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October 13, 2014

Bruce Bochy


Q.  You guys have suffered so many injuries this year, Cain and Pagan; could you talk the importance of a club being able to fill those holes and still compete for a championship?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah, I mean, unfortunately it's part of the game.  You hate for any player to get hurt, and we've had to deal with injuries.  And that's what has to happen, what you just talked about, somebody come in and do a nice job for you.  That's where Blanco, he's played a big role for us, Panik, Susac, Jake Peavy, Petit.
So we have had the players to fill those holes, which is nice; and they do, too.  It's what you have to deal with, and there's not a lot you can do about it except, hey, focus forward, and that's what we've always done.

Q.  Were you thinking about Lincecum at all in the fifth or sixth inning yesterday?  It's been a while since he's pitched.  How ready do you think he is to drop in?
BRUCE BOCHY:  To be honest I wasn't thinking about putting him in then.  How ready‑‑ he's been a while for him, and I understand that.  So that might have been a tough position to put him in.  I just thought Jeremy was the perfect bridge at that time to get me to that seventh, give me a couple innings, and I thought that fifth and sixth inning were big innings.
They just scored, what, the third and fourth inning, and now we get two of our guys who have been setting up all year for us, Machi, Strickland, still have Lopez.  And Jeremy did a great job.  He did what we were hoping.
Sure, I think about Timmy.  I know he wants to be out there.  But where their lineup was, I just thought Jeremy was the perfect guy to go out there.  I knew I had him for two innings, and like I said, he gave us a chance to come back like we did.  Great effort by him.

Q.  Any consideration for Strickland, given his propensity for giving up home runs?
BRUCE BOCHY:  This kid has great stuff.  He's made some mistakes.  We're working on things.  He took a bullpen today.  I know he feels awful about giving up another home run, but you know, we may have to tweak things.  But this kid's still going to be part of our sixth, seventh inning.  I think with his equipment, it works, and his mentality.  He can handle what's happened.  He just made a mistake there.  We made four mistakes.
This team now that we are playing, they are hot with the long ball, and that's what beat us last night.

Q.  Did Machi come off with a fingernail issue?

Q.  Someone thought he came off with his fingernail came off‑‑
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, if he did, it's news to me.  I don't know about it.

Q.  Given all their lefties and Bumgarner's willingness to pitch at any time, is he available tomorrow?  Is he somebody you could get into the game?
BRUCE BOCHY:  No.  I wouldn't use him.  Our two lefties, they are ready to go.  And Jeremy, he did a nice efficient job in his two innings.  Lopez is ready to go.  Sometimes that doesn't always work, either.  Lefties on lefties, they showed that against L.A. I mean, their lefties handle lefties pretty good.
So right now, there's no plan on using Bum in the bullpen.

Q.  Following up on Lincecum, is he a guy with his changeup against their lefties that might work and do you want him here at home because he pitched so much better here this year?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I'm sure with his equipment, he's good against lefties and righties with the four pitches that he has.  I'll try to find the right spot for Timmy, just like Petit.
But like I said, I thought at that stage yesterday, I thought I had a fresh Jeremy to get us to where we wanted, and really he did that.
But getting back to Timmy, he's got the equipment to get back.

Q.  Could you talk about the uniqueness of the environment here and how it helped you guys?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah, and you know, I'm sure St.Louis, they say the same thing, but you know, for us, to come here every day during the season, and we had some ups and downs.  We had our little skids, but sold out, every game here, and we now hoe lucky and fortunate we are and what a tremendous fan base we have and how supportive they are with these guys.
Even when things got rough, they stood behind these guys.  That is unique, and I've had a lot of players, coaches and managers tell me, they can't believe what we have here.  It's really cool to see this on a daily basis and how these fans love their team, their players and it's nice to play in front of a packed house.
You love playing the game anyway, but to have this kind of fan support; the players not only want to win for themselves but they feel like the fans are part of this club.

Q.  Tim Hudson at the beginning of the season was almost invincible, had a little hiccup and then came back in the game against the Nationals.  Can you talk about the importance of finding somebody of his experience?
BRUCE BOCHY:  It's great to have Huddy going and have Huddy healthy.  He was dealing with that hip for a little while there, and I think it was affecting him even more than he was telling us.
But you know, it's great to have his experience, his knowledge.  He's had a good year for us.  He's given us depth in this rotation, and we just want him to go out there and give us a chance, and he does that on a consistent basis.  He's been throwing the ball much better since he's gotten healthy.

Q.  When you guys saw Travis Ishikawa this summer, I think on a Minor League deal, how much did that even register with you at the time?  And at what point did you realize that he could make an impact?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, when we signed Ishi, Belt, he had his injury, broke his thumb there.  We wanted some depth there and we wanted somebody with experience down in Fresno.
Now, did I envision him going to left field?  No, absolutely not.  It's pretty amazing, really, how he's handled this and he's done a good job out there.  But it's nice to have his experience, his post‑season experience, his bat.  He's got a great attitude.  I mean, he wants to be out there.  I've talked about this; he wasn't reluctant to go out to left field.  In fact, he was looking forward to going out there, and worked hard every day on his left field baseball stuff.
He's been a nice addition to this club.

Q.  You were mentioning the Cardinals long ball.  You guys have only hit a couple.  Any chance you might get Morse in the lineup here even though you're facing a staff of right‑handers?
BRUCE BOCHY:  No, I don't see him playing tomorrow.  But you know, it's a pretty nice weapon to have just to come off the bench, too.  I think Ishi has done a pretty good job out there and he's thrown out some pretty good at‑bats and Belt is playing well.
I don't see him starting right now.  But doesn't mean I won't change my mind.  But it would be nice to hit a couple long balls, too, kind of balance things out here a little bit (Laughter.).  But Ishi has that capability, too.

Q.  With Hudson, going back to the signing in the off‑season, were games like this part of the reason he brought him here?
BRUCE BOCHY:  To be honest I think when we signed Huddy, the thing is to get us here, because you've got to have that rotation that gives you a chance to win on a consistent basis, and we felt like we needed another starter to help us out, and a number three‑type guy, not that he's not better than that.  But with our rotation, I just think with his experience, his knowledge would help the other pitchers; that he would help get us here.
Now, to add to that, sure, it's nice to have his experience once you get here.  But when you sign a guy in the off‑season, to me, it's more, you know, what can we do to help get us to this point.  After that, then you know, hopefully they come through for you.

Q.  One more on Hudson.  I'm interested in the journey he's had, 16 years in the League, a lot of success early on and in the middle.  But he has not been on this big a stage in all that time.  Do you remember another player that you might have played with or managed that had this kind of long wait, and does that help or hurt Hudson tomorrow?  Is he going to be too amped up?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I don't think so.  He's pitched in post‑season.  Now, this is the furthest he's gone, and he's excited about it.  Are there other pitchers?  You know, I mean, I go back to maybe a guy like Ashby in '98, guys who got there for the first time, and they didn't have a lot of experience to draw on.
But Huddy does, especially being‑‑ it's not just post‑season.  When you're in September, you're fighting to get there.  Those are like playoff games, too.  That's tremendous experience to draw on for these guys.  You know, Huddy, he's not going to be affected by the stage we're on.

Q.  You pinch‑run Duffy, and you obviously did that ‑‑ did you know he had those kind of instincts and did you sense he was going to be able to score on that pitch when it happened?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I did, because he was moving.  It was 3‑2 count and Flann did a great job helping him.  But he runs well.  So when I saw Cruz didn't really know where the ball was, I said, he's going to score here.
No, that felt good with his speed that that would be an easy one.

Q.  What went into the decision to fly this morning rather than fly last night after the game?  And how do you guys feel?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Pretty simple.  You know, we just wanted to keep the guys on their normal routine.  We made that call a couple days before we headed to St.Louis.  Said, you know what, instead of getting in here at four, maybe five in the morning, we'll just keep them in the normal routine.  We saw that we had a one o'clock game tomorrow, and you know, feel great.
The guys get a normal night's sleep.  We got here at one o'clock and they are out there working out now.  That's it.  Pretty simple.  Just want to keep things normal for them.

Q.  We always talk about starters's workload.  Is it the same true of relievers and how do you monitor it throughout the season?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I totally agree with the relievers.  You have to be careful because when they get hot, as a manager, you want to keep throwing them out there.  So you try to remind yourself, you know, you need these guys down the stretch, late August, September, and maybe you can grind them a little bit harder if you've done your work during the season and try to give them a break, because you can burn them out.
And we're very conscious of that.  Dave Righetti, Mark Gardner, I've got two great guys that every day, they let me know how much they have got up or how much pitches or who needs a day or maybe two days.  We try to stay aware of where we're at with Tim Hudson that bullpen to make sure we do keep them fresh during the season.

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