Giants

Read Bruce Bochy's emotional farewell speech after final Giants game

Read Bruce Bochy's emotional farewell speech after final Giants game

SAN FRANCISCO — Retiring Giants manager Bruce Bochy always pushed all the right buttons on the way to three World Series championships. It was no surprise that he also had all the right words after his final game.

Bochy gave a long and emotional speech to a sellout crowd at Oracle Park that stayed standing, dozens of former players, and close friends and family. Here’s what he had to say after his final game:

"This is going to be hard here. I never wanted to go out and wear out my welcome. But now I'm afraid I'm wearing out my goodbye with all this stuff. When I made this call to step down, I knew it would be hard. I didn't know it would be this hard. You guys crushed me with your kindness on opening day. It was so unexpected but appreciated. It took me off-guard emotionally because it hit me then that was my first of many lasts. My last opening day, last time in all these ballparks I would come to love, and my last time I would be standing here in your presence in this ballpark. 

"I have struggled getting through this. You've been patient with me for 13 years -- most of you, anyway. Don't stop now, ok. When I came here in 2007, I was wowed by how the ownership group trusted us and supported us on the field here, because baseball is a big business. There's a lot of pressure to win and they never wavered from giving us the resources that we needed. So I thank you for that, all the owners. They let us do our job without interfering or questioning. Larry, you have set a tone and created a culture here that is truly unique in baseball. Thank you for letting me be part of it. Farhan, I thank you for your time this year, and I know with you this club is in good hands. 

"For those who watch car racing or follow it, you know a race is won in the pits, not on the track. I think the same can be said in baseball, so from the likes of Tim Flannery, Dave Righetti, Ron Wotus, Hensley Meulens and my current staff, to Dave Groeschner and his team, I've been blessed with an incredible staff. And Murph, that goes for you, too. I can't tell you how important they have been to what we have achieved. They're the best in the business and they are the unsung heroes. I thank you for your support that allowed me to focus on where I needed to focus on. It's been an honor to have been in the trenches with you. Thank you.

"When I look and see why Giants baseball is so entertaining, it just wouldn't be the same without Jon Miller, Dave Flemming, and of course Kruk and Kuip. In my heart, I know that they are the best broadcast team in baseball. So thank you guys for being fair and being so good with what you do, and all your visits to my office to lighten the mood and make me laugh. Renel, I will miss your booming voice and how you get the crowd going. Amy G., I will miss you in the dugout. 

"When you look back upon your career there are those pivotal moments that blow your mind. There are things you're really thankful for. For example, the las few weeks there have been some stats on the scoreboard and I've seen over 2,000 losses, and I'm thankful I wasn't fired. But seriously, one of those pivotal moments for me was when Brian Sabean brought me up here to manage this club. Brian, I've said this once before and I'll say it again. You are a world-class strategist, you've been a courageous buffer when I needed it, and a critic when I needed it. But most of all I'm proud to call you a friend. And friend, without you I would not have experienced this great city, these great fans, and this storied franchise. I'm just grateful that we got to fight so many battles together and create so many memories together. Thank you for caring about the players, the fans, and about winning. 

"It's no secret you can't win a championship without talented players who love the game and love to compete. I've been blessed to manage some of the best players in the game. I've always looked at players as people first. Fellas, you have taught me to look beyond impossible, to never say die, to never stop believing, and never, never give up on what you're trying to accomplish. When I look at these players I'm just reminded how good I've had it. I think of those nail-biting ninth innings with The Beard on the mound. Brian Wilson, I should thank you for this first (heart) stent. Jeremy Affeldt, you have one, too. I'll also thank Tim Lincecum, The Freak. I think of Matt Cain's perfect game, I think of Pablo Sandoval's three home runs in the World Series, I think of Edgar's home run in Texas. And nobody loved those Buster Hugs more than me. And I think of watching Bum do something I don't think we'll ever see in the game again. Fellas, you've challenged me, you've entertained me with your backwards personalities, and you've had me in awe of your talent. Managing you guys has been one of the greatest joys of my life. Thank you for making me a better manager and a better person.

"This game can be difficult. It’s a long season and you're gone a lot. But I’ve been blessed, I’ve been fortunate to have the love and support from my incredible family. My brothers, Joe and Mark, my sister, our good luck charm in the postseason. You’ve always been there to celebrate our successes. My boys, Greg and Brett, they never complained about the games I missed or the time I missed. Guys, I couldn’t be prouder of the men you’ve become and the wives you chose.

“Then there’s the rock and anchor of our family. Kim has been on this journey for 44 years. Kim, thank you for your unselfishness, your willingness to sacrifice, and being a great partner on this journey. I couldn’t imagine doing this without you. 

“Now if I can speak to the fans for a moment. Without you, there's no baseball. There’s no business, no television, no talk radio, no chance to compete out here. When I think of those years that we didn't come through for you, I apologize for disappointing you. But when I think of our championship years I feel gratitude, because we did it together. It’s so difficult to put into words the impact that you've had on me personally. You guys brought so much love to this team. I can't tell you how many times we walked into this ballpark and your energy transferred to me and these players. You made a difference here. Whether it was in 10, 12, 14 or years when we were trying to get our mojo back, you've always been faithful and behind me. I never took for granted or tired of leaning on that rail and looking up and watching you pack this house. Thank you for making it an incredible journey here. Thank you. 

“Like any kid, my childhood dream was to play this game. Never in my dreams did I think I would be in it for 44 years, and this is what makes this moment so much more difficult. But to manage here with these players, in this city, with you fans, has been one of the greatest blessings in my life. This place has enriched our lives with friendships, experiences and memories beyond what words can express. Maybe i'll just echo the words of the great Lou Gehrig. I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

Gabe Kapler's faith in Hunter Pence, veterans pays off in Giants' win

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Gabe Kapler's faith in Hunter Pence, veterans pays off in Giants' win

Twice a day, every day, Gabe Kapler logs onto Zoom to talk to reporters. You could search and search through those hours of film and you'd have a hard time finding many moments when Kapler was even a little bit negative. 

Ask Kapler about Hunter Pence's massive struggles and he'll say he believes in the track record and the work Pence is putting in behind the scenes. Ask about the slumping Brandons and he'll say the swings are better than the results. Ask why he has so much faith in Tyler Rogers, who has gotten rocked early on this year, and he'll say that the submariner is his Swiss Army Knife and remains a valuable weapon in late innings. 

After Monday night's loss, one in which the Giants flirted with getting no-hit and committed three more errors, Kapler sat down and took all the hard questions, then asked if he could make a statement before his time was up. He talked about how great Austin Slater's batting practice was earlier in the day. 

Kapler has shown tremendous faith in a group whose play on the field often begs for more turnover, and in Tuesday's 7-6 comeback win over the Astros, that faith was rewarded. 

Pence, 2-for-32 at the time, hit a three-run homer in the seventh. Brandon Crawford, hitting just .204 this year, had the game-winning hit in the 10th. Rogers entered with an 11.88 ERA and stranded a runner in scoring position for his first career save. Tyler Heineman, who has taken some heat for three catcher interference calls this season, picked up his own save by gloving a wild breaking ball with the tying run on third. 

"He has expressed confidence and understands that these kinds of things go on in baseball and it's about the process, it's about doing the work and having good approaches," Pence said of Kapler. "I'm really enjoying a lot of work these hitting (coaches) have done and also the support of Kap. It's been really a big lift for me."

While Pence has seen all the highs and lows one can expect in this game, Rogers, a second-year reliever, is dealing with his first real doubt in the big leagues. He pitched well in Triple-A, dominated in a September call-up, and had two camps this year that were so impressive he looked like a potential closer. 

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

But Rogers has had high-profile blowups in the first three weeks of his first full season. After he gave up a game-swinging homer to A.J. Pollock in Los Angeles on Sunday, Kapler approached the reliever. 

"He came to me and was like, 'I haven't lost any confidence in you, you're still one of my guys,'" Rogers said. "That's big when a manager does that. After a couple tough games, to be able to validate his decision tonight to put me back in there was just rewarding for me."

Rogers took the mound the first time the Giants ever dealt with the new extra-innings rule, a game that ended up being an embarrassing loss. The Giants gave up six runs in the top of the 10th that night and Kapler pulled Rogers when he wasn't allowed to, a move he later apologized for. Given another shot, though, he went right back to Rogers. 

"I tell you what, it was good to get another crack at it," Rogers said. 

With George Springer on second, Rogers got a grounder and two strikeouts to pick up his first save. His twin brother, Taylor, has 36 of them in the big leagues, and you can bet at some point Kapler will give his version another shot at closing the gap. 

[RELATED: How Slater's adjustment hints at a breakout with Giants]

There will be nights when Kapler pays dearly for being so loyal. He already has several times this season. But on Tuesday, it all led to perhaps the best win of the year for a team that's proven to be pretty resilient. 

"We've been scoring a lot of runs late," Pence said. "We do have a team mindset of keep fighting, be as scrappy as we can, grit it out and keep going."

Giants takeaways: What you might have missed in 7-6 win vs. Astros

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Giants takeaways: What you might have missed in 7-6 win vs. Astros

BOX SCORE

The Giants' second experience with the new extra-innings rule was considerably better than the first. San Francisco completed a huge comeback in the ninth and held on in the 10th for a 7-6 win over the Astros, bringing the placed runner home in the top half and then stranding him in the bottom of the inning. 

The Giants started the 10th with Wilmer Flores on second and Brandon Crawford brought him home. George Springer started the bottom of the inning on second but Tyler Rogers stranded him on third for his first career save. 

A night after a comeback attempt fell just short in the ninth, the Giants trailed 6-2 after six but tied it up. Hunter Pence hit a huge homer in the seventh and his single pushed the tying run to third in the ninth. Darin Ruf found a hole on the left side, completing the comeback. 

Welcome Home 

Pence started his career in Houston and spends his offseasons there. He even has a coffee shop in the city. It was the perfect spot, then, for Pence to finally get going. 

Gabe Kapler sent him up with two outs in the seventh and Pence lined it the other way, sneaking a three-run shot just over the wall in right as Josh Reddick's jump came up a few inches short. The homer, Pence's first of the year, cut a four-run deficit to one. It was the fourth pinch-hit homer of Pence's career. 

[BALK TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

A (Bad) Record 

When Alex Bregman took Tyler Anderson deep in the fourth, it marked the 15th consecutive game that the Giants had allowed a home run, a franchise record. Three previous Giants teams had allowed a homer in 14 straight. The staff entered the night with 28 home runs allowed, which was tied for the Mariners for second-most in the majors. The Diamondbacks had allowed an astounding 39 homers coming into play Tuesday. 

[RELATED: How Slater's adjustment hints at a breakout with Giants]

More Pitching Issues 

Anderson was good in Denver, but Houston wasn't so kind. The left-hander was charged with four earned in five innings, walking three and striking out two. Most of the damage was done in the second, when the Astros scored three runs on doubles by Martin Maldonado and Reddick. 

Rico Garcia followed Anderson and continued his slide. The hard-throwing right-hander gave up two runs on five hits and was saved from more trouble by a slick double play by Evan Longoria. After starting his Giants career with six scoreless outings, Garcia has allowed five earned in his last three appearances and recorded just five outs.