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Oct. 9 John Gibbons pregame interview

MODERATOR: Who's got the first question this morning for John Gibbons? Let's go.

Q. John, can we have a Josh Donaldson update? I see he's in the lineup but I understand that there's more to it than that?

JOHN GIBBONS: I think the protocol is you test him that day and of course you've got to test him again this morning. I've heard that -- to this point that everything went well, they were going to go put him on the treadmill, let him run around a little bit, see if this or that caused anything. I haven't had a chance to talk to the trainers yet but I think everything's a go unless they tell me differently. Bautista's good, he felt fine today, so we should be in good shape.

Q. What about Stroman makes you confident he'll be okay today in terms of performance?

JOHN GIBBONS: First, he's good. I mean, he's a talented kid, he's got a great arm and since he arrived on the scene last year, he's been one of our top guys, he dominated really in a lot of ways. So, of course, this will be his first Postseason game, but he's pitched a lot of big games for us considering the circumstances at the time, and he's always shined. It's not easy to do, but I think he thrives on the big moment. He's one of those guys that wants to be the guy. He might be great today and it wouldn't surprise me in the least bit.

Q. John, it's not an elimination game, but do you consider this a must-win game?

JOHN GIBBONS: Well, it's a big game for us. We're at home, you get the first two games at home where we've thrived all year, so we need to win this one. It's definitely not an elimination game but it would go a long way to helping us out, that's for sure.

Q. Gibby, have you spoken to Josh much since the injury? And what's his overall mood and attitude towards it because he's such a gamer, he's the type of guy that you probably have to cart him out to not be in the lineup?

JOHN GIBBONS: Well, I spoke briefly with him. Yeah, he seems fine. Might have knocked some sense into him, too, a little bit but we don't anticipate any problems.

Q. How did it go down with Donaldson yesterday? He went back out, but did you decide that given the fact that he was light-headed that you pulled him out?

JOHN GIBBONS: Well, I mean, he told the trainers and the trainers, they naturally come to the manager and then you have to, you know? Nowadays with the head injuries, if something's not right, that's a big concern, so we took him out.

Q. So it took it out of his hands, really?

JOHN GIBBONS: Yeah, you have to. When they complain about something's not right like that, yeah.

Q. John, Alex gets a lot of credit and rightfully so for making the trade deadline to put this team over the top but what about putting the foundation together so you guys were in a position to do what you've done this year and with all the guys that are in the lineup that have been here?

JOHN GIBBONS: You mean about what he did over the winter?

Q. Yeah, over the winter and just over the years leading up to it, to have a farm system that can give you guys like Stroman and Sanchez?

JOHN GIBBONS: Right, right. You know what, I knew Alex in my previous go round here and I always knew he was a good baseball guy. Of course he brought me back two years ago and he made some big trades with the Marlins and then of course Dickey coming from the Mets, and really threw the team on the map, a team that was just kind of sputtering a little bit. That turned out to be a failure that year but a lot of ways it laid the ground work for today. But after looking, we played progress last year, not enough, still a disappointment but he identified some areas he thought the team needed to be improved on. He's talking with the coaches and everything in the organization constantly and I think everybody came to an agreement we need to make some changes in certain areas. He went out and did that, he brought in, of course, Donaldson and Russell to begin with over the winter. We felt good, we felt it was definitely a better team coming out of spring training. A couple moves along the way, brought a couple guys up, Colabello, a couple other guys. We started off with couple of the young guys really panned out for us, but we're basically hovering around .500 and he kept pushing and identified if we're going to get over the top here this year we're in a good position but we need to do something else, he went out and made the big trades and we took off.

Q. John, yesterday when Josh went down, then Jose, obviously you were still managing the game so your focus was on that, but I wondered what did you think when that happened? Was it, what else could happen to this team today, or is it just baseball?

JOHN GIBBONS: No, shoot, I looked over and watched the Rangers lose Beltre early on, and it was almost like a trade right there when Josh went down. Those things happen. It's tough when it happens to your key guys, but it happens. It means somebody else is going to get an opportunity, hope they step up for you. You just have to deal with it, it happens all the time in this game.

Q. John, your thoughts on facing Cole Hamels today?

JOHN GIBBONS: Well, it won't be easy, especially if he's on. He's one of the best in baseball, that's why the Rangers went out and acquired him. We've seen a little bit of him, we faced him last year when he was with the Phillies, seen him a few times in spring training because we're neighbors down there, but we know something about him. We haven't faced him a lot. But if he's on, he's on. It's going to be a tough day, that's why Stroman, we need Stroman to pick it up for us as well. Could turn out to be a classic pitcher's dual, really could, but it could turn into a slugfest and trick everybody again.

MODERATOR: Thanks very much.