Buster Posey

Giants win weird, controversial, entertaining and exhausting series in Chicago

This series had a rain delay that lasted almost 20 times longer than the rain shower that caused it, a protest, spiders in the broadcast booths, a great game from Travis Ishikawa, a loss of CSN Bay Area’s signal that caused a switch to the Chicago feed for an inning, and Michael Morse touched Hunter Pence lovingly on his right pectoral muscle.

More on that last one later.

The Giants won the series finale by a score of 5-3, not long after falling 2-1 in the conclusion of Tuesday’s suspended game. With the Giants heading to Washington to face the hottest team on the planet this weekend, this was a series they desperately needed to win.

Bumgarner responds

Madison Bumgarner got his 14th win of the season, something that didn’t look altogether likely after the first inning. Bumgarner poked fun at Andrew Susac last night after the rookie hit his first home run. “Congratulations! You just hit your first home run in a Mickey Mouse park!” It looked early on like Bumgarner’s words might come back to bite him, as he gave up three runs on back-to-back home runs in the first, turning the Giants’ 1-0 lead into a 3-1 deficit. But Bumgarner turned things around quickly in one of his most impressive — and important — starts of the season.

“I think (Justin) Ruggiano hit a pretty good pitch on outside part of the plate out, and he did make a mistake to (Wellington) Castillo for the second homer,” Buster Posey told Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow after the game.

“After that he just beared down and just pitched off his heater the rest of the game.”

Bumgarner faced two jams in this game after the first, and he used the strikeout to get out of both. Anthony Rizzo and Ruggiano had consecutive two-out singles in the third, and Bumgarner struck out Castillo. He retired nine of the next 10 hitters he faced, but the Cubs hit two singles to start the seventh. Bumgarner struck out Chris Coghlan, got Arismendy Alcantara to ground out to third, and finished his outing with six straight fastballs to strike out Javier Baez. A fist pump followed.

Madison Bumgarner fist pump

It was his 12th strikeout of the game, one below his career high and two above his previous high this season.

Posey and Sandoval hit a lot of baseballs pretty hard

Buster Posey caught 13 innings after sitting out last night’s game with a sore right hip, and he appears to be OK — he went 4-for-4 in the nightcap and came a triple away from hitting for the cycle. His solo shot in the fifth gave the Giants a 4-3 lead. It came on an 87-mph fastball from Travis Wood that came in at the letters. Translation: a BP fastball for Buster.

Pablo Sandoval went 3-for-4 with a double and drove in two. The other RBIs came when Morse drove in Pence on a sacrifice fly (so much togetherness for those two tonight) and Bumgarner(!) plating Joaquin Arias(!!!) with a sharp single to left. Replays showed that Arias’ foot may have coasted over home plate without touching it on what was a pretty close play, but the Cubs had already used their challenge.

Extra BASGs

— It looks like Santiago Casilla is still the team’s primary closer; he struck out two and gave up a single in a scoreless ninth. Sergio Romo got the last two outs in the eighth, giving up a single to Castillo in between Ryan Sweeney’s groundout and John Baker’s fly ball to left.

Brandon Belt sounds pretty confident about his chances of playing again this year.

— I also wrote a recap of Tuesday/Thursday’s game, with an emphasis on what happened today.

— Another animal nickname? Check out what Mike Krukow said about Bumgarner’s hitting mechanics.

“He’s feeling pretty good in the batter’s box. He kind of lifts that leg up and gets gathered like a little cobra,” said Krukow, which led into a sponsored bit that showed a highlight of Bumgarner’s RBI single.

“Let’s take a look at the little cobra. Launches a single to left field …”

— I know it’s super cheesy, but I kind of like “the little cobra.” Making a freaking cobra sound cute and calling Bumgarner “little” in the same nickname? I’m in!

— At one point, CSN Bay Area lost their signal. So after a few seconds they switched to the Chicago feed, where they showed the guys in the booth more than the action on the field. Then they kept the Chicago video, but added in Kruk and Kuip audio — except it sounded like a transistor radio broadcast and the sound was at least six seconds ahead of what we saw. It wasn’t a big deal, they fixed it after an inning or so. Plus, the little snafu fit in nicely with all the other Wrigley weirdness we saw over the last three days.

— The Dodgers beat the Padres 2-1 on a Justin Turner home run in the bottom of the eighth. Ho-hum, Clayton Kershaw ran his record to 15-3 and dropped his ERA to 1.82 while striking out 10 over eight innings.

— Arias is actually hitting a little better lately, but still:

— I’d say “Isn’t it bromantic,” but that’d be a cheap joke and I’m above that.

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