Oct. 7 Bronson Arroyo and Ryan Hanigan postgame interview
Q. Bronson, curious, early on in the first inning or so you had some decent contact. It happened that after that you were on the edges of the strike zone. What occurred at that point where you were able to sort of get off to the end of their bats and on the handle and things?
BRONSON ARROYO: I mean, nothing special. You're going out there the first inning is going to be the toughest to command your pitches just because of the emotion of the game and just trying to settle in.
So the first few hitters you're trying to throw strikes and a couple of those pitches were fatter than I would normally want, but they hit 'em hard right at some of our outfielders and it's something that allows to get deep in the ballgame. You hope it goes that way. If those balls go in the gap, it's a totally different ballgame. Nothing special I was trying to do, you're trying to grind and throw the balls in the black. It just doesn't always happen.
Q. Do you remember the first time you requested that Ryan be your catcher and why?
BRONSON ARROYO: I don't remember that, but since I've been in this uniform I've basically had two guys, David Ross and Ryan Hanigan catch me a lot. They were two guys that I found that could think along with me, could understand just, you know, the dynamic of how I try to beat hitters in an out of the box mentality.
A lot of times there are some catchers that go about their business differently and have a hard time following that along whereas these guys would pick up on me so fast, and it was easier for me to get into my game plan and just with eye contact know what I was trying to do.
Q. Bronson, with Johnny going down and the bullpen being used a lot yesterday, did you feel like ‑‑ if you have incentive to go it out there today and really go deep in that game and work as fast as?
BRONSON ARROYO: You want to get deep in the ballgame but a playoff atmosphere it's impossible to control everything that's going on. You go out there about a mind‑set of trying to get into the seventh inning possibly and that doesn't happen a whole lot perform if you look around at both leagues you will see a lot of starting pitchers that have to bow out after 5 and 2/3, or 5 and a half. You're burning more energy, there is so much more going on.
So it's hard to take that responsibility on your shoulders and say I'm going to get deep in the ballgame you hope you do. I threw enough pitches in the middle of the game where they had swung early on and saved me some pitches that gave me an opportunity to do that.
Q. Bronson, considering the stage best game you've ever pitched? And Ryan best game of his you've ever caught?
BRONSON ARROYO: Yeah, these games are as big as any many my whole career. I go back to pitching some playoff games in Boston, but every year that goes by you feel like the next one is the biggest thing, and for this ball club last year we didn't win a game in the playoffs or two years ago and just getting off to a good start and having the ball club believe, the fan base believe, all those types of things can help you later on, hopefully in the playoffs.
RYAN HANIGAN: I think that was one of the best games he's ever thrown. He threw a similar game against the Phillies in 2010, playoff game as well. It was really on point. I think like he said, getting the lead there, the four‑run lead helped and in the first inning having those balls that were a little middle get caught when they were hit hard was huge and then he settled in and command the rest of the game.
Q. Ryan, these two games you guys got production from a lot of guys. Are you feeling good going home with a commanding lead?
RYAN HANIGAN: Yeah, to get the bats going was huge, there was a lull after we clinched with guys, for whatever reason. But we've been winning games on pitching and defense and it's good to see the bats come alive, top to bottom, really, yesterday and today, different guys contribute and go everyone has been getting hits. That's big especially as the postseason goes on.
Q. Bronson, I think you went with six innings without allowing a runner on base. At that point are you feeling more pressure to do well, or are you satisfied?
BRONSON ARROYO: I think they got the hit in the fifth, but there was already two outs, a no‑hitter in this type of environment is almost impossible to do and it's something you're not thinking about, the win for the ball club is the nirvana, there is nothing else to think about if something else happens crazy like that then it's icing on the cake.
But to get through the fifth inning without having to pitch from the stretch but one time was really big. It allows you to get in your groove, you're not wasting a lot of energy because when guys are on base you're thinking about shutting the running game down, all kinds of things come into play there that don't have to if no one is on base. So to make it through the first five innings without having to deal with a base runner was big.
Q. There were a lot of players from the 2010 team that are still on this team. Can you talk about the experience factor? Back then it was more of a you were happy to be there and seems to be a different attitude.
BRONSON ARROYO: Yeah, you know, we still do have a very young ball club, but I think back in 2010 everybody would ask me, you know, how are you going to try to invoke your experience in playoffs past on this ball club and it's impossible, and I say it all the time it's impossible to tell somebody what it's like to stand on the free‑throw line with no time left on the clock and you've got to hit both to tie and that's what it feels lying in the playoffs.
Our faults in Philly and the no‑hitter that Halladay threw against us in game one all of those things battle tested these guys and gave them a preview of what it feels like to play under a microscope and because of that it made everybody on the ball club better and it gives you an opportunity to play a little more relaxed and not to feel like you're pressing so much.
Q. Dusty talked about this being a for giving ballpark. You pitch differently here? Are there things you can try in this ballpark that you wouldn't in other venues like your home ballpark?
RYAN HANIGAN: I think so. Fly balls got to be hit here, and I think you can use the top of the zone a little more because getting guys up in the air isn't as big of a problem. At the same time, you know, whenever someone asks me that it's hard for me to tell anybody that we're pitching to the ballpark we're pitching to the pitcher's strengths, the hitters' weaknesses, the situation in the game, if the ballpark helps great.
But I think in certain cases, yeah, it does help. You don't have to worry about those deep homers in center and the gaps because it's such a long way and you have to really get it.
Q. Bronson, you threw so many strikes and they kept putting the graphic up in the strike zone and it seemed like everyone was on a line or just inside or just ticking the line. With so many variables in a strike zone and where Ryan might set up, when you get on that roll, what is that feeling like when you can hit the glove as often as you did tonight?
BRONSON ARROYO: It's super comforting, you know? Because the times that you get a little squirrelly out on the mound is when you're 2‑0, 2‑1, you're 3‑1, and you're trying to throw secondary pitches to get back into the count and you can't do it. If you can't throw something off‑speed, throw a sinker down in the zone and get back into the counts it puts you behind the 8‑ball all the time and for me I think the 3‑2 backdoor breaking ball we threw to Blanco early in the game‑set a nice tone for us because you don't always get those pitches, you're trying to pitch to such a small sliver of the outer half of the plate and if you can do that it builds confidence.
Q. Was that a Laredo?
BRONSON ARROYO: It was a drop down backdoor. A lot of times I do that.
RYAN HANIGAN: Named your pitch right there.
BRONSON ARROYO: I usually do that a lot of times early at‑bat.
Q. Ryan, just how different is it to catch Bronson versus other pitchers and secondly, how much do you guys look to him as having been there before and accomplished what he has in his career?
RYAN HANIGAN: Honestly, there is no one like Bronson in terms of the way he pitches I don't think in the game. He does so many different things with his breaking ball, with his fastball, with his change‑up. He drops down with all his pitches, changes speeds, he will throw a lot of what we call "BP speed" pitches. It's hard to sit on stuff, and that's what a lot of big league hitters are doing, sitting on pitches and velocity and you can't ever say, he's a fastball slider guy, he's unique and that's what's tough. If he's throwing strikes and he's commanding his pitches all of 'em, he can throw games like this for sure.
To your second question, I think the pitching staff and all the pitchers for sure look to him. The first thing I would say is is if you just look at how many innings he throws, he never misses a start, how hard he works.
In baseball you're not going to get too many guys that are super rah‑rah leader guys, but he leads by example and in terms of days off going to the yard and getting his workouts in, throughout his career, as long as I've been here and it's a great example for the guys to see the longevity and the ability to pitch whether he feels good or not and that's a huge thing.
If you look at our starters this year, they pitched all five guys all year and you can attribute that to leadership he brings for sure.
Q. Bronson, what's it like to go back knowing that the fan base is going to be fired up with you guys 2‑0, a different feel than 2010 down 0‑2, coming home. What's the team feeling right now?
BRONSON ARROYO: Without question it's going to be a nice, happy flight. We couldn't put ourselves in a better situation, doesn't mean you're going to close it out, but for us personally, I know the fans are going to be as jacked as they have ever been in that ballpark since it has been built, which is going to be nice.
But that being said, we've got to calm it down a little bit and stay the task at hand because we haven't won anything and baseball is a crazy game. We need Homer to keep pressure on these guys in order to not let them get momentum and jump back in the series.
RYAN HANIGAN: Yeah, it's not over yet.