10/19/10 8:30 PM ET
Postgame interview with Bruce Bochy
By / MLB.com
Q. You've watched Matt Cain pitch all year long. How would you rate today's game for Cain?
BRUCE BOCHY: It's got to be right up there with one of his best. He worked pretty hard. Pitch count got up there. But he can log some pitches. I mean, what a great job he did.
He had his pitch working for him, just stayed in control out there. And that last inning, that was his last hitter there, and found a way to get a big out for there for us.
Great effort by him. We needed it because Hamels was throwing the ball well, too.
Q. Before Cain pitched to Victorino, you went out and talked to him. Why did you go out and what did you say to him?
BRUCE BOCHY: Really more than anything just check on him, see where he's at. He was fine. There was no doubt I wanted to keep him out there. But you have to check on him, because he's getting up there with pitches. That's all I was doing. And he had that look. He was great. So he stayed out there.
Q. Bruce, you made the moves and Renteria gets a hit, gives you the first run. Later on, Rowand gets a double. Anything -- you feel good when that happens when you've made that selection?
BRUCE BOCHY: You feel good for them. I mean, they're pros. And they've done a great job of setting aside their ego, because we have tried to get our matchups, and we've got guys that are used to being out there every day. And with Edgar, the injuries have hurt him.
But with Aaron, kept himself ready and gets a start today, gets a big hit, scores a run. Edgar got us going, because at that time we're getting no hitting and you got the big base hit to get the rally going there for us.
So I feel good for them. And they've been a big part of this, and to get them out there and win the game and have them contribute the way they did, I feel good for them.
Q. Did you have any hunches at all or was this sort of -- any hunches or, quote, we have to do something?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, I talked about this earlier. I know Andres was struggling. So I told Aaron be ready. He was going to be out there today. And with the left-hander going, Edgar was going to play today. So just a matter of how we worked the order. Just tweak the order a little bit. And with Torres out, Edgar was our best option to lead off, and he did a nice job there, even his first at-bat.
And this put Huff down in the 6 hole there. But he ended up getting a huge hit for us.
Q. I apologize if you covered this earlier, but at what point last night or this morning or whatever did you finally hammer the whole thing together in terms of who was going to play well and bat where?
BRUCE BOCHY: It was pretty close after the workout. But last night, I sat on it, thought about it, and once I came in today, I knew which way I was going to go. We did discuss it quite a bit.
But once I came to the park today, I had my mind made up which way we were going to go and who was playing and what order.
Q. Intangibles are so important in baseball. You beat two of their three aces. What does that do to the confidence level going into Game 4?
BRUCE BOCHY: Well, no question it does a lot for the confidence for the club. And, really, the only way you beat good pitching is you've got to pitch well, too. And our guys are doing that. And we know how good their staff is, their whole ballclub, and it was a good ballgame, tight game.
No question, there's a sense of confidence when you're going against such a great team and outstanding pitching. You find a way to win ballgames. It does a lot for them.
Q. You talk about confidence. How much confidence do you have in Javier Lopez and Brian Wilson, especially Lopez?
BRUCE BOCHY: He's done a great job since we've gotten him. At that time we were hurting for left-handed pitching, with Affeldt down, Runzler down, so Sabes, Brian did a great job of finding a great way to get a left-hander. This guy, since we got him, has done a terrific job. Nice to have a left-hander down there late in the ballgame.
We have a couple to help us out here. But he's certainly been a shot in the arm for this club. Not just in the playoffs, but getting here. And we worked him pretty hard there early and he's just been terrific.
Q. As specifically as possible what have you learned about Cody Ross these last two weeks that you didn't know before the last two weeks?
BRUCE BOCHY: The guys use this term a lot, a gamer. That's what he is. He gives you everything he's got. He plays hard. But he's a talent. I mean, he can hit. He plays both sides of the ball very well. And I saw him from the other side. I've always respected him the bats he gives you, he's dangerous up there.
But he plays with no fear, that's what you love about the guy.
Q. You talked about the confidence. How does it feel confidence-wise to be going into two more games in your ballpark with a 2-1 lead in the series?
BRUCE BOCHY: I mean, it's a 2-1 lead, that's what it is. We have a lot of baseball left. And we're playing a great team, and we've got to come out here, play our best ball. We're going to win. We know it.
Second game, we made some mistakes there, and it cost us. But it's good to be home, no question. But there's a lot of work to be done. We know it. We just come out here tomorrow and give it everything we've got and see what happens.
Q. Tomorrow what does the lineup look like for tomorrow?
BRUCE BOCHY: I don't know. Once this is over, I'll go in there and think about it and discuss it. But right now I couldn't give you the lineup.
Postgame interview with Matt Cain
Q. Bochy came out to talk to you before you pitched to Victorino at the end. Seemed like an important moment. What did he say to you? What was going on?
MATT CAIN: Just asking how I was feeling, just kind of instilling that he had confidence in me. It didn't sound like he wanted to take me out of the game, but he was trying to -- we've got confidence in you, make your pitches and we can get this guy out.
Q. I asked Bruce about managing and he made all the right moves and Aaron came in today and Renteria. The group of ballplayers, do you guys respond to what he says? I mean, managing is so tricky. I'm just wondering what the feeling is about Bruce in there.
MATT CAIN: It's great. That's the reason that he has the job. He does a great job of getting the right guys in at the right time. And we respect anything that he does.
Q. Right before the start of the fourth inning, it was right after -- it was the previous inning, Victorino got a hit. I saw the umpires talking to you along the baseline, what was that about?
MATT CAIN: Just asking a couple of questions about if I was set and the right situation, stuff like that.
Q. You probably know that starting lineup at the Phillies came in with pretty good numbers against you and a couple of those guys really good numbers. What was different today with your pitching against them specifically?
MATT CAIN: Just trying to focus on making my pitches and getting in the pitching counts where I'm ahead and trying to make them a little more defensive. That was my goal today. And that's what we just kept trying to do from the start to the end.
Q. Following up on that, Chase Utley in particular has had really good numbers against you in his career. Seemed like you threw him a lot of change-ups today. Was there a thought process behind that and why was it so successful?
MATT CAIN: Just trying to keep the ball down. Once you elevate the ball to any of the power hitters is usually when they take advantage of you. That's where he's taken advantage of me before. So I was just trying to keep the ball down to him.
Q. How do you compare this game to the other good games you have pitched, especially the last couple of years in this park?
MATT CAIN: Just in general, all the games I've pitched.
Q. How you compare this game to the games you've pitched, right up there?
MATT CAIN: I would say this has probably got to be -- this has got to be the top one, really, to be able to pitch in the postseason is great and to be able to go out there and throw the ball, throw the ball well and help your team win, you know, is a great feeling.
Q. Having already thrown in the postseason once this year, were your emotions a little more subdued at the beginning of this game?
MATT CAIN: Yeah, I think they were. With going through all the introductions and all that stuff, I think you kind of get used to it a little bit, because sometimes you get your nerves going, your routine is a little different. We've been through a couple of the introductions and having the postseason start before, throwing against the braves, I think definitely using that experience today was definitely very helpful.
Q. Sometimes you hear guys say you just have to treat it as another game. Is it just another game in a postseason?
MATT CAIN: You like to try to think of it that way. But it's not. There's a lot more pressure on you. But you find your ways to think of little things, whatever it is to be able to think of it as another pitch or another starting day, just go out there and stay to your plan and try to stay to your strengths.
Q. So much was made of Halladay, Oswalt and Hamels coming into this series, did you guys feel any bit slighted at all just knowing how well you as a staff have pitched over the past six weeks?
MATT CAIN: No, we knew this was going to be -- and we still feel like it's going to be a close matchup every day we go out there and pitch against these guys. So we're just taking that one game. We'll come out there tomorrow and do the same thing.
Q. As somebody who has been here longer than anybody else at what point did you start thinking maybe this team had a chance to be what they're doing now?
MATT CAIN: You know, we felt confident with ourselves in spring. We had a great spring. We came out of spring hot. We felt we hit a bump in the road. When we started hitting bumps in the road we came out of those quicker than we used to, I think that's when we started noticing that we were a team that was going to do things right for the season.
Q. Along the same lines, with the Phillies rotation, this is seven quality starts in a row for you guys. Do you think you sort of made a point? And did you have that sort of in mind coming into the postseason?
MATT CAIN: Well, that's our goal to go out there every time, all of us, as a rotation, want to go out there and stay in the game as long as possible. And our biggest thing is to be able to stay in the game seventh, eighth inning, try to get wins, especially playing in this ballpark sometimes you've got to stick around to get those extra wins.
Q. Charlie Manuel said in the past when you've pitched against the Phillies you often maybe got too aggressive with your fastball, and you avoided that today. When you were looking back on past starts against them and getting ready for today, was that a conscious decision to get away from that?
MATT CAIN: You know, not really. I mean, I'm a guy that's usually going to throw a lot of fastballs. But I think the biggest thing was really making sure the location was better than the previous times. I think that's really the main goal today was to go out there and try to keep the ball closer to the knees and stay at the bottom of the strike zone.
Postgame interview with Cody Ross
Q. Could you take us through that fourth inning at-bat, what happened and how it happened?
CODY ROSS: Well, first off, Renteria did a great job by starting us off. And Burrell came up and had a big at-bat and drew a walk. And I was just trying to stay calm and got a pitch that probably wasn't very good pitch to hit but ended up getting some good wood on it, and luckily it got enough and it went out in the outfield and we pushed one across.
Q. Wondering if you could take us through this week, especially this first home game of the NLCS where you do so well in Philly but you come home, you've got people chanting your name the same way usually they go Reggie or Barry or somebody like that.
CODY ROSS: It's an easy name to chant; that's probably why. It's two syllables. Don't start comparing me to those guys. But it's just been an unbelievable experience for me so far.
A month and a half, two months ago I didn't dream I'd be in a situation, and you know the Giants were awesome to bring me over here and it's just been a great ride so far.
And it's nothing I can really explain with words.
Q. Can you remember the last time you felt this locked in at the plate, and how is it different than usual? Like you just feel like you were able to hit any pitch anywhere? How is it different?
CODY ROSS: I don't really recall the last time I felt as good as I do. I tinkered with a little stuff in the cage, and this and that.
But for the most part, it's about confidence, going up there and knowing you're going to get the job done or do something to help your team. If you go up there and you're thinking about something else or don't have that confidence, chances are you're probably not going to get anything done.
So I think for the most part it's just going up there with the thought process that you know that you're going to do it in that particular moment.
Q. With Matt on the mound, what does it mean scoring that first run?
CODY ROSS: This guy, he's incredible to do what he did today against their lineup going eight shutout, he got himself in a couple of jams and worked his way out of it and that's what you want when you're coming back home off a split, you want a guy like Cain who has no fear and go out there and do what he did. Don't take anything away from Cole. He threw amazing as well. He was hitting his spots and throwing well, and we just -- we got lucky and scored a couple of runs early.
And Matt held them for the remainder. And our bullpen came in, did an outstanding job.
Q. A lot of the Philly players have stated over and over that this is what they expect of you, and pretty glad you're not with the Marlins anymore. Is this a tribute to you being so calm and confident because you kind of know what to expect?
CODY ROSS: I think so. It is nice to play against teams that you have played against for years with the Braves and then with these guys. It gives you a sense of comfort knowing that you faced these guys in the past and you're not going up there, you know, blind per se.
So I'm trying to help the guys out as much as I can with scouting reports or tendencies that pitchers have. But, yeah, it's nice to be in that situation.
Q. Cole tipped his hat to you, said most guys can't get that ball up over the third basemen's head; they either let the pitch go or hit it to a third baseman. The phrase was normal guys don't hit -- do you feel not normal right now? What does it feel like to feel the way you're feeling?
CODY ROSS: To be honest with you, there's no feeling. When you go out there you don't really have any sort of feeling. You go up there and try to do your job. And he's right, it was probably a pitch that I probably shouldn't have swung out. It was down and away and somehow I hucked it down the line.
But that's what happens when you're swinging the bat well or feeling good. Good stuff happens. And that goes back to the confidence thing of knowing that you're going to try to get the job -- knowing you're getting the job done.
Like I said, he's really good today. He was at good as I've seen him in a long time.
Q. Do you think about? Did you think about letting the pitch go?
CODY ROSS: No. You don't have that long to think about it.
Q. When you came over here and it was a straight waiver claim, trade anybody for you, what do you think about that? Like when your teach just lets you go and gets nothing in return, what does that do for you?
CODY ROSS: I don't want to dwell on it, but it's not a very good feeling. When I found out the way it went down, I was pretty upset, actually, to be honest with you.
My emotions were so high at that point. I started off feeling really sad that I was leaving my buddies there, then realizing where I was coming and the opportunity that I was going to have to get a chance to get to the postseason. And then hearing that they gave me away for nothing was -- it didn't settle with me very well. But let bygones be bygones I'm in a way better place.
Q. Do you still want to be a rodeo clown?
CODY ROSS: No. I gave those dreams up about 10, 20 years ago.
Q. Do you think -- I know you don't want to dwell on that at all -- do you think that inspired you in any way having the Marlins let you go and what do you think about all this now?
CODY ROSS: Yeah, it's definitely inspired me. I'll never say a bad thing about the Marlins. I had a great experience there. They gave me a chance to play and actually be in this position right now. It was a fun time I had over there. But I'm absolutely glad to be here now and move forward now and hopefully stay here for a long period of time as well.
Q. You've been batting eighth throughout the postseason, come in and you're in the No. 5 spot. Is that more of a comfort zone to you, does it change things at all for you?
CODY ROSS: Doesn't change anything for me. I mean, I don't care where I hit in the lineup as long as I'm in the lineup. That's kind of the way I've always been. Through my whole career, from the Minor Leagues on, I've hit 1 through 8. So it doesn't matter. It only matters the first few innings and it keeps going around and around.
And it didn't change my approach today that I was hitting fifth as opposed to hitting sixth a day before and eighth a couple days before that. So I stick with the same approach no matter what.
Q. You were saying that you had made a couple of adjustments. I was wondering, can you trace what's going on with you right now to one event, one decision you made?
CODY ROSS: I just was at a point where I was really scuffling early on when I got here, or even before I got here, I just wasn't feeling right. I went back and looked at a bunch of video from years past, and I just opened my stance up a little bit. And exaggerated getting my foot down and getting in a good position to hit. And that allows you to see the ball. When you're not getting your foot down and you're not ready to hit, everything's going a million miles an hour. You're swinging at everything.
So I think I contribute it to that.
Q. I would imagine that for every guy who comes straight up from the Minor Leagues there's probably, two, three, four, ten guys in your position, they bounce from the Triple-A to Majors, go from team to team, maybe they play in a stadium with a thousand people. But they get their break somehow. How sweet is it for you to have all that as a preface to what's happened this week? And have you heard from guys who were in those kinds of positions that say, yeah, yeah, I love it, you're inspiring me?
CODY ROSS: It's kind of crazy the way my career has kind of ended up, starting off with the Tigers and then moving to the Dodgers and the Reds and the Marlins and now I'm here.
I wouldn't change any of that, because I think that's kind of made me the person that I am today. Never give up. Try to play as hard as I can every single day for whether it's in front of a thousand fans or in front of 44,000.
So that's just me and that's who I'll continue to be for the remainder of my career.
Q. The pitch from Oswalt in Game 2 looks like it had no impact on you at all, just as hot before -- as you are (indiscernible) the one that knocked you back, did that have any impact on you?
CODY ROSS: No. I know how Roy pitches. I mean, he's one of those guys that he throws up and in a lot. I didn't take it personal. As a pitcher I know what you're trying to do; you're trying to move guys off the plate and get them to chase sliders away or whatever.
And more than anything, I mean, when you get buzzed up and in, you try to dig in even harder because you know they're going to try to get you away, and I didn't take it personal or anything. That's how the game is played.
Q. I'm sure this doesn't get old at all, but has some of the newness worn off on this just in the day to day being in the caldron of the postseason battle and how are you doing with that day to day?
CODY ROSS: It's been awesome. It's been like -- nothing that I've ever experienced and the biggest grind is being up here answering questions. But obviously the fun part is going out there and playing.
And it's been an unbelievable ride, and hopefully it will keep going. We got a lot of business to take care of still. I mean, we've still got these guys, this is one of the best teams in the league. And we've got to keep that momentum going and not let up, because these guys will come back and bite you if you don't.
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