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October 19, 2021

Alex Cora

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Fenway Park

Boston Red Sox

Pregame 4 Press Conference

Q. Most people in Boston after the last two Red Sox wins think the series is over. You don't agree with that, do you?

ALEX CORA: No, the series is not over. It's a good baseball team, and the only guaranteed thing here is it's Game 6, right? That's it. We got to keep playing. We got to keep doing the things that we do. They're going to do the same thing. They're not going to quit.

We're in a good spot. I would rather be up 2-1 than down 1-2, but understanding who the opposition is and the talent that they have, we just got to keep playing.

Q. This isn't pressing news, and apologies if you have talked about it before, but your thoughts on this goofy song "Dancing on my Own," and if you have heard it too many times to count or if you even pay attention or what you think about it?

ALEX CORA: I hope I keep hearing it for two or three more weeks or the whole offseason. If that happens, something really cool happened here at Fenway.

That's an issue of the playoffs. Every team, I bet, they have a song. Every team, they do their own thing just to keep going. It's a fun part of it, and the guys, they're enjoying it. I saw Christian Arroyo, like I said yesterday, dancing in Foxboro. That was cool. It's part of baseball, and it's part of playoffs in sports, so I think it's cool.

Q. Hey, Alex. Carlos said last night he had no problem with what Eduardo did. He said he applauded everything he did on the field, his performance, and imitating his celebration. He said when you play that way, you deserve to do whatever you want, and he thinks baseball should trend more towards having fun. He had no problem. What do you think about that?

ALEX CORA: That's his -- actually, I didn't take -- it's more of what we do. It's not about him doing what Correa did. It's about what we do. We don't have to react to what the opposition do. That was why I was -- I told Eddie, we don't do that. Hey, we jump. We celebrate. We enjoy what we do. We play with emotion, but reacting to what the opposition, what they do, it doesn't -- we haven't done it in the past. We're not going to start doing it now.

Obviously, we have reacted after series. The players have done that, but the series is far from over, and just keep playing, keep your head down, keep moving forward, and try to win four games before they win four. That's our goal, and then after that if you want to do whatever you want to do, you do it.

Q. Having said all that, what did you think about Carlos applauding everything he did, including the imitation?

ALEX CORA: I mean, he is a smart individual, and I understand where he is coming from. We all understand where we're at baseball-wise. Kind of like playing with emotion, showing emotion, and I'm good with that, and I don't mind that, but at the same time it wasn't actually about Correa or the Astros. It's about the Red Sox and what we do and staying in the moment and keep doing the things that we have done so far to keep moving forward.

Q. Just following that up a little bit, how do you get your pitchers to where you want them mentally? You could tell Eduardo was locked in right from the beginning. A guy like Nick Pivetta, how much do you want him to play on the emotion we saw earlier in the postseason?

ALEX CORA: Bushy and Walk and Jason, they do an amazing job with the pitching staff. They do an amazing job with the catchers. As far as game-planning and all that, we feel good with our program.

Mentally having a Chris Sale and Nate Eovaldi, been there, done that. Understanding you go championship-caliber pitch from the get-go until we decide to take the ball out of their hands, that's what they preach. That's what they talk about, and that's what they understand, and that's why you see them just pedal to the metal from the get-go. If it's two innings, it's two innings, four innings, four innings, six innings, whatever. You come out of the bullpen, that's how we do it. That's the approach.

In the playoffs it's not an 800-meter race. It's not even 100 meters. It's 50 meters. It's a sprint, and every inning is a sprint, and that's the way we see it. That's the way they go about it, and that's the reason I think, you know, you saw Eddie yesterday from the get-go throwing 94, 95. Championship-caliber pitch from the get-go, and see where it takes us.

Q. Nick Pivetta pitched pretty well against you guys, as I recall, for the Phillies back in '18, but he was kind of up and down overall with Philadelphia, and he was better here. What do you remember about him? What do you think has made him better here, and what did you see that you liked so much in that Tampa series?

ALEX CORA: I think stuff-wise he was good in the past with the Phillies. I think Brock hit a homer, right, or something like that? Whatever. But he pitched well. One thing I told him in Spring Training, I'm, like, you're going to get the ball every five days. Regardless of the results, we trust you, we like your stuff, so don't worry about results. Just get ready every five days, go out there and do your thing. He has been amazing.

Forget about the numbers, but there's been certain starts throughout the season that we needed him to step up and perform, and there was one in Tampa, there was one in Oakland. After he came out from the COVID IL in Chicago, he was good. He is a good one. Stuff-wise, he is one of the best that we have. It's just a matter of using his stuff the right way, and we're very happy with the way he performed in the regular season.

In the playoffs he was amazing against the Rays. He was really good. He showed a lot of emotion, which is cool. Forget the emotion. The stuff was really, really good, and we're looking forward for him to go out there and have fun and go out there and perform and give us a chance to win.

Q. Everyone pretty much knows what you were expecting to get from Kyle Schwarber when the trade was made. He has performed, obviously, but then you got the playoff game against Tampa and the error, and then afterwards makes the play, and really lightened up a really tightly wound baseball nation here. Can you tell me what he has brought besides what we knew he was bringing and what that exemplified?

ALEX CORA: He is a great teammate. When he was rehabbing, when we pulled the trade, we were in Tampa. I remember that day. We were in Tampa going over their pitching staff, and he wasn't afraid -- he wasn't afraid to speak up. He talked about certain pitchers and talked about our hitters, what he saw from afar and the things that we can do, and since day one he has been amazing. Good in the clubhouse. Hard worker. Takes care of himself, know, in the training room, in the weight room, and I'm happy that he is playing first base for us.

Q. I saw where you said that Chris wouldn't start tomorrow, if you needed him for an inning tonight. Is there a specific -- when you are talking about Chris, what would constitute a need? Is it a matchup? Is it a specific situation? Is it extra innings? What would constitute in Chris's case a need to use him?

ALEX CORA: I mean, sorry, I'm going to have to answer the question like this, but the game will dictate what we do with him. We don't know what's going to happen in nine innings or ten innings or 11 innings. The one thing I can tell you everybody is available, but then the game will dictate what we do with our pitchers.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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