10/23/2012 12:21 AM EST
Oct. 22 Bruce Bochy postgame interview
Q. Your pitching staff obviously over the last three games did a tremendous job. Were there any adjustments you made toward the Cardinals or just guys stepping up?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think it started with Zito. The game he threw in St. Louis and they kind of fed off each other, Vogelsong followed him and then Cain. They just really located the ball well. What a great hitting ballclub over there. And you've got to make your pitches. And these guys just got on track at the right time.
It's all about pitching. And it starts on the hill. And again, I think Zito just really sent a sense of confidence throughout the staff that we can do this and they followed each other. Of course, the bats woke up.
And we're a little numb right now, to be honest, with our backs to the wall as long as they've been and to do this. This is a special group. And they have that "never say die" attitude. They didn't want to go home and they found a way to get it done.
Q. You were saying 2010 was such a wonderful experience for you. But right now this has to feel for you probably as good as anything, the way this club has battled.
BRUCE BOCHY: Right. Every year it's unique in its own way. 2010 was with the misfits, as we called them. But, you know, what we had to go through, here, with the adversity throughout the year. And of course getting down two games to Cincinnati and going down 3‑1 to this great club. And finding a way to get it done just makes this so much special, I think. Because I do know we were written off many times. But these guys, again, were relentless in getting it done and they found a way.
Q. As good as Andres Torres and Freddy Sanchez were, no disrespect to them, because they played magnificently in 2010, but were Pagan and Scutaro even better?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, you know, you hate to really compare them, because all those players did a lot to contribute to us getting to the World Series.
But I will say Pagan's year, and once we put him in the lead‑off role, we took off. He had just an incredible year for us and got us going. Then when we acquired Scutaro, a great job by Brian Sabean, making that blockbuster deal, as we say, that's his nickname. I knew he was a good player. But to see him day in, day out, you really appreciate the talent that this guy has. I don't know if it was possible for him to raise his game, that's how well he's played, his level. But he did, after that slide. And he was just determined to get to the World Series. He led us there.
Q. Have you ever seen anything like Hunter Pence's broken bat single that occurred in the third?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, no. He's unique in his style of hitting. And that ball kind of sliced. I don't know, the shortstop would have made that play. You break the bat, and it's slicing away. We'll take it, though. And breaks help you win games like this. And I was glad for Hunter, too, because he's done so much to help inspire these guys with his little talks.
Q. Did you realize that the bat actually hit the ball three times?
BRUCE BOCHY: I got word of that, yeah. Kind of rolled off. And again, you take it. Only Hunter ‑‑ maybe Pablo could do that, too. But I think Hunter has that ability to hit a ball like that.
Q. Can you talk about how important your defense was the way you caught the ball?
BRUCE BOCHY: Critical. Our defense played a critical role in our success trying to come back. You know, pitchers are strength, but we have to catch the ball. We did such a great job; Crawford tremendous at short, Scutaro, really everybody. But the outfield, they cover so much ground out there. And of course, Buster is the one that's putting the fingers down there and helped get this pitching staff, the starters back on track to get us where we are.
Again, I couldn't be prouder of these guys, how they kept their focus and determination not to go home.
Q. You've got a quick turnaround now. What do you know about Detroit?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, you know, I'll have to learn a lot about them real soon, to be honest. I was totally focused on this club, here. And now we have to turn this page because we're playing a game here in a couple of days. So I'll come in tomorrow early and get to work.
I know what a great club they are. And we know all about the guy we're going to be facing opening day and their whole staff. They swept the Yankees, that tells you how good they are. But it's similar to St. Louis. I mean, they have such a great lineup. We're going to need to pitch well. We know it.
Q. Have you decided what your rotation will be?
BRUCE BOCHY: No. I'll get together here in a minute with Dave Righetti and Sabs (Sabean), we'll talk about how we're going to work this rotation. But right now I can't answer that.
Q. It appeared that Matt maybe didn't have his best stuff early in the game when he was throwing a lot of pitches. Were you concerned that he might be struggling out there?
BRUCE BOCHY: I won't say concerned, but I agree with you. He was not on top of his game. He was getting on the side of the ball and leaving some pitches up, and wasn't hitting his spots as well as he normally does. But I think it says a lot about again his makeup and how he competes and he found a way to get it done. He got in some jams and made some pitches when he had to. It wasn't his best stuff, yet he got the win and he shut them down. It's what you have to do when you're out there with your best stuff, you have to adjust, and he did that.
Q. I know you're going to be asked this question, but again I have to ask it, six elimination games?
BRUCE BOCHY: Incredible.
Q. How did you guys do that?
BRUCE BOCHY: I'm still numb. How many times we faced that, and it was ‑‑ this team ‑‑ these guys deserve all the credit. They were determined not to go home. They had that never say die attitude. And Hunter did a great job of keeping them pumped up. They were playing for each other. And of course our fans, they just did not want to go home. They were determined and it showed in their playing.
Q. This franchise has a great history. 1962 McCovey hits a line drive to second base and for years we heard, and all we heard, was if it was only this much farther away or only that much farther away. When Pence triple hit that ball, maybe that was sort of like the baseball gods.
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, the baseball gods helped us with that ball. He hit it in a way they couldn't get a double play. And three runs scored, a great hustle there by Posey. Again, you take those. You get breaks in this game and you hope to take advantage of them and you put the ball in play, sometimes good things happen. And that's what happened for us there.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.