Bochy gives son MLB debut in tough spot
Pitcher enters first big league game with bases loaded during rout
SAN FRANCISCO -- The schedule of a Major League manager isn't exactly the most family-friendly, so aside from a handful of his college games, Giants manager Bruce Bochy didn't get to watch son Brett progress from Little Leaguer to MLB Draft pick.
No postgame phone calls or videos were required for father to watch son pitch Saturday night, though.
In the top of the sixth inning, Bruce Bochy made history when he became the first father to hand his son the ball in a Major League game when he brought Brett Bochy in with the bases loaded. With that, the Bochys became the eighth father-son manager-player combo in Major League history.
Entering a 14-0 game isn't how either Bochy envisioned Brett making his debut, but it ensured both would have fond memories of the 17-0 drubbing the Giants were given by the Dodgers.
"It's a little emotional, but at the same time, when he came out there, I said 'I'm sorry to put you in this situation,'" Bruce Bochy said. "You're making your debut in the Major Leagues, and here you've got the bases loaded and a good hitter up there; he's a tough kid and he can handle it."
After all, it's not the first time father inserted son into a bases-loaded situation -- the same thing once happened in a Spring Training game.
"He has a habit of doing that to me, doesn't he?" Brett Bochy joked. "It was awesome getting out there and it was special that he was there for it.
"My adrenaline was rushing and it was a lot of fun out there. It was great that I got to share this moment with him."
That's what mattered most to his dad, though the elder Bochy was having a hard time comprehending what transpired in the sixth inning.
"It's kind of surreal, really," the manager said. "Here's your son, and you're bringing him into the big leagues. It's a moment that -- you're nervous, but at the same time, you're very proud. I was real glad to see him out there."
He saw a little bit of everything, results-wise. Brett Bochy recorded his first career strikeout with a fastball away to Yasiel Puig, though he also gave up his first career walk and first career home run when Scott Van Slyke launched a two-run moonshot deep into the left-field bleachers to give the Dodgers a 17-0 lead.
Bochy and Van Slyke, son of former All-Star Andy Van Slyke, were two of three players in Saturday night's game with Major League genes, along with Dee Gordon, son of Tom Gordon, who scored on Van Slyke's homer. Bochy's final stat line was a pair of earned runs allowed on one hit in 1 1/3 innings. Chris Heston also made his Major League debut in the ninth for the Giants.
"I'm sure he was," said the skipper when asked which Bochy was more nervous. "I was proud, I was. He did fine. He hasn't pitched in quite a while, and this was a tough game to pitch in. They had their hitting shoes on over there. This was a very proud moment for me."
Brett Bochy was just happy to have his dad there to see it.
"He wasn't there to watch me, but he was always available after any game that I threw to be on the call or send video to and give me the feedback that I needed," Bochy said of his father's absences from his childhood games. "That's what made tonight so special. He didn't get to see a lot of my games growing up, and here I am, pitching for him."