Stephen Vogt Oct. 5 postgame interview
Q. The walk‑off probably the best one of your life, but the one before that, can you talk about that at‑bat?
STEPHEN VOGT: First of all, what a great job by Sonny Gray. Justin Verlander is such a good pitcher and to be able to battle him like that and fight a lot of pitches, obviously, I didn't come through. Ended up with a punch out bullet. I felt pretty good about that at‑bat. The one in the ninth, you come up bases loaded, nobody out, and that's what you dream of. Look for something out over the plate, stay in the middle of the field, just fortunate to come through.
Q. Can you go through the at‑bat that ends with the strikeout/throw out that ends the inning?
STEPHEN VOGT: Once again, there is Sonny Gray. He made pitches. He competed. For a 23‑year‑old kid like that on the stage that he was on tonight, can't say enough about the job he did. Had a good feeling he was going to go 3‑1 or 3‑2 and just with him going 3‑2, he made a great pitch on the outside corner. Cut away from Austin's bat and I was able to put a throw on the money and nail him. That was a huge play for us in a lot of ways. To get us out of that inning and keep it where it was was great.
Q. Talking about Sonny, what do you chuck off to his composure today in his first playoff game and how well he pitched?
STEPHEN VOGT: It's a testament to the kid he is, I think. I have had the ability to catch him a majority of the year, Triple‑A and the big leagues, and he's been the same kid every day. Even today we were joking around like we always do. You could tell in the bullpen he was going to have a great night.
He didn't change anything about who he was. He went out there on the stage and stayed Sonny Gray. He's so much fun. I'm excited to see what he can do.
Q. As a catcher when you're 0‑0 and it's getting into the late innings, how much more important is each pitch that you're making for location and selection and all that?
STEPHEN VOGT: It's extremely important and that's where you trust that between the coaching staff and the other catchers and the pitching staff, that we've done our homework and we're prepared.
There was never any doubt in my mind that we were going to keep puttin' up 0s, the way Sonny pitches and bringing in Balfour in the ninth. He did what he does best.
So we felt good about tonight and stick with the scouting reports and with the stuff that Sonny had tonight. Scouting reports were kind of a moot point, but you just keep doing what you've been doing the whole game.
Q. The fact that you and Sonny were in Triple‑A during the season and you've come up to this point, I know you had extreme confidence coming into tonight. What was it that made you two be the focal point of this game?
STEPHEN VOGT: I mean, opportunity. It was great. Just to have the trust to be able to do it. Knowing that we had worked together for so many innings throughout the year, we were talking before the game, Hey, it's just like this lineup is similar to a lineup in Triple‑A.
Obviously they're a little bit better than that, but similar‑type hitters and to think about it that way, rather than think about the names. Sonny kept his composure. He didn't get rattled when people got on base. He made pitches and competed all night.
Q. Are his bullpens always that accurate of a litmus test about how he will be in a game, and what Triple‑A team did you think most resembled the Tigers in?
STEPHEN VOGT: Sonny is calm in the bullpen, I kinda watch his body language more than where he is throwing his pitches. His body language was fine. He was getting loose, staying calm. He wasn't upset with the pitches he was throwing. He was getting loose like he does every game.
And actually, the Fresno Grizzlies have a lot of similar lineup, aggressive hitters and things like that. (Laughter.)