Bruce Bochy And His Loathing Of The Free Out
By Bryan Rose
I’ve made no secret that I’m not Bochy’s biggest fan, at least from a managerial standpoint. I like Bruce as a person – he’s really one of the nicest guys in the game, but his inability to deviate from his mindset is a game killer.
The Giants won, so in reality, it’s a moot point – but it shouldn’t be. Bochy’s head thickness, which is only rivaled by its size, refused to give up an out last night when it made complete sense to do so.
Cody Ross led off the bottom of the 12th inning last night with a single up the middle and despite the Giants odd offensive outburst the previous two nights, winning this game was going to take a small ball approach. After Ross reached, Andres Torres (thanks to Bochy’s love affair with double switches) was up and be it on Bochy or Torres, Andres squared around to bunt – the pitch however sailed between his wickets to the backstop allowing Ross to reach second with no outs. Torres then, apparently under direction from Bochy promptly swung away and popped it straight up. Now, I understand the torn opinion on bunting Ross over from first with no outs – some say do it, others don’t. A difference in philosophy, a difference in opinion – I get that. But when you have a runner on second and no outs? With the heart of your lineup coming up? And you….don’t bunt, when your original plan was to bunt him to second? Color me confused.
Had Bochy elected to have Torres bunt over Ross, the Giants would be sitting with a runner on third and one out, Beltran and Sandoval due up. Padres manager Bud Black would have made the choice to walk Beltran (as he did anyway) and Sandoval I’m sure, so the Giants are sitting bases loaded with one out. Yes, the bat is taken out of your two best hitters (Beltran would have been automatically no matter the situation given the runner on) – but the Giants weren’t able to advance Ross over to third until there were two outs in the inning, taking away the sacrifice fly simply because of Bochy’s refusal to move the runner over to third by giving up an out, something he “doesn’t believe in”.
Mark DeRosa came through anyway, smashing a burning line drive off the tip of Orlando Hudson’s glove with two outs – Giants win, but it seems that so many times they win in spite of some really bad baseball decisions.