SAN DIEGO — On the last day of the first half, a Giant jokingly looked down at a reporter’s notebook to make sure he was writing down a steady stream of “one day at a time” clichés. This is not a team that really needed a reminder that the National League West can get tight in a hurry.
But just in case … the first night back gave them a reminder.
After winning the first nine meetings with the rebuilding Padres, the Giants fell 4-1 Friday, and did so with Madison Bumgarner on the mound. At the same time, 350 miles away, the Dodgers thrashed the Diamondbacks, getting within 5 1/2 games of first.
“You can’t take it for granted and you can’t get comfortable,” Bumgarner said. “There are a couple of teams that are going to give you a run for it.”
The Giants are not generally a team that takes anything for granted, but one way or another, they came out flat Friday. The Padres took advantage, putting four on Bumgarner in six innings and riding a solid performance from up-and-down righty Andrew Cashner.
Bumgarner tied a season-high by giving up four extra-base hits — two homers and two doubles — but he said he actually “felt really good.” His manager thought that showed just how high the bar has been set.
“He just wasn’t quite as sharp,” Bruce Bochy said. “We’ve gotten pretty spoiled with him. Six innings, four runs — that’s an off night for him. A couple of balls left the park. He just wasn’t quite as sharp.”
Bochy wasn’t around for the end of this one, getting ejected with two outs in the ninth for arguing balls and strikes. The ejection was his 70th, and came seconds after Brandon Belt earned his first as a big leaguer. Belt’s frustration was building on a night when he struck out four times. Bochy thought several calls hurt the Giants.
“There were some guys frustrated tonight, no question,” he said. “It’s not (the reason) we lost, but still, Belt had a legitimate argument on some pitches. The time before there was one up (in the zone). Those are balls. They’re not on the plate.”
The Padres dealt with a similar zone, but handled it better. They became just the third team to put four earned on Bumgarner’s line this season, and they appeared to annoy him too. After glove-flipping a ball to first for an out, Bumgarner looked back at Travis Jankowski, who was standing on first hoping for a review. An umpire walked him back to the dugout. Bumgarner said he thought he heard someone say something to him. Later Bumgarner had a few words with Derek Norris after Ramiro Peña, hitting in front of Bumgarner, was hit by a pitch.
When Myers hit a long solo shot to center to make it 4-1, he held the bat up high and took a couple of steps before dropping it. Bumgarner and Myers have already had one benches-clearing incident this season, and Bumgarner watched the All-Star first baseman take the trip around the bases.
“I was just watching it with him,” Bumgarner deadpanned. “That’s all. I didn’t have anything else to do at the time.”
Bumgarner admitted that in the past he might have gone off the rails on a night like this. But he mostly kept his cool, getting through six.
“I’m out there competing,” he said. “This is an important game for us. They all are.”