Oct. 6 B. Arroyo pregame interview
Q. We asked you when you guys clinched the N.L. Central how you thought this team would be successful in October. Can you take us through the differences between this team and the 2010 team?
BRONSON ARROYO: The difference is starting rotation with Mat Latos, more experience with Johnny Cueto and Homer Bailey, and the bullpen is much better than it has ever been. So I think that helps and the experience of getting beat 3 and out in 2010. Most of these guys have a sense of what it's like to pitch and play under the microscope of what an error can do in an inning and what it's like to play in front of 40,000 when they're swinging white towels around and how that affects the game. We should be better for it. It doesn't mean you're going to win ballgames, but it gives you a sense of what it's going to be like when you hit the field.
Q. These teams don't play a lot. Do you know much about Madison Bumgarner or the challenge your hitters will face tomorrow? Do you think about that going into the game, who is on the mound for the other team?
BRONSON ARROYO: You think about it a little bit. We don't see these guys a whole lot. We know they have a great pitching staff. We haven't scored runs lately the way it is, and runs are always at a premium in the playoffs regardless. Everybody is throwing their best out there. You are kind of nitpicking the strike zone a little bit more than you normally would. You're throwing more 2 strike pitches to guys early in the count more than you normally would, and you're going to try to put up a zero every single ining and get deep into the ballgame, and if you're lucky enough to make it into the seventh you've had a great outing. So I don't expect to get a lot of leeway tomorrow.
Q. How different does this ballpark play from your home ballpark?
BRONSON ARROYO: It's a world of difference. We talk about it all the time, different ballparks, but these basically two are about as far apart in the game as you can get, especially him in here, the ball not traveling that great and it plays big everywhere, and our ballpark plays tiny everywhere. So it's a huge advantage for our starting staff and theirs as well to be able to pound the strike zone a little more, have some more room for error and not worrying about balls on the outer half to righty being flicked over the right field wall as they can in our place. So it's going to be interesting because both sides have to deal with the same dimensions of these ballparks and how different it's going to be to play at one place versus the other.
Q. It's been 17 years since this team had won a playoff game and he said he didn't know that. Are you aware of it, and how far important is it for you guys to take that next step?
BRONSON ARROYO: I don't think many people are aware of that, but I know that a lot of guys know we haven't won a playoff game since they've been in this uniform. I think winning one is going to be huge for us, especially in the next two games without question, not because of the last 17 years, but because of 2010 and because of our fan base being reluctant to believe in this ball club, regardless of the 96 or 97 wins we have. So I think getting off to a good start is going to be huge for this team.
Q. Can you explain why you think the fan reaction has been that? Why they haven't jumped on this team?
BRONSON ARROYO: Just for the reasons that he said. They haven't won a playoff game in such a long time, 2010 we felt like we had a young, good ball club and we go in and get smashed by the Phillies in three games. So it brings that doubt to this ball club. We have the same lineup as we had at that time other than Ryan Ludwick, so we haven't put up a lot of runs lately, and we have been scratching out runs really through the whole season. It's not like we have been going out there and beating teams down 12 2 every night. So playing those tight ballgames and realizing that the playoffs are a little different it's going to take us to get through the first round for people to believe that this ball club has what it takes to win a World Series.
Q. As you look at your team now do you see similarities between teams you've been on in other places who have broke through the barrier of getting back to the playoffs a second time and maybe had success because the experience factor played into it?
BRONSON ARROYO: Ball clubs I've been on, it's hard to draw comparisons to, the team in Boston we got beat in '03 and that was game 7 of the second round, and that was an experienced ball club. Most of those guys have been through many, many playoff experiences prior to that, and we had a ball club at that time the lineup was so devastating that there wasn't anyone that was going to shut that team down night after night. It is not necessarily the case with this ball club. This team is so young. We're made up of 24 to 26 year old guys and that's rare I think in this game to have won 97 games with a team that young and relying on all of those guys. It's not like you are leaning on two young dudes. You're relying on everything in the rotation in the bullpen and half of the starting lineup. So it's young and fresh faced and we're going to have to make our own history and we're going to have to go out there and see if we can really produce and see what happens.
Q. Did Dusty talk to you about pitching Game 2 or Game 3, and did he give you an idea of what he wanted to do that?
BRONSON ARROYO: They did not. I assumed I would be going Game 2 the way we lined up at the end of the season. They had said sometime after that that there was a possibility that I would be going Game 3, and they weren't sure about it. We never had a conversation about it, and never told me to this point that I was throwing Game 2. The bullpen sessions lined up that way and I just assumed that breaking up the two hard throwers, Latos and Cueto pitch a lot more similar than I do, and as well possibly given a guy like myself more room for error out here in a bigger ballpark knowing that Latos has power stuff and can shutdown a lineup in any ballpark. I think that played a factor, but I did not have that conversation.
Q. Speaking of Latos, can you think back to what Walt acquired him and what your reaction was to that bold move and what he has meant to this team?
BRONSON ARROYO: I didn't think a lot about him. I knew he had power stuff and good ERAs and being in San Diego that ballpark plays similar to this one here, and you don't know how that translates to a park like ours. And he's meant a lot to this ball club this year. If it wasn't for Mat, and that could be said about every guy in the rotation, but we didn't have him. We had all these guys prior to this, and he was the missing link to put us over the top. Having a guy who could go out there and pitch every fifth day, we had every guy make their turn this year, which is rare and he was big part of that, and he pitched with pain and discomfort all year long and showed that he was the type of guy even at a very young age that he would go out there and give you the effort regardless of getting off to a bad start and he showed us that we could lean on him as much as Johnny and maybe even more.