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CLEVELAND (WJW) — After hours and hours and inning after inning of a scoreless tie, right-fielder Oscar Gonzalez struck a walk-off home-run in the bottom of the 15th to send the Cleveland Guardians to New York for the divisional round.
Gonzalez and the final innings’ relief pitcher Sam Hentges spoke to reporters following Saturday’s second win against Tampa Bay, along with manager Terry Francona.
On the hours without a score
“There was a lot of frustration because no one was scoring. … Guys dug deep and made plays and it ended up being enough. It was tough, but it was enough.”Manager Terry Francona
“Every pitch matters, especially in the playoffs. That’s how you have to attack it as a relief pitcher. I just wanted to go out there and throw strikes, and the defense took care of the rest.”Pitcher Sam Hentges
Party time in Cleveland! pic.twitter.com/y2g8GtyXhm— Bradley Hamilton (@BradHamiltonTV) October 8, 2022
On Gonzalez’ game-winning home run
“These are the things I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little kid and playing in the minor leagues. … Right away, I knew it was a good connection and also the angle the ball was going in — I knew it was going to be a home run.”Right-fielder Oscar Gonzalez
“I think everybody in the stadium knew it was out right away. … I came up with [Gonzalez] in the minor leagues. It’s cool the rest of the world gets to see what he can do.”Pitcher Sam Hentges
First time in Cleveland baseball history they hit a walk-off home run to clinch a postseason series!— John Sabol (@John_Sabol) October 8, 2022
The rookie Oscar Gonzalez hit it off former Indians ace Corey Kluber. Baseball, man.#Guardians are 26-6 since Sept. 5. @fox8news #Fortheland pic.twitter.com/iPBYjdiNTr
On the atmosphere inside Progressive Field
“It was a good amount of adrenaline. I think it had to do with the situation. The crowd was awesome. The atmosphere was unbelievable today, and [the fans] were loud. I just wanted to go out there and do my job.”Pitcher Sam Hentges
“I feel the way the fans reacted to [the home run] is a wake-up call to see where we’re at and what we’re doing and, more importantly, where we want to go.”Right-fielder Oscar Gonzalez