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October 5, 2016

Bruce Bochy

New York City, New York: Game Day

Q. Bruce, you've been through this before. Can you describe what the day of elimination, winner-take-all, one-game playoff like this is for manager?
BRUCE BOCHY: We've all been down this road before. It's all about having guys ready to go. They've been through it too. It's an exciting time. It beats the alternative. Trust me. We're very, very excited to be here and play this game. It's a do-or-die game, and like the 7th game of the World Series. So you throw everything at them.

But it's good for baseball. I'm thankful we do have two Wild Cards now and that's why we're here.

Q. Besides that, can you go into the decision to carry both Cueto and Samardzija for a one-game situation?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, well, they're both fresh. They haven't thrown in a while. Jeff has experienced pitching out of the bullpen, I can use him anywhere. Johnny, he's one of the best pitchers in the game and he's fresh. It gives us another long man. You saw what happened yesterday, they went one extra inning. So it just gives us coverage there as far as a position player, the only one we had left was Sanchez. We just felt the pitcher was more important than a third catcher. So that's why they're on here.

Now, we had some other pitchers to choose from, but with the length that Jeff and Johnny can give us and how fresh they were, put them on the roster.

Q. When we last talked yesterday you said you had a decision to make about Nunez. What did you not see from him to keep him off the roster?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, he couldn't pass the test that we were hoping he could pass. That's running, sprinting. He's just not ready. So there's no point in putting him in harm's way. We still thought maybe he could help out in some way, but it's just too much of a risk. I'm not ready and he's not healthy enough to play.

Q. I just wanted to ask something else. I got a chance to watch the Wild Card game last night, and what you heard about it, do you feel for Buck Showalter and the decision he had to make and the reaction he got afterwards?
BRUCE BOCHY: You know what, it's what we go through as managers. Buck does such a great job. I have so much respect for him, and it's part of the territory when you're in the playoffs. We're looked at quite a bit, trust me. I have been, and we all have. This is a great game.

Q. When you signed Stan, what did you think you were getting and what did you learn about him over the course of the season?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, well, we felt we were getting a good leadoff hitter and centerfielder. They could help ignite this offense. He's come off a hip surgery and he's gotten better and better as the season went, healthier, and he's really played well here this past week.

When we needed guys to step up, he did, in that Colorado series and the L.A. series, on both sides, with the bat and defensively. He's an experienced guy that I felt helped us get to this position.

Q. Pablo was such a big part of the last two playoff pushes for you guys, and you've had one guy after another in the last two years at third base. How much do you think not having him around will he be missed trying to push through this year?
BRUCE BOCHY: I haven't really thought about it, to be honest. I mean, he's not here. So I think anytime you have a player like Pablo, you're talking about, sure. He did a well for us. But they move on and we move on.

We acquired a pretty good third baseman, Nunez and had a pretty bad break there with his injury. But acquiring a guy like Gillaspie, who has experience, shows you how important depth is. And here's another guy that stepped up like I asked. Talk about stamina the last two series. He came out playing well defensively and swinging the bat well too.

Q. You talked about having two catchers on your roster. I'm just wondering, a long-time predecessor of yours, Leo Durocher, talked about not hesitating to pinch-hit with his second catcher. You obviously had experience playing in that position. What's your theory on that? Do you intend to hold a catcher back at all costs, or what is the tipping point for you?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think the game will dictate that as far as using your second catcher. Now, I've gone with three catchers, and that's back when I had Mike Piazza here. I had two other catchers and that worked out well, late in the game, pinch-running, things like that.

I don't do that as often with Buster. He's a good base runner. But if I'm going to run down, I would be afraid to pinch-run for him and put Brownie in there. You have to do what you have to do, but you're taking some risks. It just doesn't come up very often, but the risk of losing that second catcher is pretty minimum, really. But there are some risks. We do have Adrianza who could get back there and catch if something happens, so we are prepared that way.

Q. Last time I asked you about your bullpen, you were in like DEFCON 6 or something. It appears to have been better since. Could you maybe just describe how it's come together a little bit better, where your feelings are about it? And of the starters that you're going to carry today who aren't actually starting the game, who might be best capable of bringing it in for an inning or so?
BRUCE BOCHY: I agree, the bullpen has calmed down. And Sergio Romo did a great job of that. He's doing such a nice job in the 9th inning, and that's allowed me to use Law, Strickland, Smitty, Lopez in the 7th, 8th, and also they're available to help in the 9th if needed.

It just seems like they're getting comfortable in their roles, so it's been much better since we were trying different guys in that closing role. It was talked about so much, I think it put added pressure on whoever had that 9th inning, so things have calmed down now.

Now, as far as the starters, really, Johnny or Jeff would be comfortable, I think, if I just needed him for one inning, to get an out, or if I needed (indiscernible) out of them, they're both ready to go, and they want to help in any way. I wouldn't hesitate to put either one in in that situation.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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