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October 8, 2006

Bruce Bochy


Q. About the first inning, you had the golden opportunity, got a couple more, had the bases loaded, had a chance there to break it open?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, we did, and really the whole series we had a tough time getting a big hit and, you know, they made pitches when they had to. But that was a problem for us. It was getting a clutch hit there, but sometimes you tip your cap to the pitches that are being made.
But we did have a good chance there to break the game open and still tight ball game, and we created some good situations there late in the ball game. We just didn't deliver. And it probably was the downfall really for the whole series.
They did a great job on our hitters, and kept us from scoring.

Q. Boch, do you scratch your head by how not sharp Woody Williams was?
BRUCE BOCHY: How what?

Q. How Woody Williams wasn't sharp. Do you scratch your head wondering why he wasn't as sharp as he should have and could have been?
BRUCE BOCHY: I thought he was sharp. I mean, first inning, I think both pitchers were a little hyped up. And gave up I think it was a broken-bat single there for two runs. After that, he was very sharp. Had some easy innings and was cruising along.
And they just hit a ball in the right place there, down the right field corner, knocking the first run. Still in the ball game at that point. We did make a mistake in that inning and that opened up a big inning for them. But I thought Woody settled down. He pitched very well.

Q. Boch, do you think the lack of power from your team in the series is just kind of a sign of weakness that your team -- that really kind of came back to hurt you here?
BRUCE BOCHY: I don't know if it was power so much as just needing a hit in the right situation. You know, we didn't hit very well with runners in scoring position, and that came back to haunt us.
We had numerous occasions to break games open, but, you know, they made pitches when they had to.

Q. Coach -- I'm sorry. Bruce, I thought I agreed that Woody did a fine job, but the threat of Pujols, he's always there and he walked him in that inning and that started things off.
BRUCE BOCHY: He did. I thought he made some good pitches there, too. They were close. And you know, we're going to be careful with Pujols. I mean, we talked about him many times. He's not the guy we want to beat us.
And we walked him. Then he got a big out by Edmonds. Then the hit down the line is what put them ahead. But you know, then we made a couple mistakes there. We hit a batter. Errant throw there at home plate, opened up the flood gates there. But Woody, I thought he pitched with a lot of heart today and settled down, pitched great.

Q. Bruce, what did Chris Carpenter do after that first inning that made him so much more effective the rest of the night?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, he settled down, too. He started locating the ball a lot better, just like Woody. Started getting his breaking ball over, was locating his fast ball well. And he's tough. I mean, he's one of the best pitchers in the game. We knew we had our work cut out, and Woody was putting zeros up with him after the first inning.
But he definitely settled down and started making pitches when he had to.
And you know, that's going to be the case when you face a guy like Carpenter, when he's -- you know, he gets on top of his game, you're probably not going to have a lot of base hits.

Q. Bruce, with the success that Belliard has had against Woody, was Encarnacion going to be his last hitter either way or did you see something --
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, well, there wasn't a runner in scoring position, and he was throwing the ball well, I felt, and you know, I wasn't in a real good double-switch situation. So obviously we're still comfortable with Woody the way he was throwing. And if he would have lost Encarnacion, then Meredith would have been in there.
But he ended up getting an extra base hit, triple, knocking a run in. But we had Meredith ready.

Q. Boch, overall for the whole series, how happy were you with your team's pitching?
BRUCE BOCHY: I was very happy. I thought they did a great job. I thought the pen did a great job. They gave us a chance to win. But you know, we didn't score a lot of runs in this series, and that was the difference. We created some pretty good opportunities, but we couldn't cash in and that came back to haunt us.

Q. Boch, if you could, they talked about Ryan Klesko going out and coming back. Could you talk about Ryan and how important it was for him to finish the way he did?
BRUCE BOCHY: He went out with a bang. Every bat he had there when he was activated was a quality at-bat. And he did it again today. He smoked that ball to center field, and I think he's shown he's healthy. And I'm sure he's eager to get back to playing every day. And he should feel good about himself, where he's at right now, because he swings the bat very well.
He's been swinging the bat well at batting practice, and it's not an easy job when you haven't had a start, get three, four at-bats, but he still went up there every at-bat and had a quality one.

Q. Bruce, I know it's early, but what do you take away from this season? What is the overriding theme that you're going to be thinking about all winter?
BRUCE BOCHY: I talked to the guys afterward. I told them I couldn't be prouder of them. We did accomplish something. Sure, we are disappointed how it ended. This always hurts. But we played some good baseball this year. I mean, we had some ups and downs, but they were so resilient all year, and they fought back tonight.
I mean, that was indicative of how they played all year. Even when we got down four runs, we kept battling back and had a chance to get back in the game.
So for that reason, I couldn't be prouder of them. We went through a lot. We had injuries and things like that. You know, tough losses and losing streaks but they always found a way to bounce back. And for that, I couldn't be prouder of them.
What you take from it, this is a pretty good year. Sure, it's disappointing the way it ended, but, overall, I think they played good baseball and exciting baseball, winning baseball.
MODERATOR: Thanks very much, Bruce. Congratulations on another fine season.

End of FastScripts...

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