The Boston Red Sox staved off elimination on Sunday, topping the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Division Series (BOS 10, HOU 3). Astros Manager A.J. Hinch spoke after the game on why he pulled Peacock when he did and his thoughts going into Game 4 on Monday.
Q. Can you explain your rational for pulling Peacock when you did, and also why you wanted Liriano for Devers?
A.J. HINCH: Yeah, well, as you can see in the first inning, Brad did a good job getting through, we had traffic in the second, had traffic in the third. Then that pocket down there at the bottom, we felt pretty good about Liriano, the way his power should work against the bottom of the order. He hung a slider, it just didn’t work. But in these games, with the small margin, Brad having to fight through the second inning obviously led to some trouble in the third as well.
Q. Talk about just the uncertainty with the weather tomorrow, the uncertainty with the start time, etcetera.
A.J. HINCH: Yeah, no, we’ll watch the game tonight for a lot of reasons. Mostly about what time we’re going to play. So it’s a little bit of unknown. The weather we can’t control. We have been watching the Weather Channel for a couple months now, so that’s not unusual for us. We’ll see how it goes. We’ll watch the game tonight. Obviously we know start time some time around 10 o’clock tonight when their game’s over and then we’ll adjust from there. We’ll get to the ballpark tomorrow, get the weather forecast, meet with the umpires, we’ll do the whole weather thing here. Not much we can do about it other than sit and wait and watch.
Q. Can you describe Mookie’s catch out in right field on Reddick’s ball?
A.J. HINCH: No, that was a huge momentum shift that we later felt. I don’t know that we necessarily felt it right there. We felt we were in a good spot. It was 3-0 at the time. Going to 6-0 there would have really put them in a hole. So obviously as the ball was carrying, it’s probably out of most ballparks. If he hooks it a little bit more, it’s gone. He didn’t. So I couldn’t tell if he had to reach into the stands or not until the replay and it was a bigger play later than it necessarily felt at the time. But then obviously on the flip side of it, go later in the game and Reddick’s right at the wall catching it right on that curve and the ball kicks into the stands. So there’s such small margins in these games and huge moments throughout the entire day, that was one of them, even though it didn’t think like that necessarily in the second inning.
Q. Has David price’s attack plan been what you’ve expected and has it stayed the same the times you’ve seen him?
A.J. HINCH: Yeah, I think his — in the world of all hands on deck, today showed why you have that, and he exceeded expectations just being able to bounce back as a former starter, then he used a lot of pitches the other day. If there was any doubt on what players are willing to do or what they can do, today shows you that, what playoff baseball will bring out of you and him. His power attack is the same. These guys pitch us very similarly no matter who is pitching with trying to back us up off the plate. He did a good job of making our guys somewhat uncomfortable with the fastball in. He’s got the back-door cutter, the changeup. There’s weapons in there for him to attack. So it’s what we expected. I think his resiliency and his — he sort of reached back and had a little bit extra on his pitches today that was pretty impressive. We weren’t surprised by him, no.
Q. Obviously McCullers’ first career relief appearance, what did you see?
A.J. HINCH: I thought he was excellent. I thought he was really good. We gave him some time and some notice the way we had him come in to start an inning. But I thought his stuff was really crisp. I thought he spun his breaking ball very well. Really after the first initial run from the bullpen, I can’t imagine it feels too much more like a relief outing. It jest feels like he’s entering the game. He probably simulated like it was going to be the top of the first for him or the bottom of the first here in Fenway. So I thought he did a good job. In his last inning, he aimed the ball a little bit or got a little careful around the strike zone with the walk. And then the base hit, I got him out of there. But I was happy with his outing and even though obviously he’s not going to probably be available tomorrow, but it was encouraging.
Q. What did you see from Devenski and Musgrove?
A.J. HINCH: Devenski missed on a couple pitches and so did Joe. Obviously the one home run, it makes Joe’s line look a lot worse than the pitches were. But Devo looked like — I don’t know if they were picking something up off of him, the fastball changeup. They were on their pitches. We didn’t do a great job five through eight. That’s not newsworthy. That’s not news breaking, I should say, that’s fact. They got 11 hits I think in that slot. Some of those against Devo and some of those against Musgrove and those were killers. Those at-bats were big, Hanley won most of or all of his at-bats today and Devers obviously delivered a couple blows, too.