But again, it starts with our starter, who just did a tremendous job for us.
Q. Looking at what Tim has done in these games, what did you expect when you sent him to the bullpen? And does it make you think that maybe going from the stretch all the time has a future for him?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, he's made an adjustment going from the stretch. I think it's helped him. But what we thought when we put him in the bullpen, what he would give us is another weapon down there to help out. We felt he was the best out of the five starters to help us out of the bullpen with how fast, how quick he gets loose, and also how resilient he is.
A tremendous job he did again tonight, and he seems comfortable. He has relished the role. That's the biggest part of it is he accepted it and really acted like he looked forward to helping the club in that role, and that's why I think he's having success. He didn't waver on going to the bullpen. He said, yeah, I'd love to go there and help this team move forward.
Q. Crawford made some pivotal plays defensively, gives you some offense. Are we seeing him evolve into one of the better shortstops at this point?
BRUCE BOCHY: I would say so. You know, from second half on I don't know who's played a better short. That's how good he's been out there. Just experience playing in the Major Leagues, getting that sense of belonging, he's really grown as a player, and that's what you want to see from your young players. He's getting some big hits for us. He's a solid, all‑around player, and he's just getting better and better, and that's what's important with these young guys is to see that growth from them. Certainly it's happened with him.
But he's a gifted shortstop on either side, good arm. I do think he's one of the better shortstops in the game.
Q. When you guys sat down and decided what the playoff rotation was going to be, how much of a collective decision was it to put Lincecum in the pen, and how did that come about?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, any time we make a decision like this, we're all involved. Of course Dave Righetti, Mark Gardner, Sabes, these are decisions made by all of us. We were all in agreement this was the way to go.
I think when you look at the years that the guys have had and also who would be better at adjusting to go into the bullpen, it just made sense to put Timmy there and help us out those middle innings, which he's done an incredible job.
Q. Can you talk about the opportunity you and your team have right now being up 3‑0, and having been there and won it before?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, it's a good situation, but there's nothing been done yet. It's a number, just like I said about two. Now it's three. But that's not the series. So you have to keep going about your business as usual, and come out tomorrow ready to go and don't think about where you're at but go out and try to win tomorrow night. These guys have done a great job of that, whether they've been down like we have 0‑2 or 3‑1, we're up, but still, there's a lot of business at hand, and these guys are keeping their focus, and that's all you want them to do. I know when they hit the field tomorrow, they won't think about where they're at right now as far as the situation.
Q. I know you talked about Vogelsong's poise in those jams. When you look at that fifth inning, bases loaded, one out, how impressive is it for him to get out of that, especially getting that third out against Cabrera?
BRUCE BOCHY: I mean, very impressive with the hitters he had to face. But he's been so good at that all year, and that's what I think makes him such a good pitcher, a quality pitcher. He's got that ability to keep his poise and slow things down, pitch at a time, as we say, and execute, and that's what he did in that situation.
Since we've gotten him, you appreciate his whole game, the stuff that he has, but also how competitive he is. And when he gets in a jam like that, he's got an amazing ability to make pitches when he has to.
Q. I was just going to say, he sort of each step along the way has won the biggest games for you guys and gotten you going in each series. Is he evolving into one of those stoppers?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I could say that about really all of them. I've said that about Barry Zito. He's won so many big games for us, but really all of them have. Sometimes you want to rank the staff No. 1, No. 2, but with the way they're throwing, we all look at them as a No. 1. We do. That's how well they've done, and pitched so well in games that we need to win. But Vogelsong is certainly one of those. He had a great year last year, and as I said, he wanted to show that wasn't a fluke, and he's had another tremendous year for us. He's gotten back on track and pitched well here in postseason, which we needed. But you always like your chances when he's out there.
Q. Your starting pitchers are getting most of the credit, but you have to be pretty happy with your defense, too.
BRUCE BOCHY: I'll tell you, it's a critical part of the game. That's our strength, pitching and defense. They've done a great job. Blanco, just a tremendous job he's doing out in left field, including in the ninth, making that catch. Pablo is playing a good third base. Of course we talked about Crawford, Scutaro, all of them. We've been doing a good job of catching the ball.
Defense can win games for you, and I thought it did tonight.
Q. Two‑parter: Lincecum goes back in the rotation next year, right? There's no doubt about that?
BRUCE BOCHY: Right.
Q. And then secondly, why do you think he has the mindset now where the one start you did make with him, he had trouble early on, and then he comes in in relief and he just doesn't have that issue, he just goes out and pitches?
BRUCE BOCHY: You know, some things are hard to explain, but Timmy, he's an incredible talent, and he's a great starter. It just so happened it worked out that we thought he could really help us in the bullpen, which he's done an amazing job. But he's a starter, and that's where he's going next year.
You look at that one start, I thought he had pretty good stuff against St. Louis. When you have the talent that he has, it's nice to have the ability to go either way. But I assure you, he's going to be in the rotation next year, but it's nice to have that weapon helping us in the bullpen now.