10/08/10 6:05 PM ET
Pregame interview with Bruce Bochy
By / MLB.com
MODERATOR: Questions for Bruce Bochy.
Q. Two things, actually. You kept the lineup the same, as we understand it. And any thoughts on that? Second, Tim pitching 119 pitches last night in rule him out for a Game 4?
BRUCE BOCHY: As far as the lineup, you know, it's pretty much the lineup that we'll be going with. That's what we decided before the series. No changes there.
Now, as far as the other question, and Timmy, right now we're not even thinking about that. We'll cross that bridge once we get to it. Right now we're just thinking about tonight's game.
Q. How eager do you think your relievers are right now to get in the game after four or five days without being out there? Does that factor into your late inning decisions a little bit?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, they've been throwing on the side, they've been working out. I think they would just as soon stay out of the game when you have a game like Timmy threw last night, but they're all ready.
They've done a great job. Both teams have real nice bullpens. But if we need 'em, they're ready.
They've been doing some work on the side to stay ready, and it's been a few days for them, but we're fresh in the pen. And we have a day off tomorrow, and so I can use all of 'em and maybe extend them more than I normally would.
Q. Could you talk about Jonathan's transformation from the guy who would go up and down on starts, to the last month of the season where he finishes games for you and knocks things down.
BRUCE BOCHY: Johnny has grown so much this year. Really, I thought it started last year. We put him in the pen to give him a break. He comes back and throws a no hitter, and it just seemed like he started really growing as a pitcher. His confidence really grew and carried that into this year.
Now, he had his ups and downs this year, but not like he had had in the past. The last, what, six, seven weeks, I mean, this guy has a great focus, concentration, you know, that you like from your startin' pitcher out there. Johnny has that now. It goes with confidence now. He realizes how good his stuff is and that he can be his own worst enemy. And if he has to pitch out of a jam, he gets in traffic there, he's keeping his poise out there.
And that's the difference with him right now where he doesn't get unraveled. Whether it's a call or error, anything that could go arye there, he's not letting that affect him like he used to.
Q. This may have been answered last night, but how is Freddy's shoulder and was there ever any thought of a late inning defensive replacement with him?
BRUCE BOCHY: His shoulder is doing well. Was there a thought? Sure. But Freddy in pregame, he threw the ball we though well enough to turn a double play. Again, we'll check on him today, see if it's staying the same, improving, whatever.
But if he's able to turn two, then he's going to stay out there, unless the shoulder flares up on him.
Q. Bruce, when Pablo hit into that double play yesterday, I think it was the first pitch from a pitcher who had just come into the game, is that just kinda when you get with Pablo Sandoval? In a short series like this do you need him to be more selective?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, that is Pablo. He's aggressive up there. You're facing a tough pitcher, the last thing you want to do is get behind if they give you a good pitch on the first pitch. He just happened to hit it on the ground.
And you're not going to change certain players now. You're puttin' them in a tough position, especially hittin' with 1 or 2 strikes. You get a runner in scoring position, you go up there with the thought, Get a good pitch to hit. And he had one. He just hit it on the ground. You have to give the pitchers credit sometimes. They have great stuff out there.
But, no, we're not going to change Pablo. Sure, at times we would like him to show a little bit more discipline, but that's who he is. He's had success, but he's also had struggles at times when he does go too far outside the strike zone.
Q. Bruce, could you touch on should the pitching stay like it is between both sides in this series, how important it would be for you guys to do the little things offensively and defensively?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think both sides feel the same. You've got to execute the fundamentals. Hopefully, if you get the opportunities, you know, you get runners at third, less than two outs, you want to get 'em in.
And we did struggle there yesterday but we were fortunate that Timmy had such a great effort there. But runs are a premium when you're facing good pitchin'. We know it and it's going to be important that we do the little things. Especially when you're in the playoffs, every game is so important, you have to play your best ball if you don't it's probably going to come back to haunt you.
Q. Bruce, Matt Cain has been so consistent, few guys this year. Do you look at his last start and throw it out the window and know he's going to come in and put that behind him?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think you do. We all have hiccups, and Matt did there. But he's been as consistent as any starter we've had. You know, he just had trouble getting the ball where he wanted in that start. He has to wash that off, like we always say after a tough game, and put that behind us.
And Matt is a tough kid. He's got the ability to put those games behind him. He hasn't had many, but occasionally you're going to have 'em.
Q. Bruce, as a former catcher, how amazed are you by Buster Posey's ability to call a game at such a young age, and how impressed were you by the game that he called last night? I think Tim Lincecum said he never shook him off.
BRUCE BOCHY: Now Buster is a great talent, but he's a smart kid, too. And he's really, I think, improved in that area as much as anywhere. As far as handling the staff, calling the game, readin' hitters, he's got that great feel you like from a catcher, what to call and when to talk to the pitcher. Couple times he went out there is when Timmy started losing it, his command a little bit, and went out and straightened him out. And they have a lot of confidence in him.
That's probably the biggest part of it. The pitchers trust him. And they're still going to throw what they want to throw, and they'll shake occasionally. But since he's taken over here, almost every game, he and the pitcher are on the same page, and it's so important. And he's a big reason why our pitching has done so well.
Q. Bruce, you mentioned this would be the lineup you will probably be going with for the foreseeable future. Every manager likes to have a set lineup, ideally. How much more peace of mind does that give you at this stage?
BRUCE BOCHY: It probably it makes it a little easier when you know pretty much what your lineup is going to be. We still discuss, you know, our options, but when you're pretty set on what you're going to do in a series, yeah, it makes it easier, takes away, you know, that distraction from other things you may be thinking about. But coming in today I knew that was going to be the lineup.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.