BOS@TB Gm3: Maddon praises Lobaton's walk-off homer

Q. Jose has had a bit of flare for the dramatic during the year.

JOE MADDON:  If he hits a home run right now we don't have enough ice cream to feed the boy.

I swear I was looking down on my card and you're preparing for what's going to happen. Their pitchers are so good. And then I hear that thing you hear on the radio back in the day when you're listening to the Cardinals on KMOX, laying on the floor in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, that knock. And look up and the ball is going towards the tank, which nobody hits home runs there. Nobody does. How about that? It's incredible.

Jose does have a flare for the dramatic. He's done that a couple of times now. A walk‑off triple, two walk‑off homers. It's incredible what he's done. What an interesting, wonderful game to stay solvent with.

Q. Longoria, that homer changed the game?

JOE MADDON:  Of course it did. Buchholz is pitching his typical game here. We cannot do anything with him. We get some guys on base, he would make a pitch, and then finally Longo got it, finally Longo got him. And then it ties it up right there and all of a sudden it's a different world.

Truly, Longo has done that in the past. It's something, I don't want to say experiences in baseball, you've come to expect that from him on moments. To sit there, we've been through a lot of stuff around here for the last several years, that ranks right up there with the best stuff, obviously. You can talk about the last game of the season, which has to be in some regards, but look at this whole week working up to today, and then this game is even more dramatic than the other games we had already won. It's really an incredible day for the Rays.

Q. How improbable is it for him hitting it?

JOE MADDON:  All these things, if you want to go on probable, look at the probability of it. If you work out his abilities versus that pitcher's abilities, what's been going on. If you're going to bet some bucks on that, you're going to lose, it's not normally going to happen. He climbed all over that. It was down, but he got the head of the bat on it and the rest is Rays' history. It's really an incredible game to participate in.

Q. Myers is still in the game?

JOE MADDON: Correct. Furthermore, we went National League on him. Once Myers came out we put the DH in the game. And we had to start moving the spot around to prevent the pitcher from having to hit. That was purely all National League right there, that's all that was.

Q. What's Myers' status for tomorrow?

JOE MADDON:  Cramping, Ronnie Porterfield told me it was cramping I think in both legs. With that he should probably be fine by tomorrow, it's kind of a dehydration thing. That's what I got before I came and walked over here.


JOE MADDON:  Listen, I agree. They have been outplaying us all year. They were outplaying us again today. But finally, like I said, Longo kind of was talking about that boulder you have to start pushing in the other direction. I think that was the moment. And then to get back on top and struggle to get back on top as we did, tremendous. Delmon putting the ball down on a great play by Napoli, preventing everybody scoring right there. We needed that moment. It occurred and we can start looking forward to tomorrow.

I really believe Hellickson is ready for this challenge tomorrow. I do. I feel good about it.


JOE MADDON:  He's always been pushing our boulders around. Longo has been the boulder pusher around here. Every time things seem bleak offensively he's picked us up. We needed that badly, there's no denying it. Among the group everybody is going to look for that guy to lead you and he did and he put us back in the race.


JOE MADDON: I didn't process all of that. There's a lot of stuff going on on that moment. If you walk Pedroia, you have the bases loaded. Carp was going to hit for bear, all of this stuff was nasty stuff. For me it was just not about not losing the lead. At least if it's a tie we've got a shot.

I don't know, he may have, I have to see the video, I don't know that. I honestly don't know that. I don't even know if he had been able to catch the ball had we been on it, it was hit so hard, if he was able to it would be a double play and nothing to worry about. That was a difficult choice right there, but I chose ‑‑ normally we side on the side of aggressiveness or boldness, I thought right there under those circumstances, it was best to concede one run and live for the bottom of the 9th inning.

Q. Did you consider putting anyone else in that slot?

JOE MADDON:  What happened was we went National League. Once Wil went out, we could have popped Sam in that spot. Had we done that, that would have locked Sam in that spot and I didn't want to lock us into one guy. Whenever your DH can play defense, that really permits you to do other things. Sometimes DH's can't play defense. And when they can't play defense, you can't make that particular move. But when you can, it kind of pushes back the next decision regarding who is going to hit where.

For instance with Delmon hitting in the 9 hole, then I can move the catcher into the 4 hole. So again, it's total National League. The interesting part of that game. But we chose to delay the decision by putting the DH in the game and the pitcher in the 4 hole.

Oct. 7 Jose Lobaton postgame interview

BOS@TB Gm3: Lobaton on his decisive Game 3 at-bat

Q. Walk us through your at‑bat, when did you find out you were going to hit and what were you thinking when you walked toward the plate?

JOSE LOBATON:  Well, first of all, I was talking to Martinez. And he said you're going to be up. We'll see what happened. He got a pretty good split. And then I was walking to home plate and I said, well, I'm going to try to hit the ball hard, try to get a double, I don't need a single. First pitch he threw me a split. And I said I've got to be more back. And he threw me the next pitch, I hit the ball hard and said I think I've got it. But they said keep running, keep running.

Q. Can you talk about the difference on the bench before and after Evan's home run, how everybody felt?

JOSE LOBATON:  Well, when you're down by three and that inning was ‑‑ we never give up. Never. But we kind of a little bit down, a little bit, well, now we've got to score three more runs. And after we saw that ‑‑ the ball out, it's kind of like the energy came back. Everybody was kind of like, we've got a chance now. We've got a chance.

Q. You've done this a few times this season, what is it about you that kind of ‑‑ you keep finding this moment?

JOSE LOBATON:  It's the ice cream (laughter).

Well, you know, I try to do the best for the team. I try to concentrate every bat, like every day. But sometimes you can and sometimes not. And I think the other day when I was thinking the same, just try to hit the ball hard and then today was the same. Today I say hit the ball hard and see what happens.

And I listen a lot to all the coaches. They're there every game watching everything and Martinez, Shelton, they talk a lot with us. And we got some tips they give it to us. And today it was one of those. He said you'll be up. And give us something. And then after the first one I said, well, he told me two more fastballs, it's going to be a strikeout, going to be a split.

Q. You won games where if you'd lost you would have been eliminated. Do you think that your club has picked up something in winning those games that helped it tonight?

JOSE LOBATON: Maybe. Yes and no. I don't think ‑‑ we don't want to lose. And that's a big situation for us now. We have to win. But I don't think we try. I don't think ‑‑ but if it's something that has been working for us I would take it, whatever it's good for us we take it.

And I know this team, every day they go out to do the best. And that happened today. That happened in Cleveland. That happened in Texas. Every time we go out we do our best. And today was one of those days. We never give up and now we've got the victory.

Q. Can you talk about the feeling that you get when you're rounding the bases and you've seen the ball go over the fence. Can you talk about the human emotion of it.

JOSE LOBATON:  It is ‑‑ it's weird. You want to do a lot of things. I mean you want to yell and you want to ‑‑ I don't know, say ‑‑ I was running, I just say thank God. That's what I was saying. I say thank God. It's my first game in the postseason. The first time ‑‑ the second time it happened in the postseason, but the first time that I got ‑‑ that I play. And it is something ‑‑ I don't know how to explain.

It's just different when you get a base hit. You know you've got one more game. You've got the next day to try to win a game. It's like a lot of things in your mind at that moment. It's something weird. But you just run the bases like a kid, I don't know, like when you were a kid and get a homer. And it's a different feeling. To hit a homer in that situation is something special. Something that you can't explain.

Q. Did this result or will this result in the best tasting ice cream for you thus far this season?

JOSE LOBATON:  I think every homer that I've been hitting it's been pretty good ice cream. But today was amazing. I think the second homer, the second walk‑off that I hit, they gave me like 20 ice cream, something like that. It was pretty good. But today it's postseason, it's different. But it was pretty good. If I can just keep hitting, maybe I'm going to get fat (laughter).

Oct. 7 Evan Longoria postgame interview

BOS@TB Gm3: Longoria on earning a win on his birthday

Q. Is this the best birthday yet for you? What was that moment like when you hit the home run?

EVAN LONGORIA:  I think anytime you're playing in October and your birthday is in October it's a pretty good birthday in itself. Coming into the game I just ‑‑ I wanted to play good, solid team game overall and be able to come out on top. And just to be able to get ‑‑ to come through in that moment makes it all the more special.

Q. Are you thinking one swing or are you thinking base hit, what's going through your mind?

EVAN LONGORIA:  Every time I try and think that it never works out. So I was really just trying to hit something up the middle. Clay has pitched me really tough in the past and he's had my number. So I figure if I try to do too much it could be a bad thing. And he threw a two‑seamer in the first pitch, got in on my hands, and I just barely got enough of the next pitch. It was a changeup that just stayed up enough for me to get enough barrel on it.

Q. Talk about the improbability of Lobaton's home run, who he hit it off.

EVAN LONGORIA:  Koji has been tough, man. He's been a really bright spot on that ballclub. To be able to come through in that moment, you know, those are the kind of things that we're going to need to propel us forward. Being able to walk off against a guy like him. And carry the momentum into tomorrow is huge for us.

Q. You seemed angry with yourself when you took the changeup on strike three on the previous at‑bat for the home run. Were you mad to take that pitch? Was the changeup in the back of your mind on the next one when you hit the home run?

EVAN LONGORIA:  It wasn't in the back of my mind. But I was mad, yes. I was more mad at I guess the fact that he made a really good pitch in that spot. And I got a first pitch cutter that I missed in that at‑bat. And then I swung at a fastball after that, so I kind of put myself in a hole right away. After that he didn't really make any mistakes. After that he made some good pitches and a couple of good curveballs, and throwing that changeup. When he throws it well it's a devastating pitch.

Q. What was said in the locker room after the game? How do you keep it going in these elimination games?

EVAN LONGORIA:  We just did our normal celebration, and kind of treated it like just another win. I think we all understand the stakes. We all understand that we have our backs against the wall. And it seems like those moments have been fueling us. These are the games that we've really played well in. Although you'd like to be on the other side, maybe we need that right now.

So I think ‑‑ like I said, the momentum going into tomorrow, the home fans were awesome, and I think we'll try to just continue that and use that to our advantage.

Q. It doesn't seem like too many breaks have gone your way in the series. Whenever two infielders collide as Boston did, maybe things are turning your way?

EVAN LONGORIA: We've had some tough breaks against us. Jacoby has played from line to line about as well as any hitter can. He's hit the third baseline, he hit the first base bag tonight. And those are the things that as an offense you need to get yourself going. And so we'll take the one with them two colliding. A slight miscommunication, I guess, on the bunt by Desmond. It was a perfectly placed bunt. And then I wouldn't really call it a miscue, but Napoli mishandling the ball at first when he probably had a chance to go home. Those are the kind of things that you need to win.

And so we just try to use those to our advantage.

Q. You've seen some of your high profile players over the years. Do you take that responsibility upon yourself to come up in games like this and try and do what needs to be done?

EVAN LONGORIA:  I think everybody wants to ‑‑ everybody wants to come through. I understand the commitment they made to me and the commitment that I decided to make to the organization. And I definitely stick by that. I love being here. And for as many times as I'm able to come through in those moments right there, that's why I'm here. And that's, I think ‑‑ hopefully what the fan base expects out of me. And in turn I expect it out of myself. And even if I don't look like I'm upset when I don't come through, it's definitely the other way around. I'm happy to be a part of it tonight. And like I said, Lobo's hit some big home runs for us, and none bigger than that one.