hs3rd

my miscellany

Giants Fall Second Time to Nats, 2-1 — 11 Jun 14

Giants Fall Second Time to Nats, 2-1

The Nationals rode into town with hot pistols, and they have won big and have won small in two games. They have been impressive. The two losses have the Giants looking for meaning, and Madison Bumgarner has supplied it. Henry Schulman quoted him as saying, “We can’t be perfect every time out. It’s just about how quickly you can come back from it. No matter how good you are, you’re going to go through times like this.”

When he said this, he had just lost his fourth game of the season, having won a career-best six in a row, and the Giants had just been handed their first losing streak in three and a half weeks. In the face of a loss, he was clear, intelligent, and perceptive. Allowing two earned runs while striking out five and walking one, he pitched well enough to win on most days against most teams, but he understands the difference between “most” and “always.” The Nationals split that difference, and they make this a most interesting series.

Michael Morse in the eighth, facing Tyler Clippard, had his hand on a golden opportunity. He hit a long foul ball down the line toward left before Clippard delivered a 3-2 fastball that Morse missed. Earlier in the sixth Pablo Sandoval attempted to score from second on Brandon Crawford’s single. But Jayson Werth threw him out. In a tight game, one of these turning points could have turned out differently and given the Giants a W. But they didn’t, and Bumgarner’s philosophy comes in handy when games turn on matters of inches, and when the fans’ interest has to be nourished by superior baseball and not by wins. How quickly the Giants come back against a fine team will have to be enough as we watch expectantly tomorrow.

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Giants Lose Belt but Win Game, 3-1 — 10 May 14

Giants Lose Belt but Win Game, 3-1

9 May 14

On the first pitch of the second inning, Paul Maholm hit Brandon Belt’s left thumb and broke it. Belt will be examined in San Francisco Saturday, and the examination will help determine the length of recovery time.

Brandon Crawford hit a two-run homer, his third of the trip, and Madison Bumgarner held the Dodgers to Yasiel Puig’s solo homer over 8 innings for his fourth win. MadBum allowed 4 hits, and he struck out 8.

Bumgarner took exception to Puig’s flip of the bat and trot around the bases after his homer over the center field wall. MadBum barked at him near the third base line. Puig turned and yelled back.

The Giants on their road trip are 6-2. Their record is 23-13, their first time at Level 2 (ten games above .500) this season. They are 4.5 games ahead of the Dodgers, and 2 ahead of Colorado. How they manage without Belt has become the first question for the games ahead starting Saturday afternoon (Hudson vs. Kershaw).

Giants Sweep Braves, 4-1 — 5 May 14

Giants Sweep Braves, 4-1

4 May 14

Brandon Crawford’s two home runs powered the Giants to complete the sweep of the Braves in Atlanta for the first time since 1988. Madison Bumgarner’s six innings of three-hit ball limited the Braves to one run just as Tim Lincecum and Ryan Vogelsong had done in the previous games.

The Giants are 15-1 when they score first, and their overall record is 20-11; nine games above .500 is the high-water mark this season. They are 3-0 on the road trip as they move on to Pittsburgh for three games.

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