Oct. 7 Hunter Pence pregame interview
Q.Is the feeling in the clubhouse before one of these games, maybe even especially after a loss last night, any different than it would be after your typical game in August?
HUNTER PENCE: I think everything is different in the playoffs. There's a lot of emotions. These games are extremely important, extremely intense, and it's a strong desire to win. That's the feeling in the clubhouse.
Q. Does it seem more tense, like now?
HUNTER PENCE: You know, I don't really know I don't think "tense" is the word that I would use at all. I would just say, like I said, it's a strong desire to win is the feeling. We're coming out with everything we've got to win. Our goal is to win the World Series, and to do that we have to win this series. So we have to find a way to get a win. And that's the whole focus and the whole push, is everyone pulling in one direction to win.
Q. What has Brandon Belt shown you over the last month, couple weeks, few days, just coming back from a serious health issue with a concussion?
HUNTER PENCE: Yeah, you know, he really is it's hard to really tell someone how difficult, what he has done, is. And obviously we don't know the extent of what he went through with the concussion. I've never had one. I don't know what his experience was. But to just jump back into the season and come in and swing as well as he's swinging, with that much time off, it's really he's just there's something unique and special about him. And that's why, you know, last year, he was our 3 hole hitter and to start this year he was doing some amazing things. It was really good he was able to play some games before the playoffs and kind of get a little bit of a feel. But even when he came back the first time in New York, he asked to not go down in the Minor Leagues. He had a homer and a double and still had the concussion. He's just really good and he's figured some things out.
Q. The last time around in 2012, you guys were behind in each and every series, and you came back to win. How much does it help having most of the guys around you, the same team, and the experience, in these playoffs?
HUNTER PENCE: All right. So that was a lot. The first question, we came from behind in 2012 in this series in this series we won the first two and then we lost one. Yeah, it's definitely it's just a different year, different everything, different team. Yeah, there's a lot of the same guys, but I think anyone will say that year to year, everything changes. And so with this group, we're just focused on finding a way to win the third game. It's the same thing in 2012. You know, just give every last bit of fight that you have. When you step on the field in a playoff game, there's a unique adrenaline. There's a unique passion, when you love this game and you work 162 games to get here.So that's the case, is we're trying to find a way, anyway we can, to win. And so they are very similar in that regard. But, you know, as it goes, who knows how you get those three wins. Get them anyway you can. And the second question and I'm sorry.
Q. The experience.
HUNTER PENCE: Experience is kind of an ephemeral thing. There's a confidence in knowing you've done it before, understanding of the emotions and the adrenaline. And beyond that, it's about getting it done on the field. If experience was one series, then the same team would win every year because they have the experience of winning it, and that's not the case, as history shows. But there is definitely knowledge and wisdom gained from that. We just have to get out and play the game and win.
Q. When you got here, it was the second trade deadline deal in a row for you, and I'm sure you were optimistic, but could you have imagined it to work out so well as it has in terms of it being a fit for you and your personality and your goals?
HUNTER PENCE: When I first was traded over? Obviously when I got traded over, there's a lot of emotions, because, you know, when I was in Philly, I was sent to win a World Series, and we didn't do it the year before. You somewhat feel like the game was put on you because we weren't winning the next year. But I was coming to a team that was in a race, and I was extremely optimistic about that. So the opportunity to be in a race and to prove that you can be a part of a team that can win, you know, it was a dream. It was the vision when I came over here. When I got traded, our goal was to win the playoffs and get to the World Series. Yeah, I definitely felt like that's why I was here. You know, the fit yeah, I definitely didn't know what San Francisco had in store. And it's definitely a really fun city. The fan base is incredible. So I think that was somewhat of a surprise, is kind of how my personality with the city vibe and the team and the organization. I learned a lot from the people who run this organization. They are really special people. So I really felt at home.
Q. With Vogy on the hill tonight, he's so intense on game day, when he gets to the playoffs, is that something that could get in the way of his performance?
HUNTER PENCE: You know, I think if you know the makeup of Vogy and you're around him, you're not surprised of his track record in the post season. You ask if it gets in the way. Look at what he's done in the post season and that answers that question for you. I think he elevates his game. His focus and his intensity and his passion; hard work pays off, and those things aren't accidents.
Q. What does it say about the Giants and the way they are drafting, the way they are prepping guys at every level of the Minor League system, that so many guys on this squad are homegrown Giants?
HUNTER PENCE: Yeah, you know, they really do have a unique system here. They find a way there's all sorts of from within, if you see the personalities and the talent, and even like the unique trades they are able to make, they have a really good understanding of the game of baseball and character. Honestly from playing and being a part of it, you realize how good they are out there. Definitely this organization is run extremely well and by extremely intelligent people, and it's not I feel like it's a collective effort and a lot of people having a lot of trust in each other. You know, I don't know, per se sometimes when I see Sabean, I ask him, like you're one special guy, you're going to have to teach me this one day. He's done some amazing things. He's got a lot of passion. And there's just a lot of people that care, extremely they care a lot. And you can see that. And the moves that they make and the passion that they put on the team, it's pretty special.
Q. When the games get really big like this and there might be a tendency to get a little too jacked up, how important it Bochy's presence and Bochy's demeanor just in terms of keeping everything on an even keel?
HUNTER PENCE: Bochy's demeanor is extremely important. I think you can't really measure that, but if your leader is a rock as solid as Bochy is, if your leader is as sharp as he is, it leaks into the team. We believe in him and we have faith, and I think a lot can be said for faith. If there's any bit of doubt or any bit of panic or lack thereof of those things, it also leaks into the team room. Definitely Bochy has been through these things and has made it as far as he has so many times, like I said about Vogelsong, it's not an accident. He knows what he's doing. And we see that and we feel that. It is important. It's very important.
Q. What was it like meeting Daniel Bryan yesterday and what does the "Yes" thing mean to you?
HUNTER PENCE: It was pretty special. You know, I became a WWE fan because of him. I never really watched it that much, and honestly I didn't even know that the yes movement was I didn't know it from wrestling. I knew it from the Rose Bowl celebration of Michigan State, and through that I found out about Daniel Bryan and became a big fan of his. So to meet him and have him show up was it's tough to describe with words, but he was really just a kind person. We were really thrilled to have him, and he really fired us up. It was a moment I won't ever forget.
Q. I remember at some point this season when Gregor was struggling a little bit and then he got out of it a little bit, I remember him telling me that you were instrumental and you pumped him up to keep his head in it and to keep positive. Have you had any conversations with him in the last day or so in the same vein?
HUNTER PENCE: No, I haven't, as far as little conversations about this series. But now that you said that, maybe I'll go talk to him.(Laughter.) We always talk and we talk every day, but sometimes it's good to always be there for him. I remember actually Blanco, I think last year, whenever I was having a really tough stint, he picked me up in a major way. He said, "You don't look like you're having fun, and I know that you love this game more than anyone." He says, "Just go out there and have fun." Having him backing me like that and not putting so much pressure on the results and remembering that, you know, how much we love this game, just that. He's helped me, as well, and hopefully I'll go say something for him today.