Oct. 11 Dallas Keuchel, Chris Carter & Jason Castro postgame interview
THE MODERATOR: First question?
Q. Dallas, what's the conversation between you and A.J. in the 7th on the at-bat with Cain, and how did you pitch him differently that at-bat than the home run?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: How did I know you were going to ask that question? Not really much. I figured he was going to let me pitch to their best hitter. And I thought I deserved it. Made a mistake pitch early in the game, but I felt like I really still had the energy and the pitch quality to get another out.
Q. Jason, how sweet was that hit for you considering the struggles you've had since you came back off the DL offensively?
JASON CASTRO: It was nice. Valbuena and Carter kind of set the stage and made that situation possible. But I was just trying to get a pitch out over just to put something in play in the middle of the field, just to get at least one run in. And fortunately got through and we got both.
But it was nice, good time to get my first hit in the Postseason. That's for sure.
Q. Chris, we all know you had a tough time in the regular season, but that has certainly not carried over into the Postseason where you're hitting .455. Can you talk about your success and what you think is contributing to it?
CHRIS CARTER: I don't know what has been different, but I've been getting pitches up in the zone and not missing them. That's probably been the biggest thing for me.
Q. Jason, just you guys are one win now from the ALCS, considering a couple weeks ago you go on the road and it's pretty tenuous, you have to you pull out some big wins. What's it like just being this close to taking that next step?
JASON CASTRO: It's nice. It's been a long road getting to this point, and we have been playing some pretty good baseball. So, it's exciting. I mean the atmosphere here at home was awesome. We knew that if we could put ourselves in a good spot and be in this situation, playing at home, that's the odds that we'll take.
So, we're excited and we're still going to stick to playing our ball and hopefully pull it out tomorrow.
Q. Dallas and Jason, you guys were here a few years ago when the times were bad. Can you talk about how that adversity prepared you for this moment?
JASON CASTRO: Yeah, I mean it's been a long road. We knew that it would be a few years before we could be at this point, but we trusted in the process, tried to better ourselves through that time and just hoped that once we got in this situation, we would be ready.
It's been nice to play with some guys that have been here like Dallas, to share this experience.
Q. Dallas, how are you seeing the confidence build on this young team as you've gone through the season and find yourself in the Postseason right now? How have you seen that confidence build? What's the mood in the clubhouse? And did you do your disco celebration tonight?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: Well, I think that success is a lot more sweet whenever you kind of go through hardships, like we did the first couple years that I was up here, and Castro. But it's not really a confidence that has grown. It's been there the whole time. We haven't really gotten much national exposure, and I think that if we were more on more of a national stage, I think everybody would see how much confidence we play with every day, what a joy it's been to play with some of these guys and the young guys coming up, Springer coming back and being a key contributor.
We have a lot of playmakers on this team that can change the course of a game with one swing or one pitch, and just now that we're getting into the playoffs and getting on that national stage, it's a lot -- it's a shock to a lot of people, but it's been there.
Q. Chris, going back just for a second to your performance and your contributions, just from the -- can you talk about the emotions that you might have to be able to come through so big and in such a big stage, just how you're feeling about that.
CHRIS CARTER: No, it feels good. After struggling so much this year and just having the success I've been having in the last couple weeks, it's been nice to contribute and help us win games.
Q. For any of you guys, with the roof closed and the noise the way it is, do you think there really is such a thing as a home-field advantage at this time of year? And what does a sort of a reaction from the crowd like it was today do for you guys and maybe do going forward in the Postseason?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: I think that a lot of it hinges on just the 10-year absence from the playoffs. You never want to lose in any season. Guys hate losing. But I think it was a good 10 years because the stadium was absolutely rocking, and it's been building all year. And we knew that it was going to be pretty nuts today, and we fully expect it to be nuts tomorrow.
But it's one of the best feelings in the world to have so many people behind you clapping, yelling, and having your back.
Q. Chris, when you came up in the fifth inning I guess what was your approach? And also, against the Royals, the bullpen is pretty good. Is there a sense of urgency even though it's the fifth inning that you got to get going?
CHRIS CARTER: No, I just came up there and I was trying to get a good pitch to hit, and I ended up getting a pitch up in the zone and I ended up getting the barrel on it. But everything helps and just trying to give us more cushion down the line in the game.
Q. Dallas, in the seventh inning against Cain, how are you different? How do you feel different mentally fourth time through the lineup and physically after 120-odd pitches versus facing him in the top of the first?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: Well, it's the playoffs, so it doesn't matter, the pitch count. You can throw that out the door. I made a mistake pitch in the second at-bat and I really wanted to face their best hitter. I felt like I have earned that right. And A.J. thought so as well. And that's the best feeling is that their best hitter's up, against myself, and that's what -- I don't know, I don't know, that's what I live for.
So, I'm just glad I could help the team out. Relinquishing the lead early was better off than relinquishing the lead late in the game, because their bullpen is pretty dang good.
Q. Chris, some teams may have cut you a couple years ago. The Astros have always struck by you for three years now. What's it mean to have Jeff Luhnow, A.J. Hinch, this entire organization, your teammates obviously stand by you this whole time and know that you can deliver in these types of moments?
CHRIS CARTER: It means a lot to me to have my organization behind me like this. I struggled early in the season I think every year, and I kind of pulled it together towards the end, but it's nice to have that feeling, that they have that confidence in me that I'll still come around and come through.
Q. Dallas, you joked yesterday probably because you're tired of hearing the question that you're perfect at home, but you joked about maybe the air conditioning and kind of playing it off, but really what do you think now that you're 16-0 at home this season? What do you think it is? Can you give us any more light into it now?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: Just one more win from 15. There's really no explanation to it. Honestly. I go out there and give everything I got each and every time out. I don't have as many wins on the road as I do at home, but last year I performed better on the road than home. Just one of those things.
Q. Dallas, you said that you felt you deserved to face their best hitter at that point. When A.J. came out, he did all of the talking, you didn't say a word. Was there going to be a wrestling match if he asked for the ball from you?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: No, he probably knew I was going to bite his head off.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you all. Thank you very much.