Johnny Cueto throws 60 pitches in rehab start, close to Giants return


Johnny Cueto throws 60 pitches in rehab start, close to Giants return

Almost nothing can be learned from a rehabbing veteran's box score in the minor leagues. That was reinforced a couple of years ago when a Dodgers A-ball team crushed Giants ace Madison Bumgarner as he tried to get a feel for his signature cutter.

So throw out the five runs that Johnny Cueto was charged with Tuesday night in Modesto. Look only at the number "60," which is how many pitches Cueto threw in his second appearance for the San Jose Giants.

The big-league training staff had hoped to see Cueto get above 55, and he appeared to have another solid night of work as he inched closer to the majors. Cueto gave up four hits, walked one and struck out three.

His next stop will be Triple-A Sacramento for two more starts.

Cueto is lined up to pitch Monday in Sacramento, and Giants manager Bruce Bochy told reporters in Chicago that he should be back in the big leagues around Sept. 8. For over a year, Cueto has targeted the first week of September. 

The right-hander is now nearly 13 months removed from Tommy John surgery and has had no setbacks. He was coming along so smoothly that the Giants discussed taking away one of the rehab starts and getting him back early, although plenty in the organization preferred caution.

[RELATED: Yaz starring for Giants after big-league chance]

The original path was two starts for San Jose and two for Sacramento, and Cueto is halfway through the schedule that'll soon get him back with the Giants.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy wins 2,000th career game in win over Red Sox

Giants manager Bruce Bochy wins 2,000th career game in win over Red Sox

For weeks, Giants manager Bruce Bochy has downplayed the significance of reaching 2,000 wins. He has kept the focus on the day-to-day grind, but the milestone is one that means something to his players, and on Wednesday, they finally got Bochy over the hump. 

The Giants beat the Red Sox 11-3 to make Bochy the 11th manager in MLB history with 2,000 wins. It's an exclusive club and one that shares another common thread. Every manager with at least 2,000 wins is in the Hall of Fame

"It's obvious I've had so much support from everybody," Bochy told NBC Sports Bay Area's Amy Gutierrez after the milestone win. "But it's a number that represents so many people. This is the players, they're part of it. The front office -- Brian Sabean. It's all of us, the coaching staff and the training staff. It's a number associated with me but it should be with everybody."

Bochy has long been a lock for Cooperstown, and it should be a while before anyone else threatens to crash the club. Cleveland's Terry Francona is next on the active wins list but still needs more than 300 to reach 2,000.

Bochy got there with the Giants' 74th win of this year, his final season as a manager. Earlier this year he reached 1,000 wins with the Giants, joining John McGraw as the only managers to pull that off. Bochy already had become the only manager in MLB history to win 900 games with two franchises, having won 951 in San Diego. 

[RELATED: Watch Mike Yastrzemski catch first pitch from Carl]

With their two wins in Boston, the Giants have a chance to check off two more boxes for Bochy. He doesn't talk about milestones, but he doesn't want to go out with a losing season, and the Giants are back within four games of .500 with 10 to play. Bochy also is now two games above .500 (1,049-1,047) as Giants manager as he approaches his final week in charge. 

Watch Giants' Mike Yastrzemski catch first pitch from Carl at Fenway Park

Watch Giants' Mike Yastrzemski catch first pitch from Carl at Fenway Park

A night after hitting a home run at the ballpark his grandfather once called home, Giants rookie outfielder Mike Yastrzemski made another special memory at Fenway Park on Wednesday night.

The 29-year-old caught the ceremonial first pitch ahead of San Francisco's game with the Boston Red Sox from a very special pitcher: his grandfather, Baseball Hall of Famer and Red Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski.

[RELATED: Bochy will be in a league of his own with 2,000 career wins]

The elder Yastrzemski played 3,308 games in 23 seasons with the Red Sox, winning a Most Valuable Player award when he won the Triple Crown in 1967. The younger Yastrzemski made his MLB debut this season, and he hit his 20th home run of his first big league campaign Tuesday night at Fenway.

Mike called that feeling "special," but Wednesday's first pitch just might have topped it.