— Ryan Gorcey (@RyanGorcey) September 25, 2019
ORACLE PARK — Long after special guest Joe Torre and about 26,000 of the 27,870 announced crowd left, long after Madison Bumgarner’s homer and five hours, 31 minutes from when manager Bruce Bochy said he’d savor every moment of his final week as manager, Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon hit a changeup for a three-run home run in his eighth plate appearance.
Blackmon’s home run handed the Giants an 8-5, 16-inning defeat. In a season that started with an 18-inning, five-hour and 35-minute marathon at Oracle Park and featured more extra-inning games than any season in franchise history, the ending was fitting.
Homers from Madison Bumgarner and Buster Posey, a three-pitching-change inning, an MLB-record 25 total pitchers used, 57 players and eight home runs marked the opening act of Bochy’s final run at Oracle Park, and there were plenty of applause lines. Just none for the final eight innings.
“I thought Buster took some really good swings, and of course, Bum, that’s what he used to do a bit more often,” Bochy said. “It was good to see out of both of them. The longball got us, though.”
After Bumgarner gave up a solo homer in the first, Posey — his power missing in his first season post-hip surgery — answered with a two-run tater to left, his seventh of the season but first at Oracle. The water cannons went off beyond the right field wall before the 105.3-mph drive even got to the warning track in the left field corner.
Before the bottom of the second, Bochy was treated to a tribute video of his three World Series celebrations, and his 2,000th win. He hung on the dugout railing as the fans give him a standing ovation, doffed his cap twice and finally turned around and faced the crowd briefly. He gives a salute, right before the crowd started chanting his name.
After Bumgarner’s home run — a second-inning leadoff shot halfway up the bleachers — a video message from former Dodgers and Yankees manager Joe Torre told Bochy to be “healthy, happy and proud” in retirement. Torre — who beat Bochy’s Padres in the 1998 World Series — then stood up next to the Giants dugout, feet away from Bochy, who joined the crowd in applause.
The buzz was quickly quashed by a two-run homer from Ian Desmond in the top of the fourth on a fastball down the middle, and then an Alex Dickerson hit 99.6-mph liner off the right knee of Rockies pitcher Jeff Hoffman in the bottom. The ball ricochetted to the Giants dugout, and Hoffman collapsed as he tried to get up, laying on the mound for about five minutes. He was carted off the field, and was diagnosed with a severe contusion.
The Giants got two on in that inning, but couldn’t score, and the Rockies took the lead in the next frame, as Bumgarner gave up his career-worst 30th homer of the year — a one-out, 2-0 solo shot to Trevor Story — and his third in a game where he gave up just six hits in seven innings. It was the eighth time in his career he’d given up that many.
“Bum didn’t give up a lot of hits, but the ones he did give up, unfortunately, got out of the ballpark,” Bochy said. “The last one is the one that did us in.”
San Francisco tied things up with a fifth-inning Evan Longoria sac fly, and Bumgarner kept things knotted by fanning Story with a man on in the seventh for his ninth strikeout. Bumgarner, though, took his 11th no-decision in 19 home starts.
“[I felt] really good actually,” Bumgarner said. “Other than two pitches, everything was pretty sharp.”
The two teams traded solo homers in the eighth, with Evan Longoria hitting a game-tying shot to straightaway center, becoming the third Giant to hit 20 homers after San Francisco had not had a single man hit that many since 2015. It was marked the first time in stadium history that both teams homered three times or more.
“That’s the way it’s been,” Bumgarner said of the live balls. “It’s not like it’s catching anybody by surprise. Just got to do what you can and make pitches.”
Bochy trotted out three pitchers to quell a Rockies rally in the 10th, as 10-year minor leaguer Enderson Franco got a bounce-out to strand men at the corners, and both teams left the bases loaded in the 11th. Posey left the game in the 13th for Aramis Garcia, as the Giants brought on Kyle Barraclaugh, their 11th pitcher, two short of the Major League record.
“I don’t particularly enjoy playing 16 innings, but [Bochy] knows how to run a bullpen,” Bumgarner said. “He’s one of the best I’ve seen at that.”
San Francisco went hitless after a leadoff single by Yastrzemski in the 10th, and Dereck Rodriguez — San Francisco’s 12th pitcher — gave up a single to Hampson, then Brandon Crawford mishandled a potential double-play grounder by Arenado. Blackmon’s homer all but ended things.
The Giants have now played four games this season of 15 innings or longer — more than any other team in franchise history. Since 1958, the club has played 28 games that have lasted at least five hours. Including Tuesday, two have taken place in the last eight days, with San Francisco and Boston going 15 innings at Fenway. In each of those games, the Giants used 13 total pitchers — tying a big league record.
“Doesn’t happen often, but I guess it’s good in September, so we had plenty of pitching there,” Bochy said. “The guys battled hard. Just couldn’t find a way to get one there.”The way they battled, I’m good with that.”
Bumgarner will start the final game of the season on Monday. Johnny Cueto will throw a bullpen on Wednesday, and his status for his next turn will be determined then.