In Game 162, the Dodgers took on the San Francisco Giants to complete the sweep and prepare for the postseason. As part of the October preparations, Clayton Kershaw came on in relief to get some work in prior to the playoffs.
The Giants had a different kind of Game 162 as they bid farewell to their beloved manager Bruce Bochy and potentially their long-time ace and postseason hero Madison Bumgarner.
Bochy helped to bring the city of San Francisco three World Series titles in the beginning of the decade and ranks amongst the best managers in baseball history because of it. Bumgarner was a key part in the wins as he received the accolade of being named one of the best postseason performers of all-time.
Baseball gives us the chills. pic.twitter.com/IBICVsfoDV
— Cut162 (@Cut4) September 29, 2019
With Kershaw coming on in the fifth inning, Bruce Bochy decided to send Madison Bumgarner up to the plate to pinch-hit — an effort to provide him with a proper send-off, too. While Bumgarner ended his at-bat with a line drive out to Jedd Gyorko at third base, the events that took place to follow were the ones that were special.
As Kershaw walked off the mound, he tipped his cap to both Bumgarner and Bochy, demonstrating true class as always. The Giants and Dodgers remain one of the most bitter rivalries in American sports, but Kershaw saw past that. Kershaw and Bumgarner are two fantastic left-handers — arguably the best of this decade. Both are competitors in every sense of the word and they both recognized that on Sunday afternoon.
Bruce Bochy, managing his last game for San Francisco, sending out Madison Bumgarner — potentially in his last game with the Giants — to pinch-hit against relief pitcher Clayton Kershaw is a legitimately great baseball moment. #Dodgers #SFGiants pic.twitter.com/whevzRnSWe
— Sammy Roth (@Sammy_Roth) September 29, 2019
The Dodgers won the game 9-0, but the class of Kershaw won the day. It is somewhat of a sad feeling to watch the Giants-Dodgers rivalry of the era somewhat dissipate as two integral pieces of the puzzle seem poised to vacate it.
From the moment Clayton Kershaw first stepped on a big-league mound, he has been a class act. He is a credit to his team and community. Going along with the Bumgarner appearance then tipping his cap to Bochy walking off the field were both nice gestures. #SFGiants
— Henry Schulman (@hankschulman) September 29, 2019
All things have to come to an end eventually, and on Sunday, an era of the rivalry ended.