PHOENIX Giants manager Bruce Bochy continues to evaluateseveral players as he prepares to set the opening-day roster. But in the clubsfinal Cactus League exhibition Sunday, there was one guy he especiallywanted to see.
His son, Brett.
A Giants minor league right-hander and former closer at theUniversity of Kansas, Brett Bochy was added to the travel roster for the thirdtime this spring. The first two times, the skipper couldnt carve out an inningfor him.
This time, he found a way. And he was one proud papa.
Brett Bochy retired three hitters in order in the seventhinning, striking out Brooks Conrad and Mat Gamel with called pitches (a slider and a fastball, respectively). A thirdmajor leaguer, Jonathan LuCroy, flied out to right field.
Proud moment for me, Bruce Bochy said. He threw great. Hepounded the zone. Im sure I was more nervous than he was. Its a moment Illalways remember.
Third-base coach Tom Flannery, a longtime friend of theBochy family, wasnt surprised to see Brett calmly throw strike one.
He didnt get too excited, but I knew that, Flannery said.They both keep the cards close to the chest, you know?
We were on the bench yelling, Cmon Boch! And (assistant hitting coach) JoeLefebvre said, Hey, that sounds good. We havent yelled that in 20 years.
Brett Bochy received more good news a day earlier, when astrong spring earned him a place at Double-A Richmond. Minor league coachesthought enough of him to let him skip Single-A San Jose.
As a 24-year-old last season, he posted a 1.38 ERA in 35games for Low-A Augusta.
Oh, and theres one more thing: His JayHawks are in thenational championship game. (His father might take the other side, though. Hesgot Kentucky in the clubhouse spread pool.)
It might sound surprising, but just seeing his son pitch wasa rare privilege for Bochy. Because of baseball's itinerant requirements, he only got to seeBrett on video while in college.
Flannery had never seen Bochys progeny on the mound.
But I remember going on campouts with him when he was 2years old, Flannery said, smiling. So thats pretty neat, pretty impressiveright there. Hes a grown man now.