Kevin Cash discusses Blake Snell, Cy Young Award, Tommy Pham’s 25 straight games of getting on base

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Rays manager Kevin Cash makes his case for Blake Snell winning the Cy Young Award and touches on Tommy Pham's streak of reaching base in 25 straight games.

REPORTER: -outstanding performance by Blake. 21 wins, franchise record for Reyes. What impressed you the most about him today?

- Oh, you know what? I thought he maybe didn't have his fastball command or didn't feel that good with the fastball. So he was able to locate a lot of off-speed pitches. His off-speed pitches looked really nasty from a lot of their swings that they--

No, I certainly don't think that's a deal breaker. I think he's pretty much cementing his case that he belongs, you know, not just in the conversation but right at the top of the list. I mean, he's been dominant now for a couple of months.

You know what? He's at the mercy I guess of me pulling him out of games. So blame me if the 200-inning mark, if that's not that big of a deal.

REPORTER: So he keeps telling us he's not paying attention to what he's doing, he just wants to finish the season, put as much into the last, you know, x amount of starts that you get at the beginning of the year. Which, you don't normally believe a guy. Bu the way he's pitching, it seems like he is.

- Oh, I definitely think that. I haven't seen one difference about him whatsoever. I mean, you know, and I don't even know if Blake would recognize that he was going for 20 wins unless we talked about it and was asked about it. So he hasn't changed his mentality, his approach, his focus whatsoever. He's just going out there and being consistent.

REPORTER: That's hard to do over a six-month season.

- It is. It's very hard. I mean, a guy that comes to mind is you look at a guy like Corey Kluber. And that mindset, I think, really drives him, motivates him, and allows him to put himself in a position every fifth day to go out there and compete at the highest level. And I think Blake is transitioning to have that type of mindset.

REPORTER: [INAUDIBLE] in comparison? I mean, he now has more wins than David Price ever had in a season. David Price did a lot of great things here. That's pretty good company.

- It's remarkable. Totally remarkable. 20's special, but to break a record that I think anybody would say that's affiliated with the Tampa Bay Rays over the last decade, whatever, it's been a very pitching based organization with just dominant starting pitching. I mean, Price, Shields, Kazmir, Cobb, Odorizzi, there's a lot of guys out there-- Matt Moore-- that have been really special starting pitchers. And Blake has now, for one season, put himself at the top of that list.

REPORTER: Well, you said that domination, Kevin, for the last, as you say, couple of months. Was there one key point or turning point in the season that allowed him to do that?

- No. Not really. I don't think so. I mean, I thought, you know, he got out of the gate, we all got out of the gate a little bit slow. And he was right there. And no panic on his part, just started making pitches. It wasn't like an overnight thing. I think he gradually had start to start that he started to build off of and got better. I think the all-Star game experience probably helped him a little bit. I don't know if he'd admit to that or not. But being able to kind of rub elbows with those guys and recognize that he belonged there, I think that might have vaulted something for him to take off into the second half and he hasn't looked back.

REPORTER: How's KK doing?

- He's sore. He went up against the wall, made two, I think two, maybe three tremendous plays today, and banged his back up against that screen part where it's not so padded. Just unfortunate the ball was right there. And then he had one at bat. And then he went up and it looked like he went to check swing or start his swing and the back of his shoulder grabbed him. So he'll be day to day.

REPORTER: Duffy had a bunt that moved Pham to second. Was he trying to bunt for a single? Or did that come from you as a--

- No, he was trying to bunt for a single. Just the lefty on the mound, you know, that first baseman holding a guy on, I think he saw an open lane and just didn't quite get it hard enough.

REPORTER: From the offensive side, CJ--

- Yeah, big. That was huge. Brandon's home run and CJ's home run, you just get the sense, the way the flow of the game is. Their guy pitched really tough, Borucki, good looking young pitcher. Kept us off balance. And you want to get as many as you can because-- well, we saw it unfold two nights, three nights ago. So it was good to get those runs because they certainly put the pressure on in the eighth and the ninth.

REPORTER: You've complimented CJ before, but it seems like he's not let up at all, no matter what his opportunities have been.

- No. I agree. I mean, he's had a tremendous season. And, you know, I don't know where he's at, how many homers does he have now?

REPORTER: 28.

- 28. All right. Well, we've got two more to go. That's a big number.

REPORTER: Manager lets him play. He's got a shot.

- All right. Yep.

REPORTER: What about Brandon Lowe though? Another guy who came up kind of maybe even a little surprising in early August.

- Yeah, you know what? It's funny. We talk about surprising but-- and I was surprised too-- but you get surprised, maybe we shouldn't have been. Because he put together the best minor league season of any player that we've had, I think, this year. When you look at the home runs, the doubles, the RBIs that he was doing between double A and triple A, it just took a couple of weeks for it to translate at this level. And now he seems like, you know, every start or every other start he's really impacting the baseball and getting it out of the ballpark.

REPORTER: [INAUDIBLE] Borucki. Was he any different the second time and you saw him today?

- I thought he threw pretty good against us last time here. You know, he was a little sharper today. The guys kept coming back to that, you know, he was tough and the fact that he was working to both edges. And when you've got, you know, you can work away and establish both sides, it's going to be really challenging on a lineup. And that's why he was so good.

REPORTER: Kevin, will you watch the Oakland game today at all?

- No. I don't even-- when do they play?

REPORTER: Open in about five minutes. That's more you're liking today?

- Yeah. Yeah.

REPORTER: Hey, you and Jon Gruden are buddies, right? Neighbors.

- That's right.

REPORTER: Do you have a starter/opener for--

- Diego will open tomorrow.