This was the 1,500th win of a career that almost certainly will land Giants manager Bruce Bochy in the Hall of Fame someday, but it was the first under such weird circumstances.
In the second game of Tuesday night's doube-header at AT&T, the Giants hit first, wore their road uniforms and gave up just three runs on a night when Barry Zito didn't make it out of the fifth and the opposing team had 10 hits, four walks and a hit-by-pitch. The Giants won by scoring three runs in the first for just the third time all season and then holding on, stranding 14 Reds on base. They won with their closer recording as many strikeouts (4) as their starter.
But none of that weird stuff mattered. After 18 innings and a whole bunch of Reds rallies, the Giants were happy just to get a 'W.'
"We've had a tough time against this club," Bochy said. "They've beat on us pretty good. It was a gutty effort by the whole club. That's a long day. They got beat on pretty good in the first game, but I was proud of them. We did a great job pitching in traffic and our guys found a way to make a pitch when they had to.
"This really was, I thought, a much needed win for these guys. It's big for these guys how they bounced back."
The Giants ultimately finished the day 1-1 and lost a half-game to the first-place Dodgers and second-place Diamondbacks. Both rivals won, the Dodgers doing so with a spectacular comeback on the road.
But in the home clubhouse at AT&T Park, Tuesday night's road team had the victory music playing. Players said they were tired and ready to sleep in, but it'll be a good night's sleep after the 5-3 win.
"It's good to win a road game," Bochy said.
His players were happy to push the spotlight elsewhere for a night. It's rare that you get to talk about a gaudy total for a manager.
"He's done so many things already," Zito said. "He's a very underrated manager. It's a really special accomplishment, we're all really happy for him."
"That's an amazing accomplishment," Hunter Pence said. "1,500 wins is hard to fathom. There are so many good things you can say about him. He's always ahead of the game."
Sergio Romo has never known another big league manager and said he couldn't picture it any other way: "You have to sit there and respect everything he's done for this game," Romo said.
"Personal accomplishments are not what it's about," Zito said. "I was frustrated more with myself than I was with the call there."
That catch meant a lot to Pence because he had screwed up an earlier play behind Zito.
"I made a terrible play," he said. "I was hoping I would have an opportunity to do something good for Z. It was a very easy play (to make), it just had some funky spin on it. It was a terrible play by me."
The Giants have now played 100 games and they're 46-54. They were 55-45 at this point a year ago and a game up in the N.L. West. The math isn't good, but it's simple: They need to make a run. Maybe the road uniforms will again be hanging in the home clubhouse when the players arrive on Wednesday.