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October 19, 2012

Bruce Bochy


Q.  Before the series started you were asked to compare Molina and Buster a little bit.  Those two names come up the most when the MVP discussion arises.  If you were asked to make a case for your guy, what would you say about him?
BRUCE BOCHY:  About Buster?

Q.  For MVP.
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I'd hate to think where we would be without him.  He's our cleanup hitter.  A guy handling the staff.  He's played first base.  The numbers, they speak for themselves.  But also his leadership on this club.  We saw what life was without him last year.  We lost him.  And the year before Buster came up and helped lead us to win in the World Series.  And last year when he went down and couldn't hold on and we got him back this year, and here we are again in the playoffs.
And I don't know a player that's made a bigger impact on a club than what he has on our club.  He's just a tremendous talent.  We're lucky to have him.

Q.  More on Buster, obviously the Cardinals aren't real interested in throwing him strikes, but do you see him getting pitches, are there pitches for him to try or will he have to lay off on some of this?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I think maybe a little bit of both.  It's obvious they're being careful.  They've come out and said that.  They threw him a 3‑0 slider, they put him on base.  He lined out last night to right field.  He got a decent pitch.  But he's not getting a lot to hit.  But he's a patient hitter.  So our hope is that he doesn't expand, which he won't, he'll keep the line moving, take his walk, and the next guy hopefully keeps it moving.
And this is how this is going to work.  We can't put all this on Buster.  That's a lot to carry or a lot to ask of him when they're really not giving him a lot to hit.  It's going to be up to all the lineup to do something to contribute.

Q.  The best team ‑‑ the team with the best record in baseball very seldom wins the World Series.  Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I think ideally you like to see the teams that have the best record end up there.  But as we have mentioned many times, once you get to the playoffs it does become a little bit of a crap shoot, who's playing the best at that time.  You understand that.  That's why these wild card teams have done well.  A lot of them are fighting to get there, but they're also playing well at the right time.
I think it's been good for baseball how we've done it this year.  Created a lot of interest with the second wild card.
But if you're asking me, even if it's not us, I always hope that the team that's had the best year, they end up battling to win the World Series.  But it's a great game how we have it set up and the fact that the team that gets in the way the Cardinals have the last two years.  It's incredible what they've done.  And they were the best team last year, they showed it.

Q.  Does this comeback seem even more accessible than the one in the Division Series, because you win one, you get to go home for the last two?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I mean, we think the same, when you have to win three in a row like we had to in Cincinnati, that's a tough task to ask.  We've been down this road trying to win three.  And it could be a little easier if we could get back home, although we haven't exactly played our best ball there.  But still it would make it a little bit easier than what we had to do in the last series.

Q.  Any idea when Lincecum might be available again; Game 6 or maybe is it Game 7?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I think just a day off is all he needs.  So that would give him two days off, so he would be available.  And he didn't throw all that many pitches and he's resilient.  So I think if we could get this one tonight he'd be available for Game 6.

Q.  During the pregame ceremonies yesterday Stan Musial took his lap around the stadium.  You ducked out to say hello.  What was that moment like and did you get a chance to say something to him?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I had a chance to meet him quite a few years ago, 10, 12 years ago.  I actually had a chance to talk to him in the dugout.  Amazing man.  Very funny.  Great sense of humor.
But what he accomplished in his career and all with the Cardinals, man, I think we all admire how he played.  And so I was glad to be able to shake his hand.  Just told him it was an honor to see him again and wished him good luck.  This guy is so iconic, I think everybody in baseball reveres him and how he played and what he did.

Q.  Was that when Tony was on the verge of getting his 3000th hit?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah.  It's probably even more years than I said.  These years are going by pretty fast now.
Yeah, he came out to see Tony Gwynn and spent some time there.  So I had a chance to sit down and talk to him.

Q.  Was Bumgarner kind of like your first guy out of the bullpen tonight or what's your thoughts on that?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I'll look at the situation, if needed.  But he's our long guy.  He's our freshest guy.  If we do need somebody early, good chance it could be Madison.  But to get out of an inning, it could be somebody else, and start an inning with him.  But hopefully this isn't something we're talking about later.

Q.  What's the first thing that might tell you that Zito has got it going on; is it getting the breaking ball over, staying down in the zone, what's one of the first things you look for when you know he's got it?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I think all those things you just mentioned.  His command of all his pitches.  You kind of watch where the catcher is sitting.  And if he's pretty close in that area, then he's going to be okay.  Barry has really done a tremendous job this year.  You don't win as many games as he did this year unless you're throwing the ball well and locating it well.
So I expect him to go out there and compete, which he will.  We have an experienced pitcher that has had a good year and will compete out there.  He'll do all he can to give us a chance.

Q.  Going against Tony LaRussa and going against Mike Matheny, is there any difference, or is it just an apple off the tree?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I wish I could tell you there's a difference.  Tony, I have so much respect for him and the career that he had.  Mike's done a tremendous job here, has stepped in, and that's a tough act to follow when you're coming in after Tony and do what he's done.  They both know the game and Mike has done a great job, I think, doing what he does, handling his team, his pitching staff, his bullpen and he deserves a lot of credit for where they're at right now.

Q.  There is a couple of reports that Brian Wilson was able to get out and throw a ball.  Is that a promising sign for his recovery and how did he come out of that?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I haven't talked to our training staff how he came out of it.  I wasn't out there when he threw.  He still has a ways to go.  And this was really the first day, I think, that he went out and played catch like this.  But we think he should be ready toward the end of Spring Training.  This was a big step for him.  He was excited about getting out there and throwing.  But I can't tell you how it went.

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