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October 29, 2014

Bruce Bochy


Q. ¬†Bruce, even though the series is tied 3‑3, there's been a lot of lopsided games in this series.¬† Are you surprised at how the daily competition has gone with only one close game and no 9th‑inning drama?
BRUCE BOCHY:  You know, I am a little bit.  I really thought these games would be closer, and you're right.  They've been a little lopsided.  So that's been surprising because of the pitching that both teams have.  That's something I think surprised all of us, but that's the way it's gone.

Q.  I know you talked about this earlier, but just your expectation of what Bumgarner can give you today?  He's been coming in in relief in 2010, I remember.  Do you have any question about what he can give you as a reliever, as opposed to what he's delivered as a starter?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, this could be a pen day for him, second or third day.  Normally he throws 40 to 50 pitches, so he could give us at least that, if we needed him.  It really depends how the innings would go if he was out there.
But he's available.  He's set to go.  He feels great.  So I don't know how much, if we do use him, how much we will use him.  I think we have to read him and see how he's doing out there.  But he should be good for 50, 60 pitches at least.

Q.  You are one of the Wild Cards.  Royals are one of the Wild Cards.  How has the Wild Card format changed baseball since you first came into the game?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah, first of all, I love the Wild Card, by the way.  It's a beautiful thing.
How has it changed the format?  Well, it gives another team a chance, another city hope that their team can get in there.  I think it says something about the parity in baseball.  Wild Card teams are usually pretty good teams, too, and they're usually fighting so hard to get there at the end.  So good chance that they're playing well.
It just goes to show you, in baseball, anything can happen when you get to the playoffs.  You get good pitching, timely hitting, you're getting a good chance to keep moving, and that's what's happened to us.  That's what's happened to Kansas City.  You get two teams that get hot and they were playing well at the right time.

Q.  From the beginning of all of this or the beginning of the series, when you're discussing your rotation, you obviously set up so that Hudson would be your Game 7 starter, if necessary.  Can you take us back to those deliberations, like why that decision was made, why it happened, and where was it discussed this is going to be our Game 7 guy if we need him?
BRUCE BOCHY:  We are pretty disciplined on how we work our rotation.  We don't deviate very often.  Bum was going to have the first game, and those other guys were going to pitch in order.  We really feel that it was wise on our part to pitch Bum early.  Even when that game came, I just felt at that point that it would be tough to push him twice.  One time, okay, but twice would make it a bit more difficult.
On the other side of that, I really felt that we had to win both games at home.  Now you're putting your No. 1 against their 4, and I love all our guys, but now we're putting our 4th guy against their No. 1.  I didn't want to split those two games.  I wanted my best chance to win both.  So we felt that our No. 4 against their 4 was our best option, just like Bum going against Shields.  Turned out Shields threw a pretty good game.  We needed Bum there.
So really, it's worked for us, and we just haven't changed.

Q.  A lot of pitchers basically fib about their arms and how they feel.  Is Bumgarner a guy you can trust when he says, "My arm feels great" or do you just go by what you see?
BRUCE BOCHY:  No, I think you can trust him.  I think he's going to be honest.  There are times during the season when he's told us he's at that point.  Yeah, you have to have trust in what they're telling you.  You read on what you're seeing when they're pitching, but if they're not pitching, you have to trust that they are being honest with you.  That's not always the case, but with Bum, I think he's being honest.

Q.  In 2010 it got to 5, they got to 4 a couple years ago.  You're in the Game 7 right now.  It's that magical term in sports.  What does Game 7 mean to you?  I know you would have preferred not to be here tonight, but now that you're here, what does Game 7 mean to you?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, it means that we have really done well this year.  I look at this as you really should be honored that you're playing a Game 7.  This is a game, and you've heard the players talk about it.  You talk about it as a kid playing in Game 7 or doing something big.  You think about the hard work that you start in Spring Training.  If you had told these guys, hey, we're going to be in Game 7 of the World Series, you'd have a lot of happy guys out there.  It's a lot better than being somewhere else, obviously.
So it's an exciting time.¬† You know, it's do or die.¬† It's not our first do or die.¬† We were in Pittsburgh in the same situation, and these guys will go out there and give it all they have.¬† They've been through this.¬† They're battle‑tested, not just this year but over the years.¬† It's a privilege and honor to be in a game like this.

Q.  Your team was able to close and has been able to close out World Series on the road twice, and several of the guys have been here for that.  Can that help in a scenario which hasn't played out very well for the road team in quite a long time in Game 7?
BRUCE BOCHY:¬† Well, I certainly hope so.¬† They're confident.¬† They've done it before, and hopefully that means they can do it again.¬† I know history or odds, whatever, have shown it's not fared well for the on‑the‑road team, but don't tell those guys that.¬† We've been there before.¬† You go back to '12, and we won three in Cincinnati.¬† Does it get any tougher than that?¬† Of course had to bounce back against St. Louis.
You know what, they've been through it, and they'll handle themselves just fine.  Again, we're excited to be here.  The fact that we lost last night and we still have a chance.

Q.  You have Juan Carlos Perez out there again in left field.  Is it because of strictly his defense or you like how he's been swinging the bat lately?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Both.  He steps in last night and gets another hit.  I just thought about it and said, you know what?  We're going to put our best defense out there.  He can do some things with the bat, whether a base hit, get a bunt down for you, gives you speed.  I've got Ishi on the bench, so that's why I made the change because not only his defense, but he has been swinging the bat better.

Q.  Are you nervous right now?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Am I nervous?

Q.  About the game.
BRUCE BOCHY:  You know, I think it's more anxious.  The toughest thing probably for everybody is waiting.  There's quite a bit of waiting before the game.  But you're anxious.  You're excited.  The anticipation of getting this going.  I think everybody feels that a little bit.  It's an adrenaline rush.  It's a wild ride that you enjoy, but at the same time you want to get things going.

Q.  You guys have been here three times in five years.  People are throwing the word "dynasty" around, if you win.  When you look at your team going forward, do you think your team is set up to continue having the success to be able to get back here again and again?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I think so.  We've kept our core players.  We've had some injuries, Pagan will be back, Cain will be back.  We've got some good young players, Bumgarner, Panik with what he's done, and we do have some free agents.  I don't know what's going to happen there.
The thing I love about what's happening in San Francisco is the continuity that we have, so that allows you to hopefully compete and contend every year.

Q.  With the magnitude of this game, has it changed your schedule at all?  Any more film study or meeting with coaches than you normally would before a game?
BRUCE BOCHY:  No, not really.  We're in our 7th game, so at this point hopefully you've done all your homework and your prep work and you're still going to make adjustments.  Yeah, we met today.  That happens every day.
It's been a pretty normal routine.  For me, got up, had breakfast with my son, spent some time with him, and came out here and did my normal prep work, met with my pitching coaches, Ron Wotus.  So really it hasn't changed the fact that it's Game 7.

Q.  There's been so much talk about guys that did three starts in the World Series.  But I mean that was then and this is now.  With the long postseason, you guys have to win 12 games when you win the Wild Card.  Is it an impossible task when a guy like Bumgarner, has already started six games in the postseason, to match him into three starts in the World Series anyway?  Is that something that's probably never going to happen again because of the schedule?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Oh, I don't think you ever use the word "impossible".  It can be done.  I think you've seen in recent history.  Beckett, I know he's done it.  I think it's tougher to do.  Your pitchers aren't built to do it as much as they used to be.  They're a little bit more accustomed to getting that rest or maybe that extra day.  I like to think one reason why, for the most part, we've kept our pitchers healthy and they've made their starts is we haven't moved our rotation around.  If there's a day off, we try to give them an extra day, and we think it's going to help their longevity, too.
Getting back to your question, no.  I think you could see it again.  We've just been didn't feel with the workload that Bum has already done that it was a wise thing to do.

Q.  We saw Lincecum up once or twice yesterday.  What was the thought process there?  Was it at some point you say maybe I back him off because you want him to be available today?  And what are you thinking?  Can you plop him into the middle of an inning in a Game 7?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah, actually I did.  We got him up when Petit was struggling there a little bit.  He got pretty hot.  And once we get down that far, I was hoping to get some work out of Machi, and that worked out well.  So at that point I'm trying to do all I can to keep from getting Timmy up again and using him.  His versatility could help us out today, whether it's a guy to give us length or go in and get a big out for us.
So he's available, and that was my thinking.

Q.  There was one report, I think it was Rick Sutcliffe, who said Buster Posey may have kind of a lingering thumb injury.  Could you clear that up?  Is there any problem there that you know of?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Not as far as I know, no.  He doesn't have any kind of issue with the thumb.  He hasn't told me he has.  He says he feels great.

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