Retirement is just around the corner for San Francisco Giants skipper Bruce Bochy, yet the 64-year-old is still every bit the tactician who has managed a Hall of Fame career over the past 25 years.
Bochy proved as much Tuesday night, tying a major league record by using 13 pitchers in a 7-6, 15-inning victory over the host Boston Red Sox. He employed four pitchers in the 13th inning alone, barked in the dugout when his moves didn't pan out and couldn't help but make jokes postgame as he earned the 1,999th victory of his illustrious career.
"I wanted to get my 10,000 steps in, and I was a little behind," he quipped.
Bochy, who will hang it up at the end of the season, gets his first crack at 2,000 as the Giants revisit the Red Sox for the second contest in a three-game set Wednesday. Right-hander Jeff Samardzija (10-12, 3.72 ERA) gets the nod for San Francisco opposite Boston righty Jhoulys Chacin (3-10, 5.44) leading a bullpen game.
The Giants (73-78) were victorious after 5 hours, 54 minutes Tuesday, the game featuring a major-league-record-tying 24 pitchers used between the two clubs. Bochy's four-man plan while leading by a run in the 13th backfired when Kyle Barraclough issued a bases-loaded walk to prolong the affair, but Alex Dickerson bailed the team out with his game-winning sacrifice fly in the 15th.
Lost in the box score after extra innings was a home run by Giants outfielder Mike Yastrzemski in his first game at the ballpark his grandfather, Carl Yastrzemski, called home throughout his Hall of Fame career. The elder "Yaz" is expected to be in the stands for Wednesday's contest to continue the warm welcome his grandson received in Boston.
"That's one of those things where you take a second and understand what's going on and appreciate the moment and not take it for granted," Mike Yastrzemski said. "Keep your head up and soak it in. You don't usually get a standing ovation from the opposing fans."
For the Red Sox (79-71), the pace of Tuesday's game was all too familiar, their 16th contest lasting over four hours this season to tie their own record set just two years ago. A poor start, good pitching from the bullpen in the middle and missed opportunities throughout might have brought deja vu for manager Alex Cora.
"If you could sum up our season in six hours, right there. Honestly," Cora said. "It's been like that the whole season, that's how I felt."
The defending champs moved within three games of postseason elimination. On top of the defeat, slugger J.D. Martinez exited with left groin tightness and is day-to-day, while his replacement in the sixth inning, Sam Travis, will be checked for a concussion after he was hit by the ball on the throw in after he tripled.
Mookie Betts remains sidelined due to left foot inflammation.
Samardzija, who will face Boston for the first time since 2015, is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA in four career starts against the Red Sox. He took the loss his last time out, allowing four runs over 6 1/3 innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday.
Chacin remains unscored upon through his 5 2/3 innings across three appearances with the Red Sox. He has had plenty of success against San Francisco in his career, going 9-7 with a 3.06 ERA in 23 meetings (22 starts).
--Field Level Media
Bochy pursues 2,000th win as Giants face Red Sox
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