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

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A Look At The Giants Roster: The Pitchers

I’ve taken a look at the position players, now it’s time to take a look at the pitchers.

Starting Pitchers: Tim Lincecum (probably), Matt Cain, Madison Bumgarner, Ryan Vogelsong, Barry Zito

WARNING: CONTROVERSIAL AND POSSIBLY UNPOPULAR OPINIONS AHEAD

About a week ago, Buster Olney created a bit of a hubbub amongst Giants fandom when he ranked the Giants’ rotation only the ninth-best in baseball. Here’s the thing – I’m not sure I disagree with him. Continue reading

World Series Recap: Madison Bumgarner Is A Strong Bum

The Annoyed Hobo (Jen Mac Ramos)

Doug Fister versus Madison Bumgarner. Bumgarner, he of the 2012 postseason starts that did not go well. Fister, he of the Northern California roots and Giants fan background.

With the way the odds were, Fister seemed to just have a better chance of winning this game for the Tigers. Bumgarner hadn’t been having the stellar starts some thought he would have this postseason; Fister has been extraordinary.

Tonight, it was a pitcher’s duel. Continue reading

NLCS Series Preview: BRB Hiding

(Flickr/cseeman)

I don’t know about you, but I’m scared of the Cardinals. After Friday night’s game where they came back and beat the Nationals? Eeeeesh.

The Giants have faced teams that seemed to overmatch them. Same can be said about a lot of other teams. It’s also just … very nerve wracking.

Madison Bumgarner’s set to start game one. Ryan Vogelsong’s on the mound for game two. Solid, decent, what more can you ask for when Matt Cain can’t be the game one starter? Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito are reportedly available out of the bullpen for games one and two.

As far as pitching goes, it seems to be pretty decent. A couple of reliever changes are possible, but I wouldn’t expect for Sergio Romo, George Kontos, Jeremy Affeldt, and Javier Lopez to be off the roster. Continue reading

NLDS Game Recap: Expletives And Crying

Giants, left, is defeated by baseball, right. (Illustration by Mac)

That sucked.

A lot of things went wrong for the Giants, and Matt Cain, as decent as he was, threw some bad pitches at the worst possible time, and there you have it. Oh, and Bruce Bochy is most definitely to blame for awful bullpen management. See: Santiago Casilla. Man, that inning was just awful.

But the offense wasn’t as bad as one would think. They were BABIP’d and BABIP’d hard. Hell, with the bases loaded, Cain hit one hard, but it was caught. Luck just wasn’t on their side.

Johnny Cueto was taken out of the game after 1/3 of an inning. Back spasms, poor guy. But the Giants — and everyone — didn’t expect that. And then they were Mat Latos’d.

Out of all the people available.

But, Mat Latos was pitching on short rest, so who knows if he’ll be able to pitch when he was scheduled to. On the KNBR Postgame Wrap, it was noted that Cueto could pitch again in this series, so who knows.

The Giants aren’t done yet. It’s only game one in a five game series. Madison Bumgarner pitches tomorrow, Buster Posey be beastin’, and the rest of the offense seemed to be adequate. All hope is not lost.

Series Preview: Giants vs. Padres

With the magic number down to three, the Giants will be trying their hardest to clinch the NL West this weekend — or at least, a playoff berth.

This weekend marks the last regular season weekend series the Giants will have at AT&T Park. They face the San Diego Padres, who have long since been eliminated from playoff contention.

Hey — at least there’s no Mat Latos to face this year. But also no Jonathan Sanchez around to hit triples off of Latos.

But the Giants have been running as strong as they can and are 10 games up on the Dodgers.

The only question left is whether or not they’ll be able to keep this up throughout the playoffs, should they make it far.

The focus this weekend, though, will be on aiming to clinch and keeping a good lead on the Dodgers.

Willie Mac Award winner Buster Posey has been making a case to be MVPosey this year, with good reason. Tonight, he’ll be honored in a ceremony and presented with the award.

Ryan Vogelsong, Madison Bumgarner, and Tim Lincecum will be starting for the Giants in this series.

The Padres have been the Good Padres as of late, which is rather similar to the Bad Padres of this past season.

You could say that the Giants have a chance to clinch this weekend. But it’s the Giants and anything is possible. Would be great to see the clinch happen as soon as possible, but they just need to keep winning.

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

Giants Recap: Madison Bumgarner Can Throw a Complete Game, Cannot Rent Car

He also is holding a penguin. Your argument is invalid.

Madison Bumgarner threw his second complete game tonight, against the same Nationals lineup that, well, we’ll just politely say that they beat the Giants pretty soundly last night. Madison Bumgarner also is not old enough to rent a car. For all the feting that Mike Trout and Bryce Harper (deservedly) get, I think it’s appropriate to take a moment to appreciate several things.

  1. Madison Bumgarner is very good at baseball.
  2. Madison Bumgarner will be a Giant for a nice long time.
  3. Madison Bumgarner is still very, almost comically, young. Continue reading

Series Preview: Giants vs. Nationals

It doesn’t seem that it was long ago when the Nationals were known for being the Natinals thanking you for your patients, but they’ve certainly come a long way since those days.

Currently, they’re the best team in baseball — who’da thunk that when the season began? They’re currently leading the NL East by 4.5 games.

Not too shabby for a team that was always in the bottom of the NL East for the past few years. Continue reading

Giants Recap: What Is This Dingerized Madness

As I took in this sporting contest, I found myself confronting a slowly creeping sense of dread, similar to the mood built during the third act of a penny-dreadful or “thriller” moving picture. This is a sensation familiar to anyone who has experienced what the denizens of Denver mockingly refer to as Base-Ball, which looks deceptively like the game enjoyed by the rest of this great nation but contains explosions of run-scoring offensive to true Base-Ball Enthusiasts. At any time, otherwise innocent pitches can find their trajectory suddenly reversed and heightened, transformed into the abominable “Home Run.” Truly, what horrors hath science wrought? Continue reading