Giants waste Madison Bumgarner's outing, fall 2-1

WELP - Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The one run was a sweet dinger, though.

The last time the Giants lost a game in which their pitcher threw a complete game: 2010, Giants at Toronto. Barry Zito, of course. The time before that was also in 2010. Matt Cain against the A's, in what might be one of the all-time greatest cainings.

What I'm saying is that this is rare. It takes a two- or three-year cycle to get a complete-game loss these days. It used to happen all the time -- Dave Koslo had five in just over a month for the '49 Giants -- but these days, it's rare.

And you know what? In the grand scheme of things, in the big picture, focusing on the long-term fortunes of this wacky 2014 team, Tuesday night wasn't the worst result at all. Not at all. The Giants needed innings. The bullpen needed a rest. A three-inning relief marathon from Juan Gutierrez followed by two from Jeremy Affeldt followed by two from Jean Machi would have been a disaster. That's the kind of thing that shows up in August, even if you don't remember why. "Dammit, Gutierrez, where did you put your fastball?" He left it in the humidor, my man, take it easy. It wasn't his fault.

Instead, the Giants got a complete game. They absolutely needed that complete game, if not for today, then for tomorrow and the next day. They needed Madison Bumgarner to be a snot-rocketing badass, and he was just that. Oh, wow, he was just that. To go into Coors and absorb innings while preventing runs, why, that's a magnificent feat.

Of course, he allowed two runs.

He shouldn't have done that.

Dammit, Bumgarner, how could you?

But before we move on, think of the ways this could have been worse. Think of the extra innings and 30-pitch innings that could have made this dull loss a punch to the back of the head. Instead, it's just a dull loss.

The last time the Giants had a complete-game loss, they won the World Series. Embrace the dull loss. High-five your Madison Bumgarner Fathead. He was magnificent, and that's more important than one loss out of 90. I mean, 80. I mean … no, probably 90. Let me sleep this one off, and I'll be back at 70 by tomorrow.

★★★

A list of Giants complete games at Coors Field:

Player Date Rslt App,Dec
Barry Zito 2012-04-09 W 7-0 SHO9 ,W
Matt Cain 2010-09-26 W 4-2 CG 9 ,W
Ryan Jensen 2002-07-02 W 18-5 CG 9 ,W
Russ Ortiz 1999-10-01 W 9-4 CG 9 ,W
Mark Gardner 1999-06-16 W 15-2 CG 9 ,W
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/22/2014.

Congratulations, Madison Bumgarner! He's like the Ryan Jensen of the 2014 Giants.

★★★

There was no better moment in this game than Pablo Sandoval's double play. And by "no better", I mean "no worse", but it was sublime.

The innings started with Hunter Pence facing Adam Ottavino, a right-handed cutter maestro with a wicked slider. Basically, the worst possible matchup for Hunter Pence in baseball. Pence is a slug, Ottavino is a shaker of salt. Pence is an orange tree, Ottavino is a below-freezing night. Pence is a James Cameron movie from the last 20 years, Ottavino is a member of the audience who actually knows how real people talk. You get the idea.

Pence fought off sliders and cutters and fisted a single. It wasn't a great at-bat, but it was certainly a good at-bat for Pence considering the circumstances.

After Buster Posey made a quick out because he isn't good anymore and whatever god you believe in has forsaken you, Michael Morse came up. Everything I wrote about Pence up there applies to Morse. It wasn't a good matchup. Morse had a great at-bat, though, lining a hard single to right. The Giants had two on and one out in a one-run game. They were focused. They were willing.

The Rockies changed pitchers.

"Here's the Rockies' new pitcher," the TV said. There were stats on the screen for four seconds.

Pablo Sandoval stepped into the box, and like Babe Ruth, he called his shot. Except, instead of pointing into the stands, he merely existed. And instead of hitting a homer, he grounded into the quickest double play in baseball history. I think the umpire rolled it out to short to save time.

That was the worst moment of the young season, give or take. And there's nothing you can do but take it. There's no "Start (prospect)" or "Trade for (player)" right now. If the Giants are going to be good, they'll need Pablo Sandoval. It's April 22. Give it time. But right now, he's kind of a drag. The good news is that so is everyone else.

★★★

That is not good news.

★★★

If hitting is contagious, the Giants are Howard Hughes, walking around with surgical masks and Kleenex boxes on their feet because they're scared of germs. Then they die anyway. At least they're really, really rich.

★★★

I love that LaTroy Hawkins is closing for the Rockies. Not for baseball reasons, or because I think the Giants can get to him or anything. I like it because every ninth inning agains the Rockies is now a Dickens novel, a morality tale that tells you why the Giants are wrong and deserve their fate. You don't get that with Huston Street. No, a 41-year-old Hawkins closing the team out means much, much more. He's a Ghost of Christmas Past and Present. I hope he gets two paychecks.

★★★

The Rockies aren't using Impact font above their dugouts anymore.

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Dammit. This means something.

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