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October 16, 2010

Bruce Bochy


THE MODERATOR: We'll take questions for Bruce Bochy.

Q. Bruce, what went into your thought process to move Sanchez up a day and flip-flop him with Cain in this series?
BRUCE BOCHY: As I said earlier, really to break up the right-handers probably as much as anything, instead of going right, right, left, left, we decided to flip-flop Matt, give him the first game at home and give Sanchez the second one here.

Q. For all the talk of the possible roster changes, you went with the exact same roster. What were some of the decisions? And why did you end up kind of where you were?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, we really had a tough time on a couple of calls. We could have gone with another left-hander. We had Runzler and Zito, we talked about that, also adding another pitcher, things like that. But really just came down, we didn't want to change the roster. With Mota being our long guy, Jeremy can help out there, too. We felt comfortable in that area, which could be a little concern.
But we feel like we're covered there. And as far as the position players, we didn't feel any need to change that.

Q. Just decided you liked what you had?

Q. You got Fontenot starting at third. Is there a chance Pablo will start in the series or is Fontenot at third base right now?
BRUCE BOCHY: There's a chance. It's a tough call, to be honest, between Pablo and Fontenot. I just decided to go with the lineup that helped us get here the last couple of days against Atlanta. We had another option putting Edgar out there and Juan at third. So we had three options there. And I just decided to go with the lineup we've used the last couple of games.
As far as Pablo, still would like to get him in the mix. We know he's a dangerous hitter and can do some damage, so there's a chance he could start, whether tomorrow or at least one or two of these games.

Q. In August, you had two pretty tough losses and then Jonathan came in the third game and shut them down pretty well. Talk about what you saw out of him in that game and his poise in what's a very hostile environment for visiting teams?
BRUCE BOCHY: Great game he threw the last day here. We were fighting from getting swept, and he stepped up. And, really, it was indicative of how he pitched from that point on with the big games that he pitched in, and the poise that he showed, including the last game of the season against San Diego.
We needed a big start there, facing a tough pitcher and a tough team, and he came through for us in Atlanta. What a great job he did. I mean, this kid's really matured and shown so much better composure and poise out on the mound. At times he can be his own worst enemy. Looks like he's gotten over there and he's pitching with a lot of confidence, and that's why we have him going tomorrow.

Q. The Phillies', quote/unquote, big three, the only one that struggled in the Cincinnati series with a subpart start was Oswalt. What do you expect to see from him tomorrow?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I expect to see a pitcher that I've seen over the years that's very tough, great stuff. We know how good he is. Their whole rotation, to be honest.
Not really thinking about tomorrow. We have a big game tonight. But once he hits the mound, I mean, this guy, he's one of the best and we know it. And we expect to see the pitcher that we've seen over the years, a guy with great stuff and good competitor, and we know we'll have our work cut out.

Q. I was wondering, you have obviously some guys, Rowand, Renteria and Zito, who have had to take a lesser role or no role really in this post-season. Is it difficult for you as a manager to have to tell established veteran guys making a lot of money that their role is going to be scaled back?
BRUCE BOCHY: Sure, there's no question. That's probably the toughest part of this job, is when you have to tell a veteran that's used to being out there every day that his role is going to change.
And Edgar, he's been a little banged up this year, with the injuries. And of course Zito not being on the roster, who helped us get here, it's not easy. But what I will say is how professional they've been, especially Aaron. Did not become any kind of a distraction, kept doing his work. He's been a great teammate through all this.
I'm sure it's not easy for him. But you have to do what you think is best for the club. And with the way Andres Torres was playing, and of course Pat Burrell coming here, it changed our situation in the outfield. And the way these four starters are throwing right now, and Barry Zito was the one guy we end up leaving off but he's been great about it. He's a stand-up guy. He was honest saying, you know, "I haven't quite pitched as well as him." That's what it came down to.
And Edgar's been with the program, too. He's kept himself ready. He's helped us late in the ballgame. He's helping these young players, and that's the only way we could have got here, if those guys don't put their ego aside and ask what's best for the team. And they all did that.

Q. Is there any update you have on Jose Guillen? Is he improving at all? Is he a possibility for the post-season?
BRUCE BOCHY: The best I can tell you, he's available if something happened. We do know he's available. If we had to make a change and he would be available if he was the guy we went with here.

Q. What did you expect from Pat Burrell when you guys brought him in? And what do you think the biggest difference was given how he performed in Tampa Bay last year and the first part of this year to what he's done for your team?
BRUCE BOCHY: Really, to be honest, I didn't know what to expect, because Pat being in the American League, I didn't get a chance to watch him. And he had a couple of players here that were really in his corner with Rowand and Huff, who knew him very well and said, "This guy's in great shape."
And, really, we were in a win-win situation in signing him. He went to Fresno. You give him credit for going down there. And once he went down there, you know, our development people said this guy hasn't lost anything. He's got the bat speed.
He came up here really to be a pinch-hitter off the bench. But it was evident, once he got some playing time, that he should be out there helping this offense with the quality at-bats that he gives you, the power that he gives you, and played a pretty good left field for us.
So I'll say this, the guy's been more than a pleasant surprise. Not just with his play, but also who he is, how he's helped out in that clubhouse, and he's been through this and he's really helped those kids in there.

Q. What adjustments did Sanchez make to sort of dissipate the wildness a little bit and bring the ball down in the strike zone?
BRUCE BOCHY: He really didn't make any adjustment in his delivery as much as stop from trying to overthrow, throw too hard, do too much, just stay in your delivery, and that's his focus. And that's what's helped him with his command.
At times he would fly a little bit trying to add a little bit to his fastball. And sometimes going for the strikeouts, trying to power his way through the lineup, and he got away from that. And he became a more complete pitcher. He's got good secondary pitches. He's using them. And he's pitching now, versus at times he would throw -- especially when he got in traffic, he had a tendency to just want to let it go and try to blow it by a hitter and now he's pitching.

Q. Can you talk a little bit about the challenge of a rookie catcher like a Posey stepping into this situation and what he might face over these next couple of weeks and how different that is from an experience point of view?
BRUCE BOCHY: I don't think it's any challenge, to be honest. When you look at what Buster's done for this club and the way he's handled the staff. We put him behind the plate in the middle of the season because we felt he was ready. And he showed that he's not only a very talented kid, but he's got a great way about him. Great makeup, and down the stretch he played as well as anybody, the way he handled things, and I just expect Buster to do the same here in this series.

Q. Could you just address the contributions Aubrey Huff has made and how important he's been to your success.
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, Aubrey, coming to Spring Training, he was the guy that we felt we would float around first and in the outfield. And I'll say he's another guy that's really been a pleasant surprise. Although, I shouldn't say surprise because he's a good player, but not having a chance to see him on a daily basis, I didn't know he was this good. And the job he would do at first and the outfield earlier when we moved him around. But he's kind of stabilized the lineup, become our No. 3 hitter, handles righties and lefties well, and has been a good influence on the rest of the team.
He's a character. He has a way of keeping the guys loose with the way he does things. But, you know, he's very excited about having this opportunity. He went a long time before this year getting to the playoffs.
And he's having fun with it and keeping guys loose in there.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Bruce.

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