You know, I’ll give it to Bruce Bochy. Dude don’t give a damn. After three straight games where fans wondered if he left his starting pitcher in too long, he left Madison Bumgarner in to try for a complete game. That’s a manager who is either stubborn or confident. Maybe both. Probably both. It’s impressive, no matter what it is.
Lincecum should have been yoinked way earlier in his start at Coors. Sanchez should have been in retrospect, but that wasn’t an obvious decision. Cain shouldn’t have started the eighth last night. And Bumgarner ... yeah, you knew how that was going to end up.
There’s something to be said for a young pitcher going for his first complete game -- a manager should pick a good spot, if possible. A three-run lead against a moribund offense isn’t a bad spot. It would have been a no-brainer if Bumgarner weren’t already at 100+ pitches. That’s what would have made me think twice; I’m not a pitch-count fanatic, but there has to be a pretty good reason to extend a 21-year-old. A warm, fuzzy moment isn’t one of them.
There’s also this argument: if Bumgarner struggled a little bit to start the inning, Brian Wilson would come in. If Wilson wet the bed, well, he was probably going to wet the bed anyways. And Brian Wilson isn’t right. Maybe that factored into Bochy’s decision. He was wonky last night, and now he had a rolled ankle to deal with There was an argument that he needed a night off if possible. So let Bumgarner try to finish it, and die with Wilson if you were going to die with him anyways
What this was, though, was a reminder that Bruce Bochy doesn’t have a secret formula on how to win money at blackjack. Last October and November, he was just doubling down at the right time, splitting his twos when the dealer would bust, and getting a three every time he hit on 18. And that brilliant, moronic mad genius idiot savant moron braniac did it again. If Schierholtz takes two steps to his right before the last pitch of the game, the Dodgers win. The Giants were a foot away from boosting TV sales in the Bay Area.
Nate Schierholtz picked up 1.0 WAR with this one. I don’t care if that’s not how WAR works. Whatever number he has at the end of the year, I’m tacking one on.
I’m glad that Madison Bumgarner is on the Giants.
And I’m going to rummage around my medicine cabinet and see if there’s anything in there for these palpitations. After getting swept in Colorado, a two-game sweep against the Dodgers were the only way to feel better. Odd, I feel ... older and more worn. That’s really, really odd.