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Oct. 25 Bruce Bochy postgame interview

Q.         How important was it for your pitcher to get off to a good start after he had struggled and strike out the first two guys and find his rhythm?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I thought the first inning would be a critical inning for him, for his confidence, also just to see where he was at.  Really, I mean, what a job he did.  He's worked on some things, and Rags, Dave Righetti, our pitching coach, did a great job getting him back on track, and he had great poise out there with great delivery, and he stayed right on for seven innings.

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He's done such a great job for us.  I really thought he needed a break, and I thought he benefitted from it, getting some rest, both mentally and physically, and he went out there and pitched like we know he can.

Q.  How much has it helped this team to get the kind of freak plays, the ball hits the bag, you get the freak double play yesterday and then the bunt tonight?  How much does that help what you're trying to do?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I mean, that always helps, but you have to give Blanco credit.  What a bunt he laid down.  He couldn't put down a better bunt than what he did.  He's a good bunter and we executed well with the bunt.  The relay was huge.  Blanco recovered, and even though he overthrew Crawford, Scutaro was right there and made a perfect throw; and Buster made a great tag there, and that does a lot for the pitcher, too, when you make a play like that.  Defense can help you win games, and it's done that for us.  It's all about executing, and tonight we did a great job of it.

Q.  About that play, were you surprised they sent Prince there in the second and what was your view on that play at the plate?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, it hit off the wall, so I thought he would score, to be honest, the way it carried off the wall.  It took two perfect throws to get him.  It was a bang‑bang play, and great call by Dan.  That's not an easy call there.  He was out, and good quick tag by Buster, like I said.  It took a perfect relay to get it done.

Q.  The fans are obviously very pleased with the situation.  How would you describe the situation your team is in right now being up 2‑0?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, that's what it is.  It's the best of seven, we're up 2‑0.  That's the way we have to look at it.  It's the best of seven; it's great to get off to a good start.  We're heading to Detroit and playing in their ballpark, and you keep pushing.  That's what you do at this point.

We don't, believe me, take anything for granted.  You go out there and you play hard every game, and tomorrow is our ‑‑ two days from now is our biggest game, and that's how we approach it.

Q.  Would you have played the situation the same way that Jim did in the seventh inning with the infield back there?

BRUCE BOCHY:  I don't go into what their strategy is or mine.  I don't think about that.  They're in a tough situation and don't want to give up a big inning.  With that offense, we do what we think we have to do, just like Jim does.  I don't even think about that.

Q.  Hunter Pence last night had some rough at‑bats; tonight he had some really good at‑bats.  How important is he individually to what you guys are trying to do offensively?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, he's in the 5 hole, and those guys you're counting on to help drive in runs and do some damage, and that at‑bat to add on to the score was really, I thought, huge for us.  It's a little different when you have a one or two‑run lead.  He battled and barely got a piece of one pitch there, and he finally found a way to get the run in.

Pence, he's full throttle, gives you all he has out there, and that's all you can ask.  You know when he's up there he's going to fight as hard as he can to do something.

Q.  After winning by five runs last night, was it back to torture tonight, back to the torture way of winning again?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, it's our style, really, and it's been like that for a few years here.  You know, we play a lot of close games, and these guys are used to it.  We faced a good pitcher tonight that was on top of his game.  He threw the ball very well.  And this game could have gone either way, with the way both guys were throwing.

But the torture thing is something we've had fun with, but at the same time, we wish we could do things a little bit easier.  But that's not our way.

Q.  For you what's the fundamental difference in Madison's performance tonight versus the last two outings?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, I think more than anything, it was his delivery.  It was a little simpler, more compact, and I think he was able to get the ball where he wanted tonight because of that.  Sometimes you get out of sync, whether you're a hitter or a pitcher, and tonight he was right on with his delivery, his rhythm, and just had a good tempo out there and kept it going; great poise the whole game and just did a tremendous job.  He hadn't pitched in a while, but he was right on tonight.

Q.  Can you talk about how Romo has embraced his role as the closer on this team?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, if you know him, he loves it.  He loves being out there with the game on the line.  That's what you love about him.  He's not afraid, and he controls the baseball very well on both sides, a good slider, and he's got the ability to keep his composure out there in that ninth inning.  That's always a tough inning.  But he's got the makeup to be out there, and he's done a great job of whatever role I put him in, whether it's setup or closing, and he wants to do whatever he can to help.  But I do think he really enjoys closing.

Q.  You mentioned Bumgarner's delivery was simpler, more compact.  Could you get a little more detailed exactly what was happening?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, not really.  It would take a long time.  But these are things that hitters and pitchers work on.  I talked about he was making too big a turn there and going side to side.  He just wanted to get back to where he was when he was throwing the ball, and he just got out of sync.

He had, I think, three pens or whatever to work on some things, and tonight he was much more compact and kept his hand on top of the ball a little bit better.

Q.  Given how much Pence struggled last night, did you consider dropping him at all?  And what was different about ‑‑ he had several good at‑bats tonight.  What was he doing differently tonight than last night?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, every night is different.  They made some great pitches last night.  No, I didn't think about dropping him in the order.  I did the one time in St. Louis, but when you're in postseason, you pretty much want to go with the guys that got you there and the order that brought you to the dance, so to speak.

This guy is a good hitter, and I like his presence in the lineup, where he's at, and I think it's important we stay behind our guys, and they need to know it.

Q.  You talked before about your team not taking anything for granted.  Do you think the fact that you guys went through what you went through the first two rounds on the other side will help your guys sort of keep perspective of you still need two more wins in the series here?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, you have to.  You have no choice.  It's the best of seven.  So you go out there and you play hard and you see what happens.  You don't really look at where you're at.  You go out there to win every game.  And if you do that and do it in the right way, you'll see where you're at when it's all over.  Don't get caught up in you're 2 and 0 or 0 and 2.  You go out there and play hard for nine innings.  These guys did a great job of it in Cincinnati and St. Louis, and that's the way we have to keep doing it here.

Q.  What impressed you about Fister's performance tonight?

BRUCE BOCHY:  Well, he gets good movement on his fastball.  He's got a good breaking ball, changeup, was pitching in and out, and he was making his pitches.  He was throwing the ball well coming into this game.  We knew that.  And he carried that into tonight's game.  We had our work cut out.  We couldn't do much against him, and we finally scratched and clawed and found a way to get a run off him.

Q.  That play at the plate considering last year what happened with Buster, how concerned were you about safety?  Is that something that immediately passed into your mind or do things happen so fast that you don't worry about it?

BRUCE BOCHY:  You really don't think about it in the game, to be honest.  We've worked on plays at the plate, and it's part of the game, and he's going to have plays at the plate.  I don't try to think about it, to be honest, but he was in a good position, made a great tag.  And sometimes for a catcher, though, you're caught in an awkward position depending on the throw.  And you have to give Marco credit with the perfect throw to help him to be where he was and apply the tag.

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