10/18/10 6:57 PM ET
Workout day interview with Matt Cain
By / MLB.com
Q. Typically, you know, you being a second starter on the Giants, talk about coming into Game 3 here at home and how psyched you are to go against the Phillies at home here.
MATT CAIN: It's definitely exciting to be able to start off these three games at home. It will be fun to be able to get this thing started in front of our home crowd.
Q. What did you learn about pitching in the postseason, in the last start?
MATT CAIN: To really try to take it as a normal start, try to get the same routine in between the start, as normal. And just try to relax and try to almost enjoy it and soak it all in, to try to take the nerves off a little bit.
Q. Did you notice that between innings you stay in the dugout a little longer because the breaks are a little longer? I noticed Timmy did that his first two starts. Is that something Dave told you or something that you figured out standing out there on the mound, it's too long?
MATT CAIN: Yeah, that's something you do on your own. You'd rather sit in the dugout out for maybe 45 seconds or so instead of just standing out there in the middle of the field instead of doing nothing.
Q. The Phillies talked a lot about changing their approach against Sanchez. Do you imagine they stick with that same approach, or they go back or what do you think? They were very clear that they have completely sort of changed the way they went around things.
MATT CAIN: I don't know. I think it just all depends on how I go out there and attack them. If I'm not throwing strikes, you know, they're probably going to try to be patient. If you're attacking the strike zone, you kind of put the pressure on them.
So I think it's always good to kind of get out there and make sure you're throwing strikes and make them get aggressive.
Q. You've had so many games through the years where you've struggled to get run support. How has dealing with the frustration of not getting runs, maybe not getting results that show how well you pitched help you grow as a pitcher?
MATT CAIN: You get used to pitching in tight ballgames like this. Cole is going to go out there, throw the ball well, and you're expecting that to be a tight series and a good pitching matchup. So you get used to pitching in close ballgames and understanding that when the big pressure parts of the game kind of come about.
Q. You've had a long stretch here between starts. What have you been doing? Have you done anything different, because it has been I think ten days.
MATT CAIN: I've thrown a couple bullpens in between and just been focusing on tomorrow. Just really the same routine, just pushing stuff back a bit and maybe repeating a couple things, but just really doing the same routine I've always done between.
Q. Matt, you've put up some decent numbers on the road this year but how much more of a comfort zone, I guess, have you built up pitching here at home over the years?
MATT CAIN: It's obviously nice. You know the ballpark, obviously, and you just feel comfortable always throwing at home maybe a little more than you do sometimes on the road in different places.
But to be able to pitch at home is definitely going to be exciting especially being on the road a couple of days and having the fans excited about the NLCS.
Q. How about day versus night here, do you approach it differently as a pitcher or not?
MATT CAIN: Not really. Some of the hot, hot days, the ball carries a little bit more. But usually on a normal day, the day games here are usually similar to the night games. Maybe a little more hitter favorable but not too much.
Q. The Giants have done a tremendous job developing pitchers like yourself from inside the organization. Can you tell us about the philosophy of the organization, how that's helped you guys become successful and how much of a factor that's been in Buster stepping right in as a rookie?
MATT CAIN: It's been great. When I first got drafted, for a couple of years there it seems like we kept drafting arms and arms and arms, we had a ton of pitchers. And a lot of us are here now. Now we've got some of the hitters as well. And Buster is one of those guys that came up through the system real quick, and for him to be able to kind of lead us through pretty much the whole season has been great.
And he's done a great job of just stepping up and really taking advantage of taking over the catcher spot and really taking and doing a great job of hitting in the 4 hole and really filling in that spot.
Q. When you beat the Dodgers, it was right around the trading deadline as I remember. How much did that do for your confidence as a big game pitcher?
MATT CAIN: I think it did a lot considering I hadn't beat them in forever (laughter). That helped me a ton to kind of get that confidence and pitching against those guys.
Obviously, with the rivalry we've always had, you know with the Dodgers and the Giants, is definitely something uplifting. You think back to different games and maybe one of those games as well when you go into games like this.
Q. Is that something that you've been able to build off of in the pennant drive and also into the playoffs, do you feel?
MATT CAIN: You know, you try to build off the last start all the time. So it's maybe not thinking about that start if it was a little ways back, but you try to think about any other good things you've done throughout the season, use those to your advantage.
Q. You said earlier when you pitch in a lot of tight ballgames you get experience and learn how to do that. What specifically do you learn, do you do differently when you're pitching in a tight game?
MATT CAIN: I think you just learn to maybe slow some of the key situations in the game down. You try to take advantage of taking control of the game when you know you may have guys on base. And counts aren't in your favor or whatever. You just try to figure out ways to slow the game down to get back to the pace that you want it to be at to try to get the momentum back on your side instead of the hitter's advantage.
Q. Does anything change for you if there are changes in the lineup and you have different players behind you defensively, if Pablo versus Mike is at third base or Aaron is out in the outfield as opposed to Andres. Does anything change for you depending who's on defense?
MATT CAIN: No. I think we're all comfortable with anybody playing defense behind us. We're confident in anybody to make the plays behind us. So we're confident no matter what.
Q. You guys went into Philly, got Game 1. Has it been surprising to you at all, so many guys on your team who were first timers to this NLCS, just the way you guys have been able to respond in the playoffs?
MATT CAIN: No, not at all. We feel like we have guys that have stepped up big during the season and they've done the same thing now.
We feel like we've got a group of guys that find ways to get stuff done. And with a couple of guys that we do have that have the experience in the playoffs, they've kind of rubbed off on us that haven't, to try to keep us calm and having fun with it and go out there and just enjoy the whole experience.
Workout day interview with Bruce Bochy
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Bruce Bochy.
Q. Have you gotten anything medical on Uribe? And depending on that news, will it impact what you do with your lineup tomorrow?
BRUCE BOCHY: We have not gotten the results from his MRI. He's just wrapping things up there. He was feeling a little bit better today. But I can answer better once we get the results. Yes, it will impact our lineup. If he's good to go, he'll be out there. So it's just a matter now of waiting to see how he feels and the results from the MRI.
Q. Can you say whether he'll be out there at short or third?
BRUCE BOCHY: I can't answer that right now. I'll talk to the guys as far as the whole lineup. But getting back to Uribe, he will impact how we go. We have a couple of options. We know whether Pablo is at third or Edgar plays short, Uribe at third, or if Juan can't go, you've got Edgar and Pablo.
Q. Bruce, I think everybody's aware, and you are, you talked a little bit about it on TV last night, about moving, making changes in the lineup. And one of them might be Torres. He's having a tough time. Have you made any decision on that?
BRUCE BOCHY: We talked about it last night, earlier today. I'm not prepared to tell you what we're going to do until I talk to the players. I know Andres, he's battling it right now. But we can go with either him or Rowand. And I'll let these two know after workout today.
Q. In terms of the lead off spot, is it possible that you could move Ross up there despite the fact that he's been your main power guy?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, there's a couple of options, yeah. Ross has done it. When Torres wasn't in there, Row's done it. Edgar has done it. So these are things that we're talking about now.
Q. How big of a struggle has Pablo's inability to perform like you wanted him to how much of a bind does that put you in with your lineup in the last couple of months?
BRUCE BOCHY: If you look at what Pablo did last year, he was our No. 3 hitter. So it affected our lineup. And we had to adjust there after his good month of April and started having his ups and downs. So we moved him around a little bit trying to find a comfortable spot for him, including the 8 spot. He's shown moments of coming out of it and has had his struggles. But this kid's been working hard and you're probably going to see him in the lineup here. He's a guy that we need, gives us another threat in there and he can hit, and you're hoping that a couple of days off have settled him down and working on some things in BP, get him back going.
Q. Even against a left hander?
BRUCE BOCHY: Again, depends on Uribe's situation, with the two options we have there. But if Juan is not available, yes, Pablo will be out there.
Q. In your experience managing postseason, what's your general philosophy about making lineup changes in terms of waiting too long or being real quick with them? What has come to be your philosophy about that? Because in a seven game series it's tough to make that call.
BRUCE BOCHY: Really probably doesn't change during the course of the season, the playoffs. I know there's a greater sense of urgency. But at the same time you don't want to send panic with everybody. But there are times when you have to tweak it. You go with the hot hand. Move things around just to shake it up. And we did it during the season, and we'll do it in the playoffs. And like I said, we know Andres, he's scuffling right now a little bit. But it may be time for a change there. But you also have to remember who got you here, who brought you to the dance, and stay with them and hopefully they come around for you.
Q. It was mentioned that Edgar's playing with a completely torn biceps right now. How is he doing from that standpoint?
BRUCE BOCHY: He's doing fine. Actually, he's doing great with that. From what I know, when you have a tear in that bicep, that's the procedure that they use. They just go ahead and just finish tearing it off. There's been some great athletes who had that done and it doesn't affect them. And it's really amazing. He's in no pain or anything. Actually, he's more comfortable now that it went ahead and tore.
Q. Can you just talk about how important Ross has been to you guys in this series?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, Cody, really, down the stretch in September was a real shot in the arm for us. He wasn't getting a lot of playing time, but the time he was getting, he was taking advantage of it and just giving us some nice at bats. Of course, he was hot in the Atlanta series. Helped us win that series. And he's the guy swinging the bat well right now for us. We're facing good pitching, but he is one guy that's getting some good swings off. And so that's what you're hoping. He's a good player. He was a real nice player before we got him. We knew it. And it's worked out great for us and gives us another power bat in the lineup.
Q. When you go through the process of deciding when you're going to change the lineup or do something with the roster, what exactly is the procedure that you like to go through: Who do you like to talk to, when, what order? In some specificity, how do you go about making those choices?
BRUCE BOCHY: Probably do a lot of it at night. You wake up in the middle of the night, things like that. These things are always going through your head. But talk to the staff, get them together, we have meetings. Spend a lot of time with Sabes (Brian Sabean). We talk about the order, guys playing. And just trying to get all the information you can get, see if you're missing something or somebody comes up with a little different idea that you may like better. So I get everybody involved, the whole coaching staff, and then you come up with what you think is your best lineup. Now, at this time, numbers are nice to look at, the stats against certain pitchers, but you also want to go with who is swinging well or who may be struggling. And that comes into play.
Q. You're here largely because of your pitching, and it's pitching largely developed from within the organization. What's the key to your success on that front?
BRUCE BOCHY: I think it has to go all the way back to your scouts and those guys who go out and find the talent that we have, the Lincecums, the Cains, the Sanchezes. And from there it's your player development people that bring them up through your system and make them better players. And I'm thankful for all those guys who brought these good, young arms for us. And it's really amazing when you look. Zito we got as a free agent. But Bumgarner and Sanchez and Cain and Timmy all came through our system and Brian Wilson. So all the credit goes to our scouts and development people.
Q. You took the first game in their house. How much importance are you putting on: You've got three here at home, game tomorrow night, and not letting that happen to your team?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, every game that's how we feel. You know, how important it would be to get that game. I thought the guys really did a nice job the first game there in a hunt style situation, how they handled themselves. And it's an outstanding team. And we got a win. And they battled hard in that game. And now that we're home, it has to continue. I mean, this team's been through it. They've been on the road. They have a great staff. A lineup. You've got to go out there and play your best ball to beat them. And that needs to happen tomorrow night. We know it. And really it's going to come down to who executes the best and gets timely hits. It's pretty simple.
Q. Any concern Matt Cain has been off for almost ten days for this start? What do you expect from him tomorrow night?
BRUCE BOCHY: Matt's been throwing. He's been getting his work in. It's part of the schedule. It's been a while since their guy's thrown, too, so you're on a level playing field there. Just like it was talked about the time off before we started playing. I thought it was pretty impressive how the two teams played that first game despite the time that we had to wait to play that game.
Q. You obviously set this up so Cain would pitch this game tomorrow. Was the greater factor in that giving the Phillies a little different look with Sanchez in the No. 2 spot or the fact that you wanted Cain to pitch in this ballpark?
BRUCE BOCHY: No, it was more to break up our rotation a little bit, instead of right, right, left, left, we wanted to go right, left, right, left. That's what it came down to. We're comfortable with Sanchez whether it's at home or on the road, just like with Matt Cain.
Q. Your switch hitters seemed to hit better from the left side of the plate. Is it harder for you to put together a lineup against a tough left hander like Hamels?
BRUCE BOCHY: A little bit when you look at your switch hitters that have had a little more success from one side. Last year, Torres played against lefties. And this year it's been the opposite for him. But when you have some right handed bats on your bench, makes it a little easier to make that decision when you do tweak the lineup. Whether it's a Rowand or Renteria, the guys have been sitting there.
Q. Assuming Lincecum pitches Game 5, would you consider him, bringing back for an inning, too, in Game 7, if the series gets back there?
BRUCE BOCHY: I'm not going to think about that right now, to be honest. I think we'd consider anything. But that's the last thing on my mind, to be honest.
Q. Also about Lincecum, he didn't seem to be throwing the slider that much in his last game. Do you think the slider had anything to do with his developing the blister?
BRUCE BOCHY: No. A lot's been said about this blister. But it hasn't been an issue at all. He's been out there every start. And, like I said, Sunday, if we wanted to move him up on the three days, he was fine to go. I talked to him. So the blister's a non issue right now.
Q. Is Madison still going to pitch Game 4 regardless no matter what happens tomorrow night?
BRUCE BOCHY: Yeah, he's got Game 4.
THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Bruce.
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