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October 7, 1998

Bruce Bochy


Q. Any concern on the rain delay?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, we're hoping there's not a rain delay, just like I'm sure Atlanta is. It's clear out there now, and that's the last thing either club wants.

Q. Are you worried about your staff getting worn down, having to face the same people over and over?

BRUCE BOCHY: No, there's not any concern about these guys getting worn down. We knew going against Houston, we were going to face outstanding pitching, just like against Atlanta. And just in September we did struggle offensively. But as far as being worn down, there's no concern there. We've had a couple of days off, they feel good, and they're all set to go.

Q. Can you talk about the advantage of having Stewart as a pitching coach?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think having a pitching coach like Dave Stewart has to help. He's been through it, he's been traded, released and became one of the best known pitchers in the game. So, I think he can add something and help out these pitchers in a situation like this. I think he helped out in the Houston series, and he has great presence, and I think he's done a tremendous job this year.

Q. Can you describe any way that Stewart has grown as a pitching coach?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, from the start I think he's done a good job. He comes in prepared. In Spring Training he had a plan, and he had some things he wanted to add to the staff. And he's helped a couple of pitchers with the split, and in the course of the year as it went on, I think he's learned as a pitching coach about how to handle different pitchers. As a coach or manager, you never arrive. I think he just continues to get better.

Q. Can you talk about Kevin Brown in the mastery he had over the Braves this year?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, when Kevin is out there, he feels like he can beat any club. And when he's on, he's tough, just like the Atlanta pitchers. He's the kind of guy that I think can beat any club on any day. He's our horse. He's the guy that we count on, and I don't know if it gives us any advantage. The fact he beat them last year certainly has to help.

Q. Out of all your free agents, would he be your No. 1 priority to bring back?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think that's a question our GM could answer better than me. He would be a priority to me, because I knew Kevin would make a difference in this ball club. I didn't know he would make this big an impact in our club, and he's done that.

Q. The Braves have been living and dying by the long ball all season; is that to your advantage?

BRUCE BOCHY: I don't know if it's to our advantage. Hopefully, we don't give up a long ball. I think we can answer that after the series. But they have some good hitters, you just can't concentrate on a Jones and Galarraga and Klesko, and Lopez, throughout their line-up, Andruw Jones has stepped up. He's playing great ball. You have to concentrate throughout their line-up, and they do a good job of moving guys over, and those little things will score runs, too.

Q. Can you talk about the importance and the job that Miceli has done this year?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, one area we wanted to improve on was our bullpen, especially our set-up position, help get to Hoffman and Dan Miceli has done that for us. He's been consistent all year, and what he did against Houston, he saved us. He came in the last two games with the game on the line. He has great composure, and he's made a big difference in our ball club this year.

Q. Can you talk about Joey Hamilton; is he going to be pitching in the series?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, right now, yes, we plan on starting him the fourth game. He's also available to help out in the bullpen, and we want to keep ourselves a little flexible. And if we happen to use him a lot in the bullpen, we would make some adjustment there in that fourth game. But if he's fresh; he's available; he'll go the fourth game.

Q. If there's a rainout, will the rotation change?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, we're not counting on a rainout, but if there is, it's something that Dave Stewart and I will discuss. And if we feel like a change is sort of better, we'll do it.

Q. Can you talk about how important Game 1 is?

BRUCE BOCHY: Well, sure, I think it's important, I think every game is. And we're playing in Atlanta, so it would be nice to win the first game. How important? When you play the best out of 7, there is a bigger margin of error, instead of going the best out of 5. But obviously, we'd like to win and get some momentum going. If we don't, we don't feel like we're in a desperate situation. So, it's important to win every game right now, because it's the best out of 7, and these guys don't feel any extra pressure to win this game. But we'll be going all-out to win it.

Q. Will Jim be at first base tomorrow?

BRUCE BOCHY: Right now, Wally feels great, and has no problems. I anticipate Wally being at first base. But it's something I'll talk to Jim about, because he could be over there. With Glavine, I know Wally has faced him and he's as tough a right-hander as a left-hander; so I'll keep that option open. Wally feels great. There's a good chance he'll be there.

Q. Do you hold your breath every time Tony hits one in the gap and has to run?

BRUCE BOCHY: If you'd asked me two or three weeks ago, yes, I was holding my breath, not just on him, on a couple of players, because we were pretty banged up. But you kind of get used to it, because you know he's hurting a little bit. But I think he's doing so well now that the concern of him hurting himself going in the gap or running down the line, I don't think that's as worrisome right now because he's played with it so long, and I think we're just used to it. And if he feels something, like he did in Houston, where it's biting him, I'll put Rivera out there. But the doctors have assured me he's fine, and they don't think he's going to injure it more than what it is right now.

Q. How much respect do your players have for the Atlanta bullpen?

BRUCE BOCHY: A lot has been said about the Atlanta bullpen. They've done a good job for them. I think it's just a case where you haven't heard a lot about their bullpen. But they pitched well against us earlier; so our guys have all the respect in the world for them. We don't feel if we get in the bullpen, the game is over. We'd like to get in there, because we'll be doing okay against the starters. Rockers is throwing outstanding, that's a good bullpen over there. So I think that it's being talked about a little too much, because it's just those guys you haven't heard that much about, they're getting the job done, and that's the bottom line.

End of FastScripts….

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