October 11, 2021
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Tampa Bay Rays
Postgame 4 Press Conference
Red Sox 6, Rays 5
Q. Kevin, I know you guys had a big comeback there to tie it and had a big regular season, but just the disappointment you must feel after being knocked out in the first round?
KEVIN CASH: There's no doubt there's disappointment. Look, I think we've got to look at it, very proud of what was accomplished in the regular season, but we had high aspirations to get deep in this thing. We ran into a Red Sox team that they just beat us, no other way around it. They got the big hits.
Really proud of our guys, the way they stayed at it. That was a pretty telling example of what this team's character is about to come down from 5-0, pretty devastating in the third inning, and we claw back in it. We just came up short tonight.
Q. I know you said you had many options for pitching. Would you be able to explain why you went to McClanahan then in that situation and stuck with him there?
KEVIN CASH: Well, look, Mac has been such a horse for us all year long. He's a day short of regular rest and just felt like given that stretch of the lineup, I wanted to see him try to get through the top of the lineup twice. Obviously, it kind of went sideways pretty quick, and he got up to 28, 29 pitches, whatever it was, in one inning, and damage had been done. It just felt like that was enough.
Pretty comfortable with asking him to carry the load. I'm so appreciative that he was amped up to do it. But it just didn't go our way.
Q. Just along those lines, McHugh after two innings, it was only 18 pitches. Just didn't like where he was in the lineup?
KEVIN CASH: No, it really didn't have to do with where he was in the lineup. He'd just come off a 40-pitch workload two days prior. He was efficient, really efficient, but was confident.
We weren't going to let McHugh face Schwarber a second time, and with McClanahan, I didn't think there was anything wrong with getting him in there to let him get settled before coming in on not being a clean inning.
Q. Just how do you reconcile all that this team accomplished in the regular season with the early exit? I'm sure it's pride for what you've done and then disappointment. Just kind of how do you handle that mix right now?
KEVIN CASH: You don't have a choice. You just handle it. I just think the guys, it's a special group. There's no denying that. They set records in this organization with the amount of wins. There's been a lot of great teams that have come through this organization. For us to be sitting at the top of the list, it's something we've got to be proud of.
There's no doubt there's a lot of disappointment right now, just the way that we're feeling. You come in riding the high of a tremendous regular season, and we just couldn't quite get it figured out against Boston. They move on, and ultimately we don't.
Q. Like you said, the eighth inning kind of characteristic for this team that came back so many times. Just what did you think of the effort there, especially KK all that he did offensively and the throw from center.
KEVIN CASH: KK turned it on for us, even last night. I was glad when he hit that ball. We had a guy on second base just in case it ricocheted out of the ballpark again. He came up big for us. He came up big with the throw. A lot of momentum back and forth in that ballgame. Pete Fairbanks was awesome.
Our pitchers did a tremendous job of quieting a very, very hot offense that is just putting all kind of pressure on us throughout the series.
Q. In that play in the ninth, the infield single, Yandy and Ji-Man, just kind of a tough throw for Ji-Man to pick right there?
KEVIN CASH: Yeah, it is a tough throw. You've got to factor in there's a guy at second base, the ball gets by, the game is over on that play. No fault at all to anybody. Yandy throws off one foot, and Ji-Man has got to secure it and keep it in front of him.
We trust Ji-Man's judgment. He's pretty good at picking balls out that he thinks he can handle, but he felt most important to keep it in front of him.
Q. Obviously, Boston is a very good team, but what about this series surprised you? What did your team do or not do that you weren't expecting?
KEVIN CASH: Well, look, I think they had a pretty relentless approach at the plate. We just could not create that swing and miss that we've done so well throughout the regular season. They really had a good approach. It felt like there was constant pressure. There were no easy outs.
For us being a team that seems to strike a lot of guys out, we did not rack up the strikeouts like we typically do.
Q. Considering all that was accomplished in six months of a regular season, is it unfair to say that it gets wiped out by four days in October?
KEVIN CASH: Yes, I would think that would be unfair. These guys should be very proud. I know I am, of what was accomplished. You're allowed to be proud and also disappointed at the same time.
Coming into Spring Training, there's no denying this team had high aspirations. Erik and his staff did a tremendous job of building or adding to the core that was here and replacing pieces that have really helped us, but I can't look at this team as a disappointment. I would say that's unfair.
Q. Kevin, what was the sense of the players? Were guys mad? Were they throwing stuff? Were they just kind of mellow and disappointed, just when you talked to them briefly?
KEVIN CASH: They were pros, like they always are. Just professional. No doubt the mood was somber. Good reason. They know it's a talented team that just didn't get it done the last three days. Very professional.
Q. Going back to McClanahan for a second, was your thought he'd give you two, three, four innings, cover that portion of the game?
KEVIN CASH: Yes, that was the thought. Basically two times through or one and a half times through.
Q. You think it was just a matter of location? He was having trouble with some of the lefties, it seemed like.
KEVIN CASH: Yeah. Noticed that a little bit. Again, credit the Red Sox lineup. Even the game that he pitched really well, there were balls that they handled. It wasn't a ton of swing and miss. They had a good approach against them.
Q. Then just there was a small issue it looked like with some fans. Were they throwing stuff at the dugout or at your guys or something?
KEVIN CASH: Yeah, but that happens. These fans, Boston fans are great fans. A couple knuckleheads aren't going to spoil a passionate group of fans. Just fortunately, nobody got hit with anything.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports