Bumgarner was solid enough, I suppose, but not efficient. He threw 112 pitches, the most by a Giants starter this season. But he only went six innings, allowing three runs with only three strike outs and four walks. The reason the pitch count was so high was that he allowed nearly a dozen full-counts. This was partially his lack of sharpness and partially a terrible strike zone. More on that later.
Meanwhile, Alex Wood had a strong performance behind even stronger defense. The Dodgers were catching anything the Giants could put the bat to. Wood went only five and two thirds innings, but four of those were hit-less, and he left the game with only two hits, two walks and one earned run.
Bumgarner’s earned runs all came on home runs by Matt Kemp and Enrique Hernández. If you watched last night’s game, that probably sounds familiar. And annoying.
Speaking of annoying, during the second inning the broadcast cut to Dave Roberts in the dugout for an in-game interview. Of course Kemp then immediately hit his homer, and we were forced to watch the Dodgers dugout reaction up close and personal. If it weren’t the Dodgers, I’d probably think it was fun listening to a manager call a home run for his team on the broadcast. However, I do not enjoy watching happy Dodgers so it was, in fact, annoying.
This was the pitch Kemp hit out. Not exactly a mistake. pic.twitter.com/mLMr5tFxdi— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) June 17, 2018
Bumgarner got into a little trouble in the fourth, walking Justin Turner, intentionally walking Yasiel Puig, then walking Cody Bellinger to load the bases with two outs, but was able to get out of it when Logan Forsythe lined out to Mac Williamson to end the inning.
Williamson kept his heroics going, getting the first hit of the night for the Giants to start the top of the next inning. Joe Panik followed that up with a single of his own to advance Williamson to third before Alen Hanson brought him home on a sac-fly to score the only run of the night for the Giants.
During that inning, Madison Bumgarner struck out for the second time of the night, both on failed check-swings. He would not be the only person to struggle with that, as Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford also got rung up on strikes, including swings they couldn’t quite check in time.
The wheels started to come off for Bumgarner in the bottom of the firth. Austin Barnes hit a single to left and was advanced on a sac-bunt from Wood. Things momentarily looked up as Chris Taylor hit one to the right of Hanson who made the play of the night for the Giants, making a lunging catch before pirouetting around and throwing a rocket that was just a bit off-line to Brandon Belt, who reached out and made the catch.
And then, naturally, Hernández hit a two-run shot on a hanging curveball for the second first-pitch home run of the game. Because he wanted to make your dad sad on Father’s Day weekend. And he probably hates puppies. But don’t quote me on that.
After that, Taylor hit a ground rule double during Bumgarner’s 10th full-count battle of the night. The inning should have ended twice on a Kemp strike out, but it did not. The first time it was a swinging strike that was ruled a foul tip, and the second time, it was a strike called ball four. Which did not please Madison Bumgarner, who was ejected after his last start for arguing the strike zone with the home-plate umpire. But he had a right to be mad tonight, as you can see:
Inning appeared over but plate umpire Dan Bellino ruled a foul tip that grazed dirt before Posey caught it. And now Bellino squeezes Bumgarner again on ball 4. pic.twitter.com/sd7L2w9Qak— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) June 17, 2018
He got out of the inning quickly against Puig and had a fairly uneventful sixth inning after a single to Forsythe, and his night was done after that. This brought in Reyes Moronta, who pitched the final two innings and struck out three, allowing only a hit.
Meanwhile, the Giants had opportunities to score in the sixth, seventh and ninth innings, but could not. The lead-off batter reached base in all three of those innings, and they were all fruitless. Most frustrating were the seventh and ninth innings.
In the seventh, Scott Alexander couldn’t throw a strike to save his life. Panik walked on four pitches, and Pence should have walked on five. However, he chased badly on the 3-1 count and ultimately struck out. Then they got Hanson and Panik on a strike-out/throw-out double play.
For a pitcher who was struggling with his command as much as Alexander was, they really should have been more patient. As one of the broadcasters noted “They’d be better off just standing at the plate and not moving the bat at this point.” Or as we like to call it, the Santiago Casilla approach.
Then in the ninth, Posey reached on a rare Dodger fielding error by Justin Turner, who overthrew to Bellinger at first. Williamson walked on four pitches with one out. Things looked promising as Panik hit into a fielder’s choice that advanced both runners and up came Pablo Sandoval, who has had the big heroic at-bats the last couple of games. But he popped up to Turner in foul territory for a very anticlimactic ending to an anticlimactic game. A game that felt over as soon as Matt Kemp’s home run went out.
It’s the 11th consecutive game at Dodger Stadium where the Giants have been unable to score more than two runs (two would have even been nice tonight) as they combined for four total hits and drop the series to the Dodgers.
And they get to do it all over again tomorrow, what a treat!