Bruce glee: Manager Bochy does it again as Giants win World Series
BY CHRIS DE LUCA firstname.lastname@example.org October 29, 2012 12:15AM
San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy celebrates after winning Game 4 of baseball's World Series against the Detroit Tigers Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012, in Detroit. The Giants won 4-3 to win the series. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya )
Updated: November 30, 2012 6:24AM
DETROIT — Bruce Bochy climbed out of the dugout and slowly crossed the first-base line Sunday night.
Watching the 6-3 manager methodically make his way to the mound, it looked like just another pitching change.
Except Bochy was walking to a mound that was crowded with rowdy San Francisco Giants, celebrating the final out of a 4-3, 10-inning victory that completed a sweep of the Detroit Tigers in the 2012 World Series.
This is the second time in three years Bochy has guided the Giants to a World Series title. The former backup catcher rarely shows his emotion, but his smile couldn’t be concealed after this achievement.
And to think, he had been waiting in the wings to manage the Cubs before the Giants could even come calling after the 2006 season.
Bochy was then-general manager Jim Hendry’s backup plan in October 2006 had Lou Piniella said no — a possibility that was looming as the New York Yankees waited on their decision to retain Joe Torre.
It’s hard to say how history would’ve changed had the Giants missed out on Bochy, but he has been able to squeeze the most talent out of a team that didn’t rely on one key player, even if Pablo Sandoval was named the World Series MVP after belting three home runs in Game 1.
‘‘I’m numb,’’ Bochy said. ‘‘I was two years ago, too. It’s so difficult to get here. Every day, someone different did something to win a game.’’
Said Giants general manager Brian Sabean: ‘‘That is the culture the manager has put in here.’’
With the score tied at 3, former Cub Ryan Theriot — installed as the designated hitter for Game 4 — opened the 10th inning with a single off left-hander Phil Coke and went to second on a sacrifice bunt.
One out later, Marco Scutaro hit a soft line drive to center. Theriot got a late jump but easily beat Austin Jackson’s throw to the plate.
Sergio Romo ended it fittingly by getting triple-crown winner Miguel Cabrera on a called third strike, letting the air out of a frigid Comerica Park.
‘‘No doubt about it,’’ manager Jim Leyland said of his Tigers being swept. ‘‘No bad breaks. No flukes. They did better than we did.’’
Just when Tigers fans were willing to turn their backs on their triple-crown winner, Cabrera gave them something to cheer about again — finally. He did something as simple as hit a two-run home run in the third inning.
So what if the wind had to escort it over the wall? The Tigers finally had a lousy lead in the World Series, finally ended 21 innings without scoring a run.
Game 4 brought something this Series had sorely been lacking: drama. There were big home runs, lead changes and something other than boos from the Comerica Park fans.
There were even gasps when Omar Infante suffered a fractured left hand after getting hit by a pitch delivered by Giants reliever Santiago Casilla in the ninth inning.
But in a place they were calling ‘‘Notown’’ before the game, Tigers fans — so giddy after sweeping the Yankees in the American League Championship Series — went home disappointed.
The lead supplied by Cabrera vanished in the sixth, when Buster Posey smacked his own wind-aided two-run shot, this one just inside the left-field foul pole.
Delmon Young tied it at 3 with a solo blast in the sixth, making Comerica a noisy place again.
But the Giants kept coming back with a counterpunch.
‘‘For us to play like we did against this great club, I couldn’t be prouder,’’ Bochy said. ‘‘To win two World Series in the last three years is amazing.’’