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A Postgame Interview With Ron Washington

A Postgame Interview With Ron Washington

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Q.  It seemed like there was a hesitation of you taking C.J. out in the outer stage of the game.

RON WASHINGTON:  Yes, it was.  He's our ace.  If I take C.J. out in the second inning or the third inning there, I have to use my bullpen.  This is the first game of the series.  He is the ace, and I was hoping he would catch some rhythm and keep us around.  It didn't work out.

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Q.  Was there any problem with C.J.?  Was it the blister?  Or was he just that bad?

RON WASHINGTON:  No, it wasn't any problem with C.J.  You have to give Tampa Bay credit.  They came out and they swung the bat.  The second and third inning they put three runs on us:  two-run homer, single, and then a three-run homer.

They swung the bat.  They got the ball up to Shoppach; he hit it straightaway center field.  Tried to get one in on Johnny Damon; didn't get there.  Two-run bomb.

It was just one of those days.  He just didn't get it done.

 

Q.  Wash, what did you say to the team as you addressed them in the clubhouse and how do you rebound tomorrow for Game 2?

RON WASHINGTON:  Well, we knew what we had to go out there and do.  We had to go out there and play good baseball.

You have to give credit to Matt Moore.  He shut us down.  Once he got the lead, the kid took it to the finish line.  He is special.  You have to give him create for that.

And, you know, we have always bounced back, and we will bounce back.  We have a five-game series here.  They got the first one.  I don't think it matters if they won 1-0 or 9-0.  We got beat.  We can take that.  We'll bounce back tomorrow.

Q.  Wash, what was the thinking on bringing Harrison in?

RON WASHINGTON:  Just get him going.  Get him a chance to see what it's like out there, the atmosphere.  Today was his side day, and we just wanted him to throw between 10 and 15 pitches.  We got him out at 15.  Get him a feel of what it's going to be like.

Q.  Wash, one of the marks of this team over the last few years has been its resiliency and ability to play a day at a time.  Do you see any problem with being able to shake this one off?

RON WASHINGTON:  No, I don't.  We got beat, and when you get beat, you can move on.  I mean, we didn't throw the ball around.  Opportunities that they got to score the runs, they did that on their own by swinging the bat and putting themselves in position.

So we didn't do anything out there to give them runs.  They earned every one of them.  We got beat tonight.

Q.  Ron, in the sixth inning, did you have a bunt on?  Or did Hamilton just see something?

RON WASHINGTON:  Well, he was playing the shift, and Elvis got on the first -- first hitter Elvis got on, Hamilton just tried to keep something going.  You know, he had one of the hits today.  I like his thinking.  But right there you like to see him swing the bat.  If he would have got the bunt down, we would have had runners on first and second with Mike coming up; you never know what may have happened.

Q.  Ron, specifically what was Moore doing out there?  He was getting 96, 97, but also mixing in the curveball.

RON WASHINGTON:  Early on in the first couple of innings he was just establishing his fastball.  Then when he got around the third or fourth inning, he started mixing his breaking ball and his change-up.

He is a special kid.  He really is.  He got the lead and held on to it.  You have to give him credit.

Q.  Wash, do you think any of that was the Rays still being fired up and carrying momentum from just making it into the playoffs on Wednesday night?

RON WASHINGTON:  No, I don't think that had anything to do it.  We were fired up, too.  You have to give Johnny Damon credit for the two-run bomb he hit, Shoppach credit for the three-run he hit and then the two-run he hit, and give Joyce credit for battling up there and getting that single to score a run.  They put their runs on the board; we didn't.

Q.  Wash, did falling behind 6-0 by the third inning take something out of your offense?  They looked flat today.

RON WASHINGTON:  The way Matt was throwing out there would make any offense look flat.  No, we was still up fighting in the dugout.  We still was trying to get it done.  But the kid threw a good game, and you can't take nothing away from that.  And Tampa played a good game.

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