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October 8, 2021

Kevin Cash

St. Petersburg, Florida, USA

Tropicana Field

Tampa Bay Rays

Postgame 2 Press Conference

Red Sox 14, Rays 6

Q. When you came in there was a lot of confidence in the bullpen. It seemed like a rough night. McHugh and Wisler obviously giving up big hits and home runs. What was your take on their night?

KEVIN CASH: That's a very fair way to say it. Look, the Red Sox we knew coming in they have a very talented offense, and they just put together a lot of at-bats, quality at-bats, consecutive with guys on base, and just kind of put it to us tonight.

Q. And then Shane Baz, what did you think of his outing? He obviously didn't get very deep. Shane Baz, he didn't get very deep, obviously. What did you think of his outing?

KEVIN CASH: You know, I thought -- look, I thought Shane was fine. His stuff was fine. Right out of the gate they ambushed him with quality at-bats, but I felt like mentally he was totally fine. It was just maybe a lack of execution on some pitches. Kyle and I and even Z were talking, like, the stuff looked really good. But, again, it's the Red Sox line-up that deserves a lot of credit.

Q. Kevin, I know Wisler has been good for you guys this season. What was the thought process in going to him when you did and just what did you think of the way his outing went?

KEVIN CASH: Well, he has been awesome for us this year. We got two outings and then a third from him before the DS started. He just left some breaking balls up. Every one that was hit was either above the zone or right at the top of the zone, and ideally, that's not where you are throwing breaking balls to that grouping of hitters that he faced, and they made us pay for it.

Q. Cash, obviously after scoring those five runs in the first inning, what do you think happened with the offense? Is it just credit to the Red Sox pitching?

KEVIN CASH: Yeah. What happened I think was Tanner Houck, he was really tough. I mean, looked like he had -- I know he had all of his stuff working. He looked like he had a great breaking ball. Just kept us off balance, but he was tough. We had seen him, I think, one other time early and was good that time as well, but he came in and did a tremendous job for them.

Q. Does the amount of relievers you used today change what you do for Game 3? I mean, is Rasmussen definitely starting, or are you still considering the bullpen day for Game 3?

KEVIN CASH: We're going to talk through that. Fortunately, we have 24 hours to talk through it. Nothing has been totally decided. Very much Ras is going to be in play for three or four.

Q. I know that obviously the momentum changed a little bit after Luplow's grand slam in the first inning, but obviously with him, he is always a hopeful weapon against left-handed pitching, and that was a big reason why you guys wanted to have him in there. How nice was it to see him connect the way he did off of the lefty?

KEVIN CASH: That was huge. You're facing one of the game's best left-handers of our decade here in Sale, and that's why he was acquired to do that.

It is nice when it kind of works that way. We were happy for Lupe. He energized in that moment, the crowd and certainly our dugout. We just weren't able to hold them off.

Q. McHugh was so good for you all year. He only gave up three home runs. Surprised to see how tonight unfolded?

KEVIN CASH: Yeah. Look, any time he is giving up runs -- he has been so good all season long, you get into that consistency of he is just going to go in and induce weak contact and get his strikeouts, but the Red Sox had other plans.

I think he threw the ball well. The pitch to Kike, I think that was the second or third home run, the third home run is the one that he would have liked to have back just a little bit better executed pitch.

Q. Just curious, Kittredge and Fairbanks, they weren't even -- I don't think they were up at any point tonight.

KEVIN CASH: No. After Wisler came in the game, J.D. hit the three-run homer. Just felt like we needed to do what we can to preserve our guys, and we should be in a pretty good spot, even though Wach gave up some runs, but we should be in a good spot to cover a big Game 3.

Q. Going back to Boston now. You mentioned the difference between this club and a lot of the other clubs. A lot of guys on this team have had a lot of postseason experience, and you guys have been back a few years in a row. You confident now that that's something that gets taken care of in the clubhouse with all the older guys and there's not a message that needs to be sent, like maybe in the past maybe if it's the first year you were in as opposed to you got veterans in there and they all kind of group together and they know what they got to do to get back --

KEVIN CASH: Very confident in that. It's a mentality that they've kind of carried with them all season long. It's a loss. It didn't go our way tonight, but you enjoy the off-day tomorrow and then bounce back and know that we'll be in a, you know, a great ballpark venue to play Game 3.

MODERATOR: Kevin, thanks a lot. See you at Fenway.

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