Playing for My Dad
The best part of the road trip was that my dad, Hernan, flew from Venezuela to Atlanta. It was the first time he has seen me play in the major leagues. And I hit a home run in that series, so he was really proud and happy.
Now he’s here in San Francisco with my family and me for a month. When I talked to him on the phone in Venezuela, I told him to bring the warmest coat he has because it can get really cold in San Francisco.
And I told him he’s going to love the fans. “You’re going to feel like you’re back in Venezuela!’’ I told him.
He had a great time at the game Monday night. He said I was right about the fans. They’re crazy for the Giants. He really loved that they lifted Melky out the stands when he made that catch.
You might have seen or read about me missing the suicide squeeze sign in Philadelphia. How did I miss such an important sign? I’m going to be completely honest. I never looked. With Buster on third, all I was thinking about was driving him home. I briefly thought about bunting, but Buster’s a catcher and so he’s not the fastest guy on the team. I saw the infield playing in, and I said to myself, “All you need to do is hit the ball hard to the outfield to get him in.’’
Then suddenly I saw Buster charging down the line. I thought, “Uh oh.’’ But in this game, you have to wipe a mistake from your mind. I told myself, “You made a mental mistake. Forget about it. We’re going to win this game. You’re going to have another opportunity to do something.’’
And I did, in the 10th inning. We had runners on first and third. Bochy told me to think about bunting to the right side. I had been watching the second baseman and first baseman – Utley and Howard – earlier in the game and saw they were both a little slow. (Both were coming off injuries.) We had a fast runner in Melky at third.
When I had a 3-1 count – a hitter’s count — I figured the Phillies would think I’d swing away. They wouldn’t be expecting a bunt, a safety squeeze.
The key to a good bunt is to trust your instincts, trust your hands and relax. As soon as the pitcher goes into his motion, you put the bat out and hope the pitch is middle-in. It was. I followed the ball, angled the bat pretty sharply toward the right side and pushed. The ball fell just right.
Howard couldn’t get to the ball fast enough, and Melky scored the go-ahead run.
Thanks to those of you who asked about my trip to Santa Monica during the All-Star break. It was awesome. I didn’t expect it to be as great as it was because you don’t hear much about Santa Monica. Everybody talks about Hollywood, LA, Malibu. We spent time on the beach relaxing. We also went to Disneyland. It was the first time for my son. He was all over Mickey Mouse and Donald. He really loved it.
That’s all for now. See you out at the park. (If you run into a good-looking, Spanish-speaking, shivering man named Hernan, say hello and maybe loan him a scarf.)