San Francisco Giants Morning Minute: Bochy Knows Best

May 29, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy (15) in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
May 29, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy (15) in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

On this edition of the San Francisco Giants Morning Minute, we discuss Bochy’s trust for an old veteran paying big dividends.

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Good morning, San Francisco Giants’ fans, and welcome to another edition of the Giants Morning Minute. On Sunday, the Giants wrapped up their second straight series sweep, and their eighth straight win overall, beating the Tampa Bay Rays 5-1. Derek Law earned his second win of the season, while Xavier Cedeno took his second loss.

The Los Angeles Dodgers also won on Sunday, their third straight win, to keep the deficit at 6.5 games. No other team in the division is close enough to be worth a second thought at the current time.

Here’s what went on Sunday.

1 – Bruce Bochy Predicts the Future

Flashback to May 22nd. Giants’ manager Bruce Bochy tells reporters that he feels starting pitcher Jake Peavy is “close” to finding his form. Understandably, that sentiment was tough to swallow. Peavy was pitching to an 8.21 ERA and 1.896 WHIP, and was the clear weak link in the rotation. But Bochy is a smart man, and maybe he knew something we didn’t.

It’s been nearly a month since Bochy again showed that confidence in his pitcher. Peavy has made five starts since then, and what do you know, he found that form Bochy said he was close to finding. In 30.2 innings in that span, Peavy owns a 1.76 ERA and 0.815 WHIP, looking more like 2007 Cy Young Peavy than early-2016 Peavy.

He continued the trend on Sunday, and even though he received a no-decision for his efforts, he kept his team in the game even when he looked to be on the brink of disaster. He took the mound with a chance to lead the Giants to a sweep, and things didn’t exactly get off to a great start. The first two innings against the Rays were as shaky as could be, as Peavy allowed four hits, a hit-by pitch, and committed one of the team’s three errors in the first two innings.

Still, Peavy worked through those jams. In the first, he gave up a run, but kept the Rays at bay by stranding runners at the corners with one out. In the second, he left two in scoring position without allowing a run. Then he settled down. After a leadoff hit in the third, Peavy retired 12 of the next 13 men he would face, including six via strikeout. Overall, Peavy matched his season-high with eight strikeouts.

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With these five incredible innings under his belt, Peavy’s ERA has dropped to 5.47, and his WHIP is much more respectable at 1.438. After allowing 1.7 home runs per nine innings (eight home runs in 41.2 innings) in the first nine starts of the year, Peavy hasn’t allowed any in his last five, dropping his per-nine rate down to a even 1.0. The improvement in such a short time has been staggering, and the feeling of the team having almost no chance when he takes the mound has nearly evaporated.

Everyone knows of Bochy’s reputation of sticking by his veterans through tough times. Sometimes, that strategy doesn’t work out. Other times, like in Peavy’s case, the manager’s steadfastness pays off more than the fan’s propensity for knee-jerk reactions. That’s why he gets paid the big bucks and is considered one of the best managers in the game. He actually does know what he’s doing.

Next: Giants Morning Minute: Early Deficit no Problem

And that will do it for another edition of the Giants Morning Minute. Up next, the Giants head to the Steel City for a four-game set with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Left-handers Madison Bumgarner and Jeff Locke will square off on Monday.