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October 16, 2021

Alex Cora

Houston, Texas, USA

Minute Maid Park

Boston Red Sox

Postgame 2 Press Conference

Red Sox - 9, Astros - 5.

Q. Alex, how big was it just to get out of here with a split, especially the way you did it with the two early grand slams?

ALEX CORA: We swung the bat well yesterday, and we feel really good offensively. Yesterday we played a good game, and then tonight we did too. And obviously, going home and guaranteed three games, that's very important. Now it's the best out of five, and we play three games at home. This is a place that the last two playoffs we've been here.

We swung the bat well. We played well. That's a tough team. It's never a comfort with them because they're a swing away from getting back in the game. But, yeah, it's something that we talked about today, and now we go to Fenway, and it should be fun.

Q. Nate has been so good for you guys all year, but just what does this start mean for you guys in terms of the way you can set the rest of the rotation up and bullpen up and all that?

ALEX CORA: There's a reason we map things the way we do. Some people don't agree with us, but I think we have a pretty good pulse of what we do in our program. Yesterday we almost pulled that off. Obviously, we want Chris to go deeper, and I think he will, but having Nate in Game 2 understanding and knowing that there's a good chance he is going to go deep in the game with the off day tomorrow, we felt comfortable with the way we did things. He's has been a horse for us, he's been amazing, and he went out there and did an amazing job.

Q. Their starter was working at a slow pace in the first inning, then you had the delay in the second inning. How did your guys keep their focus, and was that an issue?

ALEX CORA: I don't think our focus was going to be -- there was no way today the way they came to the ballpark, the way they talked today in the meeting, the way they went about their business, it really didn't matter if it was an hour delay or whatever. We were locked in today.

Obviously, yesterday was disappointing, but at the same time, understanding what we wanted to do and go home and have three guaranteed games at Fenway, it really didn't matter.

Q. Also, were you concerned at all how long it took Odorizzi to get ready?

ALEX CORA: No. No, not really. They actually met to go over the scouting report, like, if he was the starter, which it was cool. They kept moving around, and Nate was good. I understand. It was weird. I've never seen it that way, but understanding that he needs to be ready and to avoid injuries, it really didn't matter how long it took him.

Q. (Question in Spanish)

ALEX CORA: (Answer in Spanish)

Q. What was the issue with Nate when you brought the trainer out in the fifth, I think?

ALEX CORA: I think he slipped. There was a big hole, so he slipped a little bit. He made, like, a gesture, and he started stretching, but he said he was fine. It was actually kind of, like, his back. He said he was fine. He came in -- got the out, right, and came in. They checked on him. They stretched him out, and there's no issues.

Q. What was Nate doing during the delay?

ALEX CORA: Just hanging out with Bushy. There's nothing he could do. Just sit in there, moving around, stretching. I actually told him, hey, you can take whatever time you want to get ready, and he is, like, no, I'm good. He treated it like a long inning.

Q. Do you have a Game 3 starter now in?

ALEX CORA: Not yet. Not yet.

Q. The offensive approach has been inconsistent at times during the regular season especially with strike zone management. What are you seeing in the postseason? And you talked about the focus. What are you seeing in the hitters meetings right now?

ALEX CORA: Just a lot of conversations. A lot of feedback. I guarantee you they're studying a little bit more, watching not only one start, two starts, but three or four, and going back to a month ago, two months ago looking for tendencies, talking about the characteristics of the fastball because that's what they do. Different angles. Different shapes of breaking balls. They do what they do. They attack how they attack, so you got to be ready.

It's very different from Tampa. Tampa, I think, it was more aggressive in the strike zone. These guys, they do what they do. They expand the zone. We struck out, what, 12, 13 times anyway today, right? Something like that. We still can be better, but overall I think it's more about what we can do and just try to keep that line moving.

I think when we have this humble approach that we're not trying to do too much, then big things happen. And J.D., that was great to see going the other way. Rafi, not trying to do too much and hitting the grand slam and so on and so on. It's a very good approach right now. We're not getting greedy. Like I said a few days ago, it's not about hitting 30 home runs or driving 100 runs. It's about winning four games against the Astros, so now we got one, and now we go to Fenway.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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