10/26/2012 12:03 AM ET
Oct. 25 Madison Bumgarner, Hunter Pence postgame interview
Q. Madison, did it give you any extra boost of confidence knowing that Bochy was going to go back to you and trust you in a game that's this pivotal to the series?
MADISON BUMGARNER: I don't know if it gave any extra. It's hard to get any more excited about pitching than ‑‑ you're already pitching in the World Series, so I mean, that didn't really have an effect. I was excited that I was going to get a chance to go out here and try to pitch good for these guys and these fans, and glad it worked out.
Q. Hunter, you seemed off balance and struggled a bit last night, but today you hit the ball hard a couple times. What was different?
HUNTER PENCE: Well, I definitely had some adjustments to make after yesterday's game. I got in there and tried to work it out and found a way to just get my swing a little bit more through the ball, a little shorter, a little freer. Just some slight adjustments and felt better today.
Q. Madison, did it feel different for you out there tonight compared to the last two?
MADISON BUMGARNER: Yeah, I went into the 7th inning instead of getting took out in the third. (Laughter).
I think the only difference was being able to make pitches. I hadn't been able to do that this postseason, and tonight ‑‑ Buster caught a great game, defense did great. They hit some balls hard, and just happened to be in the right spot.
Q. Madison, you're up 2‑0. We like to read stuff into it. What does it mean being able to win these first two games to take a bit of command of the series?
MADISON BUMGARNER: It's a lot less stressful for sure, but at the same time I don't think we can stop pushing or we're going to find ourselves in the same spot we've been in in the last two series.
HUNTER PENCE: It means we've got two more wins. That's the goal. And they've still got four. I try to keep it as simple as possible. The team that wins four games wins the World Series, and we've got to stay as focused as ever and continue to push.
Q. Madison, Righetti noticed in your delivery something that made it more compact, more smooth. What was the change you made?
MADISON BUMGARNER: I don't want to discuss mechanics right now. It's not the place or time for that. But definitely felt better and was able to help me be able to make pitches. I mean, that's all you can do.
Q. It looked like you had a good feel for the slider early and kept it. How important was that pitch to you?
MADISON BUMGARNER: I mean, it felt pretty good. I mean, we didn't throw very many changeups. We threw some curveballs. The biggest thing was just mixing it in and out and up and down, trying to keep them off balance the best we could. So I mean, every pitch felt pretty good tonight. Felt a lot better than it has been the last few games.
Q. Madison, you obviously want to get off to a good start given the way the last two went. You get two strikeouts in the first inning, but how big was the play at the plate?
MADISON BUMGARNER: Yeah, that was huge. I think that might have been a momentum shifter for me because I had some trouble in the second, third, fourth innings the last couple starts, and defense bailed me out there; and it was a huge play, got me excited, and happy we were able to get out of it unscathed.
Q. Hunter, can you talk about that last at‑bat? You seemed pretty determined out there recognizing the value of that second run.
HUNTER PENCE: Well, I mean, we were pretty determined every at‑bat, but tonight's game really was ‑‑ we just executed, we played good, consistent baseball and we pitched well. When you're given that opportunity to execute to drive in a run, obviously Dotel, he's been pretty hard on me, he's got some funky action and some good movement and location. He's had success for a reason. He threw two good pitches, and I just got on the plate and tried to battle as hard as I could and fortunately was able to get it out there.
Q. Madison, you were one of the very first ones this Spring Training to say quite adamantly that you didn't care if you lost three or four runs during the season by Posey not blocking the plate. Was there ever a time during the season where there might have been one of those runs and you thought, shoot, if maybe he blocks it or maybe he's further back, maybe we get that guy?
MADISON BUMGARNER: I don't know. I don't try to focus on any of that stuff. But I still believe the same thing, we've got to keep our guy in there. You see how good we are with him in the lineup.
Q. Hunter, when you start off that seventh inning with the base hit, is it just the mentality of I'm going to find a way to get around, and what do you think about the way you got around?
HUNTER PENCE: Yeah. I mean, like I said earlier, it was a great collective effort tonight. The Brandon Belt walk was a really big at‑bat. That was huge. To get on with nobody out and then draw a walk, you're in a great situation, a great spot where Blanco can bump me over.
He got into a good count and put one of the most beautiful bunts you'll ever see. Blanco, you can't say enough about him. He's just the definition of a ballplayer, defense, speed, can bunt, can swing it, and he showed another reason why he's so valuable.
Q. What's this postseason been like for you? You haven't swung great every night, but it seems like when you get hits, they're at timely moments. How do you feel about how the postseason has gone for you?
HUNTER PENCE: Man, it's been great. Really you don't accomplish this unless you do it together, and everyone chips in here and there. You can have guys carry you like Bumgarner did tonight, but that's one‑day‑at‑a‑time kind of thing.
I feel good. I've had definitely not the best at‑bats, definitely not ‑‑ I would hope to, I guess, be hitting better, but I'm grateful that I've had some timely hits.
Q. These are remarkably different circumstances for this club and this series as opposed to the last two being up as opposed to being down, but the fundamental approach can't change, can it, or does it?
HUNTER PENCE: No, absolutely not. I mean, we feel we've gained a little ‑‑ I feel like we've gained a lot of strength from what we had to overcome to get to this point. You know, we're riding a little bit of a confidence and a momentum and an understanding. I feel like everyone is on the same page, and we're just going out there and really playing as hard as we can for each other.
At the end of the day, everyone seems focused, everyone seems locked in, and there's going to be more adversity to come. It's the World Series; there's going to be more moments, good moments, and we just want to go out there and meet them together.
Q. Hunter, seventh inning the way that game was going, bases loaded, nobody out, were you surprised they didn't play the infield in and concede that run to you there?
HUNTER PENCE: Yeah, I think that was a smart move by Leyland to play for the double play because you have to score anyway. You don't want to give up two runs. That ball might have gotten through if they were in. You give up more hits. It also changes the at‑bat for Crawford. We don't know if Crawford is going to hit a ground ball. If the infield is in and he knows that, it's a different approach.
Hindsight you can't really take into effect, but at the end of the day we're happy to get the run, but they got out of a bases‑loaded nobody out with one run, that's all you can ask of your pitcher.
Q. Madison, did you draw on your performance two years ago against Texas in any way tonight in terms of dealing with all this?
MADISON BUMGARNER: I mean, no. I wasn't thinking about that really at all. You know, this is a different year. Obviously I've been struggling a little bit. I wanted to go out there and try to pitch well for our guys and the fans, and that's all I was thinking about, just doing what I needed to do and make pitches. That's it, really.
Q. Can you describe what Hunter has brought to this team? A lot has been written about the speeches, but can you give us a sense of where he's at.
MADISON BUMGARNER: I don't think we have enough time for that. I hope he's here for a long time, I'll say that.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.