Oct. 14 Bruce Bochy pregame interview
Q. How does your first base coach feel today? Will he be on the field and medically cleared and all that?
BRUCE BOCHY: Roberto (Kelly) will not be on the field. He's got a concussion. I don't see him being out there at least these two games, if not longer. He's at home. He's resting well. He didn't sleep much last night. He hasn't come in yet. Dave Groeschner, our trainer, I was hoping he could come in so they could check him out again.So for the time being the plan is to put Joe Lefebvre out there. And we'll keep Bam Bam (Hensley) Meulens in the dugout.
Q. How important is it with the first base coach, what are the other things that Joe is going to have to pick up on the fly here?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, Joe will help out with the outfield, too. He's played outfield. He'll be in charge of hopefully getting them in the right position. But as far as coaching first base, those are duties that, you just mentioned that first base coach, has to help out on. And Joe, he's got some experience. He's been coaching in the big leagues. He's been here all year. And we actually got in a similar situation earlier in the year with Roberto and Bam Bam went out there and coached first.
But we'll talk to Joe. We have already, do the duties that the first base coach does, remind him about. We know the catcher likes to throw Molina and things like that. So he'll be there to help out.
Q. What has Pagan brought to the equation for you this year. Are you surprised at all about the productivity you received from him?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, he's brought another dynamic to this club. And that's speed, very good centerfielder, but also a good switch hitter. He's balanced from both sides. He's helped make this team more athletic. I thought last year we were missing that a little bit. So he's helped out in that area, too.
He can do a lot of things with the bat. He's got some power, too, to go with the speed and can steal a base for you. And really when he assumed the lead off role is when he took off. And we had him in the five hole there to help out when Pablo (Sandoval) went down, and see if he could drive in some runs. But when we switched him back to the lead off spot, he did a great job of finding ways to get on base and making the team go. And he had a great August and September. He's a big reason why we're here.
Q. They're obviously coming off their Game 5 win, you guys won three in a row, does momentum ever carry over series to series in the postseason?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think it does, sure. You go from game to game. If you look at our series with Cincinnati, I mean we looked dead in the water here. I don't think a lot of people had us going in there and winning three. You win one game and it can switch. We have one hit for nine innings, but we found a way to win that ballgame. You saw the confidence grow with the ballclub and they found a way to win the next two.
Sure, you always want to try to build up momentum, and if it doesn't happen for you, you want to stop it. And maybe the day off when we went to Cincinnati helped things, too, getting on the road, things like that.
But both clubs are coming in this series with momentum.
Q. This is the first day that Cabrera theoretically couldn't play. Was it a tough decision to not put him on the roster?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, we crossed that bridge a while back, and haven't really brought it up or thought about it until you just mentioned it I hadn't thought about it because we said a while back, I can't remember the day, that we would go ahead and go with the guys that helped us get here. And since that happened they've done a great job. I thought Blanco had a good series against Cincinnati. With Gregor and Xavier and Nady to help out, we decided to move on and that's what we've done.
Q. Just a follow up quickly, Bruce, was your decision that you just talked about dependent on how Blanco and Nady did for Cincinnati or if he went 0 for Cincinnati you'd make the same decision?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, we made that decision. We weren't talking about, well, if they struggled we'll change our minds. We just said we move forward here and explained why, and the reasoning, back when we talked about it.
But the biggest reason was the role that they played in helping us get to where we're at. We really came together as a ballclub after that. And these guys earned it. And we felt that these are the guys that should be out there for the playoffs.
Q. You had Nady as a kid in San Diego. How has he evolved in your mind with everything that he's gone through, injury wise and as a veteran now to be where he is?
BRUCE BOCHY: He's had to go through a lot. He's had some ups and downs in his career. And really, the injuries have caused him to miss a lot of time. But I give him a lot of credit. He's persevered, and we talked about this with our starter, Vogelsong, he worked his way to get back to the Major Leagues. And Xavier was not ready to go home and give up baseball. We talked about Xavier coming here earlier in the year, and he went to Washington and got hurt there. When we started talking about bringing him here he said he was healthy and he just needed some at bats, so he went to Fresno and got his timing early. It was a tough go. He hadn't played in a while. But he started swinging the bat well. We made the move to bring him up here and he's helped us.
I think more than anything as far as the player evolving the experiences that they go through, the ups and downs, they learn to handle that and control their emotions, and he's comfortable coming off the bench in whatever role we use him. He hit a big pinch hit home run against San Diego for us. I feel comfortable with him to help with the bat.
Q. There are so many games in this postseason have gone down to the 9th the momentum has switched in the 9th inning, what do you make of that, is that some sort of a trend?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think you have to look at the importance of the games, the pressure. It shows you how hard the last three outs can get. It's always hard, tough, during the season, but when you're in the postseason it becomes, I think, even more difficult.
And when you're in the postseason you have teams that are they're there for a reason. And there's a lot of fight in these clubs, a lot of character. They've come back, I'm sure, during the course of the season quite a few times so they know they can. It's more a case that you have a lot of talent out there and even though they're down, they still believe they can win the ballgame. And there's no quitting in these teams. And there has been some remarkable comebacks. And of course the one last night. But it says a lot about the clubs.
Q. To follow up on that from what we've seen the last couple of days, how big a lead is actually safe in this postseason?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, that's a good one. I wish I could answer that, because we had a six run lead and we barely hung on and you look at what happened in Washington. I don't think any lead is safe, as far as any lead in who is up in the series. Anything can happen. And that's how you have to approach it. You keep going to get outs or do all you can to add on or get back in the ballgame.
It's so intense. It's a little different game. You play every game hard. You play to win. But obviously there's more at stake and there's a bit more intensity in these games.
Q. How do you compare this Cardinals team to last year's team?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I'd say they're similar in the way they just keep fighting and beating adversity. They've gone through quite a few things, injuries, losing Pujols. They have a lot of fight in them. You look at last year how they won. I mean they had to fight to get there and of course being a pitch away a couple of times.
And it's been similar this year for them. It went down to the wire for them to get there. And of course we helped them with that game against the Dodgers. But a lot of character over there. A lot of talent. A lot of talent. Very good hitting ballclub and they have a great pitching staff. They had a good year. You just look at them and there's talent all over that club.