Oct. 7 John Farrell postgame interview
Q. Any kind of walk‑off loss is shocking. To see it come off Koji, what's it like to see that ball go up?
JOHN FARRELL: Well, you know, Lobaton struck it well. Koji has been so consistent, so dominant for us on an 0‑1 split, obviously Lobaton is looking for the pitch and squared it up well.
I can't say enough, the way we came back after giving up the lead, we come back against their closer in Rodney. Just that was an exciting game. Well‑played game. They found some holes with some base hits, particularly two by Escobar up the middle. Still, we played a very good game tonight.
Q. I know it was early in the game, any consideration of walking Longoria in the 5th there?
JOHN FARRELL: No, not to bring the go‑ahead run to the plate, Clay had struck him out, popped him up on two other changeups, and he got ahead in the count 0‑1. The changeup was near the spot that he tried to throw one down and in on him, just didn't get to the bottom of the zone as much. But, no, no consideration on walking him.
Q. When you're in a tie game, philosophically, is it tough to take out somebody like David because the game is tied, do you ever wrestle with that?
JOHN FARRELL: Yeah, we do. And in that situation in the 8th inning, feeling like that's ‑‑ not knowing if his spot is going to come back around, didn't want to miss an opportunity. Barry does his job, gets the stolen base, unfortunately we got a man in scoring position with one out, a strikeout and a popup against McGee. But, no, I don't second‑guess that pinch run move there.
Q. How do you think the team will react Tuesday or Wednesday?
JOHN FARRELL: Tomorrow night, we'll be here ready to go, 8:30 game time. Our guys have a very strong ability to put this one behind us.
We knew coming in this was going to be a hard‑fought series. They played well tonight. We left a number of guys on base, as did they. But we'll be ready to go tomorrow night, for sure.
Q. How do you feel about Peavy going in Game 4?
JOHN FARRELL: Very good. Another guy with playoff experience. He's pitched well here in Tampa. He got three innings of work this past Wednesday, so even though it's been a number of days since his last start, we're looking forward to Jake being on the mound tomorrow. It's one of the main reasons we acquired him at the deadline is to pitch in a game like tomorrow night.
Q. Could you recap some of the defensive plays in the bottom of the 8th, the bunts, nobody able to get over to 1st. But the play with Stephen and Dustin converged on, Napoli not throwing it home.
JOHN FARRELL: The base hit, as you mentioned, by Escobar up the middle, well placed. Both ‑‑ it's not a hard‑ hit ball where both guys have a chance at it and they get tangled up a little bit. It goes for the base hit rather than recording the out. I thought Brandon did a great job of making the pitch and putting the ball on the ground. And then Young hits the first pitch curveball and pushes it the other way, and I don't think Nap got a clean grip on the ball to force a throw to home plate. Took the out.
But prior to that Jennings puts down a bunt right in a perfect spot in that triangle. You tip your hat to him. The guy can fly and they had a baserunner.
Still, we minimized the damage to one run, gave us our chance to tie it, which we did. And then as we mentioned, what I would consider the unforeseen against Koji.
Q. We've asked you about Drew and Bogaerts a lot down the stretch. What was your thought process, did you wrestle with Drew versus Bogaerts in that late inning?
JOHN FARRELL: No, McGee has been dominant against right‑handed hitters. He's almost a right‑handed reliever in some ways because of the strong reverse splits he has. Stephen is a good fastball hitter. We know McGee is going to come at us with 95 percent fastballs, if not more. There was no hesitation to leave Stephen at the plate.
Q. Could you comment on Clay's performance tonight?
JOHN FARRELL: He made some big pitches, particularly in that 4th and 5th inning, they drove the pitch count up, setting aside Longoria's three‑run homer. Clay came out, he kept the game under control. He worked at a methodical pace to keep the crowd out of it. Did a good job of controlling the running game. And he doesn't give in in key moments or fastball counts. Six strong innings there tonight.
Q. The past week or so, the Rays have been talking about how many elimination games they've played. They're a pretty tenacious team. Do you think a team can gain more confidence as many times as they face elimination and get through it? Do they become difficult.
JOHN FARRELL: Potentially. I'm sure there's an attitude they have nothing to lose and just let it all hang out. That's what we've been accustomed to for years against the Rays. As I mentioned before the series started, we have tremendous respect for them and we know it will be a very similar game tomorrow night.