DETROIT -- As the Giants put the pedal to the metal and try and close out this World Series in Detroit, their manager has a pretty good personal World Series history here.
He's 1 for 1 in the World Series as a player, collecting a hit in his only plate appearance with the 1984 Padres in their Game 5 loss to the Tigers.
Or, as Bruce Bochy jokes, he's "2 for 1."
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On the pitch before his single against closer Willie Hernandez, who won both the AL MVP and Cy Young awards in '84, Bochy lined a pitch foul down the left field line that reached the seats just on the wrong side of the foul pole in old Tiger Stadium.
"I hit a home run on the pitch before [the single]," Bochy said with a wry smile in the Giants' dugout just before batting practice. "I count that, too."
Thus, the 2 for 1.
The Padres were trounced in that series in five games, so the overall memory for Bochy isn't necessarily a great one. But for a guy who was a backup catcher on the 1980 Astros team that fell just short of the World Series, he treasures his World Series hit.
It came on a night on which the Tigers dominated and their fans smelled the kill. Kirk Gibson smashed a first-inning homer against Mark Thurmond to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead, then clobbered a three-run homer in the eighth against Goose Gossage to put the game away for Detroit, 8-4.
Bochy batted for Bobby Brown with one out in the ninth.
"I wanted in the worst way to get one at-bat," Bochy said. "[Padres manager] Dick Williams wasn't the softest guy in the world. I didn't think he was thinking about it.
"I always appreciated it."
Bochy rewarded Williams with a sharp single.
"Line drive," Bochy recalled. "Alan Trammell dove after it. It was by him before he could move."
The end of Game 5 was ugly, when the celebrations of some "fans" went way over the line.
"The best thing they did was get our families out of [Tiger Stadium] in the seventh inning," Bochy said of the Padres. "The fans surrounded our bus and were shaking it.
"We at that point thought we were going to have to get out and fight for our lives."
Bochy recalls the bus shaking, some people flipping over a police car and, finally, the Padres' bus escaping town not long after police riding "riot horses" showed up.
Nevertheless, Bochy said, that World Series was the pinnacle of his nine-year playing career.
"No question, the World Series is," Bochy said. "Any player will tell you that.
"They're unbelievably special. They are."