San Francisco’s manager Bruce Bochy had nothing but good things to say about Gerardo Parra after the Giants designated the outfielder for assignment, then released the veteran back in early May.
“It’s always tough to say goodbye to a really, really good guy and player in Parra,” Bochy told John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
“I consider myself fortunate to get a chance to know him and see him at least for these couple of months, see what kind of guy he is, kind of person. We’ll miss him.”
Parra finished his time on the Giants’ roster with a .198/.278/.267 line, three doubles, and one home run in 30 games and 97 plate appearances before the release.
In 57 games and 128 PAs for the Washington Nationals, who signed the 32-year-old, 11-year veteran two days after he became a free agent, Parra has a .286/.331/.521 line with eight doubles and six home runs, with the sixth a three-run blast in the third inning of the series finale in Oracle Park on Wednesday.
Parra stepped in against right-hander Shaun Anderson with two on and two out and hit an 0-1 fastball up and out over the plate out to left-center to put the Nationals up 4-0 in what ended up a 4-1 win.
Player A:— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 7, 2019
.198/.278/.267, 1 HR, 6 RBI in 30 G
.291/.333/.530, 6 HR, 30 RBI
*and a game-winning grand slam* in 57 G pic.twitter.com/2GEfCrt1RA
“I’m sure he’d love to have that pitch back,” Bochy told reporters after the Giants’ third straight loss to the Nationals.
“That ball got away from him, that’s not where he was trying to put it, it was a mislocated fastball.”
The home run was Parra’s 4th in 61 PAs with runners in scoring position this season, leaving him 16 for 48 (.333/.450/.729) with RISP overall in 2019.
He didn’t have any ill will against his former team when he was asked about helping to beat the Giants in his first trip back to San Francisco.
“First of all, I want to say thank you to the Giants, for just giving me the opportunity. I tried to do my best, and that’s baseball,” he told MASN’s Alex Chappell in an on-field interview.
“Now I’m here with the Nationals,” he added, “and I’m doing my best every time, and we’re happy because we have a great team, great family inside the clubhouse, and like I said before, we believe in that team when I came in here on the first day and we continue to believe it.”
Parra didn’t take any particular joy in the fact that he hit the home run off the team that did release him.
“I feel the same” Parra said, as quoted by Washington Post writer Jesse Dougherty. “It’s only a different team, and that’s it.”
“He was excited about it,” Davey Martinez told reporters, “not only just to give us that four-run lead. He’s been great since he’s been here. He’s been that guy. Loves to play, and like I said, he does whatever I ask him to do and he’s been really good.”
He’s been good on the field, good in the dugout (bringing home run dances and the Baby Shark walk-up song phenomenon to the nation’s capital), and he’s provided a spark for a team that was in desperate need of one when he signed on to come off the bench in D.C.
Why has he fit in so well?
“Honestly,” Martinez said, “I think it’s just because I allow him to be him and hey, just do your thing. I’ve known him for a while, and I’ve always known he’s been a really good clubhouse guy, and I told him, ‘Hey, just be you. Be electric in the clubhouse, play hard on the field, you’ve got a lot of value, so just go out there and have fun and play.”