Q. Aaron, it seemed like you went to your curveball a lot earlier than you did in the game against Texas. How important was that in establishing your game today? AARON SANCHEZ: Yeah, I think the books out I'm aggressive with my heater. I knew I needed to get them
Q. Aaron, it seemed like you went to your curveball a lot earlier than you did in the game against Texas. How important was that in establishing your game today?
AARON SANCHEZ: Yeah, I think the books out I'm aggressive with my heater. I knew I needed to get them off that a little bit. And by doing that I used my curveball.
Q. Before the game you had a team meeting and at that moment you spoke with your heart. What did you say to your teammates and what was the intention behind that? And Aaron, can you comment on that meeting?
JOSH DONALDSON: I'm not going to give too much away of what I had to say. But just more so getting everybody's attention and focus and understanding. I mean, everybody knew coming into today how important today was. But at the same time I just wanted to kind of reiterate that and let the boys know that I was coming to play today.
AARON SANCHEZ: Yeah, just to second that, he just showed his emotion. He said understanding it's a must-win game, just to go out there and give everything you've got. You may not be able to play again tomorrow. And just be aware of the situation.
Q. Josh, I couldn't help but notice that you were clean shaven the last couple of days than you've been. What prompted you to shave? Was it a change of luck kind of thing?
JOSH DONALDSON: Actually, no. I got a new beard trimmer the other day and I went to trim my beard down a little bit and whenever I trimmed it I kind of nicked it, so I had to go with it, just had to shave everything off. With that being said, I guess maybe if you want to say -- I kind of believe you make your own luck, and you go out there and you create your own destiny.
Q. Josh, if I could ask you about one specific thing, maybe Aaron can comment on it as well. You have a 2-0 lead, they cut the lead to 2-1, Carlos Santana stings one, looks like it's going to go through the hole. You make a great play, you throw them out. Instead of them tying it, that ends the inning. Can you talk about that specific play? And Aaron, can you comment on how big that was in terms of momentum?
JOSH DONALDSON: Santana has been doing a good job of -- I feel like he's been trying to go my way a lot more than I've seen him in the past. With that being said, I was locked in. It helps when you have a guy like Sanchez in the zone, where you can really focus in on a certain area of the strike zone. And I was able to get a really good read off the bat. And I was fortunate enough to be able to make the play.
AARON SANCHEZ: Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games. There's nothing more I can say about JD. Not only with that play with the home run getting it started in the third to get us on the board first. I'm glad he's on our squad.
Q. Josh, from your perspective, there hasn't been a lot of breaks for you guys in the series. Was there a moment or something that happened in the game today where you felt this is going to be a good day for us? And Aaron, from your perspective, was there a sequence or an at-bat where you thought this was going to be a good day for me on the mound?
JOSH DONALDSON: You know, I liked being able to get the lead there early on in the game. We haven't been able to get a lead in this series. And I felt like it was very important for us to get out to a lead. And even if it was one run, whatever.
We felt like Sanchez, he's been a horse for us this entire year, and to be able to kind of allow him to do his thing and not have to worry about if he gives up a solo homer or whatever, then they have the lead again. And for us to be able to jump out, I felt like that was very important.
And kind of -- it all goes back to with what I said a minute ago, you kind of create your own breaks. You can't just go out there and just if you hit one ball hard, hope that it follows. You've got to go out there and consistently put good at-bats together.
In the playoffs, these games aren't going to come easy to win. They've played great defense. They've pitched well and had timely hits. And the fact of the matter is, the more balls that we can put in play that are with a purpose and going up there and having quality at-bats, grinding at-bats out, that's when you're going to start getting your breaks. You're not just going to go up there and just run into one every now and then and that's the game. It's not going to happen that way. Both teams are going to fight back and forth with each other, and you've got to be able to withstand it.
AARON SANCHEZ: I think from pitch one, in a must-win game you've got to be ready to go. But I think when I was like, All right, was when he got us on the board and I was facing three, four, and five, and it was a one, two, three-inning with maybe ten pitches. I don't know what it was. But right there I think that was the turning point, Let's go, don't look back now.
Q. Josh, Aaron mentioned off the top that you showed your emotion before the game, and you were clearly playing with a lot of emotion throughout the game, it was obvious in your body language. But was there also a sense of anger or disbelief where you guys found yourself before this game began, did that also play into it?
JOSH DONALDSON: I think anytime that you are in this situation, when you get down three games to none, there is some frustration that's involved in that. And the fact of the matter is I'm not ready to go home. And I feel like our team is capable of winning this entire thing. But that's more of the bigger picture, where we have to focus more right now and taking it, as he said, from pitch one, and into the final out.
And today I was emotional for the fact that I want -- that's just -- first off, that's how I am. I'm a pretty emotional player as it is. But I'm going to let it show out there when I'm helping my team. And for the sheer fact when my teammates have success, I'm happy and emotional for that, as well.
Q. Josh, what do you feel a game like this does for the group, for you, the group's confidence? You look like yourselves today, you have a starter going tomorrow. Sort of feels like now you've got a series?
JOSH DONALDSON: Well, first off, it's an uphill battle. We're still down three games to one. It's a must win each and every game.
But the fact of the matter is we've got to go out there and continue to control what we can control. And I felt like we did that for the better half of today. And we've got to go out there and do it again tomorrow. And they have a good team over there, we understand that and we're just going to continue to go out there and handle and control the things that we can.
Q. Josh, a lot of players always try to say they don't want to try to do too much to try to extend themselves. But you're an MVP. Did you just come to the park today thinking I've got to do everything I can, from the meetings, from the plays you made today, was it a way about you that you felt like you wanted to take control of this game coming in?
JOSH DONALDSON: Yeah, I mean, I feel like I have the capability to help my team win. There's a lot of guys in that clubhouse that also have a capability. But there was no way that I felt like I was going to try to leave -- if we were to lose today, there was no way that I was going to leave this series and not feel like I had an impact on it.
And with that being said, I've got to go out and do it again tomorrow. It's not just one game. It's not just yesterday or tomorrow, it's for the rest of the time that we have here. And I want to come to the yard. I believe in each and every one of those guys that are in there. That's why I'm so passionate -- if I didn't feel like we had a chance, I would roll over and just say, All right, guys, go ahead. But I feel like we have the team. And I feel like we have the players in the clubhouse to be able to win the series. And we have to be able to go out there as a team, as individuals, and compete and do the things that are necessary.
Q. Can you take me through your thought process a little bit when Terry had a tough decision to make, whether to pitch to you or not, he chooses to walk you, and pitches to Encarnacion, it was obviously no picnic, either.
JOSH DONALDSON: I'm not a manager, I'm not too concerned about what they do. But to say the least, I was a little surprised because I just had a terrific season, and there's no outs. Walking up to the box I wasn't thinking I was about to get an intentional walk, if that's what you're asking.
Q. Aaron, the curveball is obviously a really big weapon for you today. When you're throwing it in your bullpen what signs are you looking for?
AARON SANCHEZ: I think just shape. The feel off my fingers. You never know, though, from the pen to a game, with the adrenaline, with 50,000 people screaming in your face, you don't know what it's going to be like. It just comes down to doing what you've done all year. Staying in yourself, staying in that groove that you have had all year, and understanding that you have to execute pitch after pitch and not get ahead of yourself.
Q. Josh, you talked about being an emotional player. Can I ask, what's going through your mind last night as you're waiting for a do-or-die game to come up the next day? Is your mind racing? Are you thinking about what needs to be done? Are you calm? How were you last night?
JOSH DONALDSON: There wasn't a whole lot of sleep, I'll tell you that. I try to invest as much of myself as much as I can in my teammates and really not only just preparing for this game for myself but trying to help other people prepare, as well. And go out there and give them an understanding of what they're about to face and kind of giving them some information and just kind of being that guy that they can try to lean on.
It's most important -- I can tell them whatever they want to hear, but it's important for myself to go out there and play and perform and do the things that I have my role on this team and whenever I'm able to accomplish that I feel like it allows other people, as well, to kind of fall into their roles, as well.
Q. Aaron, I'm wondering, have you talked to John or has John talked to you about future use if this series goes on? Are you available out of the bullpen?
AARON SANCHEZ: Nothing as far as now. I'm sure I'm not -- I'm sure when I come in tomorrow there will be more conversations about that. But I can tell you right now I'm ready to go, whatever it takes to win, I'm up for it.