His 2,000th victory secured, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy won’t have long before he can really take stock of his Hall of Fame career.
Bochy earned the milestone win Wednesday, 11 days before he is expected to go through with his previously announced retirement. Until then, there is still business at hand, as the Giants (74-78) seek a three-game series sweep of the Red Sox in Boston on Thursday afternoon.
Left-hander Madison Bumgarner (9-8, 3.73 ERA) gets the nod for San Francisco in the series finale. Southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez (17-6, 3.64) will take the mound for Boston.
Bochy was understandably emotional after the Giants’ 11-3 victory Wednesday. Chants of his name came down from the Fenway Park crowd, and Red Sox manager Alex Cora and his staff came out from their dugout during the celebration to acknowledge Bochy becoming the 11th skipper in major league history to reach 2,000 career wins.
“I’ve never had that happen before,” Bochy said of the reception. “I had some emotions going through me during that. I’m just really overwhelmed by it, to be honest.
“That was something I won’t forget.”
Cora also acknowledged the moment during his postgame press conference, the second-year manager expressing his appreciation for all Bochy has accomplished over his 25 seasons in the dugout.
“Two-thousand wins at this level, that’s kind of unreal,” Cora said. “I think everyone who gets to this job wishes they could last that long and be able to do what he has done throughout his career.”
Cora’s Red Sox (79-72) have done a 180 from where they were last year, when they won the World Series in the skipper’s debut campaign. With a loss Thursday, Boston would be officially eliminated from postseason contention.
Still, this season has had its bright spots, none more impressive than the play of shortstop Xander Bogaerts and third baseman Rafael Devers. Devers hit a home run Wednesday to join Bogaerts in the 30-homer, 50-double club — the two becoming the first teammates in major league history to reach those numbers in the same season.
“To be able to do that with him feels really special to me,” Devers said through a translator. “We have to continue to play the game together and try to break as many records as possible. It’s pretty special.”
Bumgarner is poised for a positive accomplishment of his own as he enters Thursday’s outing just 4 1/3 innings away from reaching 200 in a year for the first time since 2016. The left-hander gave up two runs over seven innings in a no-decision against the Miami Marlins on Saturday.
Bumgarner has faced the Red Sox twice in his career, going 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA.
Rodriguez, meanwhile, needs to win his final three starts to reach 20 victories in a season for the first time in his career. He also has a shot at 200 innings, entering Thursday at 185 1/3.
Rodriguez took a no-decision in his last start despite striking out 12 and limiting the Philadelphia Phillies to one run over 6 2/3 dominant frames on Saturday. He will face the Giants for the first time.
Following the game, the Giants will travel to Atlanta for the start of a three-game set against the Braves on Friday. The Red Sox will travel to Tampa Bay to kick off a four-game series with the Rays on Friday.
–Field Level Media