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October 21, 2012

Bruce Bochy


San Francisco Giants – 6
St. Louis Cardinals ‑ 1

Q.  When you see Vogelsong open up with all those fastballs, obviously commanding it, do you have a sense this is going to be a pretty good night for him?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah, I did.  He was on top of his game again.  He's got great stuff.  When he's locating he's tough and had it going on again tonight and really was going in and out and had his good off‑speed pitches going.  He's probably been as consistent as any starter we've had this year.  Had that little bump in the road there for a few starts.  But before postseason he got on track, and he's carried that into these games.

Q.  What more can you say about Marco Scutaro that hasn't been already said?  Three hits tonight and a big double.  I think he has nine hits since taking that slide.
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah, I can't say enough about what he's done for us since we got him.  He's such a good, smart player and a clutch player.  We've been looking for a big hit in this series and we certainly got one from him tonight.
He's a tough out.  He covers the plate well.  He made Vogelsong run from first base.  I was a little concerned about that.  But he's going to put the ball in play.  He doesn't try to do too much up there.
When you need a hit that's the type of hitter you like up there, a guy that is disciplined and uses the whole field and finds a way to get a good part of the bat on the ball.  He's been swinging well since we got him.  And he's done that on a consistent basis, so we're not surprised.

Q.  Kind of a follow‑up on that, they say you really don't know a player until you see him play every day.  What do you know about Marco now that you didn't know three months ago?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I knew he was a good player, but sometimes you have to see them day in, day out to appreciate how good they are.  And not just the talent they have, but what a smart player he is, on both sides.  He's had a great career.  He was a tremendous lead‑off hitter.  We put him at third base.  He hadn't played there in a while.  He did a good job.  We had him down in the order initially and then we put him in the two spot.  And he's been a catalyst.
It's fun to watch a player like this that can handle the bat the way he can and also just give a great defense the way he does on a daily basis.

Q.  They did not get a lead‑off man on base throughout the entire nine innings.  Conversely Brian Belt was the only one to reach base safely with a lead‑off.  Do you consider the weather a factor in this type of hitting?
BRUCE BOCHY:  No, I thought the weather, it was our average night here.  So I don't think that played a factor as much as the pitching.  Our guy, he was pounding the strike zone, throwing quality strikes all night.  And that's what you're hoping to do is keep the lead‑off hitter on.  And he did a great job of it, throwing strikes.  You're trying to get your guy on.  But we've had a tough time doing that in postseason.  It makes it a lot easier to score when you get that lead‑off hitter on.  But I don't think the weather played a part in it at all.

Q.  Can you talk about how your team, when they're facing an elimination game, how they rally back and keep it going?
BRUCE BOCHY:  It says a lot about the character.  I've talked about this many times.  We know what's at stake.  And now to get to this point we're excited, being down 3‑1.  You go out there and you play like there's no tomorrow.  And these guys have done a great job of it.  They're keeping their poise and they're finding ways to get it done.  And we've had our backs to the wall, both teams have, and you're seeing a great series, here.  That's good for baseball, a 7th game.  You look at the first series, all the games went five games.  This is what makes this game even more exciting.  And again, we're excited to be playing the 7th game tomorrow.

Q.  Does one starter get inspiration from the other?  Did Zito get something rolling, and with that in mind, what's your level of confidence in Cain tomorrow?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I think, yeah, at times that happens.  They feed off each other, just like hitters can feed off each other and keep rallies going, keep the line moving.  Pitchers, during the season, they want to go out there and do a good job.  After Zito's game Vogey followed it with a great game.
We feel good that we're in this situation.  There's a lot of confidence here with this club, even when they're down.  We were down 3‑1.  There's nobody in there hanging their heads.  That's how you have to play the game.  And both clubs do the same.  And it's going to be a good game tomorrow.  You have two good ones going, and it's going to be exciting out there.  And again, we're looking forward to it.

Q.  Two questions:  One is, is Lincecum available out of the pen tomorrow; and two, what does it mean for your team now that Panda is getting good hits behind Scutaro?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Timmy was available tonight if we needed him.  He's available tomorrow.  And it's great to have Pablo swing the bat well.  We count on him being in that three hole to help drive in runs, and he's doing a great job of it.  We're facing good pitching.  They're shutting down some of our hitters, but you hope ‑‑ you hope that somebody picks it up.  And that's what Pablo has done for us.  I thought his at‑bat after Scutaro's was a great at‑bat.  He battled quite a few pitches and finally got a base hit to add on to the score.
He's a good hitter.  When he's swinging well, he's fun to watch.

Q.  It's obviously all hands on deck.  But how important was it that Vogelsong went so deep?  Did you think that was something you needed going into this game?
BRUCE BOCHY:  We just had a day off, we were fine in the bullpen.  Again, we had Timmy available.  Anytime your starter gets you deep in the game, he goes 7 innings, it makes life easier.  Zito, he did that for us.  Those guys are fresh.  They've got a little bit of work, but they all pitch efficiently.  They're all set to go tomorrow.  But it helps things out when the starter gets you deep in the game so you can get the matchups that you want.

Q.  St. Louis obviously has a tremendous bullpen.  Do you emphasize before a game like this to your team, let's see if we can jump out early and maybe turn this into a five‑inning game?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, as a club that's what you want to do, anyway.  You want to try to get out, get some runs.  We know how good their bullpen is.  But their starters, their pens are, the guys in their pen.  But the starters are good, too.
You do all you can to get that early lead.  Any club is going to tell you that.  But you know when you get to their bullpen you have your work cut out.  They did a great job tonight.  We couldn't add on after we scored some runs early.  They have some good arms down there.  We know it and they come at you, a lot of power arms.  They held us at bay to give their club a chance to come back.

Q.  Pitching the last couple of nights, Vogelsong tonight and Zito saved your season, obviously they pitched the games of their lives.  What about Matt Cain, he pitched a great game in Cincinnati as well, but you talked about him being the horse of this team, being the guy that carries the load, being the quieter leader.  Can you talk about his intangible qualities because tomorrow night is the biggest game of his career.
BRUCE BOCHY:  Yeah, Matt has had a great year for us.  And he's one of the elite pitchers in the game.  You know when he goes out there he's going to give you all he has.  He competes as well as anybody.  He's good stuff.  One thing he'll give you on a consistent basis is a chance to win.  That's all you can ask.  And his makeup is off the chart.  He's never, never made any excuses when we've had trouble finding runs for him.  But he goes out there and pitches his heart out every time out, and that's all you can ask.

Q.  Bruce, your team has made a habit out of winning without the benefit of hitting a home run, as you did again tonight.  What's been the key for you to really successfully use a throwback style in a way all season long and continuing into the postseason?
BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, you have to execute when you don't have a lot of power.  We're not a club that hits a lot of home runs.  And it's really the way it's been all year.  So you have to do some little things.  We have more speed that does enable us to find ways to score runs without the long ball.
Vogelsong, for example, did a great job of just putting that ball in play to get a run in.  He deserves a lot of credit.  That wasn't an easy pitch to handle.  But he got enough on it to put it in play to score a run.  And that's the way we have to play and hopefully keep the line moving, walks, or move a runner over, your guy on third, you have to get him in.  These guys have done a great job of that.
Home runs are nice, believe me, we'll take them if we can get them.  But that's not our strength, we know it.  So it's important that we do the small things to help win a ballgame.

Q.  That was kind of my question.  Was Vogelsong's slash, was that a design play or did he do that on his own?
BRUCE BOCHY:  No, we had the runner in motion there.  He knew it.  He's probably as good as anybody on the staff at putting that ball in play on the slash and did a tremendous job again.  That was really the first pitch he saw in tonight's game.  So again, it wasn't an easy pitch to handle.  But he can handle the bat.  You look at his average, you may think different.  But he can help you with the little things when you need it.

Q.  Buster didn't get a hit tonight, but is he getting closer, in your mind, to getting on the ball?
BRUCE BOCHY:  I think so.  Sometimes you get in postseason, and a small sample size and you're wondering, well, Buster hasn't gotten a lot of hits.  But I think he's close.
These guys are seeing good pitching right now.  And they're making some good pitches on them.  But he's a good hitter and it's a matter of time before it happens for him.  But meanwhile, you hope the rest of the lineup does a good job of picking you up, because he's certainly done his share of carrying us at times.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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