Charlie Steiner was flummoxed. Buster Posey had just hit the Giants’ third home run of the game, their ninth in six games. “It took them 16 games to reach nine home runs last year,” Steiner said.
If you can’t tell, I’m writing this post from Southern California, an area that expected better from its National League franchise, at least during their first home series of 2014. They also didn’t expect to see the Giants come in and pound out 15 runs in two games.
They probably didn’t figure Madison Bumgarner would strike out 10 in his second outing, although another strong effort at Dodger Stadium probably shouldn’t have come as that much of a surprise. Bumgarner has an ERA of 1.98 over 54.2 innings at Chavez Ravine, easily his lowest career mark at any of the NL West ballparks.
Bumgarner ended the first, second and third innings with strikeouts, and each time there was a Dodger on second base. In the third inning, Yasiel Puig tried stealing second base and ended up making the last out after getting into a rundown, thanks to a pickoff throw by Bumgarner.
The Giants’ 3-4-5 hitters all homered. Michael Morse drilled one to center in the fourth, Pablo Sandoval launched a three-run shot to left from the right side, and Posey followed with his second home run of the year.
— It’s only six days into the Giants’ season, but it’s tough to picture a better start than being in possession of the best record in the National League after today’s win.
— Angel Pagan went 2-for-4 with a walk. He’s hitting .407. Posey is hitting .381 after going 2-for-5.
— Hunter Pence came through with his third assist in six days, which makes up for his .120 average (he had two hits today).
— Great diving catch by Gregor Blanco in the ninth inning. The Morse/Blanco platoon has worked to perfection early on.
— Don Mattingly has used 12 pitchers in the first two games of this series. Maybe that’s why the two games combined to last SEVEN HOURS AND SEVEN MINUTES.
— Steiner again, showing that an outsider’s perspective of the San Francisco Giants can sometimes look nothing like what we see at close range.
Charlie Steiner: “When Brandon Belt came up, he struggled. But Bruce Bochy was always in his corner.”
— Bay Area Sports Guy (@BASportsGuy) April 5, 2014
I mean, Bochy surely roots for Belt to succeed … but anyone who’s followed the Giants since 2011 knows how much local angst Belt’s playing time (or lack thereof, at times) has created.
— Puig caught Brandon Belt’s fly ball down the right field line for the third out of the ninth inning, then spun and fired a throw into the infield. After getting word that the inning was over, Puig shrugged as if to say, “I hit the cutoff man and they still complain. Nothing I do pleases these people.”