Bochy takes blame for batting out of order: 'The buck stops here'
SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants found a groundbreaking way to make life tough on themselves in the first inning Saturday.
They got caught batting out of order when Buster Posey went up as the No. 3 hitter, even though the lineup posted in the Giants’ dugout – and the one given to the Dodgers – had Pablo Sandoval batting third and Posey fourth.
Posey hit an RBI double, but he was ruled out (Sandoval was officially credited with the at-bat). The run was erased and Posey had the rare experience of coming to bat two times in a row.
After the make-believe double, Posey stepped up to bat again and flied out to right.
“I looked at the lineup in (the clubhouse) and I was batting third, and I looked on the scoreboard and I was batting third,” Posey said. “Somewhere, something got crossed up.”
The Giants could laugh about it considering they beat the Dodgers 4-2.
Bochy blamed the mistake partly on a new electronic video board in the Giants clubhouse. It’s a huge screen that gives all kinds of game-day information for players, including the lineups and the names of the umpires. The Kansas City Royals use similar boards in the clubhouses at Kaufman Stadium.
The problem, according to Bochy, was that he wrote out a correct lineup card Saturday morning with Sandoval hitting third and Posey fourth, but the lineup was typed on an iPad and then transferred to the video board with Posey batting third and Sandoval cleanup.
Bochy didn’t want to say who wrote in the information on the video board and took full responsibility for the error.
As Posey stepped in for the phantom at-bat in the first inning, Bochy turned to bench coach Ron Wotus.
“I said, ‘We just hit out of order,’” the manager said. “You’re hoping they don’t notice it. … In the middle of the at-bat, I was questioning if I was losing it.”
Bochy, the National League manager for the upcoming All-Star Game, was under the gun to get his final All-Star roster in to Major League Baseball headquarters by 11 a.m. Saturday. He admitted he didn’t double-check all game-day details like he normally would.
“You feel horrible,” he said. “We’ve struggled scoring runs – there’s not a worse feeling. At that point, you’re going ‘Geez, what is going on?’ I would have felt horrible if that would have played a part in us not winning that ballgame.”
Several times recently, Bochy has slotted Posey in the No. 3 hole and Sandoval in the cleanup spot, making for what Bochy called “the perfect storm” for a mishap to occur.
The Giants have had the electronic video board for just two games so far. What’s Bochy’s take on the new technology?
“That’s why you keep things simple,” he said with a grin.
Bochy decided not to choose Dodgers stud rookie Yasiel Puig as one of his All-Star reserves. Puig has taken the majors by storm since being called up June 3, hitting .407. But since he’s played just over one month of the season, Bochy looked elsewhere.
He did name Puig as one of the five finalists that fans can vote in as the last National League All-Star. Giants outfielder Hunter Pence is another of the five.
“To be honest, no,” Bochy responded when asked if he seriously considered Puig for the squad. “I knew I was gonna put him on the group that will be selected online. I couldn’t leave a guy like (Milwaukee’s Carlos) Gomez off,and other guys … It gives (Puig) a chance to get voted on to the club.”
Sandoval is in a 3 for 38 slump, but he made two terrific plays at third base Saturday. On one, he made a clean pick of Juan Uribe’s hard grounder to third and threw home to cut down Hanley Ramirez, keeping the Giants ahead 4-2.
Gregor Blanco, in an 0 for 25 dry spell coming in, went 3 for 3 with two doubles and walked in his other plate appearance from the leadoff spot.