Oct. 3 Bruce Bochy Pregame Interview
Q. Bruce, did Morse just not have a good batting practice yesterday? And secondly, on the roster, with Vogelsong and Petit both on there, did it help that either both of them had had experience coming out of the bullpen?
BRUCE BOCHY: As far as Morse, he is close. Actually, his batting practice was pretty good. Is he 100%? No. Taking that into play, along with he hadn't faced pitching in about a month, we just decided to go with Brown. He would give us a few more options versus the one pinch hit appearance maybe by Morse. Again, not having seen pitching, we didn't think he was quite ready. What we may do is see what happens in this series, possibly send him to Instructional ball. Get a few at bats. As far as Vogelsong and Petit, both of them can help out in the bullpen. We haven't named our fourth game starter yet. They are both guys who could go that game for us. With their experience, we thought we were better off going with 12 pitchers.
Q. Bruce, can you elaborate tactically how Brown could help, how he could fit in in this series?
BRUCE BOCHY: He can help out in different ways. He can pinch run, need to get a bunt down. You know, with Ishikawa out there, make changes, late in the ballgame, where there is a double switch. Put Perez up there for defense. Have another outfielder, that allows me to still make a move here. He is a good center fielder. He can play a part, giving us defense at the end of the game. On top of that, you know, he is a right hand pinch hitter, too. His two games that he played, he found ways to get hits. He is a grinder. So we just thought his versatility and what I just talked about was more important for us now than not having Morse at 100%.
Q. Bruce, what about Joe Panik. What kind of hitter is he? What does he do for your lineup?
BRUCE BOCHY: He is a nice hitter. He's got a short swing, uses the whole field. I think a guy that you can do different things with, hitting in the two hole, he can bunt, hit and run with him, he can get a guy over. Really, I think, saved us because that was such a need for us at second base with Scutaro going down. We tried different guys. He was having a good year in Fresno. After a few games, he got settled in, and took over the job and has run with it. He's been so consistent on both sides of the ball.
Q. Crawford has 8th a lot this year. Ishikawa hit a homer last time he saw Strasburg. Is it just Brandon got the job done in the 7th spot last time, so you are keeping him right there?
BRUCE BOCHY: Not just last game, if you look at how Crawford has been swinging the bat, I think that is why I went ahead and put him in that 7th hole, and Ishi in the 8th hole. I could go either way there, from one game, probably as much as a larger sample size. I just like the way that Crawford is swinging the bat.
Q. Bruce, can you give an overall approach to how are guys are going into it. The guys are saying, going at it like it is Game 7. Strasburg, what do you have to do to get to him? What is the approach?
BRUCE BOCHY: So, do you want our game plan? (Laughter). We are never going to change the way we play the game. Go out there and play to win, that is how this club approaches every game. We hopefully, will get a good pitch to hit; take advantage of it. Execute. I don't mean to be general here, but that never changes. When you are in the postseason, every game, I think should be played like that; like there is no tomorrow. We do things a bit different in the postseason. Whether it is how you use your pitching, changes you may make. I don't think that you will see -- you know, the fact that this isn't a one game deal, like we had in Pittsburgh, that we will do anything any different.
Q. Since I know how much you love looking way ahead, Game 4, you are going to face a lefty in Gio Gonzalez. Do you envision Buster starting behind the plate in all of the games in the series? With Belt now sort of back, would you refrain from maybe having Susac start a game, with Buster at first base?
BRUCE BOCHY: You know, I think I can answer that better when we get to that day, seeing how Buster is doing. We do have days off. Susac has done a great job. Belt is swinging well. It won't be an easy call. Susac does give us another right handed bat in there. The way Belt is swinging, if guys are healthy, I would say more than likely, you will see Buster behind the plate in all of these games.
Q. Is there an advantage of playing a game two days ago? What does it mean for Washington to have a long layoff here?
BRUCE BOCHY: I don't know. I can't really answer that. We weren't in that situation; we had to play. I know they faced live pitching yesterday. They did what they thought they had to do to prepare for today's game. I really can't answer that. We are very excited that we got to continue to play and play in Pittsburgh. Now we are still playing. I can't tell you, I don't know how to quantify three, four days off. I don't.
Q. Bruce, you could have gone with Petit, Vogelsong or Hudson in Game 2, and defended any of those choices. Hudson had the roughest September of those three. What made him the choice for you? Was it an obvious choice?
BRUCE BOCHY: I like the way he threw the ball in L.A. It looked like he was healthy again. Able to execute his pitches. You have to like his experience. Huddie, he is such a pro in how he goes about his business, how he prepares. All of them are. I think his biggest issue is that his hip was bothering him. I think he is over that really. If you look at Hudson, Vogelsong, Petit. We would have confidence in any of those three, if they were starting tomorrow.
Q. You said, you sent Morse to Instructional League. What parameters would you decide to do that? When would you do it?
BRUCE BOCHY: They are off Sunday down there. Maybe when we get back to San Francisco, send him down there to play on Monday. Give him a few at bats. Just cover ourselves. We don't know what is going to happen. You need to be prepared. I think it would give us a sense of comfort. And I think it would for Michael, too. The fact that he would be able to go down, and play some left field and get some live at bats in a game.