Bruce Bochy Says Hunter Pence’s Speech Before Game Three Fired Up the Giants

October 12, 2012 – 10:00 am by Chris Fedor

The San Francisco Giants were staring at an 0-2 deficit in the NLDS, their offense was struggling big time, Cincinnati looked like the superior team and history was very much against them. However, San Fran was heading to Cincinnati still feeling good about their chances to find a way to move on to the NLCS. Nobody in the National League had ever rallied from an 0-2 deficit and won three straight games on the road in the postseason. Until yesterday. The Giants got a huge grand slam from MVP candidate Buster Posey and despite some nervous moments late, San Francisco escaped with a game five win and they will be moving on to the NLCS to face either Washington or St. Louis.

Bruce Bochy joined KNBR in San Francisco with Mr. T and Byrnes to talk about the excitement after winning the series against the Reds, what he said to the team prior to game three when the team was down in the series 0-2, whether Tim Lincecum will be back in the starting rotation for the NLCS, what it’s like to have a hitter like Buster Posey on his team

On the excitement after winning the series against the Reds:

“I’m trying to catch my breath. It’s great to be a part of history and I couldn’t be prouder of our guys and what they accomplished here to get this done. It wasn’t easy, the first game could’ve gone either way and if we get one hit in nine innings we find a way to win that ballgame. Then today with that 6-0 lead we barely hung on, but our guys made pitches when they had to and it’s just euphoria around here now. This was a great series, these guys have been road warriors all year and they showed it again in this series.”

What he said to the team prior to game three when they were down in the series 0-2:

“I addressed the ball club and just talked about how we could do this. Gave some examples of clubs that have done it, they did it in LA this year. We were behind them and we went in there and swept them. So I gave them a couple of stories about teams that have come back and we have to believe. Kind of went through that. Then Hunter (Pence) got up and he just spoke from the heart. Passionate speech and I’m not sure we knew what he said but how he said it, the gist of it was ‘hey we’re not done, we’re not ready to go home.’ That seemed to really fire up the guys. Tremendous job by him and you love when a player steps up. Sure they hear it from me but to have a teammate step up the way he did and the emotion he did when he was speaking it just charged the whole club up. They played like it and these guys were determined not to go home. We want to keep playing.”

Whether Tim Lincecum will be back in the rotation for the NLCS after coming out of the bullpen against the Reds:

“No I don’t think you’re getting ahead of yourself with the way he is throwing the ball. As you noticed he went from the stretch and I like where his delivery is. I think those two innings when he came through at home really raised his confidence and carried it to the game he pitched here so this is the guy we know and we will have to find a place for him. This guy has too much talent and I know it’s been an up and down year for him but the way he’s throwing the ball now I think we will have to revamp this and find a way to get him in there.”

What it’s like to have a batter like Buster Posey on his side:

“At his age, he’s one of the smartest hitters I’ve seen. He figures out what they’re trying to do. He was upset with himself the first inning because he knew they wanted to pound him and he didn’t quite get that one out, hit that fly ball there but he has the ability to adjust on the fly and he did in his second at-bat. He knew they were coming at him hard, he got the head out and of course hit the big home run for us there. He has such great patience up there, he figures out what they’re trying to do and he is one of those guys, he’s so calm out there. He’s got a plan, we both know how they’re going to pitch him and he will adjust accordingly. At his age he is one of the best two strike hitters I’ve seen and one of the smartest hitters.”

Listen to Bruce Bochy on KNBR in San Francisco here

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