Jay Bruce at the podium
Before sending the transcript of Jay Bruce’s press conference, two notes:
*Dusty Baker said that Laynce Nix will start Game 2 in left field for Jonny Gomes. Against Roy Oswalt, Nix is 9-for-17 (.529) in his career against Oswalt with three doubles, one triple and two home runs with four RBIs.
*Ryan Hanigan will be behind the plate catching Bronson Arroyo, which he has done most of the regular season.
And now….Jay Bruce.
Q. For most of the time that you’ve been with the Reds all you got to hear is how many games in a row Roy Oswalt beat your team. Now you’ve had success with him lately. Was there something you had to do as a group to knock off that aura of invisibility?
JAY BRUCE: You know what, I don’t think so. I think the bottom line is we’re a different team this year. And the fact that we have an approach that we have figured out that works for us, and that we’re able to execute.
You know, I think numbers have something to do with it too. We faced him, he beat us 20 times. I mean, it was almost, you know, time was on our side, I think, and the numbers were on our side a little bit.
But I think the biggest thing is the execution factor and the fact that we have an approach that works and that works consistently. It’s shown all year that we led the National League in hitting. So I think that that speaks volumes as well.
Q. Your success actually dates back to the year before. Does the same approach, the same reasoning, the same logic apply for ’09?
JAY BRUCE: Asking about Roy? Yeah. It’s sticking with the consistent approach. Consistency in baseball is what makes you successful over a certain period of time, and I think that’s something that we’ve really, really tried to work on, and really tried to practice as a team and as individuals. I think that’s definitely spoken about our success.
Q. Given how Game 1 went, do you like the off day between 1 and 2? Would you have rather gotten right back out there to get back on the field for Game 2? Do you have a preference?
JAY BRUCE: No preference for me. That is the way that MLB wants to do it and it works out the best. The Phillies obviously got to pick the extra day in between. So that’s what they went with, it doesn’t matter to me at all, no.
Q. What was it like last night? Did you guys relive it, rehash it? What’s it been like today that you’ve been together sort of being on the other end of history?
JAY BRUCE: I can only speak for myself, but I just have to chalk it up. I mean, he pitched one of the best games of his life and he did something really, really special. But like I said last night, I’m not taking anything away from Roy, because he is probably the best pitcher in the game, has the best stuff. But we have to look at it as a loss.
We can come back out and tie the series tomorrow. And in the scheme of things, that no hitter means nothing other than we got beat the first game.
Q. How are you going about, again, from the mindset in terms of maybe what you guys are saying to each other, what Dusty is saying to you in terms of being able to come back and rebound from that no hitter against a guy like Oswalt?
JAY BRUCE: In my opinion, there is really nothing to be said as far as the no hitter is concerned. It happened, it’s history now, and we’ve been bouncing back all year. You know, that is the bottom line is we have to bounce back or we’re not going to be here very long. It’s not going to be a very long series.
The Phillies are a tremendous team. They do everything well. They create runs. The pitching is top of the line. But we’re good too. We led the league in hitting and that’s something that we’re proud of, and we’re a good team or else we wouldn’t be here and we have to bounce back.
That is another characteristic of a good team, I believe, too. We have to do that, and continue to focus on tomorrow’s game and forget about yesterday’s game.
Q. It’s Bronson on Friday. He’s got more experience than some of the other pitchers. How much do you lean on him and what is the team’s confidence in him after how Game 1 went?
JAY BRUCE: I think pitching is definitely going to determine the success of our teams, both teams. If they don’t pitch well, they’re not going to be successful. If we don’t pitch well, we’re not going to be successful. But it’s a collective effort, and it’s a 25 man team, and we have the guys here to do it.
You know, the pitcher’s job, in my opinion, is to keep the team in the game. It’s not to throw a no hitter or shut a team out. It’s to keep the team in the game, and that’s what we’re hoping he does. He does a great job of that every year. He’s been doing that since he got in the big leagues and we’re confident in him.
Q. Can you talk about Brook Jacoby and what effect he’s had on you since he’s been with the Reds?
JAY BRUCE: Tell you what, Brook has been great for me. He’s done his job. He works well with each individual. He doesn’t try to do or put a blanket system on everyone. And I think that’s huge. At the end of the day in the Major Leagues you’re coaching and you’re interacting with people. It’s not necessarily all the time teaching mechanics and doing this and doing that. It’s having a relationship with people. He does a great job of that.
Also, he’s consistent in his approach. He has something that he thinks works for everyone, and that’s something that’s shown true this year because we’ve had a successful year hitting.
Like I said, he’s the same guy every day. He’s very positive. He keeps it loose, and he’s there for you. He’s really there for the player, and that is something that is important, too.