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World Series Game 1: A.J. Hinch postgame interview

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Q. Have you seen Kershaw pitch better than that?

A.J. HINCH: Well, I don't know, I haven't seen him a lot. We don't face him a ton, but that was pretty impressive what he could do, throwing a ton of fastballs. He landed his breaking ball a little bit better than we've seen in the past, but he's tough. He showed it tonight by being in attack mode, being in the strike zone early and got us pretty defensive from the get-go.

Q. Have you seen Kershaw pitch better than that?

A.J. HINCH: Well, I don't know, I haven't seen him a lot. We don't face him a ton, but that was pretty impressive what he could do, throwing a ton of fastballs. He landed his breaking ball a little bit better than we've seen in the past, but he's tough. He showed it tonight by being in attack mode, being in the strike zone early and got us pretty defensive from the get-go.

Q. When you have a guy like Justin Turner, who has had the postseason history he's had, does that impact the way you approach him?

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A.J. HINCH: Sure, you want to be careful with him. I think the walk before that is going to be the big at-bat as well. With Turner, you feel like you can get into the at-bat a little bit, but he never concedes. We know he's going to be a tough out. The guy in front of him is a tough out. And you've just got to make pitches. When the ball left the bat, I didn't think it was gone. The ball carried a little bit. But there's no doubt he's pretty locked in, especially in big moments.

Q. You saw some of Taylor in the AL West, does this look like a completely different player?

A.J. HINCH: He's matured a ton. And I think his bat speed has always been really good. That's some of the fastest bat speed you'll see in the Big Leagues. I don't know how it measures out. By the eye it's pretty impressive. He jump started them tonight on the first pitch. He got a first-pitch fastball to hit. Again, another guy who never concedes the at-bat. He always takes a really good pass at the ball. He's proven to be even more dangerous than obviously he was as a young player. But watching him mature is pretty obvious.

Q. I know it's Kershaw tonight, why do you think you guys in the ALCS, and now tonight on the road you haven't hit as well?

A.J. HINCH: I don't think it has anything to do with the ALCS. That's a completely different pitching staff. Tonight is about Kershaw. And really the span of a couple of at-bats. They had two big swings, we had one. They had a walk before one of their big swings, it's 3-1, we get to Game 2. It's no more complicated than that. It's tough. It's a tough lead when you go up against Kershaw. But it's going to be a tough lead when you go against Verlander. Keuchel was really good tonight. He was just a pitch or two less than Kershaw. He wasn't as fancy with the punch-outs. But take nothing away from these guys, it was a well-pitched game on both sides.

Video: WS2017 Gm1: Hinch on Astros' struggles vs. Kershaw

Q. You obviously want to split when you leave here, how important is it that Verlander keeps doing what he is doing?

A.J. HINCH: Yeah, every game. I anticipated the whole must-win question, which you didn't say it but I did. But every game is sort of a must win. I wanted to get out of here with a sweep, and now that's not going to happen. So we come back tomorrow. We get prepared to face Hill. Verlander, he's one of our best, if not our best the last couple of months as he's been as an Astro. So we'll certainly ride him out.

Video: WS2017 Gm2: Hinch on Verlander pitching in Game 2

Q. You mentioned the two big swings, those two homers, that's still three runs. Just a reminder in the World Series, it's the slimmest of margins, especially when it's Keuchel and Kershaw dueling?

A.J. HINCH: And especially the Dodgers and Astros. These are pretty good damn teams. Both hundred-win teams. Bregman put a good swing on the ball. We had some other pretty good swings. But you don't give in, you also don't get much. And I think playoff baseball, World Series baseball, would you expect anything less than a margin about the size of one swing?

Video: WS2017 Gm1: Hinch on Turner and Taylor hitting homers

Q. You guys were a team that didn't strike out that much. Obviously, like you said, a lot of credit goes to Kershaw. Do you think you as a younger team in this atmosphere tend to get a little more anxious?

A.J. HINCH: I don't know that we're that young. I don't know where we rank in the youth category across the league. Our guys are pretty battle-tested. This is our second time through the playoffs as a group. You've got Brian McCann, Josh Reddick that have been through this. Carlos Beltran. You know, youth is not an issue. We're heading into Game 2 of the World Series. So there's no more rookies, there's no more youth. It's just competing. And their guy beat us. For us, obviously we need to stay in the strike zone. It's easier said at the podium or sitting in the dugout than in the batter's box. But hopefully we can get it tomorrow.

Q. Considering what Verlander did in the ALCS, how much confidence does he give your team? And were what are you expecting tomorrow from him?

A.J. HINCH: We think he can win every single game he pitches. I don't know there's any better compliment for a starting pitcher. When we wake up tomorrow morning, we'll have breakfast and get here early, and we have a very good chance to win because Justin Verlander is on the mound. What do I expect from him? I'm not going to put limitations on him. I've run him up to 130 pitches or 125 pitches. National League rules may be a little different but I expect his best, and that's what he's delivered since the day he became an Astro .

Q. George has been one of your guys' best players all season, but 0-for-4, the strikeouts, going against Kershaw, do you consider moving him down?

A.J. HINCH: No, he'll be leading off. He had a tough night at work, and a lot of our guys did. I know George has struggled. If he hits the first pitch tomorrow into the gap or hits a single or hits the ball out of the ballpark, you'd be amazed how good he feels.