Last night's 9-0 victory over Texas gave his team a 2-0 lead in this World Series, and put his record this postseason at 9-2, as the Series moves to Texas for the next three games - if it lasts that long - beginning tomorrow night.
Last night Bochy replaced starter Matt Cain with two outs in the eighth inning, leading just 2-0. Cain had pitched 21 1/3 innings this postseason without allowing an earned run. Last night he allowed four hits, had a runner on second, had just induced a lazy pop fly to right off the bat of Texas third baseman Michael Young.
But Javier Lopez is lefthanded, and this postseason anyway, close to unhittable. "You can honestly say he was the MVP of the NLCS," first baseman Aubrey Huff said of Lopez. "Just because of the way he shut down [Chase] Utley and [Ryan] Howard."
It's the stuff that makes men geniuses this time of the year. Impenetrable starters. Unhittable relievers. Role players who actually do what they were signed to do.
Role players who do way more than anyone expected them to.
Eric Bruntlett. Geoff Jenkins. Matt Stairs, Greg Dobbs, Chad Durbin, J.C. Romero, Chris Coste. Two years later, only Durbin has a chance to return to the Phillies for 2011. And even that's not likely.
It's a delicate balance. And there's luck involved in this of course, just as there was in 2008. The game was scoreless in the fifth inning last night when Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler hit a ball exactly 399 feet, not a millimeter more, and the ball bounced straight up off the top of the wall and back into play.
Kinsler wound up on second with none out, and stayed there.
"We definitely got a break there," Bochy said.
Texas starter C.J. Wilson developed a blister in the seventh, walked Cody Ross to lead off the inning and had to leave the game trailing just 1-0. Juan Uribe got jammed by reliever Darren Oliver's pitch and the ball dropped into no-man's land in rightfield, scoring Ross from second.
Edgar Renteria got a start at shortstop last night and in his 63rd career postseason game, went yard for the second time, a bomb into the leftfield bleachers to break a scoreless tie in the fifth inning. He added a two-out, bases-loaded single in the eighth that pushed the Giants' lead to 6-0.
"It's Halloween," said the veteran shortstop, who spent much of the season on the disabled list with groin, hamstring and biceps injuries. "Anything can happen."
"All the time he was hurt," said Giants hitting coach Hensley Muelens, "he kept telling us we needed him for this."
Rowand tripled off the fourth Rangers pitcher of the inning to run it up to 8-0. Andres Torres added a double to plate Rowand before Freddy Sanchez struck out for the second time in the inning to end it.
The 20 runs the Giants have scored in two games here are more than they scored in six games against the Phillies.
Texas manager Ron Washington watched Derek Holland throw nine straight balls in the implosive eighth inning last night without warming up a soul. Why? "Because I thought he would correct himself," Washington said. "I didn't expect 12 balls in 13 pitches."
After nine straight, it's fair to wonder why not.
Washington's team has the yips, pure and simple. The Rangers can't string together hits. Their young bullpen has been a nightmare, as the eighth inning last night underlined. A parade of relievers walked the Giants around the bases, surrendered base-clearing blasts, turned a tight game into a laugher.
The Rangers were built mostly from within. They might have come to this World Series with the implied swagger that it will be the first of many. The team was also built to compete in the more static American League, where double switches are irrelevant.
And for the next two or three games, they will be.
If the Giants remind you of the Phillies in 2008, there is certainly a resemblance between Texas and that season's Tampa Bay Rays team. Like the Rays that year, who defeated Boston in a grueling seven-game series that year, the Rangers overcame the Yankees, their longtime playoff nemesis, to get here. They might have emptied the adrenaline tank to do so.
Certainly, Cliff Lee gives the Rangers a dimension the Rays did not have, but many of them couldn't grow Brian Wilson's beard if you gave them until next spring. Texas owns a bright future, and if you asked general managers which team they'd like to have going forward, they might choose the Rangers, especially if Lee returns.
Ask them who they would like for the next two to four games however, and well, the answer is obvious.
The Giants have guys like Rowand, Renteria and Pat Burrell, who have been there and understand they might not ever get there again. They have Cody Ross, who was waived, and Huff, who was supposed to be renting his space until a more talented prospect was ready. They have more guys who understand the moment is now, that nothing in this game is guaranteed except that each of them, no matter how successful or unsuccessful, will leave the game with more moments of heartache than happiness.
And they're playing that way.