10/31/10 11:00 PM EST
Bumgarner interview after Game 4
By / MLB.com
MADISON BUMGARNER: That might not have been the exact words, but you're close. Sounds ridiculous, but at the time as a high school player that's the biggest game I had played in. Now obviously this is way bigger. It's the World Series, the biggest game you're going to play in. I try to just go out there and tell myself it's just another game, though, and look back on it after it's over with, and hopefully it was a good result.
Q. When you were in the Minors four or five months ago, if someone had come up to you and told you you would make this kind of performance on this stage this year, what would your reaction have been?
MADISON BUMGARNER: Well, it's what you hope for every year. It's what you want to play for. But obviously I started off rough this year and wasn't -- I mean, I didn't expect this in my wildest dreams, but I'm definitely glad to be here and blessed to have this opportunity.
Q. How did Aubrey Huff's two-run homer there in the third inning change things for you? Did it immediately allow you to relax a little bit?
MADISON BUMGARNER: I tried not to. I tried just to keep -- I tried not to pay any attention at all to the score. I think that helps the pitcher keep the pressure on and keep making pitches. But it definitely helped the team out and a momentum shifter there, got it going our way, so it was a big hit.
Q. The first batter got on and stole second so there was nobody out with a runner on second. Were there any nerves at that time? And was the next batter the key for you to settle down?
MADISON BUMGARNER: Yeah, I mean, the first -- I don't know what the first batter -- I felt good out there. I was relaxed and just happened to throw four balls. I felt fine.
Q. When you got up to the big leagues and Posey was here, was that a help for you at all?
MADISON BUMGARNER: Yeah, I mean, ever since we met in Instructional League, I think we hit it off, pretty good friends. We're always on the same page out there in the game. I trust him 100 percent; whatever he puts down I want to throw. Besides that, he's a great catcher.
Q. Did you ever figure out what happened to your velocity back in March and April? And how you were able to bring it back to seemingly the same level it was at a couple years ago now?
MADISON BUMGARNER: I mean, I guess it was just mechanics a little bit off. We made some adjustments throughout the year and about halfway through the year got back to where I felt I needed to be.
Q. What changed exactly?
MADISON BUMGARNER: Just a little bit of timing issue for me. That's all.
Q. Did you make any attempt to persuade your manager to allow you back in for the ninth?
MADISON BUMGARNER: No, I let them make the decisions. I just pitch until they tell me I'm done.
Q. You guys are obviously one win away from the championship. With all these young pitchers you have in the rotation, how exciting is it to think that this is the kind of thing you guys could do for a while now?
MADISON BUMGARNER: I mean, I think so. Like I said, it's what you want to do every year, and we've got the team to do it. We've got a lot of great guys in there, great clubhouse. It's a lot of fun to be on this team.
Q. How are you able to stay so cool in this whole situation? You seem totally unfazed by this.
MADISON BUMGARNER: I don't know, just keep telling myself to relax. And I've told myself so much that it's starting to become second nature, and it makes it a lot easier on me and the players, I think, to see somebody that's relaxed out there throwing. That's it, I guess.
Q. You made it look pretty easy tonight, but what did you consider your toughest batter you had to face?
MADISON BUMGARNER: Whoever was up at the time, I guess. It's a great team. They're unbelievable. You don't want to take anything away from them. They've got a lot of great hitters on this team. I just felt like we were able to make pitches. Our defense behind me was incredible tonight, and if it wasn't for them I don't think it would have been the same result.
Q. You talked about not feeling pressure when you're on the mound and trying to take it like it's another game and not worry about the magnitude until it's over. Now it's over and you pitched eight shutout innings in the World Series. What does that mean now that you can reflect on it?
MADISON BUMGARNER: It feels pretty good, for sure. You know, I don't think it'll sink in until who knows when. But right now I'm just happy we got a win, and looking forward to tomorrow.
Q. Did the relief stint in Philadelphia prepare you for the pressure because that was pretty intense? And could you compare the pressure between that relief stint in Philly and tonight. And also about your stuff tonight, was anything working better than any other pitch?
MADISON BUMGARNER: First, I think it helped out a lot. Anytime you get a chance to get out there it helps out. I think you're right, it did help.
And as far as what was working, we threw a lot more changeups than I normally do. It was working pretty good. Slider was working good. Didn't throw a lot of curveballs, but I felt we were just able to make pitches when we needed to.
Q. The Nelson Cruz at-bat I think in the seventh with two guys on was probably the only real jam. Take us through that at-bat.
MADISON BUMGARNER: I think he was the second guy on.
Q. Oh, Kinsler, I'm sorry. Would you take us through that at-bat.
MADISON BUMGARNER: Well, I know what kind of hitter he is. He's a great hitter, so I just wanted to try to make pitches. I was trying to keep the ball up a little bit because I know he can spin on some balls and pull them down the line. Actually the pitch I threw him that he popped out on wasn't the one I wanted to make, but it worked out all right. It was a changeup that came back over the plate. I was trying to get it away.
Huff, Torres interview after Game 4
Q. Aubrey, being from here, growing up here, you've got so much Texas history. What did it mean to you to go deep in this game?
AUBREY HUFF: It's certainly special. Haven't played these guys, normally we would play these guys before the Series started. It's in the back of your mind you'd like to hit a big homer to put you ahead. It's pretty surreal right now.
Again, we've got a lot of work to do tomorrow. But definitely that was a big turning point of the game with Colby Lewis the way he threw yesterday just getting ahead, and Hunter is the same type of pitcher. To be able to get the lead, we can be a little bit more aggressive. Certainly special for me no doubt.
Q. Aubrey, can you talk about the emotions. You are one game away. I know it's not over and you're not going to say it's over, but how confident are you and how good does it feel to be up three games to one?
AUBREY HUFF: It's a good spot to be in, no doubt. But we had a 3-1 lead against the Phillies and they came back and beat us a tough game at our place and we had to go back and really grind out a Game 6, and didn't really want to go to Game 7. 3-1 is great, but this is the playoffs, and teams are certainly capable of winning three straight. We've got to go out there tomorrow and get back to work, act like we're down 1-3.
Q. You guys were able to run Hunter out of there after three innings even though it was just two runs. Talk about your approach to him tonight.
AUBREY HUFF: Well, I think the key, the last two guys you've got to get ahead because they're such strike throwers. They got a big lead early yesterday and we were forced to kind of sit back and try and get on and make some things and just kept pounding the zone. To be able to get those guys early and get us on the side where they're having to be a little bit more patient. When I hit the homer you don't know if it's going to hold up in this park, but certainly the way Bumgarner was pitching tonight it looked like it was going to be pretty good by the fifth inning.
Q. What has this trip back to Texas been like? Has there been anything away from the field? Have you reconnected with anybody or had friends or ticket requests, any of that?
AUBREY HUFF: Not really, man. There's requests, no doubt. It just can't happen. There's way too many people and way too many things. You only get so many. I'm not going to spend 100 grand on tickets.
I haven't even really had a chance to enjoy it, to be honest with you. A lot of people in the hotel and a lot of fans, a lot of friends calling, e-mails. Looking forward to getting back home to be honest with you.
Q. Andres, you had been struggling, even taken out of the lineup. What's turned it around for you now that you're back in the groove?
ANDRES TORRES: Trying to be patient, trying to calm myself down, just see the ball and hit it.
Q. Aubrey, playing off the last answer, who has been here for these games among family?
AUBREY HUFF: My wife's side of the family is here. My side of the family is here. I have some really good buddies here. I know a lot of guys from high school, they've bought their own tickets. They've been around but I haven't seen them. I had a lunch planned with them today but my two kids and my wife got a little sick this morning, so I wasn't going to be able to connect with those guys. But it's definitely special. You see so many faces you recognize in the stands during stretching and stuff. But once the game starts, you don't even really realize how many people are out there probably that I went to high school with or what have you.
But it's certainly special as a kid growing up, watching all these games, and the old ballpark and now here, and to be able to come back and do something special like that, it's surreal.
Q. And also just the process of you being on the Giants, I guess you signed in January and kind of a bargain from the team's perspective. What was that like? What did you see of this opportunity? And how long did it take to kind of present itself to you?
AUBREY HUFF: Well, I had no offers at all in the offseason. There's so many good names out there on the market, and when the Giants called, you had to jump on it. Certainly being a left-handed hitter didn't sound really appealing hitting in that yard. But with the starting pitching we've had and the surrounding cast, this guy has got it going all year long. When this guy goes, we all go. You saw it tonight. That guy is our fourth starter, Bumgarner.
Q. You just mentioned Bumgarner, when you see him 21 years old and up that kind of performance in the World Series what do you think?
AUBREY HUFF: He's fearless, man. He came to the yard today and you could see he was just chilling. Nothing really bothers him. Put on some David Allen Coe on the playlist and let him go to town. He's just a big 21-year-old kid out there with a funky delivery and attacks the zone. With the young pitching this team has and Buster behind the plate, this team has a chance to do something special for quite some time.
ANDRES TORRES: His ball moves. Everything he throws, he moves a lot. It's unbelievable to watch the way he throws, like everything -- he attacks the zone and he moves everything. That's why he's so good. He's mentally prepared, and he pitched a great game.
Q. Aubrey, are you rocking the good luck charm thing?
AUBREY HUFF: Yeah, it hasn't left my body since we started playing, since 30 games in the regular season. It's something you get quite used to after a while. I always wonder how women do it, but it's really not a big deal anymore.
Q. Andres, just looking forward to tomorrow, in a hostile environment, is there anyone you'd rather have on the mound than Tim Lincecum?
ANDRES TORRES: Tomorrow is a big game for us. We're going to go out there and play hard, and let's see what we can do there. We're going to do our best. We're a team that always plays hard and give everything we've got in there.
Q. Andres, how tough is it to steal off Lee?
ANDRES TORRES: He's a great pitcher. We're going to go out there, be aggressive and try to go do our best. Just try to get good pitches and see what happens.
Q. Aubrey, Barry Bonds used to have a way of keeping his hands inside the ball and he'd hit home runs down the right-field line and they wouldn't slide and stay fair. That's exactly what your home run looked like tonight. Is there a way to do that?
AUBREY HUFF: I think you let the ball travel. Tonight I let the ball travel and get deep, and when you allow that to happen, your top hand takes over and it allows you to get some back spin and keep everything fair. When you're jumpy, you're flying open, everything hooks. As soon as I hit that one tonight I knew I had it. Sometimes you get a pitch inner half like that when you're going bad, too pull happy, it falls off. But stay inside it nice, let it travel and took a good pass at it.
Q. Can you talk a little bit more about growing up here? Were you a fan of the Rangers and go to a lot of the games and that type of thing?
AUBREY HUFF: I mean, obviously I've probably been to, I'd say, 100 games in the old park and the new park. I grew up watching Nolan Ryan pitch. He's a childhood idol of mine. I wanted to be a pitcher because of him. Turns out I didn't throw very hard.
I started watching Juan Gonzalez, Rafael Palmeiro, Ivan Rodriguez, in the days of Steve Buechele, Ruben Sierra, Julio Franco. I grew up watching those guys and told my mom one day I wanted to be a professional baseball player, and probably, what, eight years old, nine years old, and she bought me a batting cage on a Winn Dixie salary. Single mother raising two kids, to buy me a batting cage, I think she did it more to keep me out of trouble more than anything, and I don't think she realized how much I worked hard in that thing every day. I wouldn't be here now if it wasn't for her making that decision.
Q. Andres, with all the years you spent in the Minor Leagues, did you ever think this time would come where you would get a chance to not only play in a World Series but make a difference?
ANDRES TORRES: Honestly, like I said, I've been more of my career in the Minors, trying to figure out how to hit and things like that, but being here, being with the Giants and the group of guys has been a blessing, and everything has been amazing.
Q. You had two ex presidents, 50,000 Rangers fans, did you feel that or did you hear those Giants fans that were chanting a lot?
AUBREY HUFF: This place probably holds more fans than you can see around the league, and they're definitely hungry and they want this, and they're very, very loud. But to this day I don't think I can ever, ever hear a crowd louder than our fans in San Fran, man. They've been great. They've really root us on and we have a whole bunch of them up in the upper deck you can hear throughout the whole game. I've never been in an organization where you have fans that travel on the road like this.
We have so many Giants fans, and the support this city has showed this team and kind of embraced this group of guys as far as the offense goes -- everybody knows what we're getting pitching wise, but we've got a lot of old guys that came together and really had career years, starting with this guy. If it's not for this guy going to the top of the order and doing what he's done all year, Willie Mac Award winner, he's been our spark plug all year. When he goes, we go, and he did that tonight. You can see why we win so many games when this guy is getting on. To me he's one of our team MVPs. And a lot of old guys that the people in San Francisco can relate to.
ANDRES TORRES: When we play we just try to focus seeing the ball because fans start yelling and all those kind of things. I just try to calm myself down and just try to see the ball and don't think about anything, just try to get on and do our best.
Bochy interview after Game 4 of World Series
Q. Assuming whether or not to let Bumgarner start the ninth was your toughest decision, did you have any others you needed to make?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, I talked to Buster when he came back after the eighth, and he wasn't quite as sharp in that inning. He did his job. Wilson hadn't thrown in a while. And that kid, I can't say enough about what he did tonight. I mean, 21-year-old kid on that stage pitching like that. He had it all working.
But he did his job, and Wilson had a good ninth inning. But there's no question Willy was coming in the game.
Q. And your other decision if you had one?
BRUCE BOCHY: I didn't have one. (Laughter).
Q. Considering Giant history and the great players that you guys parade out every night, how does it feel to be on the verge of possibly winning the first championship in Giant history with a group that you yourself have called misfits?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, we have baseball left. We're not going to get ahead of ourselves. We've got a tough pitcher tomorrow, a great team we're playing, and we'll go out there and give it our best tomorrow, and we'll talk about that if it does come to that. But right now we still have work ahead of us, and it's a seven game series. As I said earlier, it's a number we have to get to to get to No. 4.
Q. Has Madison ever done anything to show you he's actually 21 years old?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, I've said this. This kid we brought up last year had a spot start for Johnson. He had great poise, composure, sense of belonging. He's a man. A 21-year-old guy to go out there and do what he did tonight. But I'll go back to last year, you know, he had to go back to Fresno. Worked on some things. You give him credit how hard he worked to get back here. As soon as he came up, the way he's handled everything has been so impressive. He's a special talent, and we're grateful we have him.
You know, he does a lot of good things, holds runners, he can swing the bat. He's a good athlete.
Q. When you put together tonight's lineup, how much were you thinking about defense?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I mentioned that in the pregame meeting. That was a big part of it, defense. What a job they did. Sanchez had a great game, Ross made a nice catch out there. The left side of our infield, I mean, they played very well. And when the pitcher pounds the strike zone the way Madison did tonight, it helps the defense and makes them that much better, and he did. He threw strikes on both sides of the plate. He had all his pitches working.
Q. Aubrey Huff obviously hit a big home run tonight and he's been huge for you this year. What did you think of him when you guys acquired him?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, to be honest, I hadn't really gotten a long look at Aubrey. He played a little bit with Houston, but he's always been in the American League. He had some good years there. I mean, he got a Silver Slugger Award over there. My bigger concern was defense. Worked hard at first base, he worked him at right field, left field. He claims to be the best athlete on the team if you talk to him, but he has done a great job wherever we put him and he has stabilized our lineup. He's a better player, I'll say this, than even I thought. I knew he was a good player, but he's even better than I thought.
Q. How would you describe what Renteria has done for you so far in this recent postseason?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, Edgar has been through it. Guys look up to him. He's got that leadership you like from a veteran. He's excited about playing right now. He wants to be out there, and he's really been a calming influence, I think, on everybody else in the way he plays and how he plays to win. He's really lifted this club. He's had a tough year with the injuries, but it's probably benefited him a little bit because he's fresh.
I don't know what he's going to do next year, but I will say he's playing like he wants to keep going.
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