Bullpen Falters in 8th, Giants Fall to Cards 4-3

It seemed like a great idea at the time, coming home early to watch the recording of tonight’s game, settling back on the couch with a cup of coffee and my laptop, watching my Giants silence the mighty St. Louis lineup and scratch out another win for our boy Mr. Tweety Vogelstrong.

For 7 1/2 innings, the plan went off without a hitch, but apparently the SF bullpen didn’t get the message.

It’s really hard to blame a single person for what happened tonight, but it’s really seeming more and more like Javier Lopez should be more limited in his use. People more stat-minded than me can make the case that he should be limited exclusively to lefties, and while I’m not sure about this definite of an argument, he’s certainly not dealing the same way that he was in the end of last season.

Then again, it’s easy to point the finger at one pitcher and call them (or Bruce Bochy) out on their poor performance, only to see that other pitcher suffer exactly the same way the next day. Monday-morning quarterbacking is always dangerous in baseball, and it’s especially brutal when it comes to analyzing use of relief pitchers. I remember seeing this in Game 4 of the NLCS last year, when nearly every relief pitcher in turn came in to pitch and gave up a game-tying run, only to turn it over to the next guy. Each pitcher has strengths and each has weakness, and each will have their bad outings, because there’s no sure thing in baseball, as we all know.

On that note, Jeremy Affeldt looked really good in his two innings of work. He’s been pretty ineffective recently, and even when he’s been able to avoid giving up runs, he’s been allowing a ton of base runners. Before tonight he gave up 12 H, 3 BB and 7 ER in his 10 appearances in the month of May (7 IP), so it was nice to see him look dominant for the first time in a while.

In other silver-lining news, Brandon Crawford looks real good. He flashed the leather on defense several times tonight, and he looks to be a legitimate threat at the plate, at least for now. His hitting thus far this year reeks of Small Sample Size Theater, but it’s nice to see that he’s not completely clueless up there, which is how the scouting report made him sound. We’ll see if he actually starts games over Miguel Tejada once Pablo Sandoval comes back, but it’s nice to know that we have him as an option.

To round out my glass-half-full post, I’m taking yet another step onto the Vogelsong bandwagon. I’m already all-in on him as our fifth starter, and I even said on the podcast that in some crazy universe he could be a Cy Young Candidate, pitching the way he is. Crazy? Of course it is, but it’d make one hell of a story.

With that, I’m forgetting that this game happened, and looking forward to June.

This article was posted here on Bleacher Report.