SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Bruce Bochy’s son might have a locker in the Giants’ major league camp, but don’t accuse the manager of nepotism.
It’s usually not considered a favor to bring a relief pitcher into a bases-loaded, one-out situation.
That’s what the Giants’ manager did Monday, calling on his son, Brett, in the eighth inning. The 25-year-old right-hander made a couple of nervous location mistakes in his first Cactus League appearance this spring while giving up a double and a home run to a pair of White Sox minor leaguers.
The Giants once led 9-0 but Seth Loman’s three-run home run tied the score, and the game ended in a 9-9 tie.
“I put him in a tough spot, but he’s a tough kid,” the elder Bochy said. “He’ll be fine. … The first time out … for these young kids, I don’t pay any attention to it.”
A visit from pitching coach Dave Righetti helped to calm down Brett Bochy, who was the closer at Double-A Richmond last year and uses movement and deception to miss bats. He got a strikeout and a ground ball to end the inning and preserve the tie.
“That’s a tough spot, but you’ve got to be ready for that when you pitch late in games,” Brett Bochy said. “I’m nervous every time out and there’s definitely more the first time.”
Neither father nor son did anything out of the ordinary when the elder Bochy walked to the mound and handed over the baseball. The manager said the previous pitcher, Fabio Castillo, had reached his pitch limit and Brett was the next name on the list.
“Being the first time, I noticed him,” Brett said. “But once I toed the rubber it’s like any other game.”
The pitching wasn’t very good after Sergio Romo threw his inning, as Chris Heston gave up two runs before Castillo began to melt down. All the positives came much earlier in the game on the offensive side.
Andres Torres, playing his first game in a Giants uniform since 2011, lined an RBI single to left field and alertly took second base on the throw home. Torres came out after two at-bats because he’s had a bit of oblique soreness and just began taking swings again from the left side in batting practice earlier Monday. He batted right-handed twice in the game before the White Sox switched to a right-handed pitcher.
Bruce Bochy said Torres should be fine with a bit more rest.
Hector Sanchez (sore shoulder) threw to bases with no issues Monday and is likely to begin catching in games in another two to three days, Bruce Bochy said.
Bruce Bochy still expects Matt Cain to make his next start on Thursday. Cain walked through the clubhouse with no apparent limp a day after he took an Alfonso Soriano line drive off the side of his right knee.
The sight of Hunter Pence frenetically legging out a triple never gets old. Pablo Sandoval continues to look locked in, too. He smoked a double to center field. And Cole Gillespie doubled twice. It's only a couple games, as Bruce Bochy reminded us, but he does like what he's seen thus far from the non-roster outfielder.
The Giants had a chance to win in the bottom of the ninth, but Angel Villalona grounded into a double play with runners at first and second to end it.
No, Buster Posey is not perfect. He dropped a foul pop just a few feet behind home plate. Of course, that’s a bit easier to forgive when he’s standing on a logo that says, “2012 WORLD CHAMPIONS.”