10/11/10 11:51 PM ET
Postgame interview with Bruce Bochy
By / MLB.com
Q. What exactly has Cody Ross meant to your team in September and now in the postseason, obviously? Big hit in opener and two big hits today?
BRUCE BOCHY: Cody, I mean, what a great addition for us, for this ballclub. He plays both sides of the ball so well. And the big hits he's gotten, I mean, Lowe is throwing the ball so well. He made it look easy out there. And Cody hit the home run. Just seemed like he charged up the ballclub, and of course he got another hit. You just look for something to get you going, and he got us going. He's done that down the stretch. He's played so well, that's why we made the change and put him out in right field, and what a great job he's done.
Q. From people in the Bay Area, this is the first chance they've had to see you manage in a postseason setting. From the outside looking in, it seemed you were a little bit more urgent, as managers sometimes are in the postseason. Is that a conscious decision on your part?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, I think if you look at how this series went, it's best out of 5. It becomes a crap shoot. You go to win every game. I brought Wilson in the one game to give us two innings. You know, it was all decks on hand. You know how important every game is. Couple decisions didn't quite work out, but, you know, you're doing all you can to win every game. These guys, their pitching was so tough on us, and we knew these would be tight ballgames. Every pitch, every play, every at bat would count. And that's the way you play the series. To come in here and win two against two really outstanding pitchers, Hudson, who threw great, Lowe, who threw great, and their bullpen, these games could have gone either way. We know it. We got some breaks on some ground balls. We're seeing ground balls that couldn't quite get a double play on. But you take them, and in games like this, that's what it takes.
Q. What do you kind of make of this series as a whole? A lot of big hits, lot of drama, lot of big pitches, lot of errors, it just seemed like it was a packed series in a lot of ways?
BRUCE BOCHY: This series had everything. You know, the errors, we hit one today. That's going to happen. But just the intensity and excitement of the series, it had to be thrilling for the fans. There was never an easy moment for Bobby or myself, because these games could have gone either way. We were fortunate to have come out on top. We know it. We knew we had our hands full with the pitching. We're fortunate to have outstanding pitching, too, and what a job they did. That young kid, Bumgarner, I mean, his first postseason game, and you wouldn't know it the way he handled himself, and that's why I let him hit after we tied the game. He gave up the home run, settled down and pitched great. It was just a great series, I think. If you're a baseball fan, you had to love this series.
Q. Bobby Cox when he was in here had some nice things to say about you. If they couldn't win, he's glad you did. How do you regard him as he leaves the game?
BRUCE BOCHY: You know, it gets emotional for me. I revere this man so much, what he's accomplished in this game. It's going to be strange coming in here and not seeing Bobby on the other side. You know, he took me to my first All Star Game. He's a man I've looked up to, not just how he manages the game, but his team, how professional they are. They're always in uniform. They play the game right. There is no substance to them; they just play baseball. This year's really remarkable what he did. I know how banged up they were all year. Got off to a slow start. Shows you what a genius this man is to get it back on track and to get to the playoffs. He's banged up in the playoffs. These games could have gone either way. I'm going to miss him. I'm going to miss this man, again, because I venerate him so much. Lucky to accomplish even close to half of what he's done.
Q. It's probably safe to say that you have had two of your biggest managerial wins here at this ballpark, and you've been hesitant at times to go back in time with your time with the Padres. But can you talk about that journey?
BRUCE BOCHY: You know what, I did it, you know when we first came in here. I said, Geez, you're talking about Groundhog Day. Even though it's 12 years ago, here we were battling to get to this series. And they beat us in San Diego, had to come back here and had Glavine and Maddux staring at us. Had a break in that game to win that game to go onto the series. It's amazing. Here we are again, and Bobby's on the other side. I sit back, and you know, realize how fortunate I am to be in this position. Win or lose, you're lucky. You go years without getting to this position, but to have the opportunity, you're very thankful, and Bobby retiring, I was thankful I could be here his last series.
Q. Just a little bit more about Bumgarner and how do you go into a game like that with a guy with a very short track record and have the type of confidence that they have in him and have him come through the way he did?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, yeah, we never wavered on our confidence with him. You know, you go back to early August, and it seemed like every series we were saying, you know, this is a big series. I mean, we were battling to get to this point, and he pitched a lot of big games for us. That game in Chicago, that was a huge game. But there are so many, that he went out there and the way he carried himself is beyond his years. He's 21 years old, but you wouldn't know it.
He was on the big stage tonight. He got in some jams there, but, you know what, he kept his poise. Even after McCann hit the home run, I left him in there because of my confidence with him. McCann hits the home run, you wouldn't know it. He came back, threw some great pitches, kept him there and he gave us a chance.
Postgame interview with Cody Ross
Q. Could you go through the home run pitch you hit to break up the no hitter? And then the whatever the pitch from Venters later for the game winning hit?
CODY ROSS: Derek was outstanding tonight. He wasn't making any mistakes. Our game plan going in was to try to get his pitch count up and try to work him and try to get him out of the game early. He wasn't having it. He was going in, pounding the zone and pitched an outstanding game. So after my first at bat, he made me look pretty bad. I just went up there and said I'm going to try to be aggressive and look for something to hit early. And right before that, actually, Edgar Renteria told me: Cody, get your foot down. You're not getting your foot down. And I went and watched my video after my bat. And he was right, I wasn't. So I tried to get it down early, got a pitch I could handle and luckily got some good wood on it.
Q. The pitch said it was 85. Do you know what kind of pitch it was?
CODY ROSS: I'm going to say it was like a slider or maybe a little cutter. But all I saw was just a ball up in the zone, and I just took a swing at it. Like I said, luckily got some good wood on it.
Q. What does this mean to you coming to a team late in the season, not knowing how much you would play, and then getting this opportunity in the postseason and responding the way you have?
CODY ROSS: Yeah, it's been an emotional roller coaster for me. You know, a month and a half ago I didn't think I'd be sitting here talking to you right now. You know, I'm so happy that I'm getting the opportunity to do it. When I got over here, I knew this outfield situation, I knew there were going to be a lot of guys trying to fill in. Bochy was great about trying to get guys in and get playing time. You know, there were a lot of guys that are used to playing every day over here, and we all kind of put our egos aside, and, you know, decided that we had one goal in mind and that was to win. You know, put the personal stats and personal everything aside and let's go for it. I think that's why we're in the position we're at. Obviously, our pitching is outstanding. We only scored a few runs to win the series, but to be able to have a team that there's a lot of new faces around and be able to do what we've done, it just goes to show what kind of team we are.
Q. You had a lot of success against the Braves and you faced them a lot when you were with the Marlins. This is your most memorable moment against them, I'm sure.
CODY ROSS: Oh, absolutely. I mean, I remember when I first came here, I loved coming to this stadium. It was always electric, and a great place to play. You have to take your hat off and give it to the Braves for the outstanding season they had, to be able to be where they're at and battle through a ton of injuries, you know, to do it for Bobby to get to the playoffs. He's one of my favorite managers. Playing against him I got the chance to play against him for five years, but always loved coming in here and when he came to Florida. I would always say hello to him. Not only is Atlanta going to miss him, but the baseball community will.
Q. This is your first celebration of a victory in the postseason. Is this what you anticipated, better, or what?
CODY ROSS: I mean, it doesn't get old (smiling). I can understand why guys that's all they want to do. Doesn't matter what kind of season you have, all you want to do is get to the postseason. I'm so thankful to be able to be here and have the opportunity to go through it, especially with this group of guys. They're an outstanding group, and it's been a fun ride so far.
Q. It seems like once you got here, did you kind of have 24 new best friends, just the closeness of that clubhouse and what it means to get here?
CODY ROSS: Yeah, playing against them for years, that kind of helps. It's not like you're a rookie going to a new team and you see a whole group of new faces. I mean, I knew a lot of the guys coming in. It helped. It helped that I play golf with some of them in the off season. As soon as I got over, I went to every one of the starters and told them I'm glad I don't have to face you guys anymore, because they're filthy, and then obviously I walked around to all the bullpen as well. Obviously that's the reason we're here. These guys are our backbone. They've been outstanding. It was nice. They welcomed me all with open arms and told me they were glad that I was there, and it's been awesome so far.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.