Kevin Cash on Rays’ bounce back win

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Tampa Bay Rays manager Kevin Cash breaks down the last game of the series against the Boston Red Sox, noting the first few runs gave the team some breathing room and that Blake Snell did great.

- Bounce back win, you know. We got pitched really tough two days. And Porcello, look, he's really good to be able to get him-- the pitch count up and be able to capitalize on some opportunities. We talked about that before the game. That would have been nice to be able to accomplish, and we did that.

Lot of good at bats. Wilson Ramos' at bats were really good. I know, you know, the first inning ground ball back, but he really worked the at bat, and then he came up and got the big hit an inning or two later, whenever it was.

And then Blake, you know, he looked really good. Looked good against him, just like the last time up in Fenway. Kind of set the tone the first at bat with Mookie that he was going to come right after guys. He did that.

And then the fifth inning rolled around. His pitch count got up. I thought he lost the command of the fastball, little uncharacteristic walk in here and there. But really, really good performance by Blake, and our offense overall, to be able to pile up some runs early and give us some breathing room.

INTERVIEWER: How about Spider-Man, Denard Span, out there?

- Man, yes, that's a good way to put it. I'm glad he didn't get hurt, because you know, when you see a player go down and then you don't see him come up for a second-- it was a good thing we had Raymond out there the second time to help him up.

INTERVIEWER: I mean, he's not bad for an old guy, running around like that, stealing bases.

- No, I can't say that. He looks good. I don't know, he looks young to me.

[LAUGHING]

See how he feels tomorrow, though, but probably be all right.

INTERVIEWER: If you were going to nitpick anything on Blake, maybe just pitch count, I mean, only getting six innings with as good stuff as he had--

- Yeah, I mean, I think-- but I also think that's a credit to their lineup and their approach. But yeah, there was probably about a 20 pitch window in there that he just kind of lost command, and fell behind, and probably tried to do a little bit too much. But look, it's tough to nitpick anything when you shut this team down for six innings.

INTERVIEWER: What is he doing, though, that's just making him-- I mean, he seems like he has just kind of found this level of excellence, that he just hits most every time out now.

- You know, it's command complemented by really good stuff. We saw the stuff a lot last year. The command was fairly inconsistent, and then it got consistent there at the last four or five starts.

And then now, he's just in a really good rhythm. I think he sets a tone and a tempo. I mean, he's one of our fastest workers when he's on the mound. He gets the ball back, doesn't want to break any rhythm.

And generally, when guys are feeling good, that's what they do. They want to get on onto the next pitch. But you know, the way he's getting ahead of hitters has really allowed him to open up many avenues to get guys out, once he established that he's going throw strike one.

INTERVIEWER: And I'm sure you've seen a transition in his manner in this whole transition from August to now, last year.

- Yeah, I mean, there's little things that stick out. You know, I referenced an Adrián Beltré at bat months ago against-- or a month ago against the Rangers, where he kind of stepped off the mound, took a deep breath. Even tonight, you know, he was frustrated himself, but he was able to regroup enough to get us through that sixth inning.

We didn't really need to be-- you saw we had double barreled. We were getting ready to unload the bullpen, and that was not ideal with a 6-0 ballgame. So really impressed with the fact that he was able to take a deep breath and get that sixth inning accomplished.

INTERVIEWER: I think Duffy had a pretty good game too, defensively and--

- Yeah, Matt, really, really nice plays. Denard made some nice plays out there. I mean, that's what it takes to beat a team like Boston. Everything's got to go right, and fortunately for us, it did.

But we pride ourselves on the defense. And you know, after last night, defense showed up a little bit late in the ballgame. We played so clean, and then it showed up late in the ballgame.

You know, we had some big double plays between Matt and Robbie, turning double plays. There's a lot of things to like.

INTERVIEWER: That didn't do anything to change Romo, the fact that he warmed up, did it?

- No.

INTERVIEWER: OK.

- No.

INTERVIEWER: If you would've pitched him though, it would've thrown a lot of stories out.

- If he was going to come into pitch, he would have started the next day.

INTERVIEWER: OK, he would still start.

- Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: And then, Willy--

- Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: --said he needs to go back.

- I need to talk through it here in a second, and then we'll probably have an announcement here shortly.

INTERVIEWER: What did he show you during these couple days?

- You know, a young player that we've got to see a lot in spring training, but spring training is a different animal-- or excuse me, this is a different animal when you're playing up here, the intensity, the speed of the game. I mean, that last play he made, who was it, whoever was getting down the line, and he just unloaded that.

You know, the arm strength that he showed, and every at bat he had-- I mean, I know that he hit the home run, and then he had some strikeouts sprinkled in there. But he looks the part. He goes up there, looks like he's going to do damage.

He's wanting to be up there. So a lot to be excited about with him.