SAN FRANCISCO (CBSLA/AP) — Los Angeles won its franchise-record 106th game, jumping to a 5-0 lead in the first that held up on Will Smith’s two-run homer right after a bases-clearing, three-run double by Corey Seager.
The eventual 9-0 drubbing ended Giant’s manager Bruce Bochy’s tenure as skipper on a sour note.
Bochy bid an emotional farewell following 2 1/2 decades in what is certainly Hall of Fame managerial career. Giants fans remained in their seats long after the game ended to celebrate a man who helped bring this city its only three World Series championships.
“It’s all about Bochy,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said before the game, then paid his respects during a special exchange of the lineups ahead of first pitch.(It was a bad day for tenured managers all around — the Cubs fired Joe Maddon after five years and the Pirates fired Clint Hurdle after nine. Rumors are also swirling that the Phillies are about to can Gabe Kapler after two seasons and the Mets are said to be debating Mickey Callaway’s fate this week. Sunday evening, it was reported that Brad Ausmus was also hanging on by a thread as Angels manager.)
Despite sentimentality for Bochy aside, Roberts absolutely wanted to win this one to put the 2019 Dodgers (106-56) in elite company of their own. They passed the win mark of the 1953 “Boys of Summer” team based in Brooklyn that included Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider and other Hall of Famers.
“I’m going to take a moment to appreciate what we did as an organization. We’re talking about the regular season and all those great teams in Dodgers history,” Roberts said. “It takes a lot to accomplish what we accomplished as a group, as an organization, and there’s a lot to be said for that. So very proud of everyone top to bottom. It’s something that no one can take away from us and it speaks to the character, the work ethic, the talent, just the togetherness of everyone, so very proud.”
The Dodgers finished with the second-best record in the majors behind the 107-win Houston Astros.
Many see an inevitable Dodgers vs .Astros World Series because of how both dominated their respective leagues. But, this being playoff baseball time, anything can happen. And often does.
Chants of “Bochy! Bochy!” greeted him during introductions and son and former Giants pitcher Brett threw out the ceremonial first pitch to his ex-catcher father. Bochy held his grandson in the dugout before the game, too. Fans stood and cheered “Bochy!” again once the final out was made and a postgame ceremony ensued.
Roberts ran back out onto the field to join the celebration of Bochy, with home run king Barry Bonds grabbing the blue Dodgers cap from his pal’s head and tossing it into right field as Roberts became a good-natured punching bag in the rival colors.
The 64-year-old Bochy, who guided the Giants to World Series championships in 2010, ’12 and ’14, waved and tipped his cap from the dugout before the game before doing some stretches against the back of the railing taking it all in as he promised to do from the start of the final week.
Bochy finishes 2003-2029 in 4,032 games as a manager over 25 seasons, the first 12 with San Diego before 13 in San Francisco. He went 1,052-1,054 with the Giants, who wound up 77-85 in his final year and with four more wins than last season.
Lefty Rich Hill worked three scoreless innings allowing one hit in his 13th start of the season for the Dodgers. Dustin May (2-3) pitched a perfect fourth for the win.
A smiling Tim Lincecum was among the dozens of former players on hand for Bochy’s farewell festivities, with groups walking out from center field representing various years. Lincecum, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner with a pair of no-hitters, emerged alone at the very end to huge cheers. He didn’t want to immediately reflect on Bochy, but offered his manager a warm embrace.
The Giants attempted to make the loudest foghorn call the Bay Area has experienced by having fans turn their phones into a foghorn through the ballpark app or on the team’s website.
“We’ll see you at Cooperstown,” Giants CEO Larry Baer said in wishing Bochy well.
Clayton Kershaw pitched the bottom of the fifth in a playoff tuneup, getting one strikeout in a 1-2-3 inning. He pitched in relief for the first time since Sept. 22, 2009.
Madison Bumgarner came up to pinch-hit and lined out to third. It was most-likely Bumgarner’s last appearance in a Giants uniform — the mind boggles at the prospect of the ace lefty possibly signing with lefty-heavy LA.
“It was cool,” Kershaw said. “Once he saw he was not pitching today it was some way to let the fans appreciate what he had done here. It’s a good way to do it, get him there in against the lefty who he’d hit a few home runs against.”
Kershaw tipped his cap to Bochy, and the manager did so back.
Roberts said the Dodgers are still discussing their Division Series rotation.
Dodgers: RHP Joe Kelly, who hadn’t pitched since Sept. 18 because of what the Dodgers called an overall body issue, recorded two outs in the sixth. … LF A.J. Pollock returned to the lineup after sitting out Saturday with a left knee bruise he injured when hit by a pitch during Friday’s 9-2 win. … 3B Justin Turner missed his fifth straight game with back tightness but will get simulated work done during Tuesday’s workout day back home ahead of the Division Series.
CY YOUNG FOR RYU?
Hyun-Jin Ryu ended his season Saturday leading the National League in ERA. Roberts is “lobbying” for his ace, but many see last year’s winner Jacob de Grom of the Mets repeating. Ryu’s ERA was 2.32 vs. de Grom’s 2.43 but the Mets ace led in strikeouts, WHIP, WAR and was second with 204 innings. He also ended the year with 23 consecutive scoreless innings.
Writers from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America cast their ballots before the playoffs begin.
Seven-time reigning NL West champion Los Angeles will hold a workout day Tuesday before opening the Division Series at Dodger Stadium against the wild card winner.
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