Hey, cheer up. At least if the Giants keep losing one-run games, you won't have to read about how the Giants aren't for real because they win too many one-run games.
For the second game in a row, I made noises like a goat falling down an elevator shaft because the Giants hit a ninth-inning home run. For the second game in a row, the home run didn't lead to a win. I guess that's a thing now. We should probably give it a name. They got snowed. They got snowed, and how.
That it even had to be an extra-innings game is ridiculous. This should be another paean to Madison Bumgarner, who pitched masterfully. Except Ian Kennedy was just as stingy with the runs, which was annoying. I hate it when other pitchers match Giants pitchers zero for zero. It's like when awful people recite a comedian's routine when they're in line to see that comedian. You are awful and nobody likes you, so stop it.
Bumgarner was fantastic. We should all be talking about Bumgarner right now. Take a moment to think about Madison Bumgarner.
Yes, and Brandon Crawford needs to be mentioned before we get too dour. His double in the seventh gave the Giants the lead, and his home run in the ninth sent the Giants into extra innings. We're 24 days into the season, and Crawford already has what I figured would be a season's worth of home runs for him. If he did this all season, he would be an MVP candidate. Of course he isn't going to do this all season, but it's absurd that it's ever possible for you to type or say that last sentence with a straight face. He's hitting and fielding that well right now.
The rest of these gooney birds, man. What a mess. Let's assign an infomercial GIF to the culprits because everything is just so danged hard.
With a runner on third base and one out in the seventh inning, Bochy let Madison Bumgarner hit against a side-arming reliever. Bumgarner struck out and threw 11 more pitches in the game, just long enough for the Diamondbacks to tie it up. I guess the blueprint was for Bumgarner to pitch one more scoreless inning, then let Romo shut down the ninth, so, whatever, totally don't need that insurance run.
Except this is almost always a terrible idea. The bullpen isn't especially tired right now. And the Giants have had one of the better bullpens in baseball so far. The difference between Bumgarner at 100 pitches and a fresh Casilla is probably a push, at least. The difference between Bumgarner against a right-handed specialist and, I don't know, Nick Noonan is a much bigger deal.
Here's the infomercial GIF for Bochy's day:
"oh no what is happening oh man why does this keep happening oh no why does this happen to me" on a loop forever and ever.
Bochy will always stick with the pitcher after letting them hit in a crucial at-bat. If he did what most of us would do -- pinch-hit and put the game in the hands of the bullpen -- you know who would get the blame for a loss? The bullpen. It's a better situation for Bochy all around.
For the second time in April, Pagan give the ol' Benard shuffle out there in center field, and it cost the Giants the game. He did it with the team's best outfielder in left field. This strange setup isn't going away for years. It will be fine when it works and ugly when it doesn't. Today, ugly. So until something changes, we'll just have to be disgusted with Pagan screwing up, even though he's trying as hard as he can:
When Didi Gregorious hit the pop-up, he slammed his bat down. Because it should have been caught. But he also hustled his way to second for the second-straight game while an outfielder picked his nose. Both times he turned out to be the winning run. Stop doing that, Giants.
It was sure weird to see Gaudin at the top of the Giants' leaderboard for pitches in the strike zone, mostly because he hasn't thrown a lot of strikes in his career. If he could throw strikes, the Giants wouldn't be his ninth team. The stuff has always been there, but the command and control have not.
For the first month, I started to get excited. What if this guy found a repeatable delivery that allowed him to harness his stuff? What if, somehow, all of that fell into place? Super-reliever, that's what.
Instead, Gaudin pulled off his mask today and revealed that he was actually Chad Gaudin. He's still done a lot of nice work this year, and I'm not saying he should lose his spot in the bullpen. But you knew there had to be a few games like this mixed in.
Which makes Gaudin like something good that can turn bad at any second, but you won't be able to stop it. It will happen all around you, and all you can do is watch. Like this:
The Giants should have swept that series. Or maybe they're lucky they didn't get swept. Whatever the case, the Giants had a year's worth of ninth-inning home runs on back-to-back days, and they couldn't win either, even after getting the winning run into scoring position.
The last two Bochy vs. Logics haven't been egregiously bad, at least by walking-the-bases-loaded standards. In Wednesday's game, the walk didn't directly lead to the sac fly that plated the go-ahead run. But it sure didn't get the double play, either.
And as long as we're tallying things up.
Letting a pitcher hit for himself in the late innings with a runner in scoring position:
Just, orderly universe: 1
We'll keep track of this one all year, too.