About That Bullpen

You were probably watching the game. On Monday night, Madison Bumgarner threw a gem: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K. The only real mistake he made was giving up a home run to world-beater Yasiel Puig in the first inning. He had thrown 107 pitches. Despite 8 hits and 4 walks off the Dodgers’ starter, Hyun-jin Ryu, the Giants had only managed to score one run, and so the game was tied at one apiece. In the top of the eighth, the Giants went down in order, and the game proceeded to the bottom of the eighth.

And Madison Bumgarner came out to pitch in the bottom of the eighth.

Why? Why would Bruce Bochy do this? Bringing in a reliever to start the eighth, rather than waiting to see if/when MadBum got in trouble, was the obvious move even as it was happening. While 107 pitches isn’t an extraordinary amount, it’s not like Bumgarner had been truly cruising. In the bottom of the seventh The Dodgers coming up to bat were Nick Punto (switch-hitter), Mark Ellis (righty), and Yasiel Puig (righty). Bringing in George Kontos to start the innings seems like it would have been a much better decision than waiting to bring him in until there were runners on first and third with none out, as would eventually be the case. Continue reading


Giants Recap: So Long, Dodgers Playoff Hopes

Barry Zito rides into AT&T Park on his beloved unicorn, Powder, who is eating a Dodgers hat. (Illustration by Mac)

There are few things sweeter than seeing the Dodgers lose to the Giants.

There are few things sweeter than seeing the Dodgers lose because Barry Zito pitched pretty friggin’ well.

One of those things is seeing the Dodgers lose to the Giants because Barry Zito pitched pretty friggin’ well and was then eliminated by Barry Zito, Powder, & co.

Los Angeles: eliminated.

That’s sure to be a fun thing to tell people who expected the Dodgers to win the division, eh?

ZOMG BREAKING: Kershaw Scratched, Giants Have Chance

And now the Giants interrupt your regularly scheduled handegg contest with these important messages.


Can you imagine that? Barry Zito versus Joe Blanton on ESPN? And a big rivalry game like this?

Giants and Dodgers best be trollin’ the nation here. They best be trollin’.

How To Deal With A Rivalry Game On ESPN

BEAT LA (Photo: Jill Clardy/Flickr)

So the Giants are on national TV once again. Awesome. Cool. Fire up the radio and try to get it to sync with the TV. Not a problem.

Oh, this time it’s the Giants vs. Dodgers game.

And what if the radio can’t sync with the TV?

Doom, doom, doom. Amirite?

But fear not, because it could be worse. I mean, a booth of Tim McCarver, Eric Karros, and Joe Morgan may exist and call the Giants game. (NO ONE MAKE THIS HAPPEN. PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF PAC BELL PARK, PLEASE DON’T MAKE IT HAPPEN.) Continue reading

Giants Recap: #SweepLA

LA status: Swept

There were many ways this could have gone wrong. The Giants’ seemingly preternatural ability to avoid successfully completing a sweep. Buster Posey’s late scratch with a cranky hamstring, necessitating Hector Sanchez catching Matt Cain for the first time this season. The Dodgers’ general annoying Dodgerness.

But nope. Successful sweep. Successful sweep in LA, no less. Let that be a lesson to ya, Bums. You never when Joaquin Arias is coming for you. Um. Yeah.

Giants finish the night 2.5 games up on the Dodgers and 5.5 up on the Diamondbacks.

Giants Recap: Some Runs And Contradiction

Tim Lincecum was decidedly decent on the mound. Wasn’t exactly the good ol’ Timmy going the distance with double digit strikeouts, but, hey, 5.2 innings and only giving up one run and one walk? Good enough this season!

Then there’s that Angel Pagan guy. He was pretty decent tonight. I mean, 3-for-5 with an RBI and an outfield assist that led to A.J. Ellis being thrown out at home? No big deal for the Contradictory Name Man.

And that Buster Posey, he can drive two runs in on a day off from catching! What a swell guy.

The Giants are now 1.5 games up on the Dodgers, which is always a nice thing to hear.

And it’s also pleasant to yell out, “THE BUMS LOST.” Two nights in a row.

Make it three days in a row, Giants. Make it three.

Giants Recap: Duel of the Fates

Madison Bumgarner: nice to children, but not the Dodger children. (Photo: imovermyhead/Flickr)

I’m going to start you off with a mind-blowing piece of trivia from the always-excellent Giants Nirvana:

Holy crap, people. Holy crap. We are living in an age of baseball wonders, and two of those wonders are Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner. Kershaw, of course, is an unspeakable creature of Mordor, with nothing but spite and bile in his heart, as with all Dodgers. But the man can pitch, and pitch he did, contributing his half of the twenty strikeouts and making Buster Posey in particular look pretty silly. It was going to take a miraculous effort to scratch anything across, and while we’ll come back to that in a second, the corollary was that the inexplicably functional Dodgers offense was going to have to be shut down.

And right on cue, Madison Bumgarner. 23-years-old, walking less than two batters a game this season, and spending the dawn of his career casually working the inside corner against right-handed hitters like it ain’t no thang. Tonight, if there was a thang, it was nowhere within Bumgarner’s vicinity. He pounded the corners with his fastball, jammed hitters into feeble groundouts, and relied mostly on an absolutely murderous slider (with even more movement than usual, it seemed) to get nine swinging strikeouts. There was also a strikeout looking, too. It was Hanley Ramirez (on a slider that didn’t dive into the dirt!). That’s never not funny. Continue reading