Q. Jim said last night, Jim Leyland, that he doesn't believe in momentum in baseball, and I wanted to ask you what you think of that, what you think of momentum in baseball, given that Angel's hit off the bag yesterday, Hunter's hit in Game 7. What do you think is going on with your team right now?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think we're playing well. That's a big term that's used quite a bit. But I think it starts with the guy on the hill. Your pitcher usually sets the tone and creates that.
But at the same time I do think a team's confidence can grow with wins just like players having success. It's nice to get a break when a ball hits a bag, but at the same time, you have to give Pagan credit; it was a great at bat following an awful lot of good pitches, and you put the ball in play sometimes and good things happen.
But I do think success does help that confidence grow and gets that momentum going.
Q. You've had a pitcher drive in a run in four straight games now. How big has that been this postseason, and with no DH here, how big of an advantage has that been for you guys?
BRUCE BOCHY: Oh, it's been huge. Really Zito, Cain, Vogelsong, that's helping your cause. Pitchers can just help themselves in different ways, whether it's hold runners, fielding their position or find a way to get a bunt down or even drive in a run. I mean, they're part of the offense, too, and that's why we, just like a lot of clubs, we spend a lot of time, they take batting practice every day; they bunt every day, and there's a good chance they could come up there and help themselves, and our guys have done a great job.
Q. You've always been big on the team concept, kind of all-for-one-and-one-for-all mentality, but have you ever encountered a group like this one that has everything from Tim Lincecum accepting his role to Brian Wilson being a cheerleader in the dugout?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I'd say this club is right at the top as far as any club I've had, as far as being unselfish and doing whatever has been asked of them, even changing roles or their place in the batting order or taking a day or two off.
I will say in 2010 we had a great group there, and every group is unique in its own way. But this club here really, I think, has set aside their own ego or agenda and asked what's best for the club, and certainly it makes life easier for the manager when you have a group of guys like this who do that.
Q. I wonder if you've had a chance to look at Sandoval's at bats last night on video since then and picked up anything that a less trained eye wouldn't see about what all went on there, and also, when you have a guy who's considered a bad ball hitter, what is your advice to him when he goes to the plate?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I have seen the pitches, and I think what you're seeing is a guy with incredible talent. Really he hit three different pitches out. This is a tough park to hit a home run in. The first one was a pretty good pitch. It was at the top of the strike zone. One was on the outside corner, and one was down, a slider down, and hit all three pitches.
Occasionally you get great athletes who get in a zone, and it really slows the game down. I'm sure last night Pablo just saw the ball so well and it really slowed down for him. It's a credit to his talent. It's fun to watch great athletes when they get in the zone, especially when they're playing for you (laughter).
But with him as far as his style of hitting, we really haven't tried to change him. He's very aggressive, and we know it. But I think with experience, he's taken his walks this year, he's laid off a lot of pitches that he swung at when he first came up here, and that's growth as a hitter. But at the same time you don't want these guys backing off because now you get to the point of diminishing return where now they're taking pitches they normally would hit.
Q. Getting to know Ryan Vogelsong the last couple years, what has stuck out to you most about him, and given all he's been through, what do you think it says about him that he's here starting a World Series game on Saturday and he's one of the best pitchers in baseball right now?
BRUCE BOCHY: Really when I think about Vogey, I think of perseverance. What this guy has been through, he never quit, he had to go through a lot, injuries, going to the Minor Leagues, Japan, and was just relentless on getting back to the Major Leagues. He's always had great stuff, but he's had to deal with a lot. I think he learned a lot through his experiences pitching in the Minor Leagues and in Japan, and now he is who he is right now because of all of the time he's had to work to get back to this point and learn how to pitch.
Earlier in his career he was a power guy, he tried to bully his way through the lineup, and that doesn't work up here, and he's figured that out, like a lot of pitchers do. Sometimes it takes longer than others.
Q. What has Gregor Blanco meant to your ballclub?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, you look at his game last night, and I've said this before, you can have a great game in baseball without getting a hit. You can win a game without getting a hit. Here's a guy that he got the hat trick but goes out there and makes two good plays in really key moments in the game. But he gives us great defense, he gives us, I think, another dimension with his speed. But he's provided offense for us, too.
But it's the energy you like from Gregor. Really I can hit him lead off or where he's hitting now. When we were struggling earlier in the season when I put him in the lead off role, we kind of took off there for a while. I give him credit for helping us get on track in the middle of the season.
Q. You and Pablo both spoke about his 2010 when he wasn't that involved in the postseason. I'm just wondering, at that time did you think this might not work out for him in the long term, and what do you think was the most important thing he did to heal that relationship, to improve it?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, I didn't think we'd have any problems with Pablo getting back on track or anything that happened there in 2010. I think that was a learning lesson for him. I think he went home that winter and realized that he's got to change some things, which he did, and bounced back and had a great year for us in 2011. This is all about growing as a player through your experiences, and I know he was disappointed he wasn't out there, and he became a better player because of it.
So now he's showing the type of player that he is on a consistent basis, and it's -- the weight thing, sure, that's going to be talked about a lot, and it's something he's going to have to keep under control, and he knows it, and this winter when this is all over, he'll have to get back on track and come into Spring Training hopefully a little bit lighter. But right now we like where he's at. (Laughter).
Q. With Marco Scutaro, he has a pretty incredible ability to put the bat on the ball. I wonder, do you appreciate that? How does that help a club? How does that help him as a player kind of move things along because he never swings and misses?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, really a remarkable hitter in that respect. He doesn't miss much. Patient hitter. He's had a very nice career. To me over the past few years he's one of the better lead off hitters in the game. He's not hitting lead off for us, but he doesn't mind hitting with two strikes on him, and he's got a short, compact swing. All he wants to do is make solid contact. He doesn't try to do too much up there. And I do think that helps other players.
I've always felt that your lineup can feed off certain hitters and their style of hitting, and I think Marco when he came over here, I think he's helped us just like a Buster Posey who is patient, and then we have a mix here with a Sandoval and Pence, they're a little bit more aggressive. But I think they all help each other in their different styles of hitting.
Q. It looks like it's going to be pretty cold in Detroit. As a manager does that change -- do you have to account for that in any way, whether it's guys warming up a little longer, or do you look at players who might have done better or worse in their careers in those kind of conditions?
BRUCE BOCHY: I can't say I look at cold weather making a difference how I do things or how we're going to prepare. We deal with that on a consistent basis here. Even though it may be colder there, no, it doesn't affect what we do.
Q. You guys hit 31 homers as a team here this year. Do you think the ball carries better at this time of year here?
BRUCE BOCHY: I don't. I think sometimes the weather will play a part in it, especially warmer weather or day games. It seems to carry better here. I think overall it usually warms up a little bit here in September, late September, so that may play a factor. But those balls Pablo hit, he hit pretty good. It's just not our team. We're not a power hitting club.