Postgame Wrap: Bochy Wins 1,500th Career Game as Giants Get Blown Out at Home, Bounce Back on the Road

“If you’re going to win one, win the last one.” – Duane Kuiper

After yesterday’s game and the first game today, it’s hard to remember that those were worth just one loss each. Despite those two horrible games – I turned off yesterday’s game and watched The Incredible Burt Wonderstone instead – the Giants still had a chance to split the series if they pick up the last two games. And pick it up they did, as they grabbed an early lead in Game 2 and never gave it back.

Some highlights from an otherwise Topsy-turvy day:

Sergio Romo is filthy. Filthy. Here is his at-bat against Chris Heisey in the ninth inning:

Take a look at pitch number 5. That was almost three feet from the center of home plate and Heisey lunged for it. As Krukow said right after, “I don’t think he could’ve hit that with two bats.” Romo’s line tonight was 1.1 IP, 4 SOs. Don’t get much better than that.

Also, a big ol’ Mazel Tov to Bruce Bochy on the milestone of his 1,500th career win as a manager. We here at Giantspod HQ are big Bochy fans, and as far as arbitrary milestones go, this one is pretty cool. Congrats, Skip.

Otherwise, it was nice to see a good day from Hunter Pence, who went 4-8 in the double header and made a great defensive play to follow up his error. Pablo Sandoval keeps trying to convince us that he’s got his swing back and played mostly great defense, and Tony Abreu continues to make a case for not being the first man on the chopping block when Arias comes back.

 

Postgame Wrap: Giants Drop Third Game, Still Win Series Against Diamondbacks

Well, that was substantially less fun. The Giants got just three hits and no runs against Randall “who the hell is Randall Delgado” Delgado. And then the weeeeird ninth inning.

Unfortunately, the takeaway from the game will likely be the sixth inning, when Buster Posey singled and then was thrown out at home on a Pablo Sandoval double. Tim Flannery waved Posey all the way in on the play – with none out – and perfect throws from Pollock and Pennington and a great tag by Montero got Posey by a few inches. All in all an impressive defensive play and, given the game situation, Flannery probably should’ve held Posey at third. You can blame the Giants’ recent ineffectiveness at getting runs in from third, or Pence’s inconsistent ways, or Flannery’s generally aggressive tactics at third. Either way, it was pretty frustrating.

Instead, I’d like to take this opportunity to gush about how good Madison Bumgarner is. Even when our rotation completely fell to pieces, Bumgarner stayed strong. Today’s game brings him down to a 2.94 ERA, with an 0.96 WHIP and 127 Ks in 131.2 IP. In other words, he’s having the best year of his career so far, and that’s saying quite a bit.

Bumgarner threw his slider 43 times tonight, compared with 38 fastballs, and generated 9 total whiffs. He had four innings under fifteen pitches, including a five-pitch inning thanks to some bad baserunning by the D-Backs. He kept a lot of his pitches in the zone, but had enough movement that mostly the D-Backs just popped up what looked like a good pitch. Take a look:

Seeing that many pitches in “hittable” locations would normally spell disaster, but it worked for Bum. It has worked and continues to work for Bum, and he’s ours for years and years more.

Today was certainly a disappointment, but at the end of the day the Giants won the series and picked up some ground against the first-place team. The Giants had more to lose in this series than to win, and they proved that they can still (sometimes) hang with the big boys. If anything I hope they got back a little confidence in their bats and their pitching staff, because the Reds are going to be tough. But I feel better after seeing them win 5-of-7, and so should you.

Go Giants!

Postgame Wrap: Giants Beat Snakes, Not Dead Yet

As my partner Thomas alluded in his excellent piece about Tim Lincecum, this series with the Diamondbacks was set to be something of a bellwether for the Giants season: get swept and the season is over; make up some ground and we’re suddenly back in a race we had no business being in in the first place. So far, so good, as after the first two games the Giants sit 4.5 games out of first place, with the Dodgers and Rockies sitting between them. And while the Giants were pretty feckless in the first half against the rest of the league, they’ve posted an impressive (29-20) record against the rest of the awful NL West. So, despite what being 6 games under .500, this is totally possible.

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