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Oct. 9 Jason Kipnis and Roberto Perez pregame interview

MLB.com

Q. For either of you, actually, Girardi said this before Game 1 and reiterated it today, that he felt like Bauer is a guy that, you know, that they can do some gamesmanship with and maybe try to get in his head a little bit, and said after -- said with Game 1, they didn't really have the chance to do it, but just wondering how susceptible you think he is to that kind of stuff?

JASON KIPNIS: I don't think there's any room in there left. I think he's got enough of his own self in there. There's no room for other people's thoughts in there.

He's a guy that you get to know. He's quirky at first. He has his own way of going about things. But it's because he believes in what he's doing. He trusts in what he's doing. And he started to see results from what he's doing.

So don't underestimate or don't take his quirkiness or mannerisms for vulnerability. He's set in his ways, and he's gaining confidence this year with the way he's been pitching. So I don't think there's much room for him in there.

Q. Roberto, we saw a couple games ago, the pickoff play with Yan, just how impactful controlling the running game is for both you and with him. How much pride do you guys take in the ability to control the running game and then even when it comes to like blocking pitches and giving your pitchers a chance that way?


ROBERTO PEREZ: I mean, we take a lot of pride in what we do behind the plate, especially, like you say, blocking, throwing to the bases.

But we're always talking, talking about it. Trying to cheer each other up, whoever is catching, you know, trying to get the job done. But it's huge. Everything counts in the playoffs, and you're just trying to keep the ball in front of us as much as we can and help our team win.

Q. Speaking of quirky, this is for both of you guys. We see a certain side of Terry Francona. What do you see in him and what impact does he have behind the scenes on all of you guys?

JASON KIPNIS: He doesn't change too much behind the scenes that he does in front of you guys. It's pretty much what you see is what you get with him. He's consistent in the fact that he likes to be loose. He likes to keep it -- the environment kind of free and where guys can be themselves.

You're not really going out there playing with a mirror on your shoulder wondering what the manager's thinking. He'll tell you and he doesn't want you to be afraid of making a mistake.

You earn his trust. And once you have that, you can go out and play freely. He's just one of those guys that you always hear about players loving to play for, and there's a reason why.

Q. Roberto, anything you want to add?

ROBERTO PEREZ: No. Tito's been in the game a long time. He knows what he's doing. All our guys, our clubhouse is loose. So he just lets us play. There's a reason behind it, it's like go out and play the game the right way and play hard and don't back out or no backing off from anybody and that's what we do.

Q. Either one of you guys, can you give us an update on Edwin Encarnacion? Without him in the lineup, what kind of effect does that have on a team?


JASON KIPNIS: I don't think we're the ones to be giving the update on him. I think that will come from the staff. Sprained ankle or whatever it comes up with, that's going to take some time. It's hard to -- I can attest to last year's too. It takes a couple days to get over a sprained ankle, whether it's just getting to the point where you can wrap it and deal with the pain enough to play with it.

That being said, we still have a long lineup and in comes Michael Brantley, in comes other options that can fill in for him. Obviously, you don't replace a guy like Edwin, but we have a fairly deep lineup. We have many other ways to create runs.

Q. Hey, Kip. You guys have seen a lot of Chapman in a lot of big spots the last couple years. What have you learned about facing him that maybe helped you in your at-bat last night and helps the team against him if another big spot like that were to come up again in the series?

JASON KIPNIS:
I mean, it's a different at-bat than you'll see verse most pitchers. Not most pitchers are throwing that velo. That's obviously the key to him. You just have to pay attention to what he's trying to do that night. Is he in love with his fastball because it's hitting 103, or is he trying to establish a little bit of a slider? You watch what he's doing and he's just not a guy that you literally take any direction with. You don't try to pull. You don't try to spray. You literally just try to see the ball over the plate and get the barrel to it.

Any effort you put into your swing is only going to create a longer swing, so you've really just got to worry about contact more than trying to hit a solo shot or anything like that.

 

Q. For either of you, actually, Girardi said this before Game 1 and reiterated it today, that he felt like Bauer is a guy that, you know, that they can do some gamesmanship with and maybe try to get in his head a little bit, and said after -- said with Game 1, they didn't really have the chance to do it, but just wondering how susceptible you think he is to that kind of stuff?

JASON KIPNIS: I don't think there's any room in there left. I think he's got enough of his own self in there. There's no room for other people's thoughts in there.

He's a guy that you get to know. He's quirky at first. He has his own way of going about things. But it's because he believes in what he's doing. He trusts in what he's doing. And he started to see results from what he's doing.

So don't underestimate or don't take his quirkiness or mannerisms for vulnerability. He's set in his ways, and he's gaining confidence this year with the way he's been pitching. So I don't think there's much room for him in there.

Q. Roberto, we saw a couple games ago, the pickoff play with Yan, just how impactful controlling the running game is for both you and with him. How much pride do you guys take in the ability to control the running game and then even when it comes to like blocking pitches and giving your pitchers a chance that way?


ROBERTO PEREZ: I mean, we take a lot of pride in what we do behind the plate, especially, like you say, blocking, throwing to the bases.

But we're always talking, talking about it. Trying to cheer each other up, whoever is catching, you know, trying to get the job done. But it's huge. Everything counts in the playoffs, and you're just trying to keep the ball in front of us as much as we can and help our team win.

Q. Speaking of quirky, this is for both of you guys. We see a certain side of Terry Francona. What do you see in him and what impact does he have behind the scenes on all of you guys?

JASON KIPNIS: He doesn't change too much behind the scenes that he does in front of you guys. It's pretty much what you see is what you get with him. He's consistent in the fact that he likes to be loose. He likes to keep it -- the environment kind of free and where guys can be themselves.

You're not really going out there playing with a mirror on your shoulder wondering what the manager's thinking. He'll tell you and he doesn't want you to be afraid of making a mistake.

You earn his trust. And once you have that, you can go out and play freely. He's just one of those guys that you always hear about players loving to play for, and there's a reason why.

Q. Roberto, anything you want to add?

ROBERTO PEREZ: No. Tito's been in the game a long time. He knows what he's doing. All our guys, our clubhouse is loose. So he just lets us play. There's a reason behind it, it's like go out and play the game the right way and play hard and don't back out or no backing off from anybody and that's what we do.

Q. Either one of you guys, can you give us an update on Edwin Encarnacion? Without him in the lineup, what kind of effect does that have on a team?


JASON KIPNIS: I don't think we're the ones to be giving the update on him. I think that will come from the staff. Sprained ankle or whatever it comes up with, that's going to take some time. It's hard to -- I can attest to last year's too. It takes a couple days to get over a sprained ankle, whether it's just getting to the point where you can wrap it and deal with the pain enough to play with it.

That being said, we still have a long lineup and in comes Michael Brantley, in comes other options that can fill in for him. Obviously, you don't replace a guy like Edwin, but we have a fairly deep lineup. We have many other ways to create runs.

Q. Hey, Kip. You guys have seen a lot of Chapman in a lot of big spots the last couple years. What have you learned about facing him that maybe helped you in your at-bat last night and helps the team against him if another big spot like that were to come up again in the series?

JASON KIPNIS:
I mean, it's a different at-bat than you'll see verse most pitchers. Not most pitchers are throwing that velo. That's obviously the key to him. You just have to pay attention to what he's trying to do that night. Is he in love with his fastball because it's hitting 103, or is he trying to establish a little bit of a slider? You watch what he's doing and he's just not a guy that you literally take any direction with. You don't try to pull. You don't try to spray. You literally just try to see the ball over the plate and get the barrel to it.

Any effort you put into your swing is only going to create a longer swing, so you've really just got to worry about contact more than trying to hit a solo shot or anything like that.

 

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.