Tampa Bay Rays, Kansas City Royals POSTGAME REACTION: Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals 4/19/21

You know i wanted all i want to do when, when i came back was just make a contribution to this team any way possible, offensively defensively on the bases so uh, you know, felt good to get my feet wet, get back out there yesterday in the starting Lineup and then uh, you know today felt really good. I was really excited to play off a lefty. I felt great all all spring off them and uh. You know that translated into my bats tonight and uh, trying to you know i love hitting runners in scoring positions so guys before me got on and did their part, and you know i just try to drive them in the best i can so tonight was fun Cold but fun kevin. We got to ask you about josh fleming he cruised through five and a third. How big has he been for this team and how much has he stepped up for this team? Recently, he’s nasty he’s so efficient when he’s out there has a great pace and uh. You know we appreciate that pace tonight, more than any other night with with it being so cold, but he’s he’s, uh he’s gross up there. I faced him before and it’s not fun by any means he’s, so crafty uh it’s hard to believe he. You know doesn’t have a year of experience. He he pitches, like he’s, been around for for years and years. He does and he’s just crafty like that and uh he’ll be around for for many years to come, dominate and he’s he’s the man.

I love him and uh he’s fun to watch every fifth day. Kevin four wins in a row for this team. How well is this team clicking right now, Music we’re, getting there we’re? This is definitely a start. Uh i’ve said in you know, interviews and recent memory that you know we’re not firing on all cylinders but but we’re we’re heading that direction and uh. We have such a talented team and we’re going to be just fine but we’re, starting to really have some fun now and whenever we gain that confidence and that momentum in our favor we’re, dangerous and that’s. What we’re, trying to solidify for ourselves right now and uh, do whatever it takes to keep this thing going, what it boiled down to um? You know we got the lead. We we took advantage of a defensive miscue on their part, got one give willie and joey a lot of credit right there for running uh, it’s, so easy to shut it down and just assume that somebody’s gon na catch the ball, but neither one of them did And it allowed us to get a run and kk comes up, adds another rbi to to make it two nothing and felt at that point like if we could kind of um match up with that. That righty group of hitters up at the top thompson, was the guy to do it. You mentioned kk. It was his first rbi of the season. He had two rbi tonight, just how nice was that to see from him in just his second start.

Back after being on the il yeah, he came up big for us. Kk does a lot of things on a daily nightly basis to help us win and his bat’s gon na get going it’s. Fine. Maybe today was the start of it, but it was good to see him square up that ball right there at the end, to add to the the fourth run as well. So a couple hard hits and just a really really well pitched game by fleming and the rest of the relievers kevin. Did you get the sense at all with how good duffy was and how bad the conditions were that it was going to take kind of a you know, somebody capitalizing on a mistake. The way that you guys did in the fight yeah that’s how we felt duffy was outstanding from the side he had his fastball velo and command on looked like he. You know he showed the the breaking balls earlier in the game went to the change up. A couple times later in the game, he had everything going but give our guys a lot of credit. They stayed at it, didn’t get frustrated and when an opportunity presented uh we were able to make the most of it tonight. So i know it’s, you know it’s. Just a very josh fleming thing to be that efficient, but i mean how tough is that to do at this level? You know consistently, as he has really since he came up last year.

I don’t, i can’t, explain how he does that uh, look the the sinker! You can tell from the side when it’s really going. Sometimes it looks like a breaking ball, it’s dropping so much in there and it just it really messes with hitters i mean it looks like a a very hittable pitch and for the most part it is hittable. It’S, just tough to do anything with you just got so many ground balls today, willie adams’s plays were uh outstanding behind them, brandon, lyle and willie. Turning the double play, but willie covered a lot of ground today to help him out. So how about thompson? Not just getting the outs, but i mean as efficient as he was. I imagine, you’ve got to be really happy with that. We are happy because we you know thomps was down yesterday. He came back, gave us an inning and a third um and and to be efficient uh. You know if we’re going to lean on these guys like we envision that efficiency really helps going into the next game or the the next series kevin you swept the yankees. You won tonight and all these games, it seems like you, found a way to do what you needed to do each time. Could you just speak about the way you put this together and the confidence that’s growing with each of these wins yeah look. This is a confident club winning helps uh bring that confidence out more and more uh, but i think you know the winning was great, but the way that we handled and bounced back from what we would all acknowledge.

A pretty rough series at home uh speaks most about the club that they they recognize, that we got beat we’re still a good team. If we go out and take care of our our business uh, we should be in a lot of games and in position to win games and uh that never that mindset, never faltered at randy coming out is that just defense in a big outfield, yep yep defensive Uh, you know when you have philly margot and certainly kk out there it’s got a chan, i mean it’s, a special defense. Those guys can cover a lot of ground and it’s tough to take extra bases, and we got a bunch of guys that can throw runners out trying to advance as well kevin not being there. What was the? What was the win situation? Look uh like there because it looked like you had the dozier issue, the santana missing the pop up and then phillips late in the game had to make uh a long run to make a catch in foul territory. That was a tremendous play by brett phillips. I was kidding with joey wendell like why didn’t he go after it, because we all assumed that it was. You know, going to left field um, but it was windy uh. You know, willie’s ball. I think his first at bat off duffy that that was got a chance to be a home run without that wind that it left it up.

He hit it right dead center to the track, but uh yeah. The elements were not ideal but uh. The guys played well talk to kevin cash, you cruise through five and a third. He described you as outstanding, was it just being home and having your family there or what was clicking for you tonight on the mountain yeah i mean, i guess that helped a little bit. You know having all my friends and family there tonight um, but you know i was able to get in a groove pretty quickly. Um got a rhythm going and uh again just a lot of ground balls, which is exactly what i wanted and um. You know in this cold weather i know it’s difficult to hit so um. You know just kept the ball down as much as i could and let him put on the ground you had like 40 people there. Could you hear them there’s, not as like. So i didn’t, i didn’t, really hear him when i was throwing, but once i got taken out, i heard a very, very big cheer, um yelling from all different directions: yeah. It was just awesome. It was awesome, josh, you kind of know when you get out there in the cold, that it’s going to be potentially a good night to make hitters uncomfortable. And how do you feel like you used that to your advantage, um? I thought i did a pretty good job at it. You know tonight i think my change up was was the best it’s felt um? You know in my time up here um.

It was just everything about it was, was on um same with the sinker, and i know when those two pitches are working i’m gon na get a lot of weak contact, a lot of ground balls um – and you know, like you, said in this weather, it’s it’s – Very difficult to hit so i was very happy with it. I know the answer from every pitcher is that they like to pitch longer, but is it tough the way you’re cruising to come out two times through the order, yeah um? You know when i was warming up and once i threw the last pitch and frankie threw it down, i kind of glanced at the bullpen um and i saw thompson warming up and i was like ah come on like let me go. Let me go one more at least and maybe take me out in the in the seventh but uh. You know it’s what we do and you know i was totally fine with it. Um yeah i mean it’s difficult, but it is what it is. Also, probably a pretty good sign for you if the one issue is that you didn’t get to pitch enough right, you’re too efficient, absolutely absolutely hey! Josh on the error that allowed you to score your first run. Your people are going to look at it and see the guy misplay it, but one thing that also happened was both your guys ran as hard as they could and helped to create that run hell.

How nice is it to see the hustle kind of produce uh something out of out of a mistake? I mean that’s huge um, you know, joey was was busting his butt down. You know every base and um. You know, thankfully, santana didn’t look at him because he he might have been thrown out if he would just glanced at him. But uh. You know, it’s huge for us and – and you know, willie’s run ended up being the game winner.

What do you think?

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