clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Giants win big, make us feel like they didn't win big

Madison Bumgarner was outstanding for the first five innings, and the Giants kept getting hit after hit.

this is a sad bat flip :(
this is a sad bat flip :(
USA TODAY Sports Images

I was eating an avocado when Madison Bumgarner threw his first pitch, and I dropped the pit on my lawn. Now I have all the avocados I can eat. Would you like some avocados?

/offers bushel of avocados

I'm not going to use them all, and they go bad so quickly. Take an avocado. Dammit, take an avocado.

Goodness. But long wins are still okay. Wins can be added to that old adage about pizza, sex, and Billy Wilder movies: even when they're bad, they're still pretty good. I'm not even sure what the focus of a post-game thread should be. Madison Bumgarner? He started back in 2013. It's 2018 now, and Christian Arroyo leads the team in hits. Where am I? What's that weird smell?

For the first part of the game, I was looking up the last easy win the Giants had. Normal teams get easy wins every so often. The Giants don't get easy wins. The last one was May 20 against the Nationals, except that was the game that broke Ryan Vogelsong. So it felt like a loss. The last unambiguously easy win was May 11. It's been a month. A month!

And then the Giants started stressing us out, acting the fool and looking sloppy. The easy win suddenly didn't feel like an easy win. Ramon Ramirez decided he was playing Calvinball, and he thought he was using the Stick of Extenuating Circumstances to make it so that walks only happened after eight balls. No one else was playing Calvinball, so Ramirez just kept grinding grinding grinding with an eight-run lead. Cool.

But that's nitpicking! The Giants won by six. Madison Bumgarner pitched well, for the most part. He had a safety squeeze, which is one of my most favoritest plays in baseball. Buster Posey hit a moonshot. Hunter Pence pummeled an opposite-field shot, and he did it with one of those beautiful, messy swings. He has the A Love Supreme of baseball swings. Why is this beautiful? Is this really beautiful? This is so close to being a mess. It's almost a violent, discordant mess. But it's amazing. Brandons Crawford and Belt combined for seven hits. It was an outstanding game.

It still felt like a close game. That's our Giants! The tuba plays, the studio audience laughs, and the credits roll. We'll take it, of course. Outstanding game, even if it didn't feel like that for 23 hours there in the middle.


I pay way too much attention to Madison Bumgarner's starts these days. How's his velocity? Up? Down? Was that a fastball at 88? No, it was a slider. Maybe. Is he tired? Are his mechanics okay? Is he okay? What's wrong with Bumgarner? Is anything wrong with Bumgarner? No, nothing's wrong with Bumgarner. Unless …

And when the Diamondbacks started jumping on him in the sixth, after he had been so effective for most of the game, all of those questions started bouncing around the room.

After he was lifted tonight, though, I had an epiphany. It seems obvious, but tonight was the first time in a long while that I remembered this. Here goes:

Dude's 23.

It's easy to forget, what with him never allowing any earned runs in either of his World Series starts, but he's quite literally a year or two older than a lot of the pitchers drafted over the last three days. He's going to fly open with his shoulder. He's going to tire late in games. He's going to forget things he should remember and remember things he should forget. He's 23.

So now i can't wait until the next Bumgarner start. I'm a liberated man. He's 23. And he's fantastic most of the time. If he can pick up a thing or two, well, that would be just ducky. But he's pretty outstanding right now.


And then Cody Ross tried to take third base with two outs when his team was down eight runs.


With Tony Abreu on the roster, here's what the bench looks like:

OF - Andres Torres
INF - Joaquin Arias
INF - Tony Abreu
1B - Brett Pill
OF - Juan Perez
C - Guillermo Quiroz

That's close to the optimum bench, at least considering the Giants' internal options. I'd probably prefer it if Pill were replaced with a switch-hitter stronger against lefties, but that's just nitpicking. After the three-catcher morass and the Nick Noonan experiment, the Giants are in a pretty good spot. When Angel Pagan comes back, Perez goes back down, of course, but for now it's a pretty versatile bench.


Brandon Crawford is now hitting .292/.350/.443. Of course, he has a negative defensive rating, but that's because he broke FanGraphs with his hitting. Good work.