Bruce Bochy Appreciation Week begins Tuesday night when the San Francisco Giants close out the 2019 season -- and Bochy's managerial career -- with a six-game homestand that opens with the first of three against the Colorado Rockies.
Neither the National League West's third-place Giants (75-81) nor fifth-place Rockies (67-89) remains in playoff contention, so the focus of the set can fall entirely on Bochy, who has announced he will retire at the end of this, his 25th season.
Left-hander Madison Bumgarner (9-9, 3.86) is the scheduled starter in both the opener and closer of Bochy Week. The Giants wrap up the season at home against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Fittingly, the Rockies (215 wins) and Dodgers (220) have been Bochy's most popular victims in his 12 seasons with the San Diego Padres and 13 with the Giants.
He begins the week with a 2,001-2,025 career record, including a dead-even 1,050-1,050 slate as Giants manager.
The Giants must win all six remaining games to allow Bochy to avoid a sixth season as their manager with a losing record. He had a losing record in seven of his 12 seasons with the Padres.
But Bochy will be best remembered in both cities as having brought a World Series to town, with the Padres advancing in 1998 and the Giants claiming three championships in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
"You realize it's close now," Bochy told reporters Sunday in Atlanta, where the Giants completed their final road trip of his era with a win. "I've been saying all along, 'Hey, the year's ahead of me,' but we're down to a week now."
Bumgarner still has a personal accomplishment to pursue this week amid the Bochy hoopla. On the heels of 4-9 and 6-7 campaigns, the former World Series Most Valuable Player will be looking to avoid a third straight losing season.
In the Rockies, he will be facing a team he's beaten more than any other in his career, going 16-8 with a 3.21 ERA in 34 starts. He's gone unbeaten against them in his last six head-to-heads, and has dominated them in their last four meetings in San Francisco, going 4-0 while allowing just four runs in 26 innings.
The Rockies are expected to counter with right-hander Jeff Hoffman (2-6, 6.71 ERA), who pitched well in his only previous start in San Francisco in 2017, allowing just two runs in 6 2/3 innings. He did not get a decision in a 4-3 loss.
The 26-year-old has gone 0-0 with a 4.02 ERA in four career games, including two starts, against the Giants.
The Rockies will take the field having lost four of five to fall three games behind San Diego (70-86) in their duel for fourth place in the NL West. They haven't finished last in the West since 2015.
Rockies slugger Nolan Arenado believes his young teammates will benefit from having to battle one of the best in Bumgarner.
"I had trouble doing that my rookie year," he admitted to reporters of dealing with superstar pitchers. "I think it will pay huge dividends down the road."
Colorado hosts Milwaukee for three games to complete the season later this week.
--Field Level Media
Giants aim to close out Bochy's career on high note at home