Giants

Recap of retirement gifts Giants' Bruce Bochy received on farewell tour

Recap of retirement gifts Giants' Bruce Bochy received on farewell tour

SAN FRANCISCO -- At some point next week, Giants manager Bruce Bochy will begin the process of packing up his office of 13 years. The hard part is done. Bullwinkle, a gigantic stuffed elk head that hung in his office for most of this decade, is now living in a local bar.

But Bochy still has plenty to pack, especially after a season-long farewell tour. It's been emotional at times, filled with tributes from longtime friends and touching videos from longtime opponents. It also has been lucrative for a man who loves wine and will officially be off the clock next Monday.  

Perhaps the first sip will come from a bottle Bob Melvin presented during a ceremony in August. Or the one that was left in his office in Atlanta by a visitor who wanted to say thanks. Maybe the first drink will come from the bottle of bourbon Alex Cora sent over last week, or the Sagamore Spirit Rye the Orioles gave Bochy early on. 

There will be plenty of time to get through it all, and plenty of fond memories. Here's a rundown of some of the highlights from the farewell tour: 

--- Reds: The first team to acknowledge Bochy with a pre-game tribute, they hosted the Giants in early May and had David Bell present custom wine glasses, a carafe and a custom bourbon ice chest from a local company. 

--- Orioles: This one stood out a bit and deserves to be remembered simply because the NL team in the region, the Nationals, didn't even acknowledge Bochy's retirement -- no gift, no video, not even an announcement to fans. Perhaps they're still bitter about Jordan Zimmermann. 

When the Giants came back to the area a few weeks later to face the Orioles, a team they rarely see, Brandon Hyde met Bochy and presented the rye and engraved glasses. Hyde is from Santa Rosa. 

"He's somebody I truly admire," Hyde said. "He's a Hall-of-Fame level manager that has done a lot of great things in this game. Really cool to be on the same field as him, and I think he appreciated it. It's the least we could do."

--- Padres: Bochy's former (and future?) employer pulled out all the stops. There was a pregame ceremony led by Padres chairman Ron Fowler and former players Steve Finley, Carlos Hernandez, Mark Sweeney and Andy Ashby and they gave Bochy fishing poles, a custom bottle of wine and a frame full of photos from his time in San Diego. 

The Padres also played an excellent tribute video:

"I appreciate that, I really do," Bochy said. "It's not what I was looking for in my last year but it means something to me."

--- Marlins: Sergio Romo, later traded to the Twins, visited the clubhouse when the Giants were in Miami and gave Bochy a bottle of Don Julio 1942 tequila

"I gave him a token of appreciation for the faith and trust that he had in me for all those years," Romo told MLB.com. "I feel I can count the amount of people that have taken a chance on me in my life on two hands, and he's on that. He's one of those fingers."

Bochy also met privately with Derek Jeter, the Marlins' CEO, and it's said that Jeter presented a nice gift. 

--- Diamondbacks and Rockies: The NL West opponents see Bochy for six series a year, and they clearly got to know him well. Both gave Bochy a chance to do something he loves. 

The Rockies presented a weekend retreat at a Colorado ranch and also gave Bochy the "SF" from their scoreboard. The Diamondbacks gave him an all-expenses-paid trip to Montana to go fly fishing. 

--- Cubs: Team president Theo Epstein, who worked with Bochy in San Diego, joioned Joe Maddon and bench coach Mark Loretta to hand Bochy the No. 15 tile from the scoreboard at Wrigley Field. 

--- Red Sox: They brought a large group out onto the field, including manager Alex Cora, former big league managers Tony La Russa and Ron Roenicke, and executives Brian O'Halloran and Mike Rikard, both of whom worked with Bochy in San Diego. The Red Sox gave him a chair from Fenway that celebrated win No. 2,000:

[RELATED: Bochy, Pablo built father-son relationship]

--- Dodgers: The rivals might have had the best tribute of all. After all, they so respected Bochy that they were willing to show highlights of the Giants winning the World Series: 

Vin Scully narrated a video and Dave Roberts presented Bochy with a signed jersey from Sandy Koufax, one of his favorite players when he was growing up in Florida. Bochy was extremely touched by the whole presentation, but politely declined when Roberts asked him to take the microphone and say a few words to a sellout crowd at Dodger Stadium.

"I was afraid lightning would hit me," Bochy said later, smiling. "There's a Giant talking to a Dodger crowd, there's no way I'm not going to get hit here."

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

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

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.