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October 8, 2006

Bruce Bochy


Q. Bruce, has Jake been sent ahead?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, Jake -- he had that option, but he definitely wanted to stay with the club. So he'll be with us. In fact, you know, the game, if it went in extra innings, we would use Jake today. We're in a must-win situation. If we don't win, we know we go home.
So the fact that he is here, we'll make him available.

Q. Bruce, can you comment on Dave Roberts' impact, not only on the field, but in the clubhouse?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, Dave brings so much energy to a ball club. If you know Dave, the guy has a passion for life, a passion for baseball, and it shows when he walks into the clubhouse. And he's a guy that has a way of picking the guys up.
Also he does that on the field, too. I mean, he's the catalyst. He's the guy that can make us go. He gets on base, a lot of good things can happen.
But he is just full of life and a guy that I know is very popular in that clubhouse because he's one of those guys that just never seems like he's had a bad day. He's always in a good mood.

Q. Back to the pitching, Boch, is there anybody besides maybe Young who isn't available in this one?
BRUCE BOCHY: Beside Young, they're all available. Even Boomer. And that's the way it normally is at this stage.
So they know it and they'll be ready and available.

Q. You're seeing Carpenter for the third time in a short period. When that much familiarity is there, who gets the advantage between the pitchers or batters?
BRUCE BOCHY: That's a good question, Shawn. I mean, we know Carpenter. You got a guy out there throwing 96 with a good curve ball and a cutter and a changeup. It's hard to say who has the advantage the third time around. If he locates it's going to be very a difficult challenge. But I do -- I've always felt that the more that you see a pitcher, it probably helps the hitter a little bit, at least have a better idea about the pitcher, how they're going to attack him, his velocity, his movement, things like that.
So that's why I think a lot of Major League hitters have a tough time with a guy they've never seen. But with Carpenter, when he's on and throws the way he does, that's why he's so good. I don't know if you ever have the advantage.

Q. Bruce, does it almost become a 9-inning hitter's game? After the three days and everybody talked about the shadows, the fact that there's none of that tonight, the idea of jumping up early may not be as big as perhaps it has been in the last three games?
BRUCE BOCHY: You still want to get out an early lead. Any club will tell you that. The advantage goes to that team, but probably may not come into play as important as it was in the first couple of games, knowing the shadows would become involved.
But you know what? Both teams are doing a great job with the bullpens. I don't think the shadows are playing a part in that. I think you're seeing guys going out there and pitching well. So I don't think that's something that we're -- I know we're not talking about. I don't think they are. The shadows. We gotta get that lead.
You go out there and try to get the lead every game. That's how you want to play the game.

Q. Bruce, wonder if you could speak to the idea of how you decide which catcher to start. Is it based on the pitcher or the matchups against their pitcher, and are you more comfortable with the idea of starting Bard knowing that you're not likely to have to substitute for him defensively?
BRUCE BOCHY: Really all of the above. I mean, you go with, you know, who works well, the pitcher, the catchers. Like Boomer and Bard, usually the times -- except for one time, they've been together.
I know Young and Mike Piazza have been together for the most part. But not every time.
So really, I take, you know, I take that into my decision on which way I'm going to go, who's pitching. Mike is a little beat up. He could play, but he took a pretty good shot on that popup yesterday and he jarred himself pretty good there.
But the plan was still to have Bard back there today. Last time we faced Carpenter, Woody was pitching, Bard was back there. So I'm keeping pretty much the same lineup I had last time.

Q. Woody has had a much different season coming into this playoff start as compared to last year. Can you talk about your confidence level in terms of the recent results he's had and the season he's had after a rough year last year?
BRUCE BOCHY: Woody? You know, Woody should have a lot of confidence. If you've seen what he's done down the stretch in September for us, going back when we were playing the Giants, I mean, we lost the first two, Weaver in a must-win situation. He won that ball game for us.
Last time here he had to go against Carpenter. He had to pitch the two games against Webb, and he found a way to win.
So we have all the confidence in the world in Woody, and he does, too. He's been a great pitcher for us this year. I mean, you look at his record, his ERA, and I think that indicates how well he's pitched. And he's been around. He has the experience to go with it.
So I think Woody should be loaded with confidence the way he's throwing this year.
And he's one of those guys that should be fresh, too. He had to miss some time with the oblique, and so I think he's the freshest guy we have right now.

Q. Bruce, I'm sure you're aware that your numbers with men in scoring position are not real pretty. Is there some explanation that you've been able to seize upon with that? Is that something that happens this time of year, that it takes on a life of its own, are you unhappy with the quality of at-bats or is that just one of those things?
BRUCE BOCHY: I will say during the course of the year, we were riddled with those ups and downs with runners in scoring position. Especially at home. And some things are hard to explain. That's one of them, when all of a sudden you go into a little rut where you're not getting that big hit.
And sometimes, you know, there's probably a little added pressure on the club because you're not executing, but like yesterday, I mean, it's pretty hard to do what we did the first inning. We're looking for a ground ball to get a run in, we got two of them, but they're in the wrong spot. That's bad luck along with -- you know, sure, we did get the job done.
But, you know, it's not one thing you want to dwell on, because you want the guys to relax. What you want to do is create those situations and hopefully if you do that enough times, you're going to come through.
What happened yesterday, Branyan came through. Much rather have it that way than the first two games where we weren't getting those chances.
So hopefully we'll keep creating those chances to hit with runners in scoring position, then chances are we're going to get it done.
But right now I just think we fell in a little rut. We know we're going to have to come out of this if we're going to win this.
MODERATOR: Thank you, Bruce.

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