NLDS Game One Postgame: Bruce Bochy
Bruce Bochy

Posted Oct 3, 2006


Bases loaded. The San Diego Padres down by four. Mark Bellhorn steps to the plate? Manager Bruce Bochy defends the decision.

Bruce, first of all, wonder if you could comment on what you thought of Jake today and what went into your decision to be the game one starter.

Bruce Bochy: Well, Jake threw well early, and there weren't any give-ups and runs. Started giving up the ball a little bit. Made some mistakes. I thought he threw better than what the numbers showed. He gave up the homerun. But, you know, they got some balls they put in play that fell in there, but he just started getting the ball up a little bit. As far as him going, he's our guy. He started the first game last year. It was his turn. He was normal rest, and, you know, this is the guy that leads our staff. And that's why he went today.

Two things. Was Jake okay? The TV kept showing that he might have done something with his finger.

Bruce Bochy: He had a little flaking there on the finger. It was not a blister. He was fine. Just had a little bit of skin that started to come off there. But he said it wasn't a problem at all.

And on the play that Mike doesn't make, the foul pop for the homerun, as a catcher, how tough is that play? Is it tougher here than it is on daytime to see a ball like that?

Bruce Bochy: It's not an easy play. It's right at the backstop. Mike hit the backstop. Seemed like that threw him off a little bit. And you know, it's not an easy play for a catcher when you're trying to catch a ball there. The wind was wreaking havoc up there a little bit, brought it back more than he thought. So you're hoping that doesn't hurt you, but end up getting the ball up there, and Pujols got a hold of it.

Bruce, Carpenter, just a few words on him. You had particularly one chance that inning. You picked up the two base hits. He went 3-2 on everybody, but seemed like that curve ball that he had, that it was his outpitch, it was just hellacious.

Bruce Bochy: He had good stuff here today. He threw well. We had our chances. That's why the guy won the Cy Young last year, a chance this year. And he's a tough pitcher. We knew we had to work it out going against him. He made pitches when he had to. But we did have some chances today. We just couldn't get the big hit to put a crooked number there on the board. But that's why he is as good as he is. He pitches well in traffic and he did tonight.

Bruce, Jim Edmonds is kind of an X factor player and he's been out of the lineup. No one was really sure what he was capable of, got a couple of hits today. What kind of difference does he make, having him in the four spot?

Bruce Bochy: That's one of their guys. Have him back in the lineup, it's huge for them. But he's a tremendous center fielder. He's a great hitter. You know, they are back to full strength, having their center fielder and shortstop back. That's the guy that is going to be hitting in the heart of their order. He's a tough foul too. We talk about Pujols, but it's a good lineup. With Edmonds in it, it makes them that much better.

You and Jake had talked about how dangerous Pujols is. What are your thoughts now just going forward, how to face him, how to handle him?

Bruce Bochy: Well, my thoughts haven't changed. You know, you make a mistake and now you're probably going to pay for it. And made some good pitches out at bat. And then you just got one pitch up there, and, I mean, that's how good he is. He didn't miss it. But you're talking one of the best hitters in the game. I mean ever in the game. That's how good he is. And we know that. But that's the situation where we're trying to get him out and he got a mistake there. You know, it's tough when the guy gets another chance, which he did, but that's a tough play for Mike there.

Bruce, excuse me. Without Carp as their starting pitcher, the Cardinals had a losing record. What do you see making them a winning team?

Bruce Bochy: No question it makes them a different team. I mean, the guy is a horse, and he's one of the best pitchers in the game, and you know, it paid off for them not pitching that last game in St. Louis. When you're going against Carpenter, you know you have your work cut out. This guy, he's got great stuff. He has forward pitches, throws hard, a big guy that can log a lot of pitches, too. He's been through it, and we had our guy going. And Carpenter pitched great. Jake just, he got out of rhythm there in the middle innings and it cost him.

Bruce, Bellhorn in the seventh, he hasn't had one at bat in three weeks. Was he the obvious choice in your mind?

Bruce Bochy: He's one of our right-handed bats coming off the bench. And he hasn't played a lot but he's a dangerous hitter. We still have a lot of faith in Bellhorn and he's the guy that can hit the ball out of the ballpark. He has a great eye up there. We're facing a left-hander that's got a pretty good breaking ball. But we had a couple options. But, you know, I decided to go with Bellhorn. And it didn't work out.

Bruce, what are the chances of David Wells on the mound tomorrow to even the score, especially the way he pitched Sunday in Arizona?

Bruce Bochy: We have a day off then he'll go. We have to regroup. We've been resilient all year. That's the way we have to be now. I mean, this is one game and we got beat. I mean, it's the bottom line today, and we gotta put this behind us and come out and keep grinding. That's all you can do at this point.


Related Stories
NLDS Pre-Game One: Bruce Bochy Interview
 -by MadFriars.com  Oct 2, 2006
NLDS Pre-game two interview: Bruce Bochy
 -by MadFriars.com  Oct 5, 2006
Bochy and Padres down 0-2
 -by MadFriars.com  Oct 5, 2006

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