The San Francisco Giants aren’t out of it yet, but tonight they sure looked out of it. Bronson Arroyo brought the Bobby Jones comparisons, and that’s never a good thing. Madison Bumgarner showed that teams that are exceedingly cautious with their young starters are that way for a reason (more on that in a bit). There isn’t enough liquor in the Bay Area, because this article looks as ridiculous as this photo of Arroyo.*
In 2010, the Giants beat Roy twice in the postseason. In 2012, Arroyo was invincible. Is this just two bad games, or were the Giants a fraud this season, a team that fattened up on a horrible division and a late season schedule that saw only six games against a winning team (the Dodgers) in the Giants’ last 34 games? These are valid questions.
Other things we can ask:
1. Did the Giants destroy Bumgarner’s season in August?
He pitched eight shutout innings in Los Angeles on Aug. 20, striking out 10 and allowing only four hits. He also threw 123 pitches, the first time he went over 117 all season. Bumgarner hasn’t thrown more than 104 pitches in a start since, but the damage may have already been done. Since that game in L.A., Bumgarner’s stats until through the end of the regular season:
7 starts: 36.2 IP, 5.89 ERA, 45 H, 31 K, 17 BB
Tonight: 4.1 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 4 K, 1 BB
2. Is there any chance Tim Lincecum re-signs with the Giants (assuming they’d want him back)?
It was announced before the game that Lincecum wouldn’t start Game 3 or any other game in the NLDS. This was something that Lincecum already knew. Lincecum didn’t know the news was public this afternoon, then before the game had to answer questions (which he did in a professional manner, which isn’t a surprise because he’s always like that).
It made sense that after Lincecum-as-reliever became news, Bochy would test-drive his new short-range sports car in Game 2. However, something about the communication between coaches and player was amiss, at least according to this exchange before Lincecum took the mound after barely warming up at all in the bullpen.
3. Can the Giants finally stop forcing us to watch Guillermo Mota?
I thought this was figured out during that last series in L.A. I have nothing against the guy, and I don’t really care about the children’s cough syrup or even the fact that he was a two-time PED offender. He’s simply a mediocre reliever.
4. Are there any bright spots to cling to after the first two games?
Actually, there are two (and neither of them will provide any solace for you). First, no errors! The Giants aren’t beating themselves! Second, I feel a whole lot better about not getting credentialed for the postseason! Except it meant that my wife and I spent way too much on tickets for last night’s game. Okay, scrap that second bright spot … I’m sure you already did.
5. How can they sweep the three games in Cincinnati and save their season?
Let’s see … Ryan Vogelsong has to pitch as well as he did in his last two starts (of all the Giants’ failures over Games 1 and 2, Matt Cain and Bumgarner combining for 9.1 IP has to be the most surprising), Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro need to go back to being the guys who helped the Giants sprint away from the Dodgers over the last six weeks of the season, Hunter Pence needs to see a hypnotist or something, and that’s just if they want to have a chance in Game 3.
It’s never over until it’s over. And once it’s over, go Niners.