so. He hasn't done it in a postseason that much. I think he answered a lot of them with just his poise, the composure that he showed on the mound and just making quality pitches.

This is a team, being the Red Sox, that know him very well. There's no secrets. They know what he is trying to do, and he was still able to execute and make big pitches, and the guys behind him made big plays when we needed to.

Q. Hey, Kev. Just to kind of follow-up on Shane, that was like the typical kind of prospect that comes up through the Rays' system. How does that make you feel to see how you set him up for success and gave him some postseason last year, gets in the starting rotation, and then he comes out and wins right off the bat in Game 1?

KEVIN CASH: Look, I didn't do anything. I just penciled his name in. He has done it himself, and a huge credit to Shane, certainly our player development and scouts that found him and he talked about making the most of his situation. He has done that. He forced our hand last year getting on the roster because we just knew how talented he was and how he could help us, and then this year he came in extremely motivated and hasn't looked back.

It's an honor to pencil him in for Game 1 of a DS. We couldn't be more thrilled with the way Shane has developed over the course of the season.

Q. As you mentioned, they had some hard-hit balls tonight, but your defensive positioning was such that you were able to limit the damage there. Can you share anything about your approach on that for the series?

KEVIN CASH: Well, I mean, look, two teams that are very familiar with each other. We know our pitchers. I feel like we have a pretty good assessment of their hitters and how talented they are and what they're trying to do. Out guys upstairs they kind of give us the blueprint of this is where they hit the ball most on these types of pitches and these types of match-ups, and we're fortunate that we've got guys that really care, pay attention to every little detail. Any advantage that can help us, we're going to try to use.

And it was fitting that it showed up tonight because there were some balls where it felt like Brandon was right there, Wander was right there, Yandy was right there. I mean, Dalbec smoked three balls today, and if you're not in the right position, you're not even -- you're not getting though those balls, let alone catch them.

Q. It's almost forgotten by the end of the game, but just how big is Randy's play in the first inning when he gets from first to home, when Kike bobbles the ball and takes pressure off and all that?

KEVIN CASH: Randy's entire game, I know the home run and the stolen base, but the lead-off walk, the patience to get will. Not assuming -- that was a great send by Rodney Linares, our third base coach, Randy not assuming anything. I know Rodney talks to the guys, I'm going to wave you. Keep coming. I will stop you if there's a need to stop.

I'm glad you brought that up because that really shifted the momentum right there to get up 1-0 with two batters in, Wander had a big night. But Randy is just -- that's how he plays. He busts it down the line whether it's a ground ball to short or whether it's a ball in the gap. You're going to have to stop him.

Q. Kevin, when you were sitting here this afternoon it was easy to say the team is ready, but did you have a vibe that you guys were ready to go, that you were going to play at the level you're accustomed to?

KEVIN CASH: The way I look at it and go back to it is this team has experienced postseason baseball. There is a huge benefit to that. When you have a core group of guys or a large part of your roster that have experienced that, it helps.

I think it also helps playing in the American League East. It's very intense. Every series it feels like something is riding on the line, and you get a little bit seasoned to that. So hopefully that continues to carry over night to night.

MODERATOR: Kevin, thanks so much. Appreciate it.

KEVIN CASH: All right, guys.

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