Going into game two of a four game set against the Milwaukee Brewers, the guy to watch was Madison Bumgarner. In his previous outing against the A’s, he lasted just four innings, allowing three runs, two hits, and (dun-dun-DAHHHH) a career-high of six walks.
Since returning from the disabled list, the Giants are 4-5 in his outings, going 4-1 at home. That being said, Bumgarner has not looked completely like himself, sometimes struggling to get through the third time through the line-up so that was something I kept my eye out for going into this game.
Through five innings and twice through the line-up, Bumgarner kept the Brewers scoreless, allowing only three hits and striking out three, keeping his pitch count efficient. In the sixth and, you guessed it, his third time through the lineup, Madison gave up a hit to lead-off man Keon Broxton, walked Christian Yelich, and induced a ground ball from Ryan Braun that allowed a run to score tying the game up 1-1.
While Bumgarner was able to pitch his way out of a bigger inning in the sixth, his troubles continued in the seventh when he gave up another lead-off single to Hernán Pérez, who eventually scored thanks to a sac-fly, stolen base, and ground ball, Brewers lead, 2-1.
More of the same in the eighth inning. Bumgarner gave up a double to Christian Yelich who was driven in by Ryan Braun, padding to the Brewers lead, 3-1. Bumgarner’s final line of the night was 108 pitches, 8.0 IP, seven hits, 3 runs, one walk, and five strike outs.
Let me stop here - does this seem some what familiar? Let me add some additional color to this story by saying the only run the Giants scored was in the second when Buster Posey doubled to start the inning and was eventually driven in with a Brandon Crawford double.
While Bumgarner was not completely sharp, he went deep into the game, sparing the bullpen and limiting damage. The offense has been stagnant - going into today’s game, the Giants have scored 75 runs this month (or 3.7 runs a game), tied with Detroit for the fourth-fewest in MLB. Their OPS is .635 - the second lowest behind Detroit.
The Giants tried to build an offensive rally in the eight inning that started with two strike outs to Gorkys Hernández and pinch-hitter Austin Slater. With two outs, Steven Duggar singled, followed by another single to Alen Hanson and a walk to Andrew McCutchen to load the bases. With Buster Posey on deck, I felt excited and tingly because I was like - THIS IS THE GUY. THIS IS THE GUY YOU WANT. Flashes of Mat Latos grand slams danced in my head.
But nah, guys. Posey grounded out to third to end the inning with no runs scoring. To his credit, Buster ran hard and tried to leg it out but to no avail.
The Giants went down quietly in the ninth, ending the game with another victory for the Brewers with a final score of 3-1, with the Giants stranding a total of six runners on base.
Some positives from this game:
- Even when he’s not at his best, Bumgarner is still able to get you through eight innings which is pretty dang good. And limit run damage. Also pretty dang good.
- The one run.
A few post-game notes:
- Bochy mentioned in the press conference that they can’t keep saying “there’s a lot of baseball left”. He also put it on the veterans to lead the way.
- Bochy also mentioned that he felt Bumgarner did a great job and induced a lot of ground balls
- Bumgarner mentioned his command felt good and that his main focus is too keep runs off the board
- When asked about the trade deadline and whether he’s concerned he said “ I try to keep it simple and worry about what I can control”