10/3/2013 12:26 A.M. ET
Oct. 2 Alex Cobb postgame interview
By / MLB.com
Q. You talked outside about how Molina uses imagination with you in pitch calling. Explain what you mean.
ALEX COBB: Most nights are pretty prototypical for me, it's fastball in to the lefty, changeups away, mix in the curveball here and there. The fastball location was just all over the place tonight. Changeup was nonexistent for most of the day.
So Jose really got creative back there. He called curve balls in situations I wouldn't normally throw a curveball. We were in a big jam and we needed a pitch, he put down a changeup. I executed every once in a while, but for the most part he got creative and got me out of some big situations.
Q. How would you describe your whole season from the start to the injury to this moment right now?
ALEX COBB: It's been a blur. I don't know if that's because of the concussion or it's just been up and down all year. You know, I came out of camp, before camp not even knowing if I was going to be on the team really.
And then Joe came out and told media the first day of Spring Training I was pretty much in the starting rotation, and since then it's been great. It's been a lot of learning points this year, and then a lot of appreciation points, also, going down with the injury and sitting and watching your team go on and do what they were doing during that span and keeping you in first place, battle between us and Boston back and forth.
I appreciated being back out there, and then when I did get back out there, I vowed to never forget that feeling I had back at home watching the team and to leave it all out on the field really. It's been a whirlwind for sure.
Q. David Price went out there and gave you a big hug. What did he say to you?
ALEX COBB: David has been talking to me all night. I don't remember that one key point that he said something. He's been telling me how proud he is. For David, he's the leader of this staff and he knows that. He's taught us a lot of things, especially dating back to when he was struggling coming off a Cy Young award and he was struggling the first month of the season or so. He was our biggest cheerleader. A lot of guys, a lot of aces wouldn't be able to swallow their pride like that and be able to cheer on the rest of the guys, but he was top step, rooting for everybody, and nobody wants us to succeed more than him, I think. I really feel like he feels like he has definitely had an impact on our careers, and I think it's fun for him to see us go out there and succeed.
Q. Can you talk about how you reined in your emotions in this atmosphere, especially when it got tight when you had runners on base, you were able to buckle down when it seemed like everything was against you at that point?
ALEX COBB: I don't know. It was tough. From the second I stepped out on the field tonight, to go warm up, this crowd was electric. I mean, I haven't experienced anything like that in the past career.
I witnessed a little bit in Texas with David on the mound, but when you're not asked to do anything, it's easy to just kind of look around and enjoy it. But when you actually have to mentally be present and think and execute pitches, it's difficult.
It took me a few innings to really figure out how to harness that and slow things down. We always slow things down on the mound, but when it's a situation like this, you can allow a lot of thoughts to go through your mind, and you have to really be present of not allowing those thoughts to creep in your mind and slow down and just execute pitches.
Maybe it was a good thing I got in some jams because it did make me slow down a couple times and execute a big pitch when I needed to.
Q. You guys have thrived in hostile environments. Can you talk about that, and what you expect up in Boston?
ALEX COBB: I expect the same thing up in Boston, maybe a little bit more. Those fans are extremely intense. I grew up going to those games and witnessed it firsthand. But this team, nobody wants to go home. We've battled through some big time, extreme ups and downs, and getting down to this latter part of the season in September, beginning of September, we struggled pretty hard, and we felt it in the locker room. We were not happy with ourselves, and we knew we had ourselves in a good position to get in the postseason. We were watching that kind of slip away.
Later on in September something clicked. We got hot. We're bringing that into the postseason right now. We've been facing elimination games, our back was against the wall against Game 162, 161. We wouldn't have it any other way. I think it's making us bear down, and we really enjoyed the pressure.
Oct. 2 Joe Maddon postgame interview
Q. (Inaudible) said after the game that he felt a lot of anxiety coming in and he was working against it. What did you see in him and how he was able to control it?
JOE MADDON: He hit it very well because I didn't see that from the sideline. Even when Hick went out there, Hick was talking to him between innings and he did not reveal that to us at all. I'm looking at him out there. The delivery was good. Maybe it was revealed in the sense that his splitter changeup was not a good pitch for him today. He left a lot of those up. Had a really good hook today. The fastball had the velocity but not the same movement.
So I guess what I'm saying is he pitched pretty darned good without all of his normal weapons. But from our perspective, you couldn't see any of the anxiety.
Q. Can you talk about the accomplishment of going on the road two days and ‑‑
JOE MADDON: Actually you've got to count Toronto, too. That was a crazy day up there just to get to the point where we could play again on Monday. That's three different venues, three difficult venues. Toronto was packed, also.
Texas in a quasi playoff game that actually is a playoff game. And then today's game. All in enemy territory. I'm so proud of our guys. You had to be in the dugout to see, they were fine. Our guys were fine from the very first pitch. There was nothing going on except focus and let's go, and a lot of life, man. It was outstanding to watch. As a manager to stand there and see your guys to react to that moment like that, you've got to be very proud.
Q. Would you speak to your defense and how many plays you made tonight?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, I was talking about that, the infielder defense primarily, too. Those infielders, man. James Loney can throw the baseball. I mean, that's the thing about James: Everybody always talks about fielding, which you have to be a good fielder and kind of handy around the bag. But the thing that this guys does, he throws extremely well, and he's not afraid to throw. There are some first basemen that would not make the throw that he makes.
On the other side, you've got Evan and Yunel, how about that. It's outstanding what they've done all season, and of course Zo. Jay Mo, no hits today, I don't think, but caught a great game. Whenever Jay Mo walks in a game, I feel very confident we're going to win, also. So that happened, too. But the whole infield defense, what you saw today is pretty much what I've been watching all year.
Q. Why did you move Longo in the middle of Santana's at‑bat or was he already supposed to be over there?
JOE MADDON: No, he didn't. Santana will bunt. He'll bunt, and sometimes he'll bunt up to two strikes. So at that particular moment, we said just go ahead and move. I definitely am willing to give up a run right there for two outs, so that's all it was.
Q. Second throw that Loney made, can you take us through what you saw on that play?
JOE MADDON: You've got to understand, everything is happening kind of like at the speed of light out there, and the guy hits the ball well down the first baseline. Now, had he just gone to second and come back to first, then that run cannot score, and I think he might have had a chance to do that, but he's computing all that stuff. Training, the ball took him towards the bag, step on the bag.
Nobody on third base is a relatively easy play, but the runner on third ‑‑ again, I give him credit for processing all of that. He had forgotten that Longo had moved. We talked about that when he came in the dugout. So what he did, I was definitely willing to give up a run right there to get two outs if we could, even if he had stepped on the bag, thrown to second, they got in a run, a run scores, that still would have been a nice play. But I cannot fault him. That shows you how quickly he thinks on his feet. The one part of it he really did not process is the fact that Longo had moved.
Q. Boston again, you played 19 times against them, you lost 12 of them, but they only hit like .208 against you. Can you explain the admiration there?
JOE MADDON: Yeah, I think we probably hit .207 against them. I mean, they really pitched well against us. We just did not swing the bats well, and that speaks to their pitching. They have a really good pitching staff. They have a great starting staff. They have a tremendous bullpen.
I do anticipate a lot of the same in the playoffs as we continue. We feel very confident about our pitchers pitching against anybody, and we've done well. Part of that is we talked about that prior to the fact that our guys are used to pitching or playing in that venue, whether it's Yankee Stadium packed, Fenway Park packed, we kind of dig it.
Look at him tonight, he loves it. We're playing here in Cleveland packed. The guys dig it. I think that's part of it, why we're able to perform relatively well there. But by the same token, so do they, and they can really pitch.
Q. The Indians closed out with 10 straight wins and it seemed they couldn't do anything wrong. Were you surprised the way they struggled with men in scoring position?
JOE MADDON: You know, I wasn't there to watch all of that. I really like their lineup a lot. They present a lot of challenges with the back and forth, Bourn and then the switch‑hitter, left‑hand hitter, and another switch‑hitter. That's a lot to think about prior to a game. That's the thing about having a pitcher like Alex out there who doesn't know right‑handed from left‑handed hitter. And when you get more of those neutral kind of guys, they can perform well against both sides.
So I think more than they did not come through, you've got to give him credit for making big pitches when he had to.
Oct. 2 Desmond Jennings postgame interview
Q. This is kind of a textbook Rays game as far as pitching and defense, you guys catching everything and the plays Loney made. Can you talk about the extra significance you guys place on defense?
DESMOND JENNINGS: We feel like defense wins games, and definitely the way Alex went out and pitched today, just felt like it was just another start for him. You know the situations he got himself out of and you know the plays that were made behind him. That's what we feel wins games.
Q. What do you think has enabled this team to play as well on the road as it has in the last week or so?
DESMOND JENNINGS: I feel like, I don't know, we played loose. We feel like we can win any game, any time, any place. You know the last part of our schedule, we felt like going into New York and Toronto kind of helped us when we got to Texas, playing on the road. We went through, played some tough games, played Texas at home and Baltimore, felt like we played some tough games at home, and just at the end of the season to help us get ready for the situation we're in now.
Q. You're playing Boston again, 19 times during the regular season, and they beat you 12 times, but they didn't hit very well against you during that time. Any ideas on how to beat them finally, turn the tables on them?
DESMOND JENNINGS: Just going to go out and play our game. We feel like our pitching is good. They have good pitching, too, so you know it's always going to be a battle playing those guys, especially in Fenway. But we're going to go out and play our game and hopefully come out with a victory.
Q. Was the silly string your idea?
DESMOND JENNINGS: The silly string? No, no, that wasn't me. But it felt good.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.