AT&T PARK — The San Francisco Giants will start Johnny Cueto in place of Matt Cain on Sunday against the Miami Marlins.
Cueto, now scheduled to pitch the final game before the All Star break, is 6-7 with a 4.26 ERA this season. In each of his past three starts, he’s held opponents under four runs.
San Francisco plans to use Cain out of the bullpen at some point this weekend. He allowed five runs to the Detroit Tigers in his previous outing, and he has a 5.58 ERA.
However, the rotation adjustment does not necessarily indicate the team’s post-All Star break plans, manager Bruce Bochy said.
“We didn’t want to go that long before [Cueto’s] next start,” Bochy said. “So we just bumped him up, and now we can use [Cain] in the bullpen.”
Before Saturday’s contest, the Giants honored former left fielder Barry Bonds. The organization inducted Bonds into its “Wall of Fame,” unveiling a bronze plaque of the man who made 12 All Star games with the team.
The event represented the most prominent acknowledgement of Bonds’ importance to San Francisco since his career ended in 2007.
“[The ceremony] touched my heart,” Bonds said. “It felt really good today.”
Bochy’s first season in San Francisco coincided with Bonds’ final campaign. The slugger chased and ultimately passed Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record that year.
Before Bonds tied Aaron’s mark with a blast at Petco Park against sinkerballer Clay Hensley, he told Bochy to toss him batting practice pitches “10-feet outside” in anticipation of Hensley’s approach. At the end of the 30-minute session, Bonds drilled three consecutive outside pitches over the left center field wall.
“I’m good now,” Bonds remembered telling Bochy. He homered to left-center in the second inning to tie the record.
Before their one-year union, Bonds tormented Bochy’s San Diego Padres, recording more long balls against San Diego in his career than any other team (87). Bochy said that power production stemmed from his aggressive approach toward the left-hander.
“Those rubber chickens, they weren’t waving at me,” Bochy joked of the props Giants fans flapped at pitchers who intentionally walked Bonds.
Despite the long wait to earn recognition from the Giants, Bonds said he was appreciative of Saturday’s gesture. Next, he hopes the organization retires his number.
“Whenever someone does something to honor you,” Bonds said, “it’s never too late.”