Oct. 27 Bruce Bochy pregame interview
Q. Just wondering with you coming back to Detroit what memories you have as a player of the '84 World Series? And just maybe specifically you had a chance to get an at bat in that series, and a hit and what that kind of meant to you.
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I have great memories of being in the World Series, not real good ones on how it came out. But what a thrill for any player, and of course myself, when you get to the World Series for the first time. We had split in San Diego, then came here and they beat us here. I had a tough memory trying to leave here. It got a little crazy. But overall, great experience, good time here. And just a tough way to go out of it, after going 1 1 at home and getting swept here, and of course the big home run that Goose gave up there, that's getting a lot of attention. But great time for me, I got one at bat, and I was thrilled that Dick Williams put me in there.
Q. A lot of people in the mathematical community feel there's no such thing as clutch players. Your team seems to disprove that. You have a lot of guys who seem to rise to the occasion. Is that something you can address?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I agree in the fact there are clutch players. I'm not just talking about our club, I think throughout baseball, whether it's a pitcher or a position player. Some seem to be better players in a critical part of the game. You need a hit, some guys have a knack for getting a big hit.
Our guys have done a better job the second half. If you look at the first half, we had a tough time at times with men on base even putting the ball in play, but they've done a better job the second half. In fact, they've done a tremendous job.
I disagree with those who don't think there are clutch players and players who are better players when something good has to happen for their team to win a game.
Q. Following up on that, Cain, would you put him in that category based on what he has done in postseason play? Is he one of those guys that has something that allows him to elevate his game?
BRUCE BOCHY: I would, and to add to that, with not just Matt, I think your great players for the most part are those type of players. They seem to play better when the club needs them. The higher the stakes, the more they do elevate their game, hitters, pitchers, and I certainly would put Matt Cain in that class.
Q. I think your team is 30 13 on the road since the All Star Break. Why do you think your team played so well on the road in the second half?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, some things are hard to explain. They are. But I will say they've really picked it up the second half on how we did play on the road, and we had to. We had some big road trips, and it was critical that we play good baseball on the road. And I think that helped bring them together. I'll start way back in the Colorado series, we came off a tough home stand, and we had to get our act together, and they did in that series and played very well, and it just got contagious.
These guys have been very good at being road warriors. For a team to have a good year, you need to play pretty good ball on the road, and these guys have done it.
Q. What have you learned about Romo in the role since he took over, and how he's handled himself and been such an important part back there?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think more than anything what I've learned is how much he cares about his teammates, and that's how he pitches. He wants to win for them and the club. Very unselfish player. He wants to be out there, but when he wasn't out there and he was setting up, even when Wilson went down, he accepted that role. He just wants to do just whatever he can to help us win. But really cares about the guys around him, and he's very appreciative of being out there. There's times when he thanks you for trusting him to help the team win.
Q. You had been with Hunter Pence at the All Star Game one year, right?
BRUCE BOCHY: Right.
Q. Did you get an impression of what he was and what he'd bring to your club? And is that what happened? Is that what he did bring?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I had a pretty good impression of him watching him on the other side, what he was about. But until you get to know a guy a little bit and I can't say I got to know him well in the All Star Game, but I watched him and met him and talked to him, and inside the clubhouse he made a couple comments. So I knew that he was all out, full throttle, as we call him, a guy that he's going to lay it all on the line out there for you. Since we've acquired him, he's been all that. Whether it's been good or bad, this guy doesn't let up. He doesn't let one at bat, two at bats, whatever, affect him. He's going to go out there and still do all he can to help you win a ballgame.
Q. Trusting your teammates and playing together, is that one explanation for your team's strength and success?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think so. In fact, I know that for a fact. I think to be a good club you have to have those qualities within your team. These guys have it, and there's a lot of character in there, and they care about each other.
Q. Could you just quickly go into what went into the decision to go with Sanchez as the DH?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I think I look at the whole year and his at bats. He's given us a lot of quality at bats, big hits when we needed them. I think when you look at he or could have been Huff, Huff didn't have any numbers off him, Hector hasn't faced him. The right handed bats I did think about. They've had a little bit more success off of Sanchez than left handed bats. But I just remember so many clutch hits that Hector has given us, and so I just felt like he's earned this and he gets the first shot at DH'ing.
Q. Just following up on the Pence question, he's a relative newcomer to the team and yet he's become kind of an emotional focal point. What qualities about him allow him to do that?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think it says a lot about his makeup. He's one of those guys that he wants to do all he can to help a ballclub. It may not just be swinging a bat or catching a fly ball, but if he can help them inside the clubhouse, and that's what you hope you get from players is leadership, and he certainly has provided that through this postseason with his talks and his emotional speeches.
You know, he appreciates where he's at, and he's told these guys that. He's helped lead the charge to get to this point.