Bochy falls short in Manager of the Year

Giants manager Bruce Bochy has the only trophy he’ll ever need to validate his career as a Major League Baseball manager.

In fact, he has two.

But I bet it would have been nice to add a shiny Manager of the Year trophy to his collection.

Unfortunately, Bochy finished third in the NL Manager of the Year voting, finishing behind the Washington’s Davey Johnson (first) and Cincinnati’s Dusty Baker (second).

Bochy received just four of the 32 first place votes. Johnson received 23 first place votes and Baker got the other five.

Bochy did a masterful job guiding the Giants to their second World Series crown in three years, but postseason results aren’t factored into the voting. Ballots were turned in before the start of the postseason.

During the regular season, Bochy had to deal with a lot of adversity.

Early in April, he lost his closer, Brian Wilson, and had to adjust the bullpen and find a reliable closer.

His supposed ace Tim Lincecum never found his Cy Young form, but Bochy never gave up on him. Despite having the highest ERA among qualifying pitchers, Bochy knew Lincecum could still help the team. It turned out that Lincecum was Bochy’s go-to guy out of the bullpen in the playoffs.

Pablo Sandoval spent a month on the disabled list in the middle of the season, but Bochy inserted Joaquin Arias as a stop-gap and discovered that Arias was a pretty good player.

In August, in the middle of the pennant race, during an important series with Washington, the Giants’ leading hitter, Melky Cabrera was suspended for failing a PED drug test. Some fans panicked, but Bochy never did. He plugged the hole with Gregor Blanco and Xavier Nady.

Bochy is widely considered a master when it comes to using his bullpen. He never overworks anyone and isn’t afraid to use three pitchers to get through one inning.

In the top of the 9th inning of Game 7 of the NLCS against the Cardinals — during a monsoon and the threat of the umpires stopping the game — Bochy trudged out to the mound and called on Sergio Romo to get the final out.

Most managers would have left Javier Lopez out there to get the last out, regardless of the matchup. But Bochy stuck to his guns and brought in his closer.

Bochy won NL Manager of the Year in 1996 with the San Diego Padres. He should have been rewarded during 2010 and 2012, but the voting doesn’t include postseason play, when managerial success is magnified.

But that’s probably okay with Bochy. He got to hoist the World Series trophy during two ticker-tape parades.