Bruce Bochy On Winning The World Series: “This Is What You Dream About”

The San Francisco Giants defied all odds this season and beat the Texas Rangers to claim their first World Series title since 1954, and first since moving from New York. What makes this so impressive is that the Padres were on top of the division for almost the entire season and the Giants were able to persevere to claim the NL West division title on the last day of the season and sneak into the playoffs by the ‘skin of their teeth’. What caught my attention was the way that their young pitching staff stepped onto the mound each and every night and dominated the games.  In the World Series alone,  Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain,  and Madison Bumgarner went 4-1, only to give up 5 runs (all by Lincecum) the entire series and held a potent Rangers lineup to hitting just .154.  Their approach to the playoffs was simple, keep pitching great and score enough runs, which they did. Throughout the season, the club was 69-12 when scoring at least four runs, and 80-24 when totaling three runs or more.  But if the club is going to defend its title, injecting more offense into the equation this offseason must be their top priority. Bruce Bochy joined KNBR in San Francisco to talk about what he thought about Game 5 with Cliff Lee taking on Tim Lincecum, the notion that his lineup was ever-changing even until the last day of the regular season, and what it was like to hold the World Series trophy for the first time.

What he thought about Game 5 with Cliff Lee taking on Tim Lincecum:

“Well we knew going into that game that Lee wasn’t going to be like the first time around and really I give my hitters a lot of credit because that was kind of their mentality, they went into all these games throughout the playoffs including Atlanta and Philly, you know what these guys are good. They are probably going to throw a good ball game, but we have a guy that is pretty good too. If we can figure out a way to score some runs we will win this ball game.  With Timmy, I could tell in the 1st inning, but really when he went out there, he had a look like, I am going to take care of business here and enough is enough. We are going to win this thing.  I just liked what I saw from him and in the first inning, I knew that we was at the top of his game, but at the same time I knew that Lee was a different guy and he was determined to be a different pitcher that day.  So at that point it was going to be a coin flip.  Who is going to break first?  But we ended up getting the home run, but I thought our guys had gotten some pretty good at-bats off of Lee even though he was at the top of the game, so we were battling pretty good out there.”

On the notion that his lineup was ever-changing even until the last day of the regular season:

“Well I’ll be honest, for me, sure it would be nice just to go to the ballpark and know what lineup you’re going to have but with the versatility that we had, I could put guys at any part of the order or play different positions, it made it easier when things weren’t going well.  You know what, we could change it up and anybody could pick him up.  Burrell struggling, we put Schierholtz out there and Ishikawa, they’re getting hits and they did something to contribute in that game.  With Cody Ross, to have a guy that I was comfortable hitting 5th, 7th, 4th, and they weren’t caught into where they were playing and the bought into it and it did make it a lot easier because, you’re right.  We didn’t have a set lineup like the Rangers or the Phillies but these guys knew going to the park they might be hitting 4th, they might be hitting 7th that day but it didn’t affect them, but I think they got used to it because that is how we played all year.”

Whether he would say that Juan Uribe is a ‘fearless’ player:

“He is and he and Edgar are very similar to how they play and that’s play to win. That is used loosely and sometimes a little lightly I think.  There is a difference when you are in the World Series and you have got to perform under pressure and these guys have that ability. They’ve been there and they were confident and relaxed.  They weren’t going to make a mistake because of jitters. These guys wanted to win and you saw how they played defensively and the ground they were covering, they were moving around like 20 year olds. That is how bad they wanted it.”

What it was like to hold the World Series trophy for the first time:

“It is a very emotional time. This is what you dream about and you haven’t reached such a pinnacle and you really can’t believe that its happening and to be on that stage. I have watched it so many times and as a kid, even all my years in baseball you’re looking at somebody else and you do.  You have such a pedestal and you can’t believe that you are up there; things are going through your head. I know when Bill was talking, I was thinking about even my dad and all those people that did so much for me, players, ex-players and things like that. There is a lot going through your head and this is a moment that we all dream about and here we are.  Of course they are really emotional about it, so you are trying to control that…”

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