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October 5, 2014

Bruce Bochy


Q.  Bruce, we know that Hunter certainly can throw hard, but what clued you in to the idea that he could step up and you could put him in situations like you did in the first two games, get the out with the bases loaded and then saving the game last night?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I think we have a young kid that, especially coming out of AA, he had to rely on people around him, manager, pitching coach, rovers, and the development people that have been around him, and they help give you the info you need to know on the guy, his makeup, not just his talent.  You can always look at a guy and see the talent but as far as what's inside him, those guys help you.
And so we were comfortable bringing him up here.  We thought he could handle it, and he's done very well with that, starting from day one, and that allowed me to use Casilla early knowing I had him in my back pocket, so I had no problems bringing him in any situation.

Q.  So many people seem to wonder what is the formula that is going to work in a short series in October.  You guys have played great in just about all of them.  What do you know about what factors matter the most at this time of year and why are the giants so good at those things?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I wish I knew the formula, the secret.  I guess my answer to that would be, hey, you go out there and you give it all you can.  You try to keep guys loose and relaxed, because they are going to be amped up, but have some fun with it, embrace this.
But I can't say there's a silver bullet on how you play each series except that every game counts and it's every pitch, every play, the margin of error is not there like you have in April or May.
And so you just need to go out there and have that focus for nine innings, or as last night, 18 innings.  But it's about going out there and giving it your best, and if you do that, hopefully it works out.
I've been on the other end, too, in these short series.  There's no magic formula, trust me.

Q.  Obviously baseball is a team game, but you guys have a long post‑game winning streak.  Pablo Sandoval has a long post‑season hitting streak.  Any correlation there?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, there could be, sure.  We have a guy in the heart of the order swinging well and getting hits, that helps win ballgames.  We've been on a good roll, but that's over the last, what, three years, or last two times we've been in post‑season, and it's a little bit of a different group.
But, you know, in order to I guess have a little streak like we have now, you need guys that come through and deliver for you in a big way, and Pablo did that last night, Posey, Pence, they all have.
But I think it goes hand‑in‑hand, your guys are swinging well, you win ballgames.

Q.  Can you give a little detail of what Brandon Belt did to get back speed of his swing with missing so much time with his concussion?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I think any time you've had an extended break from taking some swings and facing live pitching, it takes time.  It's hard enough to hit Major League pitching, and so you know, we try to ramp up his swings once he was okay to do some baseball activities.
But I still knew that it was going to take him time once he got in the game.  So, you know, he was going to be a little rusty but you know, we were‑‑ our thoughts were, it was worth the risk, because we still had to get in there, but we needed this guy.  This guy's our first baseman.  So just throw him out there every day, we'll try to give him a break after a day or two to give him a rest.
And I think maybe around 25, 30 at‑bats, you could see Brandon starting to get comfortable and seeing the ball a little bit better and catching up with the fastball and slowing things down and not chasing off‑speed pitches.  Like any hitter, once he got his timing, he obviously started swinging better.

Q.  What went into your thinking on Petit as opposed to Lincecum?  You've seen Petit get on these rolls during games.  Were you just going to leave him in there until he basically couldn't‑‑ until he ran out of gas?  Because you did let him hit a couple times in extra innings.
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I'll start with the year Petit has had.  He just set a Major League record for hitless innings, walks or whatever.  He's a little more accustomed to that long roll.
Timmy I've used coming in for an inning or two, help us out in the middle innings.  But I wanted the long guy once I was done with Casilla, try to get as much from him.
Now, Timmy was our next guy.  And I was going to have to stick with him because Strickland was the only guy behind him.  We did send Vogelsong down there.  But that was Petit's last inning.  If Belt doesn't hit the home run, Petit is out of the game.  Timmy is coming in, and I'm going to hit for him that time.  He was around 80 pitches.
He was fresh going into that game so we knew we had between 80 and a hundred pitches, and we did check on him the last couple innings; he's fine, I'm good, and I checked with Buster and he was still okay.
But I think more, it's a case of the year he's had and he's a little more accustomed to that long roll.

Q.  You had the privilege of playing the longest game in post‑season history yesterday.
BRUCE BOCHY:  What an honor.   (Laughter.)

Q.  But in your heart of hearts, do you think that Buster Posey was safe at the plate?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I think so.  Sure, I'm going to be biased, and who was it, Buster I think said, "You know what, if they would have called me safe, probably wouldn't have overturned it."  Just wasn't enough evidence.
When I saw it up there, watching on the scoreboard, I was sure he was safe.  But then you look at it, his foot came up a little and then it's hard to tell.  I want the call obviously and just wasn't enough to overturn it.

Q.  And a question on tomorrow, do you think that playing two games yesterday is going to‑‑ essentially two games yesterday, is that going to maybe set up a letdown or how do you keep the team up for tomorrow?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I certainly hope there's not going to be a letdown with what's at stake here.  I don't see that with this group.  This is a tough group.  I gave them a day off, and I really didn't want them to come to the park.  Just get a break.  They played 18 innings.  Plus, we played in Pittsburgh.  I mean, that was a road trip that we were on.
They will come out and be ready to go, and you can't letdown.  It wasn't the best of three; it's the best‑of‑five, and we know that.

Q.  In these last two runs, you've only been able to clinch one series at home and haven't had a whole lot of potential clinchers in this ballpark.  What do you expect it to be like tomorrow when you step out there?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I think it's going to be exciting here, with our fans, and we're fortunate, we get to see it every game here.  They are sold out, and we thank them at the end of the season.  But it's going to be a little different tomorrow, and these guys know it, from 2010 and 2012.  I know they are looking forward to coming out here.
This is why you play the game.  This is what it's about and it's what you work hard for from spring training.  I know I look forward to it, and it should be a lot of fun for these guys.

Q.  When can you see Petit being available again after going so long last night?
BRUCE BOCHY:  He probably‑‑ not tomorrow, but Tuesday, if I needed him short, he would be available.  He probably would tell me‑‑ you know, he could give us an inning tomorrow, but I'll stay away from him.

Q.  Just one thought on Casilla, you said you just wanted to use him for one inning, was there any thought of him going second, or because of the series you want him available for every game?
BRUCE BOCHY:  No, there was a thought of him going a second inning.  I was in a tough situation there.  I didn't have a double switch.  Pence had made the last out, and I didn't want to take Pence out or Posey or Sandoval or Panik.  These are guys you want to stay in the game.  The pitcher was a fourth hitter coming up.  They get three up and three down, he's going back out.
But once we had a man on third and Crawford gets him in‑‑ Crawford gets him in, he hits but once he didn't get him in, I had a runner in scoring position with two outs and that's why Susac hit, and my hand was pretty much forced then.

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