Recent events should’ve prepared us for this. The Golden State Warriors got new life in their playoff series because the team that was more talented is owned by a man who can’t handle his women or post-slavery America. Ryan Vogelsong pitched seven shutout innings when most of the Bay Area was ready to hand his spot in the rotation to Yusmeiro Petit. The San Jose Sharks are headed to a Game 7 after leading the Los Angeles Kings three games to none.
So, when the San Diego Padres trotted out a lineup where the most recognizable name to Giants fans was Xavier Nady, one could either go with conventional wisdom (Madison Bumgarner might pitch his first no-hitter), or remember that nothing in life, or at least in sports, makes a lot of sense these days.
This is the part where we mention how Bumgarner gave up five runs (four earned) in five innings, and Padres backup catcher Rene Rivera drove in all five to lead San Diego to a 6-4 victory. Bumgarner started 22 of the 28 hitters he faced with strikes, but still walked four. It seems crazy after he was so good in 2013 and close to untouchable in Spring Training, but Bumgarner’s ERA is now 6.20 in four starts at AT&T Park.
“Whether it’s a hitter or a pitcher, they’re going to be a little off at times. They’re going to go through their little skids. We’re pretty spoiled with Madison with the way he’s pitched, especially here at home,” Bruce Bochy said.
“As bad as it was going there, we got back into the game. Buster’s ball just missed going out. A wild pitch went back to the catcher, first and third, one out, couldn’t get them in. Strange night, just couldn’t get it done even though we had some good at-bats at times.”
Brandon Hicks did send one over the center field wall, his fourth home run of the season and second in two days, but no one was on base at the time. The Giants hit several balls to the warning track or at least in the vicinity, including Posey’s shot to left in the sixth inning that went over Xavier Nady’s head and hit the wall. The Giants loaded the bases, but Hicks sent another fly ball soaring to left that was caught a couple steps in front of the wall.
It was that type of game. The Padres only went 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position, but the Giants couldn’t capitalize. As a result, their winning streak was snapped at four games against a nearly anonymous team that has beaten them three out of four times this season. Baseball is weird, just like everything else.
— “Something felt a little off. Have to see if we can figure out what it was. Command obviously wasn’t very good,” Bumgarner said. “I feel like today was probably the worst (performance) I’ve had, game-wise. In the other (subpar outings) I was maybe trying to nibble too much, but today I was trying to get ahead. I just wasn’t able to do it.”
— Postgame interview sessions were REALLY short tonight, with Bochy fielding just two questions (I checked with Alex Pavlovic, and that’s a new record for postgame brevity). But when Amy G. asked a question about Brandon Belt’s extra work in BP and whether Bochy saw any improvement, the Giants manager made it clear that he’s losing his patience with two of the team’s most talented young hitters.
“At times (Belt) did quiet things down, but at times he was going too fast there again. It’s a work in progress right now, trying to get him on track. Just like Pablo. Our corner guys are going to have to get on track for us to have success and put runs on the board. They’re both going through tough times right now. We’ll just keep working. I don’t know what I’m going to do tomorrow. I’m going to think about it once I’m finished talking to you. We definitely need these two guys going.”
As I mentioned earlier today, Belt is probably going to sit down against Eric Stults on Tuesday, because he’s 3-for-15 against the Padres lefty. However, even though Sandoval went 0-for-4, left five guys on base, saw just 10 pitches all night and made one of the Giants’ two fielding errors, he’ll probably see his name in the lineup because he’s 12-for-24 lifetime against Stults.