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10/09/11 1:48 AM ET

Postgame interview with Ron Washington

THE MODERATOR: Who has the first question for Ron Washington.

Q. What were your thoughts on the bullpen, especially the way they were able to get strikeouts and Gonzalez getting the key out in the fifth since he was here to get lefties?

RON WASHINGTON: You know, before the rain came, Avila was going to be C.J.'s last guy. But the rain stopped it. So we come back, we brought out Gonzalez.

Our intentions were to try to get two out of Neftali ... not Neftali, Ogando. And he gave it to us. Some nights things fall into place for you, and some nights they don't. Tonight they fell into place for us.

Q. Ron, you said yesterday that you thought Nelson was rounding into form. Do you think the home run may be further indication of that?

RON WASHINGTON: He's capable of hitting the ball out of the ballpark. He's also capable of catching gaps and getting singles. Once he starts doing all of that, we'll know he's back. We certainly needed what he gave us tonight. We needed that big home run off of Verlander.

Q. Two part question: First of all, C.J. in the first inning, how he was able to come out of that. And also, the bottom half of this lineup with Napoli and Murphy, what they did at the end of the game, I mean at the beginning of the game to get the win, can you talk about that?

RON WASHINGTON: You know, once again, we knew we had a challenge with Verlander. Murph got us on the board. Napoli fought it with the hit and Murph got us on the board. We needed all that.

C.J. was much better tonight. I just hope Mother Nature wouldn't have stopped him there. I think he was on his way to at least giving us six or seven. He was throwing the ball extremely well.

So it took everyone, and it certainly took a good fight, and having to go through all the delays and for the first game it was a good win for us.

Q. What do you think of your bullpen with Ogando now part of it?

RON WASHINGTON: Well, I tell you what, he is certainly showing that he's a great piece to have down there, especially when you got him where he can give you multiple innings. There's times when I have to use him for one. Tonight I needed him for two. And he gave it to me.

We knew he could throw out of the bullpen. We took a chance on him throwing this year as a starting pitcher, and he showed us he can do that also. What a weapon to have.

Q. Ron, even if there had been no rain, what do you think the chances are you would have gone to Ogando for the sixth inning?

RON WASHINGTON: Well, if C.J. would have got out of that fifth inning in good fashion, probably would have sent him back out there and not had Ogando for the seventh or the eighth.

But the way it worked out, he had certainly exhausted all of his pitches once the second rain delay came, and we just brought in Gonzalez. And from that point, we knew that we wanted Ogando in there to try to get two.



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Postgame interview with Nelson Cruz

Q. Nellie, 2-0 count when you were up there. Were you looking for a fastball at that point?

NELSON CRUZ: Yeah, one of the at bats, I don't remember if it was Mike or Adrian, 2-0, he threw a change up. It was a change up. I was trying to be aggressive. First at bat he threw me some pitches out of the strike zone.

So I tell myself just to be patient and wait for the right pitch to hit.

Q. Nelson, you've been through this before, and being back here the second year, it seems like you were just waiting on that moment that time, you hadn't been hitting the home runs like you had been wanting to. What was on your mind tonight?

NELSON CRUZ: Definitely important to get it going. As soon as I hit the homer, I thought it should be good enough, the way C.J. was throwing. And with the bullpen we have, we were lucky enough for it to be enough, two runs. And Wash did a really good job mixing the pitchers bringing in everybody in the right time to face the hitters.

Q. Nelson, despite two rain delays, still a ton of fans in the ballpark even after having to wait. What does that say about your guys' fan base?

NELSON CRUZ: They're the best fans. Two rain delays, it's almost 12:00. It shows how good they are and how special they are. We always enjoy the fans the way they support us all year.

Q. Nelson, in a situation like this, how hard is it to keep from pressing and keep approaching every at bat the same and have results like you did today?

NELSON CRUZ: Definitely the last few games I feel like I swing the bat well. I was lucky enough but the situation, playoffs, you don't care about what you do. You want to do the results there by where you are. That's the way I take the approach.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Nelson.

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