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Madison Bumgarner impresses, Giants still lose

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Focus on the positives. Don’t focus on Hector Sanchez winning another game in the ninth inning against the Giants.

San Francisco Giants v San Diego Padres
let me check how many walk off home runs sanchez had with the giants guess what it’s zero
Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

The only thing to do is close your eyes and imagine just how horrible it would have been for the Giants to lose 10-2, with Madison Bumgarner struggling through four painful, ineffective innings. Now that’s dejection. When it’s 2019, this game will be a distant memory, and nothing about it will matter except for one thing*: Bumgarner looked like his old self. He looked like the pitcher he was before Excitebikegate, and that was the best possible news the Giants could have received tonight.

That they lost a game to the Padres in July of a cursed season? Ha. You’ll have to do better than that.

Hector Sanchez hit the walk-off home run.

Ha ha, well, can’t win ‘em all. So who’s to begrudge an old friend having a moment at the expense of his former team?

Sanchez had a .575 OPS coming into this game, with a .154 batting average and a .190 OBP.

Uh, I’m sure that was a hard .575 OPS, though. He’s probably hitting into a bunch of bad luck.

Sanchez now has as many home runs against the Giants as he does against any other major league team.

I ... wait, let me see that

Hector Sanchez home runs, by opponent
1. (tied) Colorado Rockies: 3 in 123 plate appearances
1. (tied) San Francisco Giants: 3 in 13 plate appearances
3. San Diego Padres: 2 in 81 plate appearances

Oh, come on. That’s not normal.

Don’t forget that he hit a game-tying home run in the ninth inning against Mark Melancon this year, too.

You can stop now.

Hector Sanchez career home runs in the ninth inning
While playing for the Giants: 1 in 99 plate appearances
While playing against the Giants: 2 in 5 plate appearances

STOP IT. IT DOESN’T MATTER. ALL THAT MATTERS IS THAT MADISON BUMGARNER WAS IMPRESSIVE.

Don’t forget that it’s July 15, and the Giants still haven’t won a game that Madison Bumgarner has started this season.

who are you please stop

I know where you live.

i just want to be happy that madison bumgarner looked great please stop

You know the Dodgers are 28-4 over their last 32 games, right?

ok


* Two things: Kumar Rocker will be on the team because the Padres got greedy, and that will be rad.


Bumgarner did look great. He allowed six baserunners in seven innings, and three of them scored. Nothing you can do about that. Some good ol’ fashioned cluster luck, right there, and the Padres hit a home run with a runner on base, and the Giants didn’t. Other than the two curveballs he hung to two different Star Wars characters (Matt Szczur and Jabari Blash), he was in control. He was hitting his spots. He was missing bats and making hitters feel uncomfortable.

I promise, that’s all I wanted from this game before it started. Maybe I’m the greedy one for thinking the Giants could win two in a row after the All-Star break, and maybe we all flew too close to the sun when the Giants took another first-inning lead. But all I wanted before the game started was for Bumgarner to pitch like nothing had happened.

He exceeded expectations, really. Seven full innings, with a manageable pitch count the whole time? I know it was the Padres, and they don’t have the most fearsome lineup in baseball, but it was still just about the best possible first outing back for Bumgarner. More of those for the rest of the year, and I’ll start talking about optimism for next season, too.

Just imagine if the Giants lost, 10-2. Just imagine if he had another Twins-type start. That would have been a mess to analyze. So much fear. So much second-guessing.

Instead, the Giants lost because they could take walks and get runners on, but they couldn’t get the big hit after the first inning. They had six hits, sprinkled throughout the lineup, and none of them were timed as well as the Padres’ hits. Them’s the breaks.


I really had high hopes for Steven Okert this year. He shined in 14 innings last year, and that was after 60 strikeouts in 47 Triple-A innings. He’s 25, and it looked like he was about to take the next step in his evolution.

Nope. His ERA is 7.11, which is most inconvenient. He’s the least reliable reliever on a last-place team, and I have no idea how the Giants can fix him.


Jhoulys Chacin pitched like a Giant tonight, except for the part where he didn’t cough up a million runs at once. That’s the difference. He bent, but he didn’t break. And he didn’t cough up a million runs at once.

That’s my advice for the Giants, really. Try not to cough up a million runs at once. You’ll never know where it might lead you.