Q. Carlos, what are you thinking as they intentionally walk Altuve ahead of you as you step into the plate, and what is it like to come through with a huge hit?CARLOS CORREA: To be honest with you, I came to the ballpark mentally prepared for that situation. He hit three
Q. Carlos, what are you thinking as they intentionally walk Altuve ahead of you as you step into the plate, and what is it like to come through with a huge hit?
CARLOS CORREA: To be honest with you, I came to the ballpark mentally prepared for that situation. He hit three homers yesterday. He's the best hitter in the game right now, so I was expecting when the first base was open, there were guys on base and in an important situation, he was going to get walked. So I came mentally prepared for it and I was able to come through.
Q. When things got a little stressful for you in the second, how pleased were you that you were able to find pitches to strike your way out of that frame and get into a rhythm after that?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: Yeah, that was a little difficult. They had a good game plan early on and that was to look over the plate and raise their eyesights, and I wasn't able to pull up the two-seam. So I just went to plan B and that was go extreme, extreme in with the cutter and slider and was able to get some early strikes, get ahead in the count, attack them and kind of put them back on their heels and was fortunate enough to make an adjustment early enough before it was too late.
Q. Carlos, you've been here for a long time and grown with this team from a 17-year-old until where you are now. What does it mean to you to have this kind of performance on such a big stage for this team?
CARLOS CORREA: It means a lot. Obviously they draft you and you go through minor league system to be here in moments like this and be able to be part of this, be able to contribute in some way. So I'm just really glad I get to contribute every single day with this amazing group of guys.
Q. Would you guys both talk about just having two pretty much perfect days here to start the playoffs.
DALLAS KEUCHEL: Yeah, we couldn't really script it any better. The playoffs are tough. We have had experience in 2015, but to be in this position is extremely difficult. We knew what we were facing with the Red Sox and that's a difficult task in itself. But just to be at home, everybody is so comfortable here and we played so well. I know we played better record-wise on the road this year, but just being back at home at Minute Made, where everybody's gone through a lot, including ourselves and everybody else, it just means a lot to us to be here and for the fans to be out there, couldn't have picked a better spot to be.
Q. Carlos, two questions, one about just being 2-0 and having this kind of day here, kind of the way you played the last month, and would you just talk about the relief trip to Puerto Rico coming up on Sunday.
CARLOS CORREA: Yeah, of course the first question, I think it all starts with the starting rotation. When you have two Cy Young winners in the front of your rotation, it gives you a lot of confidence, and we in the lineup know that a couple runs will be enough. So it's good to start with an early lead, and then Verlander and Keuchel are going to do the rest. So we were able to score eight runs today and I don't remember how many we scored yesterday, which is nice. But we know that if we can go out there and score early, we're giving them a good chance to feel comfortable out there on the mound. And the second question, with the help of Mr. Crane and the Astros, I got a plane going to Puerto Rico on Sunday full of supplies, water, food, in order for me to help my hometown over there. And obviously a lot of people are suffering from hunger and they're going through tough times right now, so I just want to bring a little bit of help over there.
Q. Yesterday you guys, you and Springer were, I think, combined 0-8, and today he has the double and the home run. You have four RBIs. Speak to the depth of talent in this lineup and how much it bolsters everything you guys try to do?
CARLOS CORREA: You've seen it throughout the whole season, there's a difference here of every single game, every single game, one through nine, everybody can do damage, everybody can go deep. That's the good thing about our lineup, there's no holes in our lineup, and we feel very confident no matter if we went 0-4 the day before or if we went 4-4.
Q. Dallas, on the flip side of what Carlos said, how much does it relax you and what plays into your mindset with this kind of offense in your dugout?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: It makes our job really easy. To go out there and be fortunate enough to put up some zeros or maybe just one run in a tough inning, it's a pretty good chance that our offense is going to come back and match that or do better. Like Carlos said, throughout the whole year it was top to bottom, and when you get such young players who are so knowledgeable and want to learn and on top of just being good at baseball, that's why we had three MVP candidates at the break. It's not going to go anywhere. We just have more years with these guys, and Houston should be very fortunate enough to have guys like this young enough to have so much control, but at the same time so much talent. And just like I said, it makes our jobs easier as pitchers, but it also makes it nice to watch these guys do what they do.
Q. Dallas, A.J. came in here and said that Peacock will start on Sunday. You played with him for awhile and seen what he's gone through, coming back from injuries. How special is this going to be for him to be out there? How much fun are you looking forward to watching?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: I would assume it's going to be very special for him. But this is a guy that I've been waiting on for about four years to do exactly what he's doing this year. Various injuries and I guess kind of getting in his own way has put him in a position until this point not to succeed like he has. I've been telling him all along that he can be this guy, and sure enough, this whole year he's been that guy. So we couldn't have a better guy going on Sunday for us, and I think the lineup and everybody playing defensively would say the same thing.
Q. The Pedroia at-bat in the second inning, it was the cutter that you didn't get and you kind of just smiled a little bit. You got Bogaerts with one on that before. What was going through your head, because you didn't get mad, you just kind of laughed it off, and then McCann comes out and talks to you? What was going through your head? What did you talk about?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: Yeah, I mean the lineup is so potent at any point and they had an excellent game plan on me early as for me to throw strikes, so that was tough in itself. I didn't have the best control, but my stuff was really good. It was moving. But they were making me work. But going on to that at-bat, I knew he was probably looking for something out over the plate and just to be able to throw some cutters in there for strikes early was putting me in the driver's seat. As a pitcher you want every call, so when he didn't call that cutter for a strike, I just smiled because at that point I knew I was on my game and it was just I could have used that call instead of, you know, that's a strike. So I knew I was going to make another pitch and at that point I just let out a smile instead of a getting mad type of face.
Q. What did McCann say to you?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: He's definitely the most knowledgeable in-game catcher I've ever had in my life and I told him that after the game. It's such a joy to have him behind the plate for not just myself, but for everybody. And we just talked in between innings, in between pitches, it doesn't matter. His mind's always constantly moving, and that's one of the greatest joys for a pitcher is that the guy behind there has your back at all times. He was constantly telling me that the cutter was really sharp today and into the right-handed hitters and they weren't expecting it. So he was like, hey, we're going to keep going with this and hopefully spin that slider off the cutter.
Q. Dallas, you had Houston's other most famous beard. James Hardin behind the plate watching you. What does it mean that other players and other teams in the city are supporting you guys at this point?
DALLAS KEUCHEL: It's really cool. As athletes it's nice to have support from the other teams, especially with guys well known like James and J.J., and I mean it just makes it truly special. I know as baseball players we're fans of the other teams as well. So just to be reciprocated means a lot to us and it really does kind of make our day.