NEW YORK -- Madison Bumgarner walked out to the Yankee Stadium mound early Friday afternoon and took a look around. He swung his big left arm back once and mimicked throwing a pitch to the plate. Bumgarner wanted to get a feel for an unfamiliar park. He wanted to visualize his first pitch.
This wasn't what Bumgarner had in mind as he stood under the hot sun. And this certainly isn't the trip the Giants pictured.
A dream swing through San Diego and two marquee parks has turned into a bid to simply survive. The Giants lost 3-2 at Yankee Stadium, and their star catcher went down to a right foot contusion.
Buster Posey said he's not sure if he'll play Saturday. X-rays came back negative but Posey was "pretty sore." The test result was good news, but the rest of the night was full of negatives.
The Giants left 10 on base and went 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position. During one three-inning stretch, seven runners reached base against Masahiro Tanaka and none scored.
“We had our opportunities,” manager Bruce Bochy said. “We’ve got to do a better job. We’re getting runners on third with one out. We’re just missing the timely hit. We got one there late with (Mac) Williamson, and that was huge. But that’s a tough one … We had our chances. That’s another tough one for us because when you create those chances, someone has to come through. We’re just not getting it.”
The Giants also committed four errors, a career-high three by Gold Glove shortstop Brandon Crawford, including one that led to the go-ahead run in the eighth. His first was on a throw in the first, and Angel Pagan added a misplay in the second. At that point, Bumgarner looked to be in trouble. He needed 47 pitches to get through two but limited the Yankees to two runs. Bumgarner said the 92-degree heat wasn’t bothering him — “I love it. That’s what I grew up in.” — but he just couldn’t locate his pitches.
“For whatever reason I just wasn’t making very good pitches in the first inning,” he said. “I was either missing off the plate or over the middle. We had to grind through it.”
Nobody does that better than Bumgarner. Bochy calls it “bowing his neck,” and Bumgarner managed to get through seven soaked innings, throwing 115 pitches. The Giants still looked dead in the water at that point, with Dellin Betances, Andrew Miller and Aroldis Chapman set for the final three. But “No Runs DMC” showed cracks. A run was scratched across against Betances, and Miller — the prize of the trade market — gave up a two-out, two-strike double to Williamson, a pinch-hitter.
“He had a calmness about him, which you like from these guys,” Bochy said of Williamson. “He shortened up.”
The Giants shortened the game, and they liked their chances. Bumgarner had set up a fresh bullpen and Chapman was the last big arm left for Joe Girardi. But the Yankees would immediately set about giving the missile-armed-lefty a lead.
Josh Osich put two on in the eighth but got a soft grounder to short. Crawford snagged it and thought briefly of glove-flipping it to Grant Green, but with a runner headed to third he didn’t want to take any chances. He figured he could get to the bag as quickly as he could shovel a throw over, and he did. But the rocket throw over to first was high, and it popped out of Brandon Belt’s glove and squirted away. Chase Headley raced around third and scored.
“I don’t know really what other play I had,” Crawford said. “I felt more comfortable taking it myself. I thought worst case scenario, there’s runners on first and third with one out. The throw got up and Belt kind of lost it, he said.
“I thought the worst case scenario was runners on first and third. Apparently, what happened was the worst case scenario.”
The Giants still were not done, even with Chapman averaging 102.8 mph on his fastball, the highest by anyone in a game in the last eight seasons. Blanco lined a 102 mph pitch to left and got a leadoff double.
“I’m so proud of that,” he said, smiling on an otherwise rough night.
Earlier, Blanco had tried to test Carlos Beltran’s arm on a shallow fly to right. He was thrown out. Replay confirmed the call, and Blanco said he wasn’t sure if his fingers actually touched the plate. He thought this was one where the call on the field was going to stand either way. The original call was out, and so Blanco was out.
In the ninth, he never got another shot to race home. Denard Span grounded out and Angel Pagan lined out. Belt struck out while seeing five fastballs at 104.
The loss was the sixth straight for the Giants. They remain winless in the second half.
“Anytime you go through a stretch like this it surprises you,” Posey said. “The last two games, a couple of things go our way and we win. I think you have to look at it that way. You come out tomorrow and try to win. We had a rough stretch in April and bounced back. Tomorrow is an opportunity to start going in the right direction.”