Days before the start of the 2018 season, then-manager Bruce Bochy still was looking for someone to toe the rubber for the Giants.
In a freak injury near the end of spring training, team ace Madison Bumgarner broke his left pinkie finger on a line drive hit right back at him. Jeff Samardzija was out of the mix after straining his right pectoral, too. Johnny Cueto also wasn't an option after starting an exhibition game against the A's.
With his top-three arms unable to go, Bochy turned to a 27-year-old left-hander with only one full season under his belt. In came Ty Blach, and his outing couldn't have gone any better.
In what wound up being a day Bochy still smiles at, Blach threw five shutout innings on the road against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a 1-0 win. The Giants' lone run came on a Joe Panik solo shot against Clayton Kershaw.
"I'd say that's probably my best Opening Day, because we had to scramble there for our Opening Day starter," Bochy said Thursday on KNBR's "Murph & Mac Show." "Out of nowhere we throw Ty Blach out there and he just threw a beauty.
"So that's probably my favorite moment on Opening Day because of who Ty is."
Host Brian Murphy brought up the Giants' blowout 12-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Opening Day in 2016. To Bochy, though, nothing tops 2018 in his 13 years as the Giants' manager.
"The one-nothing games, those are special -- especially on Opening Day," Bochy said. "And of course, ya know, against the Dodgers. That's a lot different than the Brewers."
Blach went 6-7 with a 4.25 ERA over 47 games -- 13 starts -- in 2018. The lefty pitched two games for the Giants last season before the Baltimore Orioles signed him off waivers. He went 1-3 with an 11.25 ERA while making five starts for the Orioles.
No matter what happens next for Blach, he always will have Opening Day 2018. And on what was supposed to be Opening Day this season before the coronavirus pandemic put baseball on pause, Bochy couldn't help but marvel at that moment.
Bruce Bochy reveals favorite MLB Opening Day memory as Giants manager originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area