Hello and happy Saturday. I hope your weekend is good, despite the San Francisco Giants being awful.
Just a handful of minutes before the Giants embarked in their Friday shellacking at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Arizona Diamondbacks opened the season against the San Diego Padres.
And with it, Madison Bumgarner threw his first ever pitch in a jersey that didn’t say “Giants” on it (or “San Francisco” ... or “Gigantes”).
It was poignant.
It was also familiar. Bumgarner did his usual things — smoothly delivered his long release, blew snotrockets (sorry health and safety protocol), showed limited emotion, and spit tobacco (sorry health and safety protocol) — and his performance was familiar too.
He was spectacular for five innings, allowing no runs, but his offense gave him nothing. Then he was brought out for the sixth inning, gave up a three-run double to old friend Eric Hosmer, and lost.
Oh, well this looks like an encouraging start for Bumgarner.— Scott White (@CBSScottWhite) July 25, 2020
*checks velocity* pic.twitter.com/uR2ALRlbYX
It was still nice to see him pitch, and to reminisce about his Giants tenure. But of course it couldn’t be without a little controversy.
Guarantee you it would've been weirder if he had stayed. https://t.co/zczH7edEqj— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) July 25, 2020
It’s not entirely clear what Andrew Baggarly is referencing here. He’s made mention that Bumgarner’s exit was more awkward, and had more hurt feelings involved than was initially let on, something that Bumgarner himself has made a few hints at.
I’m guessing that’s the reference, but it could also be about the Giants decision to not let starters pitch starter minutes, or the fact that the Giants are plum terrible, or even commentary about how Bumgarner might have reacted to the Giants social justice actions in the past week.
Either way, watching him pitch made me happy, and watching him pitch in a non-Giants jersey made me sad.
So it goes.
Did Barry Bonds hit a home run today?
July 25, 1996: Against the Atlanta Braves, Bonds hit a 2-run home run in the 1st inning off of Greg Maddux, scoring Matt Williams. It gave the Giants a 3-0 lead, and they would win 4-3. It was his 26th homer of the year.
July 25, 1997: Against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Bonds hit a solo home run in the 3rd inning off of Jason Schmidt. It cut the Giants deficit to 3-1, and they would lose 5-2. It was his 27th homer of the year.
- Roger Munter wonders if Austin Slater can make the leap (There R Giants)
- Grant Brisbee on how Opening Day was a metaphor for the season (The Athletic, subscription required)
- Podcast: Grant Brisbee and Andrew Baggarly discuss Opening Day (The Athletic, free)
- Monte Poole on how Sam Coonrod was within his rights, but his explanation fell short (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Henry Schulman on Gabe Kapler’s support for Sam Coonrod, and the dialogue he wants to create (SF Chronicle)
- Kerry Crowley on how Tyler Heineman is tasked with bridging the gap between Buster Posey and Joey Bart (Mercury News)
- Alex Pavlovic on what Gabe Kapler said to Sam Coonrod (NBC Sports Bay Area)
- Mark W. Sanchez on what comes next for Sam Coonrod (KNBR)
- Andrew Baggarly on how Gabe Kapler’s scheme unraveled on Opening Day (The Athletic, subscription required)
- Chuck Barney on the weird TV viewing experience (Mercury News)
- Mark W. Sanchez on the ugly start to the season (KNBR)
I hope your Saturday is wonderful.