Bruce Bochy has managed plenty of games in San Diego, but never from the visitors dugout.
He makes his first trip back to San Diego on Monday when his struggling San Francisco Giants open a three-game series with the Padres at Petco Park.
Bochy joined the Giants this season after spending the first 12 years of his managerial career with the Padres. Bochy, who is San Diego’s all-time leader in games managed (1,926) and won (951), led the team to division titles in 1996, 1998, 2005 and 2006 and a NL crown in 1998, when it lost the World Series in four games to the New York Yankees.
However, Bochy insists returning to San Diego won’t make him feel too sentimental.
“My focus right now is forward, and that’s trying to get this team on track and winning some ballgames,” he told the Giants’ official Web site. “(Managing San Diego) is behind me right now, and I don’t really want to think about what’s going to happen there except with this team.”
Bochy has already squared off against his former team. The Giants (1-5) dropped two of three to the Padres (4-2) in San Francisco last week in their first series of the season.
“Here again, I think for Bruce, it’s probably more emotional than for me,” first-year Padres manager Bud Black told his team’s official Web site. “It’s like I said last week, it’s really the Padres against the Giants. But I do think that opening series got a lot of that sentiment out of the way.”
San Francisco was swept in three games by the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend, including Sunday’s 10-4 defeat. Bochy was ejected in the ninth inning of the series finale for arguing with first-base umpire Mike Winters.
The Giants have been outscored 31-14 in six games this season, including 26-6 against the Dodgers. The 1-5 start is the team’s first since 1980, and just its third since moving from New York in 1958.
“We could use some breaks,” right fielder Randy Winn said. “No one is worried, but we do need to play like we can and we haven’t done that yet. We keep having shots at the big innings, and we haven’t capitalized yet.”
The Padres, meanwhile, took two of three at home from the Colorado Rockies, with the victories both coming in walk-off fashion. Rookie Kevin Kouzmanoff shook a season-opening 2-for-20 slump and singled in the game-winner in Sunday’s 2-1, 10-inning victory.
San Diego’s bullpen got nine straight outs Sunday to extend its scoreless streak to 18 2-3 innings, the longest in club history to open a season.
“I hope it keeps going,” Black said. “It’s great. All of our pitchers, we have high expectations for them. The bullpen has been outstanding. They’re on a great roll. They’re making pitches. Just execute your pitches; good things will happen.”
Monday’s series opener will feature the same starters from last Wednesday’s contest at San Francisco. The Giants’ Matt Cain (0-0, 4.50 ERA) allowed three runs in six innings, and San Diego’s Chris Young (0-0, 4.76) gave up three runs in 5 2-3 innings, but neither received a decision in a game the Padres went on to win 5-3.
Cain, in his second full season in the majors, is 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA in six career starts against the Padres and is 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA at Petco.
Young, meanwhile, is now 0-1 with a 4.42 ERA in three career starts versus the Giants.
Young did become the 435th pitcher to allow a homer to Barry Bonds in Wednesday’s game. Bonds connected in the first inning for his only homer this season and the 735th of his career, leaving him 20 shy of Hank Aaron’s all-time record.
The 42-year-old slugger has hit 86 home runs against the Padres, easily his most against any opponent. He is batting .222 (4-for-18) with three RBIs so far this season.
San Diego’s fans gave Bonds, who has been accused of using performance-enhancing drugs, a rough time last season, taunting him with signs and even a fake syringe that was thrown on the field.
“They were pretty hard on him,” Bochy told the Giants’ Web site. “He has the remarkable ability to keep that maniacal focus you want on the field.”