SAN FRANCISCO – Madison Bumgarner is pretty good at roping calves, but he’ll have to get used to being the ropee the rest of the season.
Same with Matt Cain and the rest of the Giants rotation.
Bumgarner was pulled after six shutout innings on 89 pitches in the Giants’ eventual 3-2, 11-inning victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. There wasn’t anything wrong with him. On the contrary, he had a hard fastball and a devastating slider while striking out nine without issuing a walk.
But Bochy has an 11-man bullpen, he’d like to spread around some work for them, and it’s time to begin conserving bullets for next season.
“These guys have carried a pretty good workload, and not just this year,” Bochy said. “We’ll cover them a little bit. It’s important we keep an eye on them.”
The Giants lost Bumgarner’s decision when Santiago Casilla allowed two runs in the eighth inning. The big lefty hasn’t won in seven starts and he’s got just one victory in 10 starts since the All-Star break, despite a 2.42 ERA over that span.
But he was just glad the Giants were able to have a happy handshake line for just the second time in those 10 starts.
“You’ve got to look at it from both sides and it’s understandable,” Bumgarner said of the early exit. “It’s their job to look at the big picture and it’s our job to be out there focused on that day. That’s the way I look at it.”
Ehire Adrianza said he first began dreaming of being a major league player when he was 3 years old.
He probably didn’t dream of scoring the winning run in his major league debut. That’s what happened Sunday, as Adrianza sped home from second base on Angel Pagan’s single.
“I was a little bit nervous,” Adrianza said. “I tried to be in control.”
That’s harder when you’re a hitter. When you’re a runner, you just let that emotion carry you.
Bochy said he’d try to get a start for Adrianza in the next few days. The 24-year-old is a gifted defensive shortstop and he began to come around with the bat after being promoted to Triple-A Fresno at midseason.
When first base umpire Tom Hallion blew a call in the 10th inning, George Kontos turned and started to argue. Then a thought ripped through his mind:
Don’t be David Cone.
Kontos said just two days ago, he was watching a “baseball’s 20 worst mishaps” show on the MLB Network. Among them was Cone, arguing a play as two runners scored behind his back.
So Kontos turned and made sure the runner at third base wouldn’t try anything. Then umpires huddled and, in a rare moment, reversed the call.
Hooray for umpires prioritizing getting the call right over potentially embarrassing a member of their crew. And hooray for blooper reels when they serve as cautionary tales.