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October 27, 2010

Bruce Bochy


Q. Matt has pitched so well in the playoffs. When he has one of his really good games, he just seems to dominate. What is it that's going right with Matt when he's having a game like he's had the first two times this post-season?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think it's a case with a lot of pitchers, it's command. It certainly applies to Matt Cain when he's doing well. He's commanding his fastball, and his secondary pitches, he's throwing strikes and he's getting it where he wants. That's what's made him a different pitcher, I think. He has evolved to a complete pitcher from what he was at a younger age when he was pretty much a power guy. He's got a good slider, curveball and change-up. He has good command of them, and when he does, that's when he pitches well.

Q. You went through obviously a great pitching staff with the Phillies and beat them. How do you compare their staff to this one, to Texas?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I'd say similar. You know, when you get to this point, you're going to see good pitching staffs, and the Rangers certainly have one. When they acquired Lee, it made them that much better to have a No. 1 guy like he is. Now after him, Wilson is throwing the ball well. Really all their starters have been throwing the ball very well in the post-season and during the season. Good bullpen, good young closer. So I think they're comparable when you look at the staff that we're facing now with the Phillies and Atlanta. They have starting depth and bullpen depth.

Q. Obviously you haven't made any changes to your World Series roster. Your thought process behind that? If it's not broke, don't fix it kind of thing?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, basically we did not change it because we didn't feel there was a need. The one guy that didn't pitch in either playoff series was Mota. It's not like he pitched his way off it. So we kept it the same. It was discussed about Barry Zito but also Chris Ray, Runzler. It's not easy to leave anybody off because they all played a big part in us getting here. But we just feel like we're leaving it the same because it's working.

Q. You talked the other day about Aubrey Huff walking around in his thong and you described that. What else can you tell us about his attitude and what he brings to your clubhouse?
BRUCE BOCHY: Loose, free-spirited but very competitive. When it's time to play the game, he's all business. But before the game he has a knack of keeping everybody loose with how he's walking around, but also his sense of humor, his way about him. Guys have a lot of fun with Aubrey and respect him, how he goes about his business. But also he's a guy that doesn't take himself so seriously, but he takes the game serious, and he makes sure that the other guys do the same.

Q. Could you also speak to what he's done on the field for you.
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, he's been pretty much my three-hole hitter, although he's hit in the six-hole. Occasionally I've done it against lefties. But he stabilizes the lineup, and also the defense that he gave us this year and the flexibility, he played right, left, first base and wherever he played, he did a good job. It's not easy to do some of the things that were asked of him, and he handled it very well. There's no fear in this guy. He even came up and said, you know, "If something happens, I can play third base." He's not caught into where he's hitting in the order or where he's playing. He just wants to be out on the field. He's a ballplayer.

Q. There's a lot of focus on your chemistry and how good it is. Do you have any thoughts on which comes first, the good chemistry or the winning?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, winning certainly helps the chemistry, and they go hand in hand. But sometimes chemistry has to start first, with the guys believing and pulling for each other and getting along and all playing for the same cause. That's what can bring winning.
So I think it really depends on the talent that you have, but with this club, starting in Spring Training I felt like we had good chemistry. Even though we made some changes. And then when you make the moves that were made this year with Brian Sabean filling some needs here, it's great to have a group of guys in there that help the chemistry part of it, help develop that and welcome guys and to make them a part of it. And the other guys that had changed roles, which I've talked about so many times, for them to accept that and welcome the changes, that's how we got here, because of those guys in the clubhouse accepting the new players and also their new roles.

Q. Going back to your playing days, do you ever remember having some talks with Nolan about pitching philosophy or any sort of broad notions of competing out there on the mound? And if so, has it ever sort of influenced the way that you manage pitchers?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, with Nolan, I'd say more than anything, watching how he went about his business, his work ethic. He was relentless with his workouts, and that was really at a time where the working out, the weights and conditioning probably wasn't as emphasized as it is now. That's what I probably got from him as much as anything, you know, how much work you need to put into the game. Nolan had accomplished so much at that time, but he was one of those guys, he felt like he could get better, and he hadn't arrived at a pitcher and continued to put in his work and time and ethic, and I probably get that as much as anything.
But getting a chance to catch him, you got a chance to see how competitive Nolan was. Sure, he had great stuff, but more than that he had that maniacal focus that the great pitchers have.

Q. The number of good pitchers you have to use between the starter and Wilson seems to be one of the strengths of your club. Could you talk a little bit about all of those guys, Romo, Lopez, what they mean to you in this World Series?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, our bullpen has done great a job for us this year and certainly saved us in the last game against the Phillies. We have a number of guys that we'll use in any role. Again, Jeremy Affeldt with the job that he did in that last game, with Casilla, Romo, Ramirez, I'll use any one of those right-handers from the fifth inning on to help bridge the gap to Wilson.
But Lopez, he's our seventh- and eighth-inning left-hander, and now Affeldt can help out there, too. It looks like he's back to where he was earlier in the season. All those guys have really done a terrific job this year in saving our starters, their workload, and bridging the gap to Wilson. And Mota is our long guy, and I've used him in a setup role this year, and he did a great job when we needed him.

Q. This is your third World Series, one as a player and second as a manager. Do you still have butterflies going into something like this? How do you handle it emotionally?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I'll say this: I got up this morning and I was as excited as you can be. You realize where you're at. I think even though it's your third time, it makes you realize how hard it is to get here and how much work it takes and what a long journey it is from Spring Training to this point. You're playing over 200 games counting Spring Training, and to go through two playoffs to get here, you realize how tough it is, and when you get here, you need to enjoy it, savor it, but at the same time do all you can to win it because it's not easy to get here.

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